How to Run Clean Cycle on Whirlpool Dishwasher

In today’s fast-paced world, a dishwasher is a time-saving and convenient appliance that has become a staple in many households. However, to ensure your Whirlpool dishwasher continues to perform efficiently, it’s essential to know how to run a clean cycle. Over time, food particles, grease, and mineral deposits can build up inside the dishwasher, leading to odors and reduced cleaning performance. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps to run a clean cycle on your Whirlpool dishwasher, keeping it in top-notch condition.

Understanding the Importance of Cleaning Your Dishwasher

Before we dive into the specifics of running a clean cycle, let’s discuss why it’s crucial to clean your Whirlpool dishwasher regularly:

1. Maintains Cleaning Efficiency

A clean dishwasher is more effective at cleaning your dishes. When the interior of the dishwasher is free from debris and buildup, water can circulate freely, ensuring a thorough clean.

2. Prevents Odors

Food particles and grease residue can lead to unpleasant odors over time. Running a clean cycle helps eliminate these odors, leaving your dishwasher smelling fresh.

3. Extends Lifespan

Regular maintenance, including cleaning, can extend the lifespan of your dishwasher. This ensures that you get the most out of your investment.

4. Avoids Clogs

Mineral deposits and debris can clog the spray arms and filters of your dishwasher, affecting its performance. Cleaning prevents such clogs.

Step-by-Step Guide to Running a Clean Cycle

Now that we understand the importance of dishwasher maintenance, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of running a clean cycle on your Whirlpool dishwasher.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Before starting, you’ll need a few items: white vinegar, a dishwasher-safe bowl, and a dishwasher cleaning tablet or powder.

Step 2: Empty the Dishwasher

Remove all dishes, utensils, and racks from the dishwasher. Ensure the interior is completely empty.

Step 3: Clean the Filters

Locate and remove the filters from the dishwasher. Rinse them under running water to remove any food particles and debris.

Step 4: Place the Cleaning Tablet

If you’re using a cleaning tablet, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to place it in the detergent dispenser. If you prefer powder, sprinkle it in the bottom of the dishwasher.

Step 5: Add Vinegar

Pour a cup of white vinegar into a dishwasher-safe bowl and place it on the top rack of the dishwasher. Vinegar helps break down mineral deposits and disinfects the interior.

Step 6: Run the Clean Cycle

Select the clean cycle option on your dishwasher. If your dishwasher doesn’t have this specific setting, choose the hottest and longest cycle available.

Step 7: Wipe Down the Interior

Once the clean cycle is complete, open the dishwasher and wipe down the interior with a damp cloth. Pay special attention to the door gasket and seals.

Step 8: Reassemble and Test

Put the filters back in place, reassemble the racks, and load the dishwasher with dirty dishes. Run a regular cycle to ensure everything is working correctly.

Maintenance Tips

To keep your Whirlpool dishwasher in tip-top shape, consider these maintenance tips:

1. Clean the Exterior

Wipe down the exterior of the dishwasher with a damp cloth to remove fingerprints and spills.

2. Check the Spray Arms

Inspect the spray arms for clogs and remove any debris that may hinder water flow.

3. Clean the Silverware Basket

Remove the silverware basket and clean it thoroughly to prevent blockages.

4. Use Quality Detergent

Invest in high-quality dishwasher detergent to ensure effective cleaning.


Regularly running a clean cycle on your Whirlpool dishwasher is a simple yet effective way to maintain its performance, prevent odors, and extend its lifespan. By following the steps outlined in this guide and incorporating regular maintenance, you can enjoy sparkling clean dishes and the convenience of a well-functioning dishwasher for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How often should I run a clean cycle on my Whirlpool dishwasher?

It’s recommended to run a clean cycle once a month to keep your dishwasher in optimal condition.

2. Can I use lemon juice instead of white vinegar for cleaning?

While white vinegar is highly effective, lemon juice can be a suitable alternative for a fresh scent and mild cleaning.

3. What do I do if my dishwasher still has a foul odor after running a clean cycle?

If odors persist, consider using a specialized dishwasher cleaner or consult your manufacturer’s recommendations.

4. Is it necessary to rinse dishes before loading them into the dishwasher?

While modern dishwashers are designed to handle food residue, scraping off excess food before loading can help maintain cleanliness.

5. How long does a clean cycle typically take?

Clean cycle durations can vary, but they usually range from 1 to 2 hours, depending on the dishwasher model and settings.

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