How to Fix Standing Water in Dishwasher


Have you ever opened your dishwasher after a cycle only to find a pool of standing water at the bottom? Dealing with standing water in a dishwasher can be frustrating, as it prevents the proper cleaning and drying of your dishes. In this article, we will explore the causes of standing water in a dishwasher and provide you with troubleshooting steps to fix the issue. Additionally, we will share some prevention tips to avoid future occurrences. Let’s dive in and get your dishwasher back to its optimal performance.

Understanding standing water in the dishwasher

Standing water refers to the accumulation of water at the bottom of the dishwasher, usually after a completed cycle. Instead of draining properly, the water remains stagnant, indicating a problem in the drainage system. It is crucial to address this issue promptly to prevent further damage and ensure the efficient functioning of your dishwasher.

Common causes of standing water

  1. Clogged drain filter: The drain filter is responsible for capturing food particles and debris to prevent them from clogging the drainage system. Over time, the filter can become clogged itself, impeding proper water flow and causing standing water in the dishwasher.
  2. Blocked drainage hose: The drainage hose connects the dishwasher to the main plumbing system. If this hose becomes blocked or kinked, it can restrict water flow and result in standing water.
  3. Faulty drain pump: The drain pump is responsible for pumping out the water from the dishwasher during the drain cycle. If the drain pump malfunctions or gets clogged, it will be unable to remove the water effectively, leading to standing water in the dishwasher.

Troubleshooting steps to fix standing water

  1. Checking the drain filter: Start by locating the drain filter, usually at the bottom of the dishwasher. Remove any visible debris or food particles from the filter. Rinse it under running water to ensure it is thoroughly cleaned. Once clean, place the filter back into its position.
  2. Clearing the drainage hose: Carefully inspect the drainage hose for any obstructions or kinks. If you notice any blockages, gently remove them using a long, flexible brush or a pipe cleaner. Straighten out any kinks in the hose to ensure a smooth water flow.
  3. Inspecting the drain pump: Access the drain pump, typically located at the bottom of the dishwasher. Check for any visible clogs or debris obstructing the pump. Use a toothpick or a small brush to remove any obstructions. If the drain pump appears faulty or damaged, consider replacing it.
  4. Resetting the dishwasher: Some dishwashers have a reset function that can help resolve minor issues. Refer to your dishwasher’s user manual to learn how to perform a reset. This action can often clear any temporary glitches and restore proper drainage.

Prevention tips to avoid standing water

  1. Regular maintenance and cleaning: Clean the drain filter regularly to prevent clogs. Wipe down the interior of the dishwasher, including the spray arms and walls, to remove any residue or buildup.
  2. Proper loading of dishes: Avoid overcrowding the dishwasher, as this can impede water flow and lead to standing water. Allow sufficient space between dishes for effective water circulation.
  3. Avoiding excess detergent: Using too much detergent can create excessive suds, which can lead to drainage issues. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the recommended amount of detergent to use.

How often should I clean the drain filter?

It is recommended to clean the drain filter once a month to prevent clogs and ensure optimal dishwasher performance.

Can I use vinegar to clean the dishwasher?

Yes, vinegar can be used to clean the dishwasher. Simply place a cup of white vinegar on the top rack and run a hot water cycle to remove residue and odors.

Why is my dishwasher not draining properly?

There could be various reasons for a dishwasher not draining properly, including a clogged drain filter, blocked drainage hose, or a faulty drain pump.

How can I avoid future issues with standing water?

Regularly clean the drain filter, avoid overloading the dishwasher, and follow proper loading techniques. Additionally, perform routine maintenance to keep the dishwasher in good condition.

Should I attempt to repair the dishwasher myself?

If you feel comfortable and have some knowledge of dishwasher repairs, you can attempt to fix minor issues yourself. However, for complex problems or if you are unsure, it is recommended to seek professional assistance to avoid causing further damage.


Dealing with standing water in a dishwasher can be frustrating, but with the right knowledge and troubleshooting steps, you can resolve the issue. By checking the drain filter, clearing the drainage hose, inspecting the drain pump, and resetting the dishwasher, you can often fix the problem and restore proper drainage. Additionally, implementing prevention tips such as regular maintenance, proper loading of dishes, and avoiding excess detergent can help prevent future occurrences of standing water. Enjoy the convenience of a fully functional dishwasher once again.

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