Understanding Your Maytag Dishwasher Cycles Explained

If you’ve recently purchased a Maytag dishwasher, it’s essential to understand the different cycles available to you. A dishwasher cycle refers to the duration and intensity of the cleaning process, with each cycle designed to handle a specific type of dishwashing load. By understanding the various cycles, you can optimize your dishwasher’s performance and achieve sparkling clean dishes every time.

In this section, we will provide a comprehensive guide on the Maytag dishwasher cycles available, helping you select the most appropriate option for your dishwashing needs. From the Quick Wash cycle to the Sanitize cycle, we’ll cover all the basics and beyond.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the different cycles in your Maytag dishwasher is critical for optimal cleaning results
  • Each cycle is designed for a specific dishwashing load and intensity level
  • Quick Wash, Normal Wash, Heavy Duty, Sensor, Sanitize, Rinse Only, and Specialty cycles are typically available in Maytag dishwashers
  • Selecting the appropriate cycle helps save time, energy and ensures your dishes come out sparkling clean
  • Refer back to this guide whenever you need assistance in choosing the right cycle for your dishwashing needs

Benefits of Different Dishwasher Cycles

When it comes to dishwashing, not all cycles are created equal. Each cycle offers unique benefits, allowing you to customize your wash based on the load and level of dirtiness. Understanding the benefits of different dishwasher cycles can help you achieve optimal cleaning results while saving time and energy. Let’s explore the various dishwasher cycle options and their settings.

Eco-Friendly Cycles

For those looking to reduce their environmental impact and save money on their water and energy bills, eco-friendly cycles are the way to go. These cycles use less water and energy while still providing effective cleaning results. Some eco-friendly cycles may include:

Cycle NameBenefits
Energy SaverUses less energy to heat water and dry dishes
Half LoadFor smaller loads, conserves water and energy by only washing what’s needed
Quick WashA short cycle that uses less water and energy, ideal for lightly soiled dishes

Heavy-Duty Cycles

For tough, baked-on messes, heavy-duty cycles offer a powerful cleaning performance. These cycles typically use more water and energy but are necessary for heavily soiled dishes. Some heavy-duty cycles may include:

Cycle NameBenefits
HeavyUses high water pressure and temperature to remove tough stains and baked-on messes
Pots and PansUses extra-hot water and a longer wash time to thoroughly clean cookware

Specialty Cycles

Maytag dishwashers may feature additional specialty cycles for specific types of dishes or situations. These cycles can provide additional benefits and convenience. Some specialty cycles may include:

Cycle NameBenefits
China/CrystalGentle cycle for delicate dishes and glassware
Express WashA faster cycle for lightly soiled dishes
Sani RinseUses high-temperature water to sanitize dishes for a hygienic clean

By understanding the benefits of different dishwasher cycles and their settings, you can make an informed decision on which cycle to use for each load. Whether you’re conserving water and energy or tackling tough stains, there’s a cycle that’s just right for you and your dishes.

Quick Wash Cycle

The Quick Wash cycle is a convenient option when you need clean dishes in a hurry. This cycle is ideal for lightly soiled dishes that don’t require heavy-duty cleaning. It’s perfect when you need to quickly wash a few dishes before hosting unexpected guests.

During the Quick Wash cycle, your Maytag dishwasher will use a shorter wash time and heated water to clean your dishes quickly. The exact cycle time and temperature may vary depending on your dishwasher model and water temperature.

To use the Quick Wash cycle, simply select it from your dishwasher’s cycle options. You may also want to adjust the rinse aid and detergent levels to match the load size and level of food residue.

Though the Quick Wash cycle is a great time-saving option, it’s not suitable for heavily soiled dishes or pots and pans. For those cases, you’re better off using the Heavy Duty cycle. However, if you’re short on time and have only a few dishes to wash, the Quick Wash cycle is a great solution.

Pro Tip: The Quick Wash cycle is also an energy-saving option, as it uses less water and electricity than other cycles. So, it’s an eco-friendly choice as well!

Normal Wash Cycle

Maytag dishwasher with Normal Wash cycle option highlighted

The Normal Wash cycle is the most commonly used cycle in your Maytag dishwasher. It is designed for everyday dishwashing needs, providing a thorough clean without using excessive amounts of water or energy. This cycle is suitable for dishes with normal levels of dirt, grease, and food debris.

