Home Repair 101: How to Clean Your Dishwasher Filters

Dishwashers bring convenience into homes, helping many of us take care of cleaning while we focus our attention elsewhere. In theory, our dishwashers would clean themselves while they cycle, right? Not exactly. Food chunks and particles which are extracted by the hot water jets trickle down and into the filters. Both sit at the bottom of the washer, separating food particles into both a flat and cylindrical tube filter.  

It is important to clean your dishwasher’s filters once a month as food can build up and clog up your washer, meaning your dishes might come out dirty and stained.   

Here are the steps to thoroughly clean out your dishwasher filters: 

  1. Open your dishwasher and remove the bottom rack in order to access the bottom of the dishwasher. 
  1. Next, remove the dishwasher spray arm by grabbing it slowly and twisting it counter-clockwise to the left. It should pop off after a twist. This is necessary if the arm is covering your access to the cylinder filter. 
  1. Now, remove the cylindrical filter by grabbing it firmly and twisting it to the left to unlock, then lift it up and out. 
  1. A secondary flat filter that collects larger debris should be found right below that. This is not locked, so simply lift it up and out of the dishwasher to clean. 
  1. Rinse both filters in the sink under a stream of water and clean with a brush or sponge to remove all debris.   
  1. Before reinstalling the filters, it is helpful to check for any food debris where the filters were and clean the area if necessary. To reassemble the filters, simply set the large filter down and align with the two plastic tabs until it sits flat again on the bottom of the washer. 
  1. Lower the cylindrical filter back into its place, rotating it until it falls back into place. Then give it a final twist to lock it into place. 
  1. Set the spray arm down into its place, and twist it to the right to lock it into place. Lastly, place the lower rack back into the dishwasher, making sure the wheels align with the track, which will allow it to roll into place smoothly. 

By following these simple steps to clean your filters, your next batch of dirty dishes will come out sparkling clean. To learn additional home maintenance tips to extend the longevity of your appliances, subscribe to receive monthly newsletters!   

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