How To Clean Whirlpool Dishwasher? (Simple Ways)

Owning a Whirlpool dishwasher can make removing food residue and disinfecting dinnerware effortless. However, if not properly maintained, these machines can accumulate dirt, mildew, and other particles that can cause unpleasant smells and stained dishes.

Cleaning a Whirlpool dishwasher does not have to be overwhelming. Keeping your machine in pristine condition is easy when you follow the right steps and take preventive measures. Dig into learning about this.

Steps to Clean Whirlpool Dishwasher


Disconnect the power supply to your dishwasher. You can use a flathead screwdriver or remove the screws under the machine.

The next step is to remove all the silverware racks, sprayers, and utensils baskets inside your dishwasher. You can do this by pulling the racks out or using your hands to remove them. Once everything has been removed, turn the door handle counterclockwise until it stops moving. Then pull the door open slowly while holding onto the handles. If any items are still stuck behind the door, gently pry them.


Remove the filter screen from the top of the unit. To do this, first, make sure that the drain hose is disconnected. Next, unscrew the two bolts near the front panel’s bottom. Pull the entire filter assembly forward and lift it away from the back wall of the dishwasher.

Be careful when lifting, as some filters may contain sharp edges which could cut you. Now slide the filter assembly over the edge of the opening where it was stored and set it aside for later disposal.

Next, disconnect the hoses to the wash pump and the hot/cold water valves. These should come apart easily once you loosen the nuts, securing them to the side panels. Slide these parts out of the way and continue removing the remaining hardware.


Unscrew the four mounting brackets around the dishwasher’s base. The last thing left to remove is the plastic cover covering the electrical components. Simply pop it off and discard it.

Now that you’ve finished unplugging your dishwasher let’s start cleaning it. First, fill the tub with warm water. Make sure that the temperature is between 140-160 degrees Fahrenheit. Use distilled white vinegar instead of plain old tap water to avoid corrosion issues. Also, don’t forget to add one cup of baking soda to help neutralize odors.

Now pour about half of the solution into the upper section of the dishwasher. Give it five minutes to settle, then pour the rest of the liquid down the sides of the machine. After waiting 5 minutes, run the full cycle again. Repeat this procedure three times.

Afterward, wipe down the interior surfaces of the dishwasher with a damp cloth. Don’t worry too much about getting every spot; focus on wiping down those areas that tend to accumulate dirt, like the doors and shelves. Finally, give the whole area a good dusting with a soft brush.

To keep things extra tidy, you can purchase a special cleaner specifically for washing machines. Remember that most cleansers won’t work well on stainless steel appliances, so check the label carefully before purchasing.

Once you’re done cleaning, replace the silverware racks, utensil holders, and other accessories. Reattach the wires to the new pieces and plug everything back together. Turn the power switch back on and test the appliance to ensure it works properly.

That’s it. Your dishwasher is now ready to go through another round of heavy-duty action. Enjoy using it without spending countless hours doing chores around the house.

Can I Use Vinegar and Baking Soda to Clean Whirlpool?

Whirlpool dishwashers can be cleaned with vinegar, and baking soda is a great way to clean them. Vinegar and baking soda are household ingredients that can be used for cleaning. Combining vinegar and baking soda will clean your dishwasher without harsh chemicals.

For vinegar and baking soda to clean your dishwasher, fill up a measuring cup on your kitchen sink. Fill it halfway with hot water (hot water will help dissolve the baking soda), and then pour in ¼ cup of vinegar.

Slowly mix the vinegar into the water with your measuring cup handle once added. Pour the mixture into your dishwasher and run it through a cycle. Afterward, let the dishwasher sit for 30 minutes before using it again. Repeat these steps every few weeks to keep your dishwasher sparkling clean. If you’re looking for other ways to clean your dishwasher quickly, check out our guide here.

Is Bleach Safe to Use in the Dishwasher?

Using bleach to clean the dishwasher is not recommended. Bleach is a strong chemical that can corrode stainless steel components and cause them to rust or break down over time. Additionally, bleach can leave behind a residue that may be difficult to remove and could contaminate dishes and utensils.

Using a mild detergent or dish soap is best when cleaning the dishwasher. This will help remove any food particles or grease that may have built up in the machine without damaging its components.

Additionally, it is important to regularly wipe down the interior of the dishwasher with a damp cloth or sponge to prevent build-up from occurring in the first place. Regularly cleaning your dishwasher with mild detergents and wiping it down will help keep it running smoothly for years to come.

