Dishwashers make our lives so much easier. They dramatically speed up the process of cleaning after meals and allow us to get on with other things in the meantime. But dishwashers are not magical machines, and they require some maintenance if you want sparkling clean dishes. Food particles and scraps, dirt, and bacteria all gather in your dishwasher filter over time. This is where it can start to smell and cause problems. The best way to keep your dishwasher working well is to regularly clean your filter.
In this article, we take you through a step-by-step guide to cleaning your dishwasher filter, as well as offering some tips and tricks on how to achieve the best cleaning results.
Where Is A Dishwasher Filter Located?
A dishwasher filter is usually found at the bottom of the machine, beneath the rotating spray-arm.
It’s important that you check out the instructions for your particular model when buying one.
Some filters may be removable, while others will need to be replaced every few months.
What Types Of Dishwasher Filters Are There?
There are two types of dishwasher filter: a disposable filter and a reusable filter.
Disposable filters cost less money, but they don’t last very long. Reusable filters are made from polypropylene plastic and can last several years.
These are recommended by many manufacturers.
Reusable filters are either self-cleaning or manual cleaning.
Self-cleaning filters clean themselves, operating much like a garbage disposal. They have an in-built grinder that breaks up larger food scraps.
However, these self-cleaning filters are rather noisy and have largely been replaced by quieter manual cleaning filters in recent years.
These manual cleaning filters require hand washing by you.
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How Do I Know When My Dishwasher Filter Needs Changing/Cleaning?
If there is an odor coming from your dishwasher, it could be because your filter has become clogged.
You should also see a build-up of food particles around the drain hole. This is a sure sign that your filter needs cleaning (or changing, if it is a disposable filter).
Another sign that your dishwasher needs cleaning is if your glassware and dishes are not coming out sparkling.
If glassware looks murky after a wash cycle and crockery has bits of food encrusted onto it, it is likely that your filter is unclean and blocked by grit and food particles.
How Often Should I Clean My Dishwasher Filter?
We recommend cleaning your self-cleaning filter once a month to get rid of food particles that may have built up.
Don’t just clean the filter, either. Give the whole unit a solid once-over while you’re there.
You should clean your manual clean filter once a month by removing it from the dishwasher and cleaning it by hand.
How Do I Clean My Self Cleaning Dishwasher Filter?
- Ensure that your dishwasher is empty and that no dishes or cutlery are in the trays and racks
- Pour a solution of white vinegar and baking soda into the well of the dishwasher, and add a dishwasher cleaning tablet.
- Run the empty dishwasher through a special 'cleaning cycle'.
- Once the cleaning cycle has finished, allow the dishwasher to rinse away the cleaning solution and white vinegar to drain fully
- Now your self cleaning filter will be refreshed and ready to use as normal.
How Do I Clean My Manual Clean Dishwasher Filter?
- To clean your manual filter and remove pieces of food that may have built up, you will first need to remove the filter from the dishwasher tub by reaching into the base and lifting the basket up and out.
- Next, fill the kitchen sink with hot, soapy water until it is about half full.
- Empty any residue, grit, bits of food, and scraps that have gathered in the filter basket into the garbage bin.
- Plunge the filter basket and filter shield into the kitchen sink, and use a wire brush to loosen and remove dirt and particles that are caught in the netting.
- Once the filter is clean, leave it to drain.
- Now is a great time to check your dish rack, spray arms, and walls of your dishwasher and remove any food remnants and food debris with warm water and a damp cloth.
- You can now replace your filter in the base of your machine and run the dishwasher through a dishwasher cycle to rinse it.
How Do I Change My Disposable Dishwasher Filter?
- If you have removed your dishwasher filter, then you will first need to empty it. Then, remove any remaining items from the filter basket before placing it into the sink. Be sure to rinse it thoroughly.
- Next, turn off the power supply to the unit. Next, unscrew the top panel of the dishwasher.
- Remove the access cover by gently pulling it upwards. Now, lift the front panel and slide it forwards. Finally, pull out the old filter. Replace it with the new one.
- If you find that removing the filter is difficult, then use a pair of pliers to help pry it free. Once the filter is installed, replace the access cover and secure it back in place.
- Finally, reconnect the power supply and test the dishwasher once more.
How Can I Prevent My Dishwasher From Clogging Up?
There are some things you can do to prevent your dishwasher from becoming clogged.
- Firstly, ensure that all of your utensils and glasses are rinsed properly before placing them into the dishwasher. Rinsing is the single most effective way of preventing food waste and foreign objects from entering your filter system.
- Secondly, avoid overfilling your dishwasher when you run cycles. An overly packed dishwasher will produce a greater amount of dirt and gritty residue, which stands to overwhelm the filter system.
- Whereas, a sensibly filled dishwasher will produce a proportionate amount of dirt for the filter to cope with.
- Thirdly, remove and clean your filter regularly, not only when it has become clogged.
- By staying on top of the cleaning of your filter, you avoid allowing dirt and food particles to build up to a detrimental amount.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you don't clean your dishwasher filter, food from your dishes will build up in the filter and result in dirty water, unsanitary conditions, a funky smell, and a less efficient cleaning cycle.
Fill a dishwasher-safe bowl with 1 cup of white vinegar and place it on the bottom of the empty dishwasher.
Set the dishwasher to run on a hot water cycle. The vinegar will break down any remaining bits of food, grease, soap scum, residue, and any other leftover grime.
If your dishwasher is not washing the top rack, it may be due to low water pressure, a clogged spray arm, or a broken spray arm seal.
Low water pressure may be caused by too many appliances being run, a kink in the dishwasher hose, or the filter compartment becoming clogged.
If you feel like your dishes are greasy after being washed in the dishwasher, there are generally two causes.
The first is that the detergent isn't properly removing grease from your dishes, and the second is that the water isn't hot enough to remove the grease.
Dishwashers are an essential part of modern life. They make our lives easier, cleaner, and much less stressful.
However, they also come with their own set of problems. The biggest problem being that they tend to collect a lot of dirt and grime, which can cause serious damage to the internal components.
This means that it’s important to keep your dishwasher filter clean to keep it running efficiently and effectively.