How to Clean Kenmore Dishwasher: Expert Tips for a Hygienic and Efficient Machine

Are you wondering how to clean Kenmore dishwasher? Is this the first you’re trying to clean a dishwasher? Is your dishwasher does not cleaning the dishes properly? Then your dishwasher needs to be cleaned.

Generally, dishwashers are self-cleaning. However, there are a couple of situations where cleaning may be needed.

First, many of the newer dishwashers have done away with the built-in food waster disposal. Manufacturers have found it to be much cheaper to just put in a mesh filter, at the bottom of the tub.

All wash and rinse water flow through this filter. That means that every drop of your dishwasher’s wash and rinse water will flow through garbage unless you hand wash this filter on a regular basis.

I would recommend you take it out and wash it in the sink with detergent and hot water.

Secondly, if you have hard water (above approx. 10 grains per gallon of calcium carbonate) you may get a built-up of water hardness on the dishwasher’s tub, racks, and filter.

There are several good commercial dishwasher cleaners available. The primary ingredient is usually citric acid.

Water hardness is calcium carbonate (calcite) and it dissolves in acids. In lieu of a commercial cleaner, you may run a couple of cups of white vinegar in the main wash.

Or a cup of lemon juice concentrate. If the build-up is heavy, this may need to be done two or even three times.

In this article we’ll show you how to clean Kenmore dishwasher step-by-step, so please follow the steps and instructions below:

How To Clean Kenmore Dishwasher Step-By-Step

How to clean kenmore dishwasher step-by-step

Step1. Clean exterior of a kenomre dishwasher

In most cases, regular use of a soft, damp cloth or sponge and a mild detergent is all that is necessary to keep the outside of your dishwasher looking nice and clean.

If your dishwasher has a stainless steel exterior, a stainless steel cleaner is recommended.

Step2. Clean interior of a kenomre dishwasher

Hard water minerals can cause a white film to build upon the inside surfaces, especially just beneath the door area.

Do not clean the dishwasher interior until it has cooled.

You may want to wear rubber gloves. Do not use any type of cleanser other than dishwasher detergent because it may cause foaming or sudsing.

To clean interior:

1. Make a paste with powdered dishwasher detergent on a damp sponge and clean.


2. Use liquid automatic dishwasher detergent and clean with a damp sponge.

NOTE: Run a normal cycle with dishwasher detergent after cleaning the interior.

Step3. Clean Kenmore dishwasher Filter

For best wash performance, clean the filter after each load. If food debris remains in the filter, it may cause an odor.

Before starting a cycle, make sure that the filter is assembled correctly. If the filter is not assembled correctly, you may experience poor cleaning results.

If you have hard water, cleaning this filter at least once a month is recommended.

To Clean Kenmore dishwasher filter:

1. Turn the Upper Filter Assembly ¼ turn counterclockwise and lift out.

2. Grasp the Lower Filter in the circular opening, lift slightly, and pull forward to remove.

3. Clean the filters with a soft brush under running water, until most soils are removed

4. Place the Lower Filter under the Locating Tabs in the bottom of the dishwasher so the round opening for the Upper Filter Assembly lines up with the round opening in the bottom of the tub.

5. Insert the Upper Filter Assembly into the circular opening in the Lower Filter.

6. Slowly rotate the filter clockwise until it drops into place. Continue to rotate until the filter is locked into place.

7. If the filter is not fully seated (still turns freely), continue to turn the filter clockwise until it drops and locks into place.


The Upper Filter Assembly arrow does not have to align with the arrow in the Lower Filter as long as the filter is locked. 

After using the dishwasher, particles of food are filtered by the filters. Any unremoved food residue may cause a bad smell. In addition, drainage may have a problem due to food residue stuck in the filter.

Step4. Clean Kenmore dishwasher air gap

An air gap protects your dishwasher against water backing up into it if a drain clogs. The air gap is not a part of the dishwasher. Not all plumbing codes require air gaps, so you may not have one.

The air gap is easy to clean:

1. Turn off the dishwasher and lift off the chrome cover.

2. Remove the plastic cap and clean it with a toothpick.

Step5. Clean drain of a Kenmore dishwasher

1. Pull out the rock bottom rack and visually inspect the drain or drains for bits of food, glass, small utensils, and or anything which may become trapped there.

2. Remove what you’ll see using tweezers or needle-nosed pliers if necessary, taking care to not scratch the finish on the dishwasher.

Tip: It’s always an honest idea to get rid of labels before washing glass jars. this will really clog dishwasher drains.

