Why Does Water Stay in the Bottom of the Dishwasher

When you open your dishwasher after a cycle and find a pool of water at the bottom, it can be a bit perplexing. After all, isn’t the purpose of a dishwasher to wash and drain dishes efficiently? In this article, we’re going to delve into the reasons behind why water sometimes remains in the bottom of the dishwasher, even after it has completed its cleaning cycle. We’ll explore common causes and potential solutions to this issue, ensuring you have a clearer understanding of how to keep your dishwasher functioning optimally.

Understanding the Drainage Process

Before we dive into the reasons why water might be lingering in your dishwasher, let’s first grasp the basic drainage process. Dishwashers are designed to thoroughly clean your dishes by spraying them with water and detergent. Once the cleaning cycle is complete, the dirty water is supposed to be drained out, leaving your dishes sparkling clean.

Common Causes of Water Pooling

  1. Clogged Filter or Drain: One of the primary reasons for standing water in the dishwasher is a clogged filter or drain. Over time, food particles, debris, and even mineral deposits can accumulate in these components, obstructing the flow of water. This blockage can prevent the dishwasher from draining properly.
  2. Air Gap Issues: The air gap is a crucial component that prevents wastewater from flowing back into your dishwasher. If the air gap becomes clogged, water can’t drain efficiently, leading to water accumulation.
  3. Faulty Drain Pump: The drain pump is responsible for expelling water from the dishwasher. A malfunctioning pump can hinder the drainage process, causing water to pool at the bottom.

Solutions to Address the Issue

  1. Regular Maintenance: To prevent clogs, make it a habit to clean the dishwasher’s filter and drain regularly. Remove any debris or food particles that may be obstructing proper drainage.
  2. Check the Air Gap: Inspect the air gap and clean it if necessary. Ensure that it’s positioned correctly and not obstructed by any objects.
  3. Inspect the Drain Hose: Ensure that the drain hose isn’t kinked or twisted, as this can impede the flow of water. If you find any issues, consider replacing the hose.
  4. Examine the Drain Pump: If you suspect a faulty drain pump, it’s advisable to call a professional technician to diagnose and fix the problem. Replacing the drain pump might be necessary.


Q1: Is it normal to have a little water at the bottom of the dishwasher after a cycle?

A1: Yes, a small amount of water at the bottom is usually normal, as it helps prevent the seals from drying out.

Q2: Can I use a store-bought drain cleaner in my dishwasher?

A2: It’s not recommended, as these cleaners can damage the dishwasher’s components. Stick to manufacturer-approved cleaning methods.

Q3: How often should I clean the dishwasher’s filter?

A3: Cleaning the filter once a month is generally a good practice to maintain proper drainage.

Q4: What can I do to prevent mineral buildup in my dishwasher?

A4: Using a dishwasher cleaner designed to remove mineral deposits can help prevent buildup and improve drainage.

Q5: Is standing water a sign of a major problem?

A5: Not necessarily. Often, simple maintenance and cleaning can resolve the issue. If problems persist, consult a professional.


While finding water pooled at the bottom of your dishwasher can be frustrating, it’s a common issue with various potential causes. Regular maintenance and addressing clogs and malfunctions promptly can help ensure your dishwasher works efficiently. By following the solutions and tips outlined in this article, you can keep your dishwasher in top condition and enjoy spotless dishes after every cycle.

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