Dishwasher Cleaning/Maintaining Tips & Tricks

You can take a number of steps to ensure that your dishwasher runs smoothly. Here are some helpful hints from Consumer Reports:

  • Keep all items stored inside the dishwasher upright when loading. Vertically stacked items allow air to circulate food particles and prevent odors.
  • If possible, store flatware away from sharp objects such as knives and forks. Sharp utensils could cut plastic parts of the machine.
  • Don’t overload the dishwasher. Overloading causes uneven heating and drying cycles. Also, overfilled machines tend to leak water onto floors and walls.
  • Use the right size containers for storing foods. Small bowls and plates fit better than larger ones.
  • Wash small loads separately. Washing smaller amounts reduce wear and tear on the washer.
  • Avoid placing heavy items directly against the door. They might cause damage to the seal between the door and frame.
  • Never put metal pans or pots in the freezer compartment. These materials expand when frozen and could crack the glass doors.
  • Store silverware in its original packaging.
  • Silverware should always come packaged together so that no one piece gets lost.
  • Start the washing machine with full loads of laundry in the morning. Laundry left overnight may pick up moisture and mildew.
  • Always use soap and detergent designed specifically for dishwashers. Some products contain bleach which can harm delicate surfaces like stainless steel appliances.
  • Do not wash clothes while wearing rubber gloves. Rubber gloves trap heat and make it harder to remove stains.
  • When running low on detergent, add 1/2 teaspoon per gallon of cold tap water instead of liquid detergent. Colder temperatures slow down chemical reactions and reduce foaming.
  • To avoid scratching the finish on your appliance, never rub it with abrasive material. Instead, gently wipe it with soft cloths.
  • Many models recommend setting the temperature to high-heat mode during the initial wash cycle. Then lower the temperature after about 20 minutes. • For best results, follow manufacturer instructions regarding temperature settings.
  • Ensure adequate ventilation is near the top of the unit where steam builds up. The venting system helps cool the interior of the machine.

When should you clean the filter in a Whirlpool dishwasher?

When the filter becomes clogged, it should be cleaned to prevent water from leaking into the machine.

Using Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner to Clean Your Whirlpool Dishwasher. A Whirlpool dishwasher cleaner called Affresh removes grime, dirt, and bacteria. This cleaner is also safe to use with dishwasher detergent and rinse aid. Let the Affresh Dishwasher cleaner work for 30 seconds in the bottom of the dishwasher before rinsing. You should run a normal cycle once the Affresh Dishwashing solution has been used.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

1. What kind of soap does the Whirlpool dishwasher use?

Whirlpool uses its brand of dishwasher soap called “Dish Soap.” To prevent clogging, make sure to change the dispenser cap regularly. Also, check the manual to see what liquid dish soap should be used.

2. How do I prevent my Whirlpool dishwasher from stagnating?

Regular cleaning and maintaining your Whirlpool dishwasher helps keep it in good condition and functioning properly. Clean the filter screen, food trap, door seals, and gaskets regularly to avoid any dirt or grime buildup. Also, check that the detergent dispenser is not clogged and that the detergent is fresh. Finally, run a cycle with vinegar or baking soda to help keep the dishwasher clean and odor-free.

3. How often should I clean my Whirlpool dishwasher?

Ideally, you should clean your Whirlpool dishwasher every month. Cleaning the filter screen, food trap, door seals, and gaskets regularly will help prevent the buildup of dirt and grime. Also, a cycle with vinegar or baking soda once a month can help keep your dishwasher clean and odor-free.

4. How do I deep clean the inside of my dishwasher?

The bottom of the empty dishwasher should be filled with one cup of white vinegar in a dishwasher-safe bowl. Activate the hot water cycle in the dishwasher. Using vinegar will remove leftover food, grease, soap scum, residues, and any other dirt.

5. Is there a clean cycle on the Whirlpool dishwasher?

Yes, the Whirlpool dishwasher does have a clean cycle. This cycle is designed to help remove food particles and other debris from the dishwasher’s interior. It also helps to reduce odors that can build up over time. The cycle includes a pre-wash, main wash, and rinse.


Regular cleaning and maintenance of your Whirlpool dishwasher are essential to keep it in good condition and functioning properly. Make sure to clean the filter screen, food trap, door seals, and gaskets regularly to avoid dirt or grime buildup. This way, you can enjoy fresh and healthy water.


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