How To Clean KitchenAid Dishwasher Spray Arm

We couldn't agree more if you feel that cleaning the dishwasher is hard work, especially if it is your first time. That inspired us to research how it is done best. After hours of doing the homework for you, we wrapped up every detail you need. Here's how to clean the KitchenAid dishwasher spray arm.

Cleaning the KitchenAid dishwasher spray arm is easy and does not require special tools. Follow these steps to clean the dishwasher spray arm properly.

  1. Unplug the dishwasher from the power source.
  2. Disconnect the spray arm.
  3. Clean the spray arm.
  4. Rinse with clean water.
  5. Return the spray arm to its original position in the dishwasher.

Your dishwasher spray arm should be clean and ready to use after these five steps.

While cleaning sounds simple, you should also know how to disconnect the spray arm properly. We have the process explained below, as well as other tips for a dishwasher that won't clean well.

Dishwasher and it spray arm exposed, How To Clean KitchenAid Dishwasher Spray Arm

How To Clean KitchenAid Dishwasher Spray Arm

Keeping your KitchenAid dishwasher clean at all times promotes efficient, long-lasting performance. Additionally, a sanitized dishwasher ensures that your dishes and utensils are clean and safe.

Ensure that you clean the spray arm when cleaning the dishwasher. A dirty spray arm will contaminate the water that passes through it and everything else inside the dishwasher.

Furthermore, a clogged spray arm will not work correctly and leave you with uneven cleaning. Worse, it will fail to do its job.

You should clean the dishwasher and the spray arm several times a year or every month if you use them often.

Tools you will need to clean the spray arm assembly:

  • Screwdriver
  • Sponge
  • Nipple brush or toothbrush
  • Vinegar
  • Mild dish soap

Here are the steps to clean a dishwasher spray arm:

Dishwasher detail with water spray household appliances inside

1. Unplug the dishwasher from the power source

The safest start when cleaning any home appliance is disconnecting it from the power source. So unplug the dishwasher or switch off the breaker before working on any part of the appliance.

2. Disconnect the spray arm

Most KitchenAid dishwashers have more than one spray arm. Therefore, check how many spray arms your dishwasher has and detach all of them. Disconnecting any of the spray arms follows almost the same principle.

In most cases, you will find a spray arm in the middle and bottom sections of the dishwasher. Some KitchenAid dishwasher models also utilize a third-level spray arm located on top.

How to Remove KitchenAid Middle Spray Arm

water dispensers in a modern dishwasher

The middle spray arm is connected to the bottom of the middle rack. To remove it, you must first disconnect the water tube from the main line in the dishwasher.

Slide out the rack and free it from the rails by unlocking the clips. The rail rack locking system may vary by model, but this should not be a pain to figure out.

Next, turn the rack upside down to access the spray arm easily. Remove the water tube from the rack clips by hand but use a screwdriver to detach the spray arm from the water tube.

How to Remove KitchenAid Bottom Spray Arm

Dishwasher filter screen in bottom of dishwasher

You must remove the bottom rack to access the bottom spray arm. So pull the rack out, unlock the rail clips and remove the rack completely.

You should be able to see and access the spray arm easily at this point. Simply turn the spray arm assembly counterclockwise to remove it.

How to Remove KitchenAid Third Level Spray Arm

If your KitchenAid dishwasher has a third-level spray arm, you need to remove all the racks to access it.

Following the same procedure above, unlock the rail clips to get the racks and trays out of the dishwasher. The third-level spray arm is located on the top and is connected to the water tube.

To remove it, you need to disconnect the water tube assembly running from the bottom up to the spray arm. You can use a flat screwdriver to unfasten the clips holding the water tube assembly.

Next, use the screwdriver to remove the retainer or screw connecting the water tube and spray arm.

3. Clean the spray arm

Rinse the spray arm assembly, and then use a sponge and mild dish soap to clean. The tiny holes may be difficult to clean but try to reach and remove the dirt with a new toothbrush or a nipple brush.

Click here to view this nipple brush on Amazon.

You can wash the spray arm with a vinegar-water solution to clear stains or mineral buildup. Let it sit for a few minutes or until the buildup loosens.

4. Rinse with clean water

Use clean water and rinse the spray arm assembly thoroughly. Dry with a clean cloth if preferred.

5. Return the spray arm to its original position in the dishwasher

Once the spray arm is clean, return it to its original place by reversing the removal process. Don't forget to secure the spray arm with the screw or retainer before returning the racks to the dishwasher.

Before using your dishwasher, spin the spray arm with your fingers to ensure it rotates properly.

Why KitchenAid Dishwasher Is Not Cleaning

If the dishwasher repeatedly fails to do its job, then it is likely that the spray arm is not working correctly.

There may be an obstruction in the spray arm holes that causes an abnormal rotation. Remember that spray arms rely on water pressure to rotate. The spray arms will not spin and splash water as expected if they are blocked.

Clean your dishwasher periodically, and don't forget to clean the filter. Some people do not even know the filter exists, but you should clean it as often as possible, especially when you don't rinse your dishes before placing them in the machine.

Additionally, large dishes that touch the spray arm and stop its rotation cause the dishwasher to fail in doing its job. Consider the size of the dishes you put inside and ensure they do not obstruct the spray arm movement.

You may blame your dishwasher for failing to clean, but the real culprit could be your dish soap. Do not use more dish soap than the recommended amount.

It is pretty tasking for your dishwasher to handle too much soap. Furthermore, the excess soap contributes to soap residue on your dishes.

Call for professional servicing if the dishwasher still won't clean after you check every possible reason.

How To Clean A Clogged Spray Arm In The Dishwasher

To clean a clogged spray arm in the dishwasher, you must first remove the assembly from the machine. Disconnect it from the water tube and support clips.

Then, use a small brush such as a nipple brush to remove the clog. If this still will not work, you might need a replacement.

How Do I Get Rid Of Mineral Deposits In Dishwasher?

You can get rid of mineral deposits in your dishwasher by using distilled vinegar.

Use a dishwasher-safe container and fill it with 2 cups of vinegar. Place it on the bottom rack of the dishwasher, then allow the dishwasher to run a complete washing cycle under the air-dry setting.

Baking soda, a bottle of vinegar, rubber gloves on a marble surface

The vinegar will carefully mix with the water as the cycle continues and dissolve the mineral deposits. But do not use this method too often, because vinegar is acidic. It will likely damage the inside components of the dishwasher when overused.

How Do I Replace the Spray Arm in the Dishwasher?

When the dishwasher spray arm starts to malfunction, you can easily replace it to restore the machine's efficiency. Simply remove the spray arm by disconnecting it from the water tubes and support latches.

You may need a screwdriver to remove the screw or retainer, but you can remove some spray arm assemblies with a simple counterclockwise turn.

Replace the old arm spray and follow the process in reverse to reconnect the new part. You might also need to replace the retainer at this point.

Final Thoughts

Dishwasher and it spray arm exposed

Cleaning the spray arm of a dishwasher does not require special skills and tools. Knowing the steps to remove the spray arm properly simplifies the process.

Cleaning the spray arm is relatively easy using a sponge and nipple brush. The dishwasher spray arm should be clean and ready to use again in just a few minutes.

If you liked this post, then you might also find these related posts interesting:

Dishwasher Arms Not Spinning - What To Do?

How To Unclog A Dishwasher Drain Hose

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