Maintenance & Care \ Dishwashers \ How to Clean a Dishwasher Filter

How to Clean a Dishwasher Filter

Even though some dishwashers don’t have a filter, most modern models do. For a dishwasher to function correctly, the dishwasher filter may require occasional cleaning. If your dishwasher doesn’t have a self-cleaning feature, you’ll want to do it manually.
If you notice that your dishwasher’s performance is significantly reduced or that your dishes aren’t getting cleaned as well, it’s probably time to figure out how to clean the dishwasher filter. This guide will describe all of the steps involved in detail.

When Should You Clean Your Dishwasher Filter?

Cleaning your dishwasher filter is neither overly complicated nor time-consuming. As mentioned, the first clue that it’s time to clean the dishwasher filter may be that the dishwasher just isn’t working as well as it used to.
Food remnants are still visible on your dishes after a cycle when they would have been removed before. Plus, they’re not as sparkly after washing and there’s an obvious grittiness to them. Also, if you’ve never cleaned the dishwasher filter before or if it has been a while, it’s likely a good idea to do it now.

How to Clean a Dishwasher Filter

Once you’ve decided that it’s time to clean your dishwasher filter, there’s a series of steps to follow, which starts with locating the dishwasher filter in the first place.
The discovery of your dishwasher filter location begins with removing the lower dish rack. The filter is usually in the back corner of the tub (the bottom part of the dishwater interior). Alternatively, you may find it near the base of the bottom spray arm.
Now, to remove your dishwasher filter, turn the filter (or the upper filter, if your dishwasher has a two-part filter) a quarter-turn clockwise to loosen it. This will enable you to take it out slowly. After that, do the same for the lower filter, raising it slightly at first before pulling it forward and slowly taking it out.

Onto the main event. Place your dishwasher filters, one at a time, under running water until all the debris and dirt is gone. For stubborn food particles, you may have to soak the filter in warm water first.

If it’s been a while since the last cleaning, you might have to use a soft brush to gently scrub off the calcium deposits. Avoid using a wire brush or anything that can damage the dishwasher filter.

With your dishwasher filters properly cleaned, it’s time to put them back in your dishwasher. Here is how to do it:

  1. First, return the lower filter to the bottom of the tub. Make sure to insert it all the way or the upper filter is not going to fit.
  2. Now, put the upper filter back into the opening.
  3. Turn the upper filter clockwise to lock it in place. If the upper filter is still loose and you can move it around, that means it’s not correctly installed.
  4. Follow the arrows for the upper and lower filter for guidance. Also, keep in mind that not all dishwasher models will have the same instructions and you may have to consult the owner’s manual.

How Frequently Should You Clean Your Dishwasher Filter?

Once you know your way around it, cleaning your dishwasher filter takes just a few minutes.

That’s assuming that you’ve committed to regular maintenance. If not, it may only get harder to clean. Follow these guidelines on how often you should clean the dishwasher filter, depending on how you use the dishwasher itself.

Washing Before Loading

If you hand wash your dishes first, it’s enough to clean the dishwasher filter once a year, assuming that you use it up to 14 loads per week.

Only Scraping Before Loading

If you only scrape the dishes before loading and you run 1-7 loads per week, then cleaning the filter twice a year is advised.
But if you operate 8-14 loads a week, clean the filter every three months.

Scraping and Rinsing Before Loading

In this case, cleaning the filter once a year is sufficient for 1-7 loads of dishes per week.
For 8-14 loads per week, twice a year is advised.

No Scraping or Rinsing Before Loading

If you simply throw your dishes into the dishwasher, that naturally means having to clean the dishwasher filter more frequently.
If you run 1-3 loads per week, you’ll have to clean the filter every two months or so.
For 4-7 loads, clean the filter once per month.
For 8-12 loads, clean the filter every other week.
Finally, for 13-14 loads, cleaning once a week is recommended.

Getting Your Dishwasher to Perform at Its Best

If you’re not fond of cleaning your dishwasher filter manually and you have an appliance from the Whirlpool family of brands, consider ordering a professional service by contacting The Appliance Pros.

However, if you use your dishwasher very often, that might turn out to be a costly habit. It’s likely that after you try to clean the dishwasher filter once on your own, you’ll see how simple and easy it can be. Not only that, but it’s necessary to ensure that the dishwasher performs at its best.
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