How to Clean Your Dishwasher: A Step-By-Step Guide


Do foul smells and stains leave you wondering how to clean your dishwasher? Following some simple steps can help you get back those sparkling clean dishes.

Steps to Clean Your Dishwasher

Over time, food debris and grease can build up and cause foul odors and clogged drains. Follow this step-by-step guide on how to clean your dishwasher and increase its efficiency.

How to Clean Inside a Dishwasher

Use these common household products to clean a smelly dishwasher:

  • White Vinegar. Vinegar will remove grease, sanitize, and reduce odors. Fill a dishwasher-safe bowl with white vinegar and place in the top rack. Run a wash cycle with the hottest water setting.
  • Baking Soda. Baking soda can remove stains and remove additional odors. Just pour about a handful of baking soda in the bottom of the dishwasher and run a short cycle using the hottest water setting.
  • Bleach (Optional for Mildew). Bleach can help remove any mold or mildew in your dishwasher. Simply add 1/2-1 cup of bleach to the bottom of the dishwasher and run it through a full wash cycle.

If your dishwasher interior is stainless steel, do NOT use bleach. This will corrode your dishwasher.

How to Clean a Dishwasher Filter

  • Remove the Bottom Rack. Remove all dishes and pull the rack out completely.
  • Locate & Remove Filter. Look for a cylindrical filter on the floor of the dishwasher. Sometimes there is a flat, secondary filter underneath.
  • Hand Wash. Clean the filter by hand with warm soapy water, rinse, and put back in place.

Some dishwashers require disassembly to clean the filter, for step-by-step instructions, see part 2 of this article on Wikihow, or call Just-in Time Appliance for assistance.

Image from WikiHow

How to Unclog a Dishwasher

  • Clear Out Garbage Disposal. Run your disposal to clear the drain.
  • Clean Air Gap. Locate the air gap next to your sink faucet. Remove the cap and clean out any debris.
  • Clear Clogs With Solution. Combine 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 2 tablespoons to vinegar and pour down the dishwasher drain. Let sit for 10-15 minutes and rinse with hot water.

If you follow this guide on how to clean your dishwasher and find it’s still clogged or needs maintenance, contact Just-in Time Appliance Repair today. We provide service for all major brands including Whirlpool, Samsung, Maytag, and LG appliance repair.

Justin Duby

Justin Duby

Justin Duby, a Grants Pass native, opened Just-in Time Appliance Repair in 2014 after working with his grandparents in the appliance repair business for almost 10 years. Just attends various training programs throughout the year to keeps his skills sharp.

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