Why Is My KitchenAid Dishwasher Clean Light Blinking? Troubleshooting Guide


Ever opened your dishwasher expecting sparkling clean dishes only to be greeted by that dreaded blinking clean light? Uh oh, looks like your KitchenAid dishwasher is trying to tell you something’s not right.


As frustrating as it is, don’t ignore that blinking light thinking the problem will fix itself. Take it from me, that never ends well. The blinking is your dishwasher’s cry for help, alerting you there’s an issue needing your attention.

In this article, we’ll explore why that irritating clean light blinks and flashes like a strobe, the possible causes behind it, and most importantly – how to troubleshoot and fix the problem.

Armed with the info here, you can hopefully return your KitchenAid to being the obedient cleaning companion you want it to be when tackling that pile of dirty plates.


So let’s jump in and decode that distress signal!

KitchenAid Dishwasher Clean Light Blinking

KitchenAid Dishwasher Clean Light Blinking


Why Is My Kitchenaid Dishwasher Clean Light Blinking?

Short Answer: The clean light blinks when the dishwasher control board detects an internal fault preventing normal operation or cycle completion. This light indicates professional service is required.

Key Takeaways:

  • The blinking clean light signals the dishwasher has detected a fault and cannot complete the wash cycle
  • Ignoring this issue can lead to poor cleaning results, potential appliance damage, and safety hazards
  • Common reasons include overheating, door switch faults, water supply problems, overfilling, and other mechanical/electrical faults
  • Troubleshooting tips cover control panel resets, testing the heating element, inspecting the drain pump, etc.
  • Solutions involve thorough cleaning, maintenance, and professional repairs when needed

Understanding Why The Clean Light Blinks on KitchenAid Dishwasher:

The clean light on a KitchenAid dishwasher serves an important diagnostic function. When this light is blinking instead of solid, it indicates:

  • The dishwasher has encountered a problem during the cycle
  • It cannot complete the intended wash/rinse actions
  • The control board has detected a fault or error condition

This blinking light is the dishwasher’s way of alerting users that professional attention is required.

Why Addressing This Issue Matters?

Here are key reasons why the blinking clean light problem should be promptly addressed:

  • It signifies the dishwasher is unable to properly complete cycles.
  • Tableware, cookware, and utensils may not be hygienically cleaned.
  • Ignoring the problem can allow appliance damage to worsen over time.
  • It can potentially pose safety hazards by short-circuiting or catching fire.

By troubleshooting the blinking clean light issue, you prevent bigger problems down the line.

Common Causes Of The Clean Light Blinking

There are a few usual culprits behind a KitchenAid dishwasher’s clean light blinking instead of glowing solid:


1. Overheating

The control board expects a certain temp rise but does not detect it, indicating an issue with the:

  • Heating element
  • Thermostat
  • Temperature sensors

2. Door Switch Malfunction

If the door switch is defective, the dishwasher does not “know” whether the door is open or closed. This confuses the control board.

3. Water Supply Problems

Check if the water supply is correctly turned on and there are no leaks, blockages, or kinks in the inlet hose.

4. Overfilling

The overfill protection float may be stuck, preventing normal operation.


5. Other Mechanical or Electrical Faults

Any number of internal part malfunctions can cause the blinking clean light problem too. This includes issues with:

  • Motor or pump
  • Control board
  • Wiring damage
  • Power supply problems
  • Drainage/venting issues

Professional diagnosis is needed to identify the exact problem.

Handy Troubleshooting Tips

Before calling a technician, DIYers can run through these troubleshooting tips for a KitchenAid dishwasher clean light blinking issue:

#1: Reset The Control Panel

Resetting the control panel often resolves minor glitches causing the clean light to blink:

  • Unplug the dishwasher or disconnect power for 1 minute
  • Plug it back in and turn the power on
  • This resets the control board and clears any error codes

#2: Check The Heating Element

The heating element warms the water to dissolve and activate the dishwasher detergent. Test it with a multimeter:

  • Access the heating element housing
  • Check for continuity across its terminals
  • If there’s no continuity, the element is faulty and must be replaced

#3: Inspect The Drain Pump

A clogged or jammed drain pump can also trigger blinking clean light issues:

  • Locate the drain pump housing
  • Remove any debris/clogs inside it
  • Check if the pump impeller spins freely
  • Replace the pump if excessively worn or damaged

#4: Test The Door Switch

Use a multimeter to check if the door switch is defective:

  • Locate the door switch
  • Check for continuity across its terminals
  • If there’s no continuity, the switch needs replacing

#5: Check The Relays And Control Board

Damaged relays or a faulty control board can cause the clean light blinking problem:

  • Inspect relays on the control board for burnt marks
  • Check if the control board shows any visible damage
  • Either faulty relays or the entire board may need replacement

With some electrical troubleshooting knowledge, many clean light blinking issues can be either fixed or accurately diagnosed for professional repair.

