Your dishwasher may be one of the hardest working appliances in your kitchen. After all, it takes care of cleaning dishes, glasses, silverware, pots, pans and other essentials after the meal is done. But food residue and mineral build-up can keep your dishwasher from performing at its best. That’s why cleaning a dishwasher is an important part of appliance maintenance. Our guide can show you how.
How to clean the inside of a dishwasher
Don’t just clean the dishes — take the time to ensure the dishwasher interior is clean too. When it’s time to clean the dishwasher, keep in mind the following cleaning tips for dishwashers:
- Dishwashers should be cleaned approximately every 30 days for optimal performance.
- Using affresh® Dishwasher Cleaner every month will help keep your dishwasher from filming and spotting and keep the interior clean and free of odors.
- A white vinegar rinse can be used occasionally to deep clean your dishwasher.
- Extremely hard water mineral deposits can cause damage to your dishwasher and make it difficult to achieve a good cleaning. A water softener is strongly recommended if your water hardness is 15 grains or more.
How to use affresh® dishwasher cleaner
Affresh® cleaners are specially formulated to clean your appliance and clear away mineral deposits. Use affresh® Dishwasher Cleaner to remove white spots and film. Depending on the severity of the spots, more than one treatment may be required.
Follow the instructions on the affresh® Dishwasher Cleaner package:
Cleaning your dishwasher without dishes:
- Place 1 tablet in the detergent tray.
- If there is significant mineral build-up, place a second tablet in the bottom of the dishwasher.
- Run a normal wash cycle.
Cleaning your dishwasher with dishes:
- Place 1 tablet in the bottom of the dishwasher.
- Place detergent in the detergent tray.
- Run a normal wash cycle.
For more information, watch the video below.
Find out where to buy affresh® cleaners online and in-store.
How to clean your dishwasher with vinegar
While affresh® cleaning tablets are recommended, cleaning a dishwasher with vinegar is another option. Keep in mind that not every dishwasher interior should be cleaned with vinegar. For more information, review your dishwasher’s Use and Care guide.
To clean your dishwasher with a white vinegar rinse:
- Put 2 cups (500 mL) of white vinegar in a glass or dishwasher-safe measuring cup on the bottom rack of your dishwasher. Do not use detergent – the vinegar will mix with the wash water.
- Run the dishwasher through a complete washing cycle using an air-dry or an energy-saving dry option.
NOTE: Vinegar is an acid, and using it too often could damage your dishwasher. It’s better to do so only when you need to deeply cleanse your dishwasher.
How to deep clean your dishwasher to remove odors and mineral deposits
Cleaning your dishwasher with vinegar or a dishwasher cleaner should be part of your regular maintenance routine. However, some issues may require you to undertake a deeper cleaning routine. For help with removing odors or existing mineral deposits, check out the articles below.
Brown Stains on Dishes or Dishwasher Interior After the Cycle
Brown stains are likely due to high iron content in the water supply. Here's how to remove those stains:
Detergent Caked in the Dispenser
Here are some of the reasons why detergent might be stuck in your KitchenAid® dishwasher dispenser.
Detergent Usage Guidelines
Check out this helpful guide to detergent usage for KitchenAid® dishwashers.