Cookies at Which? We use cookies to help improve our sites. If you continue, we'll assume that you're happy to accept our cookies. Find out more about cookies

How to clean your dishwasher

By Emma Featherstone

There's basic dishwasher maintenance you can carry out to make sure you get a perfectly washed load of dishes every time.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

Keeping your dishwasher clean with routine maintenance doesn't take much time, but could lead to your dishwasher successfully washing your dishes for longer. 

From cleaning your filter to running a hot wash, follow our five must-do clean and care tasks and watch our 60-second video guide to keep your dishwasher in the best working order.

Clean dishwasher, clean dishes - 60-second video guide

Watch our video, below, where we take you through the five simple steps to keeping your dishwasher clean and in tip-top condition. Or read on below. 

These simple tasks will help your dishwasher to last longer, and working as well as it can. 

But if your dishwasher seems near the end of it's natural life, our dishwasher reviews will help you to find one that will clean stubborn dirt and grease easily, and won't cost the earth to run.

Clean the dishwasher filter

When? Weekly

Why? This prevents food waste that has become trapped in the filter ending up back on your dishes. The inner filters can be cleaned under the kitchen-sink tap with a soft brush. The outer metal filter just needs rinsing with hot water.

Wipe the dishwasher door seals clean

When? Weekly

Why? Food stuck on the door rim can lead to the seals perishing and your dishwasher leaking. If you use your dishwasher regularly, a quick weekly wipe of the rim and seals with a damp cloth is all you need to do.

Top up with dishwasher salt and rinse aid

When? Monthly/when indicated

Why? Salt stops limescale building up, and softens the water – dishwasher detergents only work effectively in soft water. Rinse aid helps dishes to dry without streaking. Most dishwashers have indicators showing when to top up both.

Remove and clean the dishwasher spray arms

When? Six-monthly

Why? Blocked spray arms can lead to unsatisfactory dishwashing. Every six months, remove the spray arms, poke the holes clear of any blockages, and rinse under a tap.

Run the dishwasher empty and hot

When? Six-monthly

Why? This won’t have a massive impact on the reliability of your dishwasher, but a hot wash will guard against your machine smelling – unpleasant odours were the third most common dishwasher problem reported in our annual dishwasher reliability survey. The hot water will help remove any food residue which can build up and lead to nasty smells. This is particularly important if you tend to use the eco program on your machine - because these programs use cooler water, build-up of food residue is more common.

When we rate dishwashers, we take a brand's reliability into account, so you can be sure that a Best Buy dishwasher will not only be excellent at cleaning even the most hard-to-shift dirt, it will last a long time, too.

SHARE THIS PAGE

Related products

See all dishwashers