Common Solutions For The Blinking Clean Light

Besides troubleshooting, here are some common solutions for a KitchenAid dishwasher showing the blinking clean light problem:

Thorough Cleaning

With time, grease, dirt, food, and hard water deposits inside the dishwasher can impede normal functioning.

Effective cleaning techniques involve:

  • Removing debris from filters, arms, and interior
  • Using dishwasher cleaners to dissolve stains
  • Regularly cleaning door seals and gaskets
  • Confirming water jets aren’t clogged

This may sufficiently improve operation to stop the blinking clean light problem.

Carrying Out Routine Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is key for longevity and efficiency. This helps avoid issues like the clean light blinking.

Important maintenance tasks include:

  • Testing heating elements and washing arms
  • Lubricating racks and other parts
  • Checking door alignment
  • Confirming drainage lines are clear
  • Inspecting hoses and fittings
  • Testing motor/pump impeller condition

Properly maintaining the dishwasher reduces the likelihood of the clean light blinking issue occurring.


Calling For Professional Assistance

For recurring blinking clean light problems coupled with other symptoms like strange sounds or leaks, professional repairs may be required.

Qualified appliance technicians have specialized expertise and tools to accurately diagnose and fix complex issues. This includes parts replacements or major repairs.

Benefits of professional assistance include:

  • Correct diagnosis of obscure underlying issues
  • Access to advanced diagnostic equipment
  • Ability to repair problems beyond DIY capabilities
  • Providing service warranty on work performed

Seeking professional help can quickly resolve even severe cases of blinking clean light problems.


Common Questions About KitchenAid Dishwasher Clean Light Blinking:

Here are answers to 10 frequently asked questions about troubleshooting blinking clean light problems on KitchenAid dishwashers:

  • Q1. How do I reset the blinking clean light on my KitchenAid dishwasher?

Unplug the dishwasher or disconnect power for 1 full minute. This resets the control board and often resolves a blinking clean light.

  • Q2. Why does my KitchenAid dishwasher clean light blink 8 times?

8 blinks indicate the control board senses an issue with water temperature during the cycle. This points to a heating element, thermostat, or sensor fault.

  • Q3. What buttons should I press to reset my KitchenAid dishwasher?

KitchenAid dishwashers do not have reset buttons. Simply power cycle the unit for 1 minute. This resets the control panel and clears any error codes.

  • Q4. Why does my KitchenAid dishwasher clean light blink 7 times?

7 blinks signals there is no specific temperature rise detected during the cycle even though it’s expected. This suggests a heating-related problem.

  • Q5. How can I reset the control panel when the clean light blinks?

With the dishwasher unplugged or powered off, wait 1 full minute before restoring power. This resets the entire control panel and may stop the clean light from blinking.

  • Q6. How do I reset when the start button is blinking?

If the start button is blinking, power cycle the dishwasher and check for obstructions in the door latch path. This should reset the start button.

  • Q7. Why does my clean light flash but the dishwasher won’t start?

If the clean light is flashing but the dishwasher won’t initiate start, there is likely a detected fault preventing operation. Reset the control panel after a power cycle.

  • Q8. How do I deactivate the clean light blinking signal?

You cannot manually deactivate the blinking clean light unless you address the underlying fault it signals. Resetting the control panel may temporarily stop it.

  • Q9. Can a blocked air gap cause clean light blinking problems?

Yes, a blocked air gap can potentially cause drainage issues leading to blinking clean light problems and failure to complete wash cycles.

  • Q10. How much does KitchenAid dishwasher circuit board replacement cost?

The control board replacement cost is $200-$300 for parts and labor. DIY part cost is $150-250 just for the replacement board.

KitchenAid® Service & Support Center:

  • Call: 1800-422-1230
  • Email: SEND AN EMAIL

KitchenAid® Hours of Operation (U.S. Only)

Major appliance support:

  • Monday–Tuesday: 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. EST
  • Wednesday–Friday: 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. EST
  • Saturday: 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. EST

Countertop Appliances, Kitchenware, or Kitchen Tools support:

  • Monday–Tuesday: 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. EST
    Wednesday–Friday: 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. EST

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In Conclusion

A blinking clean light on a KitchenAid dishwasher requires prompt troubleshooting. After trying control panel resets and running through electrical diagnostics, consider professional assistance if problems persist.

Thorough cleaning and preventative maintenance help avoid many issues causing the light blinking in the first place. With the right combination of troubleshooting, repairs, and regular upkeep, this frustrating issue can be effectively and affordably resolved.

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