How To Clean Whirlpool Dishwasher Filter

Does your kitchen have a strange odor or smell? While you might think the sink is to blame, it could be your dishwasher. Perhaps you have tried everything to fix it, but nothing has helped. One crucial step that is simple to miss and frequently does: cleaning the dishwasher filter.

The exciting news is that all you need is some white vinegar to clean your Whirlpool dishwasher, and it’s a straightforward process. Baking soda may also be applied for a deeper clean and odor removal. You should also frequently clean your Whirlpool dishwasher’s filter if it is conveniently accessible. Cleaning supplies for dishwashers are also available.

How Do Dishwasher Filters Work?

A dishwasher filter prevents small, sloppy food particles from adhering to your freshly washed dishes, which also prevents drain clogs. Regular cleaning of the dishwasher filter is crucial to ensuring that it continues to function effectively for many years. Indeed, your dishwasher really has a filter, and much like the filters in your automobile or your house furnace, it needs regular maintenance checks.

How To Clean Whirlpool Dishwasher

Clean By Hand First

Dishwasher residue and debris should be manually removed before adding vinegar. Wipe off the dishwasher door, door gasket, and interior with a moist microfiber cloth or sponge.

Cleaning products could harm touch screens or fancy finishes; therefore, it is better to just use hot water. You can also use brushes, such as an old toothbrush, to reach awkward spaces and get rid of tough stains.

Wash the Dishwasher’s Base.

After that, thoroughly clean the dishwasher using a cloth or sponge to remove any food remnants or debris from the bottom. Disconnect and wipe the filter if your Whirlpool dishwasher has one.

  • The dishwasher’s bottom dish rack should be removed.
  • Take out any foreign or food debris.
  • Use a sponge or microfiber cloth to remove detergent and grease stains from the dishwasher’s bottom. If necessary, some soap and white vinegar might be used.
  • Uninstall and wash the filter from the dishwasher if it has one.


Use Baking Soda and Vinegar

  • Put the plate rack and filter back in the dishwasher after hand-cleaning it.
  • Purified our two cups of filtered white vinegar into a basin that can go in the dishwasher.
  • Put the bowl in the dishwasher’s top rack. Vinegar should not be poured straight into the dishwasher since it will drain out at the beginning of the cycle when the dishwasher drains.
  • Run the dishwasher through a typical cycle with no dishes or detergent.
  • After the cycle, add a cup of baking soda to the dishwasher and run a quick process once more for a much more good scrubbing, significantly eliminating an unpleasant odor.

Hopefully, your Whirlpool dishwasher is now clean and ready for use. The spray arms can also be cleaned for a far more profound clean.

Refresh The Spray Arms

The dishwasher spray arms should be simple to detach by unmounting or disassembling, depending on the version of the dishwasher. Try to clean the spray arms even if you can’t remove them. Inside the tiny holes that blast water from the spray, the arms are the prominent location where they get dusty and clogged. When cleaning the spray openings, resist using toothpicks or other breakable items.

Dish soap, one glass of white vinegar, and hot water should all be added to a sink or bucket. In water, wash the spray arms. Use a broom or metal pick for apparent accumulation in the spray arm openings.

Refresh the Filter

A detachable filter is standard in Whirlpool dishwashers. It needs to be cleaned each month or whenever food waste accumulates, and dishes aren’t clean enough. An upper filter component and a bottom filter comprise the filter system. You’ll have to take out the bottom dish rack and perhaps the spray arm to get to the filter. Using scrub brushes or abrasive pads during filter cleaning is not recommended since they risk damaging the filters.

  • If required, remove the spray arm and the lower dish rack.
  • Lift out of the dishwasher the top filter assembly by counterclockwise turning it.
  • When you take it out of the dishwasher, grab hold of the bottom filter and the round aperture.
  • Till all debris is gone, thoroughly clean the filter components with warm water. If required, use a soft brush to remove trapped particles and remove clean detergent or mineral deposits.
  • The bottom filter should be reinstalled with the tub’s circular hole facing up.
  • The lower filter’s elliptical opening is where the upper filter assembly should be reinstalled.
  • The lesser filter assembly should descend and lock into position after being rotated clockwise.

Is Bleach Safe To Use when Cleaning A Dishwasher?

Bleach can harm stainless steel parts; hence it shouldn’t be used to clean stainless steel parts of the dishwasher.

How Frequently To Baking soda and Vinegar

Depending on how frequently it is used, Whirlpool suggests that users give their dishwashers a thorough cleaning once a month. Every four to six months, other manufacturers advise giving the dishwasher a thorough cleaning.

When Should The Dishwasher Filter Be Cleaned?

It is recommended to clean manual-clean filters in more recent dishwashers once a month. Watch your dishes after a cycle to see if food is still stuck to them or if they feel gritty. If so, your filter needs to be cleaned. Watch out for odors from your dishwasher since this signifies that you must change your filter more frequently.

Tips For Cleaning Your Whirlpool Dishwasher

Take a moment to clean the inside of your dishwasher while it is empty. You’ll need to wipe off any food splatters on your dishwasher’s interior corners, sides, and hinges. Clean up any residue with a cloth and the same soft brush to remove any messes that have become stuck. Furthermore, look in the cabinets that are most near the dishwasher.

A thorough deep clean of your dishwasher will be necessary every so often. A way to wash a old dishwasher is to follow our detailed instructions and helpful hints.

When you wash your filter for the first time, it could smell bad, but after a few more times, you’ll realize that it’s not a big concern. Cleaning and preserving your dishwasher will ensure that your dishes are spotless.

What Causes My Dishwasher to Smell?

What Gives Off a Bad Smell in a Dishwasher? The most likely reasons for wastewater, egg or fish smell in your dishwasher are food particles stuck in the dishwasher’s filter or a bent or improperly placed drain line. It smells stronger when the dishwasher is running than after a wash cycle.

Make Your Dishwasher Interior Smell Good

Washing the inner is a proactive precaution that everyone should perform, even if your dishwasher doesn’t smell sour or the interior of the tub doesn’t appear unclean. Two cups of white purified vinegar, lukewarm soapy water, and a clean rag are all needed for the procedure, which is fortunately very straightforward.

In the bottom dish rack, start by placing the vinegar in the center. Clean the inside bottom edge of the door using the rag. Start a quick wash cycle after closing the dishwasher’s door. Open the dishwasher door when the wash cycle is complete, then begin the third and final step by wiping down the device’s interior.

What’s The Smell Coming From The Dishwasher?

The machine begins to smell as little bits of residual food accumulate in the filter or crack over time. Dishes may pick up the stench from the dishwasher during the drying cycle. If the dishwasher’s interior still smells fishy after you’ve cleaned the filter, it’s time to clean it.

Tips For Keeping Your Dishwasher Clean For Longer Time

Before placing the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, remove any leftover food. Run a cleaning cycle in the dishwasher once per month when it is empty to help remove any greasy buildup on the inside and the filter. Place an open jar on the top rack and two cups of distilled white vinegar.

Complete the cleaning by running a standard hot water wash cycle. You should wash the dishwasher filter every month, so make a note in your calendar to remember yourself to do so.


Even though it can seem contradictory, cleaning your dishwasher is necessary if you want to avoid unpleasant smells and regularly get clean dishes. The six essential sections of your dishwasher, including the filter, dispensers, spray arms, utensil basket, door gasket, and control panel, should be cleaned as advised whether you use the self-clean cycle or a DIY version. With gleaming dishes, a tidy dishwasher will return the favor.

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