To ensure optimal cleaning, it is recommended to scrape off any large food particles and load dishes according to the dishwasher’s instructions. Generally, it is best to place dishes facing the center of the dishwasher, with larger items on the bottom rack and smaller items on the top rack.

  • Energy-efficient
  • Effective on everyday loads
  • Time-efficient
  • May not effectively clean heavily soiled dishes
  • Not suitable for delicate items
  • May require pre-rinsing for best results

Overall, the Normal Wash cycle is a reliable option for most dishwashing needs, offering a balance of effectiveness, efficiency, and convenience. However, it may not be the best option for heavily soiled dishes or delicate items.

Tips for using the Normal Wash cycle:

  • Load dishes according to the dishwasher’s instructions
  • Scrape off any large food particles before loading
  • Use detergent as directed by the manufacturer
  • Consider pre-rinsing heavily soiled dishes for best results

“The Normal Wash cycle is a reliable option for most dishwashing needs, offering a balance of effectiveness, efficiency, and convenience.”

Heavy Duty Cycle

Maytag heavy duty cycle

For dishes that are heavily soiled with tough food stains, the Heavy Duty cycle is the perfect setting for your Maytag dishwasher. This cycle is specifically designed to provide a thorough clean, eliminating the need for pre-washing or soaking.

The Heavy Duty cycle uses high water temperatures and a powerful spray to remove stubborn food particles and grease. It is ideal for pots, pans, and casserole dishes that have baked-on grime.

Heavy Duty CycleBenefits
Tackles tough food stains
  • Eliminates need for pre-washing
  • Reduces water usage
  • Provides a thorough clean
High water temperatures and powerful spray
  • Removes stubborn food particles and grease
  • Cleans pots, pans and casserole dishes

While the Heavy Duty cycle is effective in cleaning heavily soiled dishes, it is not recommended for delicate china or crystal. It also consumes more energy and water than other cycles.

In summary, the Heavy Duty cycle is the go-to option for tough, baked-on grime. It provides a thorough clean, saves time and eliminates the need for pre-washing. Use it for pots, pans, and casserole dishes, but keep in mind that it may not be suitable for delicate dishes or glassware.

Sensor Cycle: Advanced Cleaning for Your Dishwasher

Sensor cycle on Maytag dishwasher

The Sensor cycle is an innovative feature available on some Maytag dishwasher models that provides advanced cleaning capabilities to achieve optimal results. This cycle utilizes advanced sensors to detect the level of dirt and food particles on your dishes, then automatically adjusts the wash cycle for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

By selecting the Sensor cycle, you can ensure that your dishes receive an optimal level of cleaning, while also conserving water and energy. This makes it an ideal choice for those who want to reduce their environmental impact without compromising on cleaning performance.

How the Sensor Cycle Works

The Sensor cycle works by analyzing the level of soil and food particles in your dishwasher. Once the sensors detect the amount of dirt, the cycle adjusts the wash time, water temperature, and pressure to deliver the right amount of cleaning power to your dishes.

In addition to the cleaning performance, the Sensor cycle is also incredibly user-friendly. You simply need to select the cycle and let the dishwasher do the rest.

Maytag Dishwasher Cycle Selection

If you have a Maytag dishwasher with Sensor cycle functionality, it’s essential to select the cycle that best suits your dishwashing needs. The Sensor cycle is ideal for tackling medium to heavy loads and is perfect for busy households that require a thorough clean.

When selecting the Sensor cycle, it’s essential to note that it may take longer to complete than other cycle options due to its advanced cleaning capabilities. However, the results are worth the wait and ensure that your dishes are sparkling clean and free of bacteria and germs.

Dishwasher Cycle Types

The Sensor cycle is just one of several dishwasher cycle types available on Maytag dishwashers. Understanding the different cycle types and selecting the appropriate option for each load is essential for achieving optimal cleaning results.

