Open Dishwasher With Dishes

4 Steps To Cleaning Your Dishwasher

Your dishwasher is an invaluable appliance, helping to minimise the time and effort it takes to clean your pots, pans and cutlery. But, to keep it working to its full potential it’s important to make sure you keep your dishwasher clean .

When it comes to cleaning your dishwasher, we recommend you split the cleaning process up into sections:

  • Filter
  • Seal
  • Spray Arms
  • Maintenance Wash

Splitting the cleaning process up will help to make sure each area is thoroughly cleaned and any bacteria, food waste and other debris loitering in the appliance is completely removed.


Ideally, the filter in your dishwasher should be cleaned on a weekly basis. By regularly cleaning it you’ll be able to remove any food debris which has been caught, which in turn will help to remove any unpleasant odours which may have developed.

To clean your dishwasher filter, you will first need to remove it from your appliance. This can be done by:

  • Removing the lower basket, which should simply slide out.
  • Twisting the filter anti-clockwise to release it and then pull it out.

Once you’ve removed the filter from your dishwasher, wash it by placing it under hot running water and lightly scrubbing with a soft dish brush. If the filter is showing signs of a build up of grease residue, we recommend you wash it in hot soapy water, again giving it a light scrub with a dish brush.

After cleaning the dishwasher filter, leave it to air dry naturally (for roughly 24 hours) before placing it back into your appliance.


The door seal on your dishwasher acts more as a splash guard when the appliance is in use, but this doesn’t mean it should be neglected when it comes to the cleaning process. In fact, you should be cleaning the dishwasher door seal and door on a weekly basis.

Food stuck on the rim of your dishwasher door, can cause the seals to perish which will result in a leaking dishwasher. Cleaning the seals, to help keep them intact, however, isn’t a difficult job. Simply mix a solution of the eSpares Limescale and Detergent Remover with water into a spray bottle, spray this over the seal and then wipe with a clean, damp cloth.

Spray Arms:

Your dishwasher will usually have two spray arms, one attached to the top basket and the other on the bottom – both of these will usually be held in place by locking nuts, which need to be undone enabling you to remove and clean the spray arms. Before you can undo the locking nuts however, you’ll find it easier to remove both the top and bottom baskets.

With your spray arms free from the dishwasher and top basket respectively, hold them under a running hot tap to rinse away any debris, including food, which may be caught within the spray arm holes. If such debris is left to build up in your spray arms, the water will not be distributed correctly over your pots and pans, meaning they won’t come clean.

If after rinsing your spray arms the holes are still blocked, use a toothpick to clean the debris away – once clean, place them back into the appliance and screw on the nut / retaining clip.

Maintenance Wash:

Key to keeping your dishwasher clean and working to its full potential is to perform a monthly maintenance wash. Such a wash will help to clean and sanitise the internal parts of your appliance, removing mould, bacteria and odours.

Carrying out a maintenance wash is an easy and essential task. Firstly, you’ll need to make sure it is empty of any pots, pans and cutlery. Once it’s empty, pour in the eSpares Limescale and Detergent Remover as per the instructions on the packaging, place your dishwasher onto its hottest cycle and leave it to run.

Once the cycle has finished, open the door and leave it to air dry.

2 Tips for Keeping Your Dishwasher Clean:

Whilst it is important to regularly clean your dishwasher, by following the advice outlined above, there are steps which you can take to help keep your dishwasher clean and working to its peak performance for as long as possible.

These steps include:

  1. Rinsing off food from plates before placing them in the dishwasher. This will minimise the risk of filters and rotating spray arms from becoming clogged with food debris which prevents appliance from cleaning correctly.
  2. Using rinse aid, dishwasher salt and detergent according to both the manufacturers’ guidelines and your water type.

By taking the time to regularly clean your dishwasher, you can not only prolong the life of your appliance but you’ll also be able to improve and maintain its efficiency – saving you money in both the short and long term.

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  1. Vanessa Sutherland

    on November 20, 2015 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    Lovely post! I just got a dishwasher from a friend who moved cross-country, and I ‘m not sure I know how to use it or clean it. I’m definitely taking advantage from your post, because your advises seem to be very helpful for me. Thank you for sharing all this great information!

  2. Neville green

    on June 4, 2016 at 10:30 am - Reply

    Hello, I read the advice videos regularly but have not come across one covering my problem. My dishwasher works properly but tends to SQUEAK during its wash cycle. Could you recommend a solution to this problem.
    Thank you in anticipation
    N. Green

    • Eleanor

      on June 6, 2016 at 8:27 am - Reply

      Hi Mr Green

      There are a number of reasons why a dishwasher will make an unusual noise when running. The two most common relating to a ‘squeak’ are as follows:
      – If the noise only occurs when draining the problem is likely to be a worn drain pump.
      – If the problem occurs during the wash cycle (and then in some cases continues for the remainder of the wash) then the problem is likely to be the wash motor.
      Both of these issues are likely to get worse over time, but either part can be replaced. For more information see our Advice Centre at

      Hope this helps!


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