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How to Clean Your Dishwasher

Your dishwasher cleans your dishes, but now and then it needs its own thorough cleaning. Food scraps, grease, and soap scum can slow down performance and even make it smell bad. Running the dishwasher with Cascade Platinum + Dishwasher Cleaner Action helps keep your dishwasher sparkling clean, but we have tips for every icky dishwasher problem. Check out how to clean out dishwasher yuckiness and keep it running efficiently. These steps work for most dishwashers, but sometimes you will find a discrepancy, so it's a good idea to review your owner’s manual before getting started.

1. Clean Soils on the Bottom of Dishwasher

Empty your dishwasher and remove the bottom rack. Next, remove any visible food from the bottom of the dishwasher.

2. Clean Dishwasher’s Filter

This is a critical step for how to clean your dishwasher: If your dishwasher has a filter, remove it and throw away anything trapped inside. Consult your owner’s manual for help.

3. Wipe Dishwasher Seals

Add a drop of Dawn® to a damp cloth and wipe down the dishwasher seals and around the bottom to sanitize and remove any food particles.

4. Clean the Dishwasher’s Spray Arm

Wipe down the spray arm with a damp cloth. Use a toothpick to unclog any debris or bits of food from the holes in the spinner arm. And if you want to know how to clean out dishwasher spray arms thoroughly, remove them from the dishwasher. It’s a simple procedure that doesn’t require tools—just check your owner’s manual for instructions.

5. Realign Dishwasher Rack

Make sure the wheels are aligned. If they're off-track, the rack may block the spray arm from rotating and result in a poor cleaning. Also make sure to load dishes properly so they don’t block the spray arm either.

Now that your dishwasher is ready for any surprise inspections, take a look at our other helpful maintenance tips. And if that motivates you to dig in even deeper, a lot more dishwashing knowledge awaits you on this website.

At a minimum, though, clean your dishwasher once a month—and the simplest way to check that chore off your list is with Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Cleaner. Running the dishwasher in an empty wash cycle with just one single-dose pac gives you a clean machine!

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