How to clean a kitchenaid dishwasher

How to clean a KitchenAid dishwasher

How to Load a KitchenAid Dishwasher for Cleaner Dishes


Loading your KitchenAid dishwasher correctly can go a long mile to its proper functioning. Once you load your dishes inappropriately in designated dishwasher racks, you will discover that your dishes will come out cleaner. The latest model of KitchenAid dishwashers has designs that offer a third rack for cups, silverware, and small plates to minimize crowding. Learn below some peculiarities of a KitchenAid dishwasher setup and tips for use in order to realize optimal performance.

How to Load a KitchenAid Dishwasher: Rack-Specific Loading Tips


To properly load your dishwasher is to understand that each rack therein is meant for specific kinds of dishes. Placing a particular dish in the appropriate rack can help prevent overcrowding, aids in washing and drying, and avoids damage to both your dishwasher and its contents. This section will review how to utilize each rack of your KitchenAid dishwasher but before we address that, let us consider some KitchenAid pre-washing tips 

Pre-Wash Tips 


This guideline should be followed before you even load your dishwasher at all.


Skip the pre-rinse:  Most dishwasher brands advise rinsing your dishes before you proceed to load them into the dishwasher. They say it helps get those dishes clean faster. However, the KitchenAid brand has a contrary opinion as they suggest that you skip the pre-rinse routine. This is however not to say that those large food particles, bones, and peels should be left hanging on to your plates. Get rid of large food particles and calcium but ensure to leave some grease and grime on those dishes as detergents work better on them.


Add rinse-aid: If you want water to easily flow off your dishes more easily, thereby guaranteeing drier dishes without necessarily running the ‘dry cycle’ then you may need to add some rinse-aid to your dishwasher. Do this before you begin your wash at all.


Run the garbage disposal: If you have a disposal, run it just before starting a wash cycle. This will clear its shared pipe with the dishwasher and prevent clogs and backups.

How to Load your silverware in a KitchenAid dishwasher


When you load your silverware improperly, they are prone to nesting in the silverware basket, hence they prevent water from reaching each item in the dishwasher. However, when you load your silverware properly, you would have given your spray arms full reigns to attack every food particle, grease, or grime attached to your silverware and every piece of it will then come out clean.


The positioning of your silverware in a KitchenAid dishwasher should be done in a way that forks, spoons, and knives are alternated next to each other to prevent nesting. When silverwares are nested, the reach of water supplied by the spray arms is limited and some surfaces of your silverware are obscured from the direct reach of the water. Note that when you place your forks and knives in the appropriate racks, do this carefully, placing them upside down in order to avoid cuts. If you realize that you need more space as you load your dishwasher, the silverware basket can be split into two pieces and placed anywhere on the bottom rack. You may refer to your KitchenAid dishwasher manual for instructions on how to split the basket.


Loading dishes in the Lower Rack 


You may now proceed to load the lower rack as soon as you have complied with the pre-washing tips discussed above. The lower rack is designed to hold large plates, serving ware, pots, and pans.  To utilize the lower rack, position the dishes facing inward to expose the inside of the plates to the dishwasher spray arms. Pots and pans should be placed upside down so that they can be within the reach of water and detergent also. The adjustable lines on the racks are so adjustable that they can be folded to accommodate larger items. Hence, when the need arises, utilize this tip. Finally, during to the lengthy nature of serving plates and cutting boards, load them along the perimeter of the rack to avoid blocking the spray arms of your dishwasher.


Note: Avoid placing plastic items and Tupperware on the lower dish rack because right beneath the lower rack is the heating element of the dishwasher. When it heats up, these items stand the risk of melting.

How to Load the Upper Dishrack


The upper rack is the section for glasses, bowls, and cups. Fragile kitchenwares are placed in this section for safer washing. the upper rack can easily accommodate plastic materials and other Tupperware and not expose them to the risk of melting. 


To load a KitchenAid upper rack, place cups, bowls and glasses upside down, facing inward at the right angle to get access to water and detergent. Make sure to Secure wine glasses with plastic stemware holders. Fold these holders away for increased space when not in use.  Finally, Remove the upper rack altogether to better fit taller items in the rack below.


KitchenAid Dishwasher Third Rack 


New KitchenAid dishwashers have a third rack for stacking more cups, glasses, silverware, and other larger serving utensils. To properly utilize the third rack, cups, glasses, and bowls should be placed upside down at an angle that exposes them to the splash of spray arms. In the silverware tray, place one utensil per slot in the silverware tray and lastly, you may adjust the rack up or down, to accommodate any tall items.

Avoid the following mistakes when you load your KitchenAid Dishwasher


Overloading: When you overload your dishwasher, you make it very difficult to wash effectively. This is so because dishes stacked together may not have all its part touched by detergent or washing water. When there are fewer dishes, they will be easily saturated in warm water and detergent discharged by your dishwasher. More importantly, complete air circulation is more feasible with fewer dishes in your dishwasher. Hence, your dishes dry faster.


Too much or wrong detergent: If you use too much detergent or the wrong one, this may cause excessive suds and eventual streaks on your dishes. Detergent residue may even end up clogging the dishwasher itself. Hence, it is highly advisable to always advisable to apply the least recommended amount of detergent to your dishwasher.


Placing items incorrectly: Each rack in a dishwasher has its specific functions. Use each rack for the items they are designed to hold and position them properly to optimize access to water and detergent. If after all these attempts, items do not fit, you can adjust the racks by removing the removable parts.

