• Howard Gallagher

How To Clean Your Dishwasher Filter

Updated: Mar 13

Dishwashers make cooking a much easier process. Instead of hand washing dishes a dishwasher cleans dishes for you.As you use your unit ,food and soap residue can build up. This lowers the efficiency of your dishwasher. A Dishwasher filter blocks food from staining dishes or clogging your drain. This is a vital part of the dishwasher to prevent particle buildup .


Types Of Dishwasher Filters: Manual and Self Cleaning

There are two kinds of dishwasher filters: self-cleaning and manual. If the dishwasher is older than 2009 then it is most likely has a self cleaning filter. Self cleaning filters are also known as hard food disposers as they have a similar mechanism compared to a garbage disposal. A disadvantage to self cleaning filters is the noise that comes with use. Newer models come with manual clean filters . Manual filters need monthly cleaning. Manual filters are easy to clean. No expensive equipment just dish washing soap,1 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of baking soda, a towel and a sponge is needed. Never use bleach or a wire brush as it can damage the internal parts of your dishwasher. A concrete way to find out your filter type is consult your dishwasher owner manual.


How often should you replace your dishwasher filter

If you notice white residue on dishes and food particles in the unit then you should replace your dishwasher filter. You should also pay attention to odors or oily textures on dishes. Replacing a dishwasher filter is a quick and simple process. Typically if dishes are washed before loading then you only need to clean the filter once a year. While if you don’t rinse before loading and you do at least 8 loads a week then once every 2 weeks will suffice.

5 steps to a clean dishwasher filter


Step 1: Remove your filter

Remove the bottom rack of the dishwasher and locate the filter. This is typically a cylindrical tube that twist-locks into place on the floor of the unit. This needs to be removed for cleaning. Look to see if there is any food debris. It is possible to see silica,glass, shells,bone and much more. Remove the filter gently.


Step 2: Clean your filter

Thoroughly clean the filter in soapy water and rinse it out. You need to clean out the filter with a old toothbrush.


Step 3: Replace your filter

Replace the lower filter in the dishwasher tub. Turn the filter clockwise until it fully locks in . Don’t run your dishwasher without first making sure the filter is locked .


Step 4: Run A Vinegar Cycle

Run wash cycle with vinegar. Fill a dishwasher safe cup with white vinegar and put it in the top rack of your dishwasher. Vinegar is very effective as a sanitizing agent .With the hottest water setting run a cycle.


Step 5: Run A Baking Soda Cycle

Run a wash cycle with Baking Soda. Once the vinegar cycle is done put a cup of baking soda around the bottom of the dishwasher and run it through the hottest water setting. Baking Soda has a cleansing effect on the unit. It removes any harsh lingering odors. Congrats you have successfully cleaned your dishwasher filter. Preventative maintenance like this can prolong the longevity of your home appliances.