A Guide to Cleaning Your Dishwasher 

Contrary to popular belief, your dishwasher needs regular cleaning to operate efficiently. One of the most obvious reasons to clean your dishwasher is to ensure that it effectively cleans your dishes. Over time, food particles, grease, and grime can build up in the filter, interior walls, and spray arms, reducing cleaning power and causing an unpleasant odor, discoloration, and even clogging. 

Furthermore, if your dishwasher is not effectively cleaning your dishes, it may not kill harmful bacteria, such as E. coli or salmonella, which can lead to foodborne illness. Not cleaning your dishwasher can also lead to spots and film on your dishes and damage to the filter and pump, which can shorten its lifespan and result in costly repairs.

 Here’s how to keep your dishwasher in tip-top shape.

Frequency of Cleaning Your Dishwasher 

The frequency of cleaning depends on how often you run cycles. If you run a load daily, here’s what you should do:

  • Daily or after each cycle: Remove visible bits of food from the filter well and bottom of the dishwasher.
  • Weekly: Wipe down the door edges and gasket, and clean the filter.
  • Monthly: Run a deep-cleaning cycle.
  • As needed: Wipe the exterior, edges, and interior of drips, spots, and film.

Step-by-Step Cleaning

Keep your dishwasher looking and functioning like new by following these five simple cleaning tips.

1) Remove Food Particles 

Remove leftover food bits after each cycle to prevent odors. Empty the bottom rack and remove food particles from the filter well, screen, and heating element with your fingers or a paper towel. Avoid pre-rinsing dishes to save water and energy. If you’re not running a cycle immediately, rinse dishes briefly at the sink or run a rinse-only cycle to prevent unwanted smells. Remove labels and stickers from jars before putting them in the dishwasher to prevent clogging the filter.

2). Wipe the Door

Wipe down the door, edges, handle and controls with a damp microfiber cloth or sponge to remove residue and splatters. Clean the rubber seal around the door with an old soft toothbrush dipped in warm, sudsy water or a mild all-purpose cleaner. Avoid using bleach-based cleaners, especially if the interior is stainless steel, and check your owner’s manual before using hydrogen peroxide.

3). Clean the Filter

The dishwasher filter is located below the bottom spray arm and can be found by pulling out the bottom rack. To clean it, unlock and remove the filter, rinse it under hot water, and use a soft toothbrush to remove grease and particles from the mesh screen and plastic frame. Lock the filter back into place, as operating the dishwasher without it adequately secured can cause damage and void the warranty.

4). Deep-Clean Monthly

Once a month, use a dishwasher cleaner or vinegar to remove trapped particles, mineral buildup, and detergent residue. Follow the label’s directions or place a bowl of distilled white vinegar in an empty dishwasher and run a hot cycle. For extra freshening, sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of the dishwasher after the vinegar cycle and run a short cycle.

5). Polish the Exterior 

Fingerprints make any surface look dull and grimy, but they stand out on stainless steel appliances. Some dishwasher models come with fingerprint-resistant finishes, but not all. If your dishwasher is stainless steel, polishing it can help to restore the shine and remove unsightly fingerprints, smudges, and other signs of wear and tear. 

Follow these polishing steps: 

  1. Clean the surface: Wipe down the stainless steel surface with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Choose a polishing product: You can use a specialized stainless steel cleaner or a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals that can scratch the surface.
  3. Apply the polisher: Apply a small amount of the cleaner or vinegar solution to a soft cloth and rub it into the stainless steel surface in a circular motion.
  4. Wipe it down: Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe down the surface, removing any excess polish and leaving a streak-free finish.
  5. Buff with a microfiber cloth: Use a microfiber cloth to buff the surface and remove any final residue, leaving a shiny finish.
  6. Protect the surface: After polishing, consider applying a protectant to the stainless steel surface to help prevent fingerprints and other types of damage.


Cleaning your dishwasher regularly is essential to maintaining your kitchen appliance’s efficiency, hygiene, and lifespan. Regular cleaning helps to ensure effective cleaning performance, eliminate unpleasant odors, reduce the risk of health hazards, and extend the lifespan of your dishwasher. So, add this task to your regular cleaning routine and enjoy the benefits of a clean and well-maintained dishwasher.

If you need help with house cleaning tasks, our team at Clean Nation Company is here to help. We offer recurring (i.e., weekly, bi-weekly, bi-monthly)  and one-time cleaning services. We pride ourselves on offering the highest level of clean and customer satisfaction. 

Worry-Free Service

We understand how important it is to protect your home. You can be assured that each member of our cleaning team is vetted before hiring and receives thorough training in all aspects of residential cleaning. We are also fully insured and bonded, so you can have peace of mind knowing that your home and possessions are in good hands.

Our Customer Satisfaction Guarantee

Customer satisfaction is vitally important to us and is something we take it very seriously.  If you are unhappy with any area we have already cleaned, give us a call within 24 hours, and we’ll reclean the area for free. We want you to have a superior cleaning experience.

Call Clean Nation Company at (509) 217-4729 to learn more about our quality services and request a free estimate, or fill out our online contact form for a quick response. We look forward to speaking with you and making your home sparkle!

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We happily serve Spokane, Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Coeur d’Alene, and Post Falls.

🎄Give the Gift of Cleanliness and Care! 🎄
A one time deep clean by Spokane/CDA's premier clean team-- The perfect gift for your hard to shop for loved ones!
Give the Gift of Cleanliness and Care!
A one time deep clean by Spokane/CDA's premier clean team-- The perfect gift for your hard to shop for loved ones!