Other Maytag dishwasher cycle types include:

  • Quick Wash cycle: for when you need clean dishes in a hurry
  • Normal Wash cycle: the go-to option for daily dishwashing needs
  • Heavy Duty cycle: provides a powerful cleaning performance for heavily soiled dishes and cookware
  • Sanitize cycle: eliminates bacteria and germs for a hygienic clean
  • Rinse Only cycle: ideal for quickly rinsing dishes before a full wash cycle or removing light debris
  • Specialty cycles: additional cycles such as Pots and Pans, China/Crystal, or Express Wash

The Maytag dishwasher guide provides comprehensive information on each of these cycle types, allowing you to select the most appropriate option for your dishwashing needs. Whether you have a small load of dishes or heavily soiled cookware, there is a cycle option to maximize the cleaning performance of your dishwasher.

Sanitize Cycle

Sanitize cycle

The Sanitize cycle is a vital dishwasher cycle type that provides a hygienic clean by eliminating 99.9% of bacteria and germs. This cycle is particularly crucial for households with infants or individuals with allergies. Maytag dishwashers offer the Sanitize cycle as an option, outlining their commitment to keeping your family safe.

The Sanitize cycle is highly effective in killing germs and bacteria, as it uses a combination of high heat and powerful jets. The dishwasher heats water to 155 degrees Fahrenheit, ensuring that the dishes are sanitized. The high heat feature works in conjunction with the rinse aid dispenser, which is an integral part of the cycle. The rinse aid helps to boost the effectiveness of the high heat, thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing your dishes during the final rinse cycle.

To activate the Sanitize cycle on your Maytag dishwasher, select the option from the dishwasher cycle selection menu. The cycle time may vary depending on the model, but the Sanitize cycle usually takes more time to complete than the Normal or Quick Wash cycles.

The Benefits of Choosing the Sanitize Cycle

The Sanitize cycle offers many benefits, including:

  • Eliminates 99.9% of bacteria and germs, making it ideal for homes with infants and individuals with allergies
  • Provides a hygienic clean for dishes and utensils
  • Works in conjunction with the rinse aid dispenser, ensuring complete and thorough cleaning during the final rinse cycle

While the Sanitize cycle is not necessary for every load, it is an essential cycle type that should be used regularly, especially for dishes that come into contact with germs and bacteria. By choosing the Sanitize cycle, you can rest assured that your dishes are free from harmful bacteria and germs, providing a safe and healthy environment for you and your family.

Rinse Only Cycle

If you have lightly soiled dishes or need to rinse your dishes before running a full wash cycle, the Rinse Only cycle is an ideal option. This cycle efficiently rinses dishes and removes light debris, preparing dishes for a full wash cycle. The Rinse Only cycle is also beneficial for preventing food particles from sticking to dishes if you are not ready to run a full wash cycle.

To use the Rinse Only cycle on your Maytag dishwasher, select the Rinse Only cycle option on your control panel. Once selected, the dishwasher will begin the Rinse Only cycle, rinsing dishes with water only.

Rinse Only CycleBenefits
Efficiently rinses dishesPrepares dishes for a full wash cycle
Removes light debrisPrevents food particles from sticking to dishes

Use the Rinse Only cycle when necessary to save time, energy, and ensure that your dishes are always clean and ready to use. Remember to follow the instructions in your Maytag dishwasher guide to select the appropriate cycle for each dishwashing load.

Delay Start Option: A Convenient Feature on Your Maytag Dishwasher

Have you ever wished you could delay the start of your dishwasher cycle until a more convenient time? With the Delay Start option on your Maytag dishwasher, you can do just that.

This feature allows you to program your dishwasher to start at a later time, so you can take advantage of off-peak energy rates or have your dishes ready at a specific time. It’s easy to use and can save you time and hassle.

How to Use the Delay Start Option

To use the Delay Start option on your Maytag dishwasher, follow these simple steps:

  1. Load your dishwasher as you normally would.
  2. Select the cycle and options you want to use.
  3. Press the Delay Start button on your dishwasher control panel.
  4. Use the + and – buttons to set the delay time, which can range from 1-24 hours.
  5. Press the Start button to begin the countdown to the delayed start time.

Note: You must press the Start button after setting the delay time for the cycle to begin.

