How to Remove Dishwasher Filter

Is your dishwasher not performing as well as it used to? It might be time to clean the dishwasher filter. Over time, debris and food particles can accumulate in the filter, leading to clogs and poor dishwasher performance. In this article, we will guide you through the process of removing the dishwasher filter and cleaning it thoroughly. By following these steps, you can ensure your dishwasher continues to function efficiently and keep your dishes sparkling clean.

Maintaining a clean dishwasher filter is crucial for the proper functioning of your appliance. The dishwasher filter is responsible for trapping food particles and preventing them from clogging the drain or recirculating onto your dishes. Regular cleaning of the filter will help prolong the life of your dishwasher and improve its overall performance.

Why is it important?

A clogged dishwasher filter can cause several issues, such as:

  • Inefficient cleaning: When the filter is clogged, water cannot flow freely, resulting in poor cleaning performance. Your dishes may come out with leftover food particles or residue.
  • Foul odors: The trapped food debris in the filter can start to emit unpleasant odors, which can transfer to your dishes and make your dishwasher smell unpleasant.
  • Drainage problems: A clogged filter can hinder proper drainage, leading to water pooling at the bottom of the dishwasher or causing leaks.

Types of dishwasher filters

Dishwashers can have different types of filters, including:

  1. Self-cleaning filters: These filters have a grinder or disposal mechanism that pulverizes the food particles, eliminating the need for manual cleaning.
  2. Manual filters: These filters require periodic manual cleaning to remove food debris and maintain optimal performance.

It’s important to check your dishwasher’s user manual or manufacturer’s instructions to determine the type of filter your appliance has and the recommended cleaning procedure.

Step-by-step guide

Follow these steps to remove and clean the dishwasher filter:

Step 1: Turn off the dishwasher

Before starting any maintenance work, ensure that your dishwasher is completely turned off. This will prevent any accidents or injuries while working on the appliance.

Step 2: Remove the lower rack

The dishwasher filter is typically located at the bottom of the appliance, beneath the lower rack. Pull the lower rack out until it is fully extended and set it aside.

Step 3: Locate the filter

Once the lower rack is removed, you can easily access the dishwasher filter. It is usually situated near the back or center of the dishwasher’s base.

Step 4: Remove the filter

Gently lift or twist the filter to remove it from its housing. Be careful not to force it or use excessive pressure, as this can cause damage.

Step 5: Clean the filter

Rinse the filter under warm water to remove loose debris. Use a soft brush or toothbrush to scrub away any stubborn residue. Avoid using harsh abrasives or chemicals that could damage the filter.

Step 6: Reinstall the filter

After cleaning the filter, carefully place it back into its original position in the dishwasher. Ensure that it fits securely and is properly aligned. Check for any signs of damage or wear and replace the filter if necessary.

Step 7: Put back the lower rack

Slide the lower rack back into the dishwasher, positioning it correctly on the tracks. Ensure that it glides smoothly and sits evenly. Double-check that the filter is not obstructed by any items or dishes in the lower rack.

Step 8: Turn on the dishwasher

With the filter cleaned and securely in place, it’s time to turn on your dishwasher. Select the appropriate wash cycle and start the machine. Observe the dishwasher during the cycle to ensure there are no leaks or issues.

do dishwashers really clean

Maintenance tips

To keep your dishwasher running smoothly and avoid future filter clogs, consider the following maintenance tips:

  1. Regularly check and clean the dishwasher filter at least once a month or as recommended by the manufacturer.
  2. Scrape off excess food from dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. This will help prevent larger food particles from reaching the filter.
  3. Use a dishwasher cleaner or descaler periodically to remove mineral buildup and keep the dishwasher interior clean.
  4. Inspect the spray arms for any clogs or obstructions. Clean them if necessary to ensure proper water circulation.
  5. Avoid overloading the dishwasher, as it can put strain on the filter and affect the cleaning performance.

How often should I clean my dishwasher filter?

It is recommended to clean your dishwasher filter at least once a month to prevent clogs and maintain optimal performance.

Can I use regular soap or detergent to clean the dishwasher filter?

No, it’s best to avoid using regular soap or detergent on the filter. Rinse it with warm water and use a soft brush or toothbrush for stubborn residue.

What if I can’t find the dishwasher filter in my appliance?

Refer to your dishwasher’s user manual or contact the manufacturer for specific instructions on locating and cleaning the filter.

Is it necessary to remove the lower rack before cleaning the filter?

Yes, removing the lower rack provides easier access to the filter, making the cleaning process more convenient.

Are dishwasher filters universal, or do they vary by brand?

Dishwasher filters can vary by brand and model. Consult your appliance’s manual or manufacturer’s instructions to identify the specific filter type and cleaning procedure.


Cleaning the dishwasher filter is a simple yet essential task to maintain optimal dishwasher performance. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can easily remove and clean the filter, ensuring your dishwasher continues to work efficiently and provide you with spotless dishes.

Remember, regular maintenance and cleaning not only improve dishwasher performance but also extend its lifespan. So, make it a habit to keep your dishwasher filter clean and enjoy hassle-free dishwashing for years to come.

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