Step6. Clean Kenmore dishwasher spinning arm

Check the spinning arms on the highest rack of the dishwasher. Are any of the holes clogged by debris or water build-up? Clear them with a toothpick, tweezers, or a bent wire, or just scrub with a toothbrush and bicarbonate of soda.

Step7. Clean Kenmore dishwasher door gasket

Use a toothbrush or soft cloth with a skinny paste of bicarbonate of soda and mild dishwasher detergent to wash around the inside fringe of the door.

paying special attention to the rock bottom area where the door meets the rock bottom of the dishwasher and therefore the inner parts of the door seal.

Both are common collection points for food particles. make certain to rinse well to get rid of all residue because the water from the dishwasher doesn’t touch this area.

Step8. Clean the utensil caddy of a Kenmore dishwasher

Fill your sink with hot soapy water and soak your utensil caddy. Scrub, taking special care to wash rock bottom where grime from dirty spoons, forks, and knives can collect.

Step9. Clean and scrub the drain of a Kenmore dishwasher

These steps are often utilized for thorough dishwasher maintenance. otherwise, you can skip to the subsequent step for lighter cleaning.

To clean the drain,

1. unplug the dishwasher (the plug is presumably under your sink). Then, very carefully, unscrew any screws that are holding the drain in situ.

2. lookout to recollect the order during which you’re removing any parts (take pictures if necessary), and confirm to not drop any screws down the drain.

3. Scrub the drains in hot soapy water, that specializes in the undersides. Once fully clean, replace the drains and screws and plug the dishwasher back in.

How to clean kenmore dishwasher with vinegar?

1. Make sure your dishwasher is empty.

2. Take a dishwasher-safe bowl/cup and fill it with vinegar.

3. Put the cup on the top rack of the dishwasher.

4. Run the dishwasher for a short cycle on the hottest setting.

It will kill odors and clean the interior.

5. Do not run the drying cycle instead keep the door open to dry.

6. You can also use baking soda on the floor of the dishwasher and run a short cycle to clean the floor.

6. Do not use both vinegar and baking soda together.

You are good to go! Your dishwasher is clean!!

How to clean kenmore dishwasher with baking soda?

It’s a safe and mild alkali substance that goes a long way in removing persistent residue left by food waste.

1. Sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda along the bottom of your dishwasher and rinse on a hot-water cycle.

2. Repeat this process when you have especially stubborn stains or smells.

3. For extra cleaning punch, create “baking soda bombs” by mixing 2 cups of baking soda with 3 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide in a bowl until it’s a paste-like consistency.

4. Drop 2–3 spoonfuls onto parchment paper and allow to dry for a few hours.

5. Toss them on the bottom of your dishwasher.

6. Run a hot-water cycle in an empty machine.

How to clean kenmore dishwasher with detergent?

1. Use a good detergent and keep the detergent dry prior to use. The pellets seem to be worth it, for me, and Consumer Reports concurs.

2. Run hot water to the sink before starting a load. Run the garbage disposal in the sink, if there is one.

3. Scrape off large stuff. Large stuff is anything you can easily remove with a fork or spoon.

4. Load correctly, with things facing generally down and in. Water in a dishwasher sprays up from the bottom, and it needs to run back down again.

5. Run full loads.

6. Use a longer cycle for things that might need it.

7. Check that arms spin freely before running a load, and that the drain area in the bottom is clear of debris.

Do not:

  • Overload or load in such a way that things touch, nest, or block other things.
  • Load bowls or cups so they collect water.
  • Pre-wash most dishes. Occasionally, something burnt or cooked on will need a little attention before going in the dishwasher, but most things don’t even need rinsing.

How often should I clean my Kenmore dishwasher?

I like to run a rinse-only cycle, then while the interior is damp, take disinfecting wipes and clean under the interior seal and the door seal. This needs to be done about once a month.

Once every few months, I place a Finish liquid dishwasher cleaner unit or vinegar or baking soda into the empty dishwasher and run a full cycle with the heated dry option.

Inspect and clean the filters periodically. This should be done every other month or more depending on usage.

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Final tough

to keep your dishwasher clean and running smoothly make sure you wipe it down regularly and do the cleaning monthly once you get into the habit.

you’ll have a dishwasher that always keeps the dishes pristine It only takes a small amount of time but has a massive impact on your enjoyment of the kitchen.

If you looking to keep your Kenmore dishwasher running and keep it to clean your dishes very well you may take care of it and clean it and clean the parts we mentioned above,

so save this guide on how to clean Kenmore dishwasher to clean your dishwasher the right way.