Benefits of Using the Delay Start Option

The Delay Start option on your Maytag dishwasher offers several benefits:

  • Convenience: You can program your dishwasher to start at a time that’s most convenient for you, whether that’s during off-peak hours or when you’ll be home to unload the dishes.
  • Energy Savings: By delaying the cycle start time to off-peak hours, you can take advantage of lower energy rates and save money on your utility bills.
  • Cleaner Dishes: Delaying the start time can give your dishes more time to soak and remove stubborn food particles, resulting in cleaner dishes.

Overall, the Delay Start option is a convenient feature on your Maytag dishwasher that can make your life easier and save you money. Give it a try the next time you load your dishwasher.

Specialty Cycles

In addition to the standard wash cycles of a Maytag dishwasher, there may be specialty cycles available that are designed to tackle specific types of dishes or levels of dirtiness. These cycles may include:

Pots and PansA cycle with increased water pressure and temperature to remove tough stains from pots, pans, and other heavily soiled cookware.
China/CrystalA delicate cycle with lower water pressure and temperature to protect delicate china and crystal from damage.
Express WashA quick cycle that cleans lightly soiled dishes in under an hour, perfect for those times when you need clean dishes in a hurry.

It’s important to note that not all Maytag dishwashers will feature specialty cycles, and the cycles available may vary depending on the model. Be sure to check your user manual or consult with a Maytag representative to determine the specific cycles available for your dishwasher.

When deciding which cycle to use for each load, consider the type of dishes you are washing and the level of dirtiness. Specialty cycles may offer a more effective solution for certain types of dishes, but may not be necessary for every load.

In summary, specialty cycles provide additional options for achieving optimal cleaning results for specific types of dishes. Understanding the cycles available in your Maytag dishwasher empowers you to choose the best cycle for each load, ensuring sparkling clean dishes every time.


Now that you understand the various cycles available in your Maytag dishwasher, you can easily select the one that best suits your dishwashing needs. By using the appropriate cycle, you can save time, energy, and resources while ensuring your dishes come out clean and sparkling every time.

Remember that each cycle has its own benefits and features, so it’s essential to read your Maytag dishwasher guide carefully. This will help you make the most of the available cycles and settings while keeping your appliance in optimal condition.

Keep Your Maytag Dishwasher Running Smoothly

To ensure your Maytag dishwasher operates smoothly and efficiently, remember to follow these tips:

  • Load dishes correctly to ensure maximum cleaning performance.
  • Clean the interior of your dishwasher regularly to prevent buildup and odors.
  • Run hot water in your sink before starting the dishwasher to ensure the water entering your appliance is hot and effective.
  • Use the appropriate amount of detergent recommended for your dishwasher model and the hardness of your water.
  • Occasionally run a dishwasher cleaner or descaler to prevent mineral buildup and maintain optimal performance.

By following these simple steps, you can keep your Maytag dishwasher running at its best for years to come.


How do I select a dishwasher cycle on my Maytag dishwasher?

To select a dishwasher cycle on your Maytag dishwasher, simply press the cycle selection button on the control panel. Use the arrow keys or touch buttons to navigate through the available cycles, and press the start button to begin the selected cycle.

Can I open the dishwasher during a cycle?

It is generally not recommended to open the dishwasher during a cycle. Opening the dishwasher can interrupt the cycle, release steam, and potentially cause water to spill out. It is best to wait until the cycle is complete before opening the dishwasher.

How long does each dishwasher cycle take?

The duration of each dishwasher cycle can vary depending on the model and the selected cycle. On average, dishwasher cycles can range from 1-4 hours. Refer to your Maytag dishwasher’s user manual or control panel for specific cycle durations.

Can I use dishwasher pods or tablets with my Maytag dishwasher?

Yes, you can use dishwasher pods or tablets with your Maytag dishwasher. Simply place the pod or tablet in the designated detergent dispenser and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. It is important to use the appropriate amount of detergent for optimal cleaning results.

Is it necessary to pre-rinse my dishes before placing them in the dishwasher?

Pre-rinsing your dishes is not necessary for most dishwasher cycles. Modern dishwashers, including Maytag models, are designed to effectively clean dishes with food residue. However, it is recommended to scrape off excess food particles before loading the dishwasher for best results.