How to Clean a Kenmore Dishwasher

If your Kenmore dishwasher isn't getting your dishes quite clean, perhaps it is time to clean the dishwasher itself. Cleaning your Kenmore dishwasher will eliminate bad smells, get rid of yucky residue and help sanitize your dishes. You should clean your dishwasher at least once a month or your dishwasher will not drain well and your rinse cycle will slosh dirty, soapy water back onto your dishes.

Step 1

Remove food and broken items from drain. Take the bottom dish rack out of the dishwasher so you can reach the drain at the bottom. Gently (you may want to wear rubber gloves) run your hand all the way around the drain. You may find bits of broken glass or porcelain dishes (if anything has broken in your dishwasher). You may also find broken bones and large chunks of food if someone was careless about loading your dishwasher.

Step 2

Clean out door seals. Food and other dirt accumulate around the seal. Use a gentle cleanser to clean all the way around the door seal, especially at the bottom where food is most likely to fall when you are loading the dishwasher.

Step 3

Use an acid-based cleanser and run a wash cycle with no dishes in the dishwasher. Some of the most common options are Oxyclean, white vinegar, bleach, lemon Kool-Aid drink mix, concentrated lemon juice or Coca-Cola. The best idea may be to use a small amount of bleach to kill germs, then lemon drink mix or lemon juice for a fresh smell.

Step 4

Skip the dry cycle. After running the acidic cleaner through your dishwasher, do not use the dry cycle or you may re-harden the gunk you have just dissolved. Use your dishwasher a few times before using the dry cycle again, in fact, allow the dishes to air dry whenever necessary.