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How to Fix Whirlpool Dishwasher Stuck on Wash/Clean Cycle

Whirlpool dishwashers are quite popular all over the globe, and people love these appliances because they look good and typically work really well. However, nothing is flawless and sometimes a problem can pop up with these dishwashers that results in them getting stuck on the wash/clean cycle.

If your dishwasher is stuck on the wash cycle, it might be due to a malfunctioning timer or control board. The timer regulates the sequence of washing, rinsing, and drying. To address this, try resetting the dishwasher by unplugging it for 10 minutes, then plugging it back in and starting a new cycle.

Another reason a dishwasher might remain stuck on the wash cycle is due to a clogged or faulty water pump. The pump circulates water during the wash cycle, and if it’s obstructed or malfunctioning, it can prevent the cycle from advancing. Check for any visible obstructions in the pump and, if necessary, clean or replace the pump to ensure proper water circulation.

Checking the diswasher

Sorting out these issues isn’t very difficult and it usually isn’t necessary to get worked up over the dishwasher getting stuck in its wash or clean cycle. Of course, it can be annoying, so sorting out the problem as quickly as possible is preferred.

So, without further ado, let’s look at the top reasons why your dishwasher could be giving you this kind of problem and what you can do about it. Remember to always unplug appliances before troubleshooting why they’re acting up.

5 Reasons Why Whirlpool Dishwasher Stuck on Wash/Clean Cycle

Man fixing the dishwasher

Although you probably think your Whirlpool dishwasher is the best thing to happen to you since you learned that not all dishes have to be washed by hand, it isn’t a fool-proof machine, and difficulties can happen. If you’re reading this, you’re likely struggling with a dishwasher that refuses to move out of its cleaning cycle.

To get your Whirlpool dishwasher out of the wash/clean cycle, reset it and see if that sorts out the issue. If not, you should examine the thermostat and make sure that the timer isn’t faulty.

Here’s a detailed look at the five reasons your Whirlpool dishwasher is frustrating you with its prolonged wash/clean cycle and how you can fix it.


A Whirlpool dishwasher may beep if the door is not properly shut, as the safety mechanism prevents the cycle from starting. Ensure the door is firmly closed and latched; if it’s already closed, inspect the latch for obstructions or damage. A simple cleaning may resolve the issue, but if the latch is faulty, it may need to be replaced. This ensures that the dishwasher recognizes a securely closed door and operates without interruption.

Reset is Necessary

Man fixing the dishwasher

A really common reason for your Whirlpool dishwasher remaining stuck in the wash/clean cycle could be simply because it needs to be reset. The appliance’s internal computer could be confused as a result of a software error or something similar, and turning off the machine can solve the issue.

It’s best to follow the user manual’s instructions on how to properly reset the dishwasher so you don’t accidentally cause further damage. Leave the dishwasher off for a minute and switch it back on again.

You can use this opportunity to try and determine if something else is causing the issue, as it’s essential that you always turn it off and unplug it before trying to see what’s the root of your problem.

If that doesn’t solve the problem, you should move on to the next possibilities on this list.

Thermostat Not Working

Man fixing the dishwasher

Dishwashers use thermostats to determine the temperature of the water used for cleaning, and if something isn’t right, the dishwasher will not move on to the next cycle. So, if your water is too cold or too hot, the dishwasher will remain in the wash/clean cycle.

You will have to open the dishwasher to see if the thermostat is working properly, so make sure it is turned off and unplugged before proceeding with the troubleshooting.

Use the instruction manual to find information on how to open the dishwasher and locate the thermostat. Note that some dishwashers have two thermostats. Use a multimeter to test the thermostat(s) by touching one probe to each terminal.

Set the dial to Rx1 and look at the reading you’re getting. You need a reading of infinity, and if that’s not what you’re getting, you will have to replace the broken thermostats.

Float Switch Issues

Man fixing the dishwasher

Another reason why Whirlpool dishwashers could get stuck in the wash/clean cycle is a problem with the float switch. Unfortunately, an issue with the float switch can lead to bigger issues, so if that’s what’s causing this malfunction, you need to determine quickly and react appropriately.

The float switch may be small, but it plays a very big role in your dishwasher. If the switch isn’t working as it should, the appliance will get confused and won’t know if the amount of water in it is correct.

That kind of confusion can lead to the dishwasher staying in the cleaning cycle and refusing to move to the next cycle. You will have to closely examine the float switch and replace it if it’s broken.

Faulty Timer

Man fixing the dishwasher

It is very likely that the reason why you’re having an issue with your dishwasher is a faulty timer. This component is responsible for keeping your dishwasher’s cycle time in check and if it’s not working, the cleaning cycle will continue longer than it should.

You will have to check the dishwasher’s motor and other components that are related to the timer as well, to ensure there aren’t any other problems there as well. If you find any other issues, fix them immediately.

Water Heating Cycle Problems

Man fixing the dishwasher

Your dishwasher’s water heating cycle is essential for it to work correctly, and it’s important for the wash cycle. This part of the dishwasher’s operation helps to regulate the water temperature so it’s just right for cleaning dishes properly without damage.

If this component is faulty or broken, the dishwasher could get stuck in the cleaning cycle. You may have to call a professional repairman to help you determine if that’s the reason why your dishwasher isn’t working properly and get it fixed as soon as possible.

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