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How to Clean a Dishwasher Filter

Who knew there was a filter inside the dishwasher that needed to be cleaned monthly?! I am guilty of not cleaning my dishwasher filter either, which is why I am giving you this reminder and tips on how to clean a dishwasher filter.

How to Clean a Dishwasher Filter

I was surprised the filter was so dirty because I basically hand wash my dishes before putting them into the dishwasher.

The dishwasher is constantly cleaning dishes, so I assumed it was cleaning itself as well. I was clearly wrong with thinking this after taking a closer look inside my dishwasher.

how to clean a dishwasher filter

How to Clean the Inside of a Dishwasher

Cleaning a dishwasher will depend on the make and model, so this may alter depending on the dishwasher that you have.

The inside of a dishwasher should be deep cleaned monthly to keep it working properly.

To begin deep cleaning your dishwasher, make sure it is completely empty.

First remove the lower rack and utensil holder, so you can scrub the inside area of the door.

Then use warm soapy water to remove any mildew or food from the utensil holder.

Scrub the inside of the the dishwasher to remove debris then wipe with a paper towel.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals in the Dishwasher

Avoid using bleach or other harsh chemicals inside your dishwasher as this can damage the parts inside.

You can scrub the inside with a brush and water then use a cleaning tablet recommended below.

If you want an extra deep clean you can use baking soda and a scrub brush to remove build up.

To use baking soda inside the dishwasher, mix water with baking soda to make a paste.

Then wear gloves to scrub the the paste inside the dishwasher then wipe away with a rag.

dishwasher filter cleaning

After cleaning the filter and the inside of the dishwasher, I used an Affresh dishwasher cleaning tablet.

Affresh cleaning tablets removes buildup and limescale from inside the dishwasher.

How to Remove the Dishwasher Filter

My filter was located at the bottom of the dishwasher and was easy to remove. I put gloves on and twisted the filter with my hands a few times to loosen it.

Some dishwasher filters might be screwed into the bottom, so you will need a screw driver to loosen it.

After removing your filter check inside the well to see if any debris was underneath the filter.

how to clean a dishwasher filter

Your dishwasher may also have a removable particle strainer located in the same area that should be wiped down too.

To clean a dishwasher filter, use a toothbrush to remove debris from the filter and wash it with warm soapy water.

Then rinse any remaining soap from the filter and gently placed it back inside the dishwasher.

Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner

Now that you have cleaned the inside of the dishwasher and the filter, run a normal cycle without dishes.

Place an Affresh dishwasher tablet into the detergent tray and select the normal cycle.

The Affresh tablets help remove limescale and mineral buildup to keep your dishwasher functioning properly.

I used the tablets monthly, so whenever I clean the filter I run a normal cycle with the tablet after.

dishwasher filter cleaning

Cleaning Dishwasher Drain Hose

On a monthly basis, I use Affresh disposal cleaner tablets to clean and freshen up the garbage disposal.

A dishwasher typically has a drain hose that is hooked up to the garbage disposal and sink.

The drain hose is where all of the water inside of the dishwasher drains, if you have a similar set up.

You might notice an odor coming from your garbage disposal every time you run your dishwasher.

dishwasher filter cleaning
Your drain hose should look similar

If you notice an odor, you can try using a Affresh disposal cleaning tablet to see if it helps.

Simply run hot water down the drain and place the tablet in the disposal.

Then turn on the disposal for 30 seconds and rinse away all of the residue.

If this did not eliminate the odor then you might have buildup in the hose that needs to be removed.

Before removing the drain hose, make sure the sink and dishwasher are free of water and the garbage disposal is shut off.

Water might leak from the hose when you take it off, so make sure to have a bucket underneath.

To clean inside the drain hose I used a coat hanger and a bottle brush.

I did this quite a few times and flushed the hose with hot water then connected the hose again.

Make sure to test the hose before running your dishwasher or you could end up with water everywhere.


Now that you know how to clean a dishwasher filter and the inside of your dishwasher, make sure to clean it more regularly.

It’s recommended to clean your dishwasher and filter every month or so, depending on the usage and if you have hard water.

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