How To Clean Dishwasher Drain

How To Clean Dishwasher Drain & Hose + Get Dishwasher Running Again

Any dishwasher drain can get clogged for various reasons, and knowing how to clean a dishwasher drain quickly is very useful when your dishwasher is not draining.

Between food debris, grime, and built-up grease, it should be no surprise when your dishwasher stops draining altogether, especially if you don’t regularly clean the drain.

Just like replacing toilet parts, cleaning the inside of the dishwasher is a DIY job most homeowners can tackle very easily.


“How To Clean Dishwasher Drain” 

Step 1:   Clean the Dishwasher “Drain Filter”

How to clean dishwasher drain - Besthomegear.com
How To Clean Dishwasher Drain – Besthomegear.com
  • Start by removing any food waste that may be present at the bottom of your dishwasher.
  • Use a damp cloth to clean and wipe around the filter.
  • Unscrew the filter. Look at your machine’s manual for any specific instructions.
  • Rinse the filter with water in your sink, and eliminate any grease or food waste stuck to the filter.
  • Once you’ve cleaned the filter thoroughly, reattach it to the dishwasher. Once the filter is thoroughly cleaned, reattach it to the dishwasher using a screwdriver.
  • Note: It is common for dishwashers to have a lower filter assembly. Some dishwasher models have an upper filter and lower filter assembly.  In that instance, remove both filters and follow the above suggestions for cleaning each filter.

Step 2:   Unclog Dishwasher “Drain”

Cleaning dishwasher drain
Removing dishwasher sprayer and drain cover – Besthomegear.com
  • To unclog the drain, remove the dishwasher’s bottom rack to access the drain, drain catch, and filter. Before you do this, make sure you unplug the power cable.
  • Use a screwdriver to remove the catch basin and filter. These should be at the center of the bottom of the dishwasher.
  • Now that you can see the drain, straighten a wire hanger and use it to remove any noticeable blocks or clogs carefully.
  • Pour one tablespoon of baking soda and two tablespoons of vinegar down the drain to eliminate any stubborn debris, grease, or scum. You can use a commercial drain cleaner instead, but ensure it doesn’t contain harsh chemicals that may damage your dishwasher.
  • Let the baking soda and vinegar mixture sit in the drain for 10 to 15 minutes. This mixture will help break up any remaining clogs. Next, remove the baking soda and vinegar mixture, pour hot water down the drain to wash it out, and break up debris.
  • Assemble the dishwasher and run it on the “normal” cycle. The dishwasher should drain properly without any water pooling at the bottom.

Step 3:   Removing Clog from Dishwasher “Drain Hose”

replace dishwasher drain hose
Remove drain hose from dishwasher – Besthomegear.com
  • If your dishwasher still doesn’t drain properly, you should go more in-depth and remove clogs from the Drain Hose on the back or bottom.
  • Note:  For this step, you must access the dishwasher drain hose, which requires knowing how to remove a dishwasher. Click the link above to see those step-by-step instructions.
  • First, unplug the dishwasher and make sure the power is completely disconnected.
    Navigate your owner’s manual for instructions on the drain hose location and how you can detach it from the dishwasher.
  • Disconnect the hose once you’ve found it using pliers. Consider placing a container under the hose to collect any spills.
  • Use a straightened wire hanger or auger to loosen and remove clogs.
  • Refasten the hose, turn on the dishwasher, and run it on a “normal” cycle. The drain hose should now be clean and drain properly.
how to remove dishwasher drain hose from garbage disposal
Dishwasher Drain Hose connection at the Garbage Disposal – Besthomegear.com

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:  How Do You Clean a Dishwasher Drain?

A:  The steps to clean the Dishwasher Drain (located inside and at the bottom of the dishwasher) include removing the dishwasher drain filter and drain line and clearing any large debris found in the dishwasher. Read this article carefully, and follow the steps to clean a dishwasher drain.

Q: What is the best household cleaner for a dishwasher drain?

A: The safest and Best Household Ingredients to clean a clogged dishwasher drain are Baking soda and Vinegar, which you can mix according to the steps below;

  • Pour one tablespoon of baking soda and two tablespoons of vinegar down the drain to eliminate any stubborn debris, grease, or scum. (You can use a commercial drain cleaner instead, but ensure it doesn’t contain harsh chemicals that may damage your dishwasher).
  • Let the baking soda and vinegar mixture sit in the drain for 10 to 15 minutes. This mixture will help break up any remaining clogs. Next, remove the baking soda and vinegar mixture, pour hot water down the drain to wash it out, and break up debris.

Conclusion

There you go, a simple step-by-step guide on how to clean the dishwasher drain. Remember, to have your dishwasher operating efficiently, you should always scrape off food waste from your dishes before loading, which helps your dishwasher run correctly and as intended. 

In other words, the dishwasher isn’t designed to be the garbage disposal – and proper use requires the user to eliminate or rinse cups, dishes, pans, or silverware before loading the dishwasher.

Learning how to Restore dishwasher functions will save you time and greatly help you avoid dishwasher drainage issues in the future.

Thanks for Visiting BestHomeGear, and Don’t forget to Check Out All of our Homeowner DIY Repair Guides.

Additional Reading and References:

Kevin Carroll
Kevin Carrollhttps://www.besthomegear.com
Kevin is the author and editor for Best Home Gear, and uses his 25+ years experience in Commercial and Residential Construction Management to author and publish the work for this website. In addition to publishing Best Home Gear; Kevin enjoys the outdoors in Michigan and Arizona, hiking, cycling, fishing, golf, and completing DIY projects at his Home and Garden.

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Image of Kevin Carroll, author and publisher @ Besthomegear.com
Author and Publisher for Best Home Gear

Kevin is the Owner, Author, and Publisher @ Best Home Gear, which he began In 2018.

As a Professional in Construction, Real Estate and Property Management, Kevin uses that experience to publish Useful Articles, and help homeowners improve (DIY) their own homes, lawns, and outdoor spaces.

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