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How to Clean a Whirlpool Dishwasher – Full Guide

Article By: Suraiya Fardous - January 10, 2024
How to Clean a Whirlpool Dishwasher

The Whirlpool dishwasher was one of the best ways to clean all your dishes at the end of every mealtime. So, it’s good at cleaning all the gunk off of your dishes, but what about the cleaner itself? As good as it is at cleaning dishes, it does get dirtier and dirtier with use. But thankfully for you, we’re here to teach you the many ways how to clean whirlpool dishwashers.

How often should you clean your Whirlpool dishwasher?

Before we learn how to clean Whirlpool dishwasher, there’s one other question we have to answer: how often should you clean them? Depending on which part you’re cleaning. Normally, you’re supposed to clean the dishwasher on a monthly basis. But you have to clean any food and debris from the bottom after every use. Cleaning a dishwasher’s exterior is optional, though.


Also Read: How to Reset Whirlpool Dishwasher


Things to remember before starting the cleaning process

A couple of other things to keep in mind before we begin learning about cleaning a whirlpool dishwasher.

Disconnecting the dishwasher

You need to disconnect the dishwasher, lest you run the risk of fatal electric shocks. For some dishwashers, disconnecting is as easy as turning off the electric sockets and unplugging them. However, if the dishwasher is installed in the house, you might need to turn off the fuse box connected to the dishwasher. The latter might require some professional help.

Choosing the right cleaning agent for interior and exterior

When cleaning the dishwasher all over, you need to know which dishwasher cleaning agent to use and where. Each type of cleaning agent has its strengths and weaknesses, and which one you should use is up to you.

Powders are cheap and require little to clean, but they are abrasive and leave scratches, especially on fragile items. Gels are best used in quick cycles while remaining affordable, but they need rinse aid and water softener. Pods are the easiest and best to use, given their convenient design and application. Tablets are the same, but they have a slow dissolving speed.

Choosing the appropriate wiping material

There are a lot of wiping materials we can use. Sponges absorb water and detergent very easily, making them easy to soak and use for cleaning, but they can easily spill over. But when it comes to the best, you can’t beat microfiber cloth. This is due to the non-abrasive nature of the microfiber and how easily it can remove any and all dirt.

How to clean a Whirlpool dishwasher

Now that we know how often we should do it, it’s time we learn how to clean Whirlpool dishwashers. But there are two ways to clean the dishwashers, either with vinegar and baking soda or with dishwasher cleaners. Depending on what you have and prefer, you can go for either one, and they clean well all the same.

Part 1 – Cleaning the outer part of the dishwasher

So, let’s talk about cleaning the exterior of your whirlpool dishwasher. After all, nobody wants to use a dishwasher that looks and feels dirty. You’re going to need a bucket, a cleaning cloth or sponge, and your cleaning agent of choice. Make sure that the dishwasher is disconnected before you start cleaning the outer body.

Cleaning the control panel

The control panel is the part of the dishwasher that is interacted with the most. A lot of people touch it, which means there’s bound to be a lot of germs and dirt stuck there. Clean the control panel with a soft, damp rag before wiping it down with a dry cloth.

Cleaning the outer body of the washer

Take a damp cloth and wipe the outer body of any dirt and grime. If the exterior is made of stainless steel, then you’ll need a Stainless-Steel Cleaner to remove any stains without damaging the steel outer body. After you’re done cleaning the exterior, wipe it down with a dry cloth.

Part 2 – Cleaning the inner part of the dishwasher

After cleaning the exterior, it’s time to learn about cleaning the interior of a whirlpool dishwasher. This is where most of the dirty work is.

Empty the dishwasher

First, empty the dishwasher of any and all dishes and utensils. This also includes removing any debris, gunk, and food chunks. So, you’ll need to put your gloves on for this part.

Cleaning the vent cover or filter

Grab the filter and rotate it counterclockwise to take it out. Then, clean the filter under warm, soapy water with an old toothbrush. After giving it one more rinse under hot water, put it back where it was, and rotate it clockwise to lock it in place.

