How To Clean Old Whirlpool Dishwasher Filter

If you own a Whirlpool dishwasher, you’re likely aware of how convenient it is in making your kitchen chores more manageable. However, over time, the dishwasher’s performance can decline if its filter isn’t properly maintained. Cleaning the old Whirlpool dishwasher filter is an essential task that ensures your appliance functions efficiently and keeps your dishes sparkling clean. In this guide, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of cleaning the filter to maintain the optimal performance of your dishwasher.

Why Cleaning the Dishwasher Filter is Important

The dishwasher filter plays a vital role in preventing food particles, debris, and other contaminants from clogging the drainage system and spraying onto your dishes. Over time, this filter can become clogged, leading to reduced cleaning performance and unpleasant odors. Regularly cleaning the filter ensures efficient water drainage and optimal cleaning results.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Before you begin, gather the following tools and materials:

  • Screwdriver
  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Mild dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Vinegar

Step 1: Safety First

Safety should always be a priority. Make sure to turn off the dishwasher and disconnect it from the power source before you begin any maintenance work.

Step 2: Accessing the Filter

Locate the filter’s housing at the bottom of the dishwasher. Depending on the model, you might need to remove the bottom rack for better access.

Step 3: Removing the Filter

Using a screwdriver, carefully remove the screws securing the filter in place. Once the screws are removed, gently lift out the filter assembly.

Step 4: Preparing the Filter for Cleaning

Rinse off loose debris under running water. Create a mixture of mild dish soap and warm water.

Step 5: Cleaning the Filter

Submerge the filter in the soapy water and use a soft-bristle brush to gently scrub away residue. For stubborn buildup, a vinegar soak can be effective.

Step 6: Reinstalling the Filter

Once the filter is clean and dry, carefully place it back into its housing. Secure it with the screws.

Step 7: Running a Test Cycle

With the filter back in place, run a test cycle to ensure everything is functioning correctly. This step confirms that you’ve reinstalled the filter accurately.

Additional Tips for Dishwasher Maintenance

  • Scraping off excess food before loading dishes
  • Using dishwasher-safe cleaning agents
  • Regularly checking spray arms for clogs

How Often Should You Clean the Filter?

Cleaning the filter every two months is generally sufficient. However, if you notice a decline in cleaning performance, it’s wise to clean it more frequently.

Signs of a Clogged Filter

  • Water pooling at the bottom of the dishwasher
  • Cloudy glassware and cutlery after a cycle
  • Lingering unpleasant odor

Common Misconceptions About Dishwasher Filters

  • Myth: Filters don’t need cleaning if you use pre-rinsed dishes.
  • Myth: Running an empty cycle cleans the filter.
  • Myth: All filters are the same.


Maintaining a clean old Whirlpool dishwasher filter is a straightforward yet crucial task to ensure your appliance’s longevity and efficient performance. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll enjoy spotless dishes and a fresher kitchen.


Q: How frequently should I clean my Whirlpool dishwasher filter?

A: Cleaning every two months is recommended, but adjust based on performance.

Q: Can I use regular soap for cleaning the filter?

A: Stick to mild dish soap to avoid damaging the filter.

Q: Is it normal to have a slight odor after cleaning?

A: Yes, it’s normal. Run a test cycle to eliminate any residual odor.

Q: Can I reassemble the dishwasher incorrectly?

A: Refer to the user manual for proper assembly to avoid any issues.

Q: What if my dishes still aren’t clean after filter maintenance?

A: Check for other factors like spray arm clogs or water pressure problems.

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