How to Clean your KitchenAid Dishwasher 


A dishwasher is arguably one of the hardest working Home Appliance that you will own. It does a decent job cleaning your dishes, glasses, silverware, pots, pans, and other essential dining materials and this is why it needs proper maintenance. Cleaning your dishwasher is one of the best ways to maintain it. Although it may sound counterintuitive to conclude that a device that gets stuff clean would need cleaning itself this is exactly why it needs to be cleaned. Think of it this way, in the process of a dishwasher’s cleaning, food particles, and other calciums do not just vanish, they find their way to the designated compartments for dirt. Hence, this suggests that those parts of the dishwasher need thorough and constant cleaning and so do other parts. Remove the upper rack altogether to better fit taller items in the rack below

Supplies for Cleaning 


  • Microfiber cloth or soft sponge


  • Toothbrush, preferably soft too


  • Warm, soapy water

STEP 1: Remove Food Residue From Dishwasher


Before loading your dishwasher again, make sure to get rid of the food particles that may be lurking in there since the last wash. Check every intricate and latent place for calcium and other food materials to keep your dishwasher in a good working condition.

STEP 2: Wipe Off Grime


Grime can build up in your dishwasher over time if a regular inspection is not carried out to eradicate it. Grime can form from mineral deposits, limescale, and grease and they can build up in a dishwasher over time affecting your dishwasher’s performance and leaving you with dirty dishes even after washing. Grime is usually found on the door of the dishwasher and it can be cleaned off by a thorough wiping with a damp cloth and a sponge. It is important to check for grease residue and wipe it away from the inside of the door, including the door’s edges and control panel. While you are at it, inspect the rubber seal that lines the door and gently clean the gasket with a soft toothbrush to remove grime from tough-to-reach crevices without putting too much pressure on the seal.

3. Remove and Clean Dishwasher Filter

With careful study of the washing process of a dishwasher, in the previous section, it is clear that water used for washing will not be completely rid of food particles and other debris if the dishwasher filter is not present. Hence the function of the filter is to basically filter out dirt, and this implies that the filter will be dirty after almost every wash. Therefore regular cleaning of the filter is necessary to prevent unnecessary dishwasher odor or unclean dishes after washing. Follow the steps below to clean your dishwasher filter; 


  • Locate the filter below the spray arm on the bottom of the dishwasher, then unlock and remove it. 


  • Wash the filter with warm, soapy water and use a soft toothbrush to get rid of any stuck-on food particles on the mesh and plastic components. 


  • Rinse the filter and lock it back into place.


4. Cleaning Tablets can be very handy for Deep Clean


KitchenAid tablets can go a really long way in removing build-up and cavities inside the dishwasher. They are even more useful when dealing with some latent areas of your dishwasher. They can be a very convenient cleaning solution for both stainless steel and plastic-tub dishwashers. 


However, it is highly advised that you check your dishwasher manual and cleaning tablet user instructions before cleaning with tablets. 

5. Wipe Down the Outside of your Dishwasher


The outside of your dishwasher may not be as instrumental as the inside of it when it comes to making your dishes come out clean. Regardless, the outside of your dishwasher should be cleaned regularly to keep it looking fresh and sleek. Wipe down the exterior of the door, all the way to the dies and the handle using a soft damp cloth and mild detergent. However, if you are dealing with a stainless exterior, you may need to procure specially-formulated stainless steel cleaners. Remember to wipe back and forth in the direction of the grain when cleaning stainless steel appliances. Avoid using abrasive cleaning products on the exterior of the dishwasher, since they can damage the finish.

How do I clean my dishwasher with Vinegar and Baking Soda?


Cleaning your KitchenAid dishwasher with Vinegar and/or baking soda can be quite a convenient alternative to KitchenAid tablets because they also do a great job getting that grime off. However, before you proceed to wipe the interior of your KitchenAid dishwasher with Vinegar, be sure to read through your KitchenAid user’s manual for clarity on the particular models that can be cleaned with Vinegar otherwise your dishwasher may be damaged, and hence need replacement.


To clean your KitchenAid dishwasher with Vinegar, do the following;


  • Fill a dishwasher-safe glass with 2 cups of white vinegar and safely position it on the bottom of the 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.


To Clean your KitchenAid Dishwasher with baking soda;


  • Sprinkle a cup of baking soda along the base of the dishwasher and


  • Let the dishwasher run on a short, hot water cycle. 

How Do I help remove Odors and Mineral Deposits from My Dishwasher?


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. Hard water mineral deposits can cause damage to your dishwasher and make it almost impossible for it to achieve good cleaning. This is why a water softener is strongly advised if your water gains hardness of 15 or more.


Unwanted dishwasher smell can occur when the washer is dirty, hence it is advisable that you follow the steps discussed above for proper cleaning. On the other hand, dishwasher smells may also stem from its new plastic components. If this is the case, make sure to run a rinse cycle for the washer before use.




Are there items I should not place in my dishwasher?


Yes. A good rule of thumb is to leave out wood, iron, aluminum, crystal, and any china not labeled dishwasher-safe. Hand washing is a great choice for those items, as they can be permanently discolored or damaged in the dishwasher. Hence, it is important to know what to put and not put in a dishwasher 


Is there a correct way to load my Dishwasher?


Dishwashers are built with racks for specific kinds of dishes. The top rack is usually left for glasses, cups, and bowls that may be endangered by the heating of the dishwasher element at the base of the base. The lower rack stacks the larger kitchenware like pots, spoons, and pans. KitchenAid dishwashers are built with a third rack also for cups, glasses, etc.


How do dishwashers work?


Dishwashers use a pressurized spray method. Water is discharged from spraying arms unto dishes and food particles are taken off conveniently.





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