Examine the door gasket.

The door gasket is supposed to stop the water from leaving the appliance, and a lot of food particles and gunk can get stuck there. So, inspect the gasket for any debris, and if there is something there, grab a sponge and start scrubbing.

Clean out the spray arm.

A lot of food particles and mineral deposits can get stuck in the sprayer arm. Take a piece of wire or a sewing needle small enough to fit the nozzle and take the deposits out of the sprayer arm. After clearing the holes of all the gunk, the arms were in warm water and wiped down with a rag.

How to clean a Whirlpool dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda

This is the most affordable way to clean a whirlpool dishwasher. The only things you’ll need are some cleaning equipment like sponges and cleaning cloths and the aforementioned vinegar and baking soda.

How to clean a dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda

Step 1: Clean the filter

First off, take out the filter and remove it from any clogs and debris before cleaning it. If you can, take out and thoroughly clean the filter. However, if you can’t take the filter out, then you’ll need to consult the manual.

Step 2: Pour 2 cups of white vinegar

Next, pour 2 cups of white vinegar into a glass measuring cup or any dishwasher-safe container and place them on the lower rack. Run a normal cycle to begin the cleaning process; make sure that the heat dry option is turned off, though. Also, make sure not to use detergent and that the cleaner’s insides are of them.

If you want, you can use apple cider vinegar instead since it works just as well. But those can leave stains, so clear white vinegar is preferred here.

Step 3: Add Baking Soda

After the cycle is complete, sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda in the bottom of the dishwasher. Finally, run a hot water cycle, and your dishwasher is finally clean.

How to clean a Whirlpool dishwasher with a dishwasher cleaner/liquid

How to clean a dishwasher with dishwasher cleaner

For this section, we’re going to learn how to clean Whirlpool dishwasher with dishwasher cleaners. These things come in tablets, which makes this cleaning process much easier. Though obviously the better cleaning method, it is more expensive, so keep that in mind if you’re a stickler for saving.

Step 1: Clean the filter

First off, take out the filter and remove it from any clogs and debris before cleaning it. If you can, take out the filter and clean it thoroughly. However, if you can’t take the filter out, then you’ll need to consult the manual.

Step 2: Place the dishwasher cleaner tablet

This next step depends on whether or not you have any dishes in the dishwasher. If you have dishes inside, place 1 tablet in the bottom of the dishwasher and normal detergent in the detergent tray. If there are no dishes, place only 1 table in the dishwasher tray instead. If there’s a lot of build-up inside, place another tablet in the bottom of the dishwasher.

Step 3: Turn on and run the cycle

Finally, whether or not you have dishes inside the dishwasher, run a normal wash cycle. And just like that, your dishwasher is clean and ready to clean more dishes.


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Why doesn’t my Whirlpool dishwasher clean my dishes?

There are often times when the Whirlpool dishwasher refuses to clean any dishes. This is likely due to some technical issues, but often, the most common reason might be that the dishwasher is too dirty. As we mentioned, there are a lot of interior parts that can get clogged up, so it can’t properly clean dishes like it normally would. Clean the dishwasher before consulting a mechanic.

Why does the Whirlpool dishwasher smell like sewage?

There are a couple of reasons why your Whirlpool dishwasher smells so bad, all of them related to the dishwasher being dirty. The filter could be dirty or clogged, Food residue left on the interior walls, mold or mildew growing in the gasket seal, or a clogged drain. If the smell isn’t reason enough to clean your dishwasher, then the aforementioned causes should.

So, why does the dishwasher stink? You’ve been using the dishwasher for a while, and you know what you put in there. You do the math.

Keeping your Whirlpool dishwasher clean

As you might’ve learned, the Whirlpool dishwasher may be good at cleaning, but it needs maintenance and cleaning regardless. With this tutorial, we’ve learned how to clean Whirlpool dishwashers with baking soda and vinegar or with dishwasher cleaners. But we also hope you’ve learned more about the ins and outs of everyone’s favorite dishwasher.

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