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How To Clean Dishwasher Filter

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Is your dishwasher letting you down? You trust the dishwasher to clean and sterilize your dishes. Did you know there is a filter inside your dishwasher akin to a dryer filter? Common sense leads you to believe that when you wash the dishes you are cleaning the inside of your machine as well. Most people don’t realize that in the bottom of the dishwasher is a festering pool of mineral deposits, food bacteria, and greasy film. . . .

I certainty didn’t until I started researching this article. I sprinkle a little bleach on the silverware when I run the wash. What a difference I noticed the inside of the machine looked like new. The dishes sparkle without hand drying and the plastics come out stain free. Little did I know what was brewing below.

Our machine seemed to be draining slowly. There wasn’t anything obvious in the bottom of the dishwasher so we took the hose off under the sink and blew it out with the air compressor. Gritty calcium blew up like a fountain on the Fourth of July. OK, some more investigating was needed.

On the bottom of the machine is a PVC screw that holds the water spray arm onto the base plate. Remove spray arm and pull up base plate to expose basin where water pump is that removes dirty water from machine. Be prepared this isn’t for the faint of heart!


Once you have it disassembled vacuum out all the loose debris then soak with vinegar to dissolve the rest of the grit. While that is soaking gently scrub the rest of pieces with vinegar and a scrub brush. Remove the spray arm from the base then you can lift up the filter. Carefully clean and reassemble.


Do NOT attempt to remove upper spray arms. You shouldn’t need to and they are not designed to be removed. The dishwasher filter is going to be on my regular checklist.

If your filter has already been cleaned and you want the Inside of the dishwasher to sparkle, check out these Money Saving Dishwasher Tips !

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / lightwavemedia

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2 thoughts on “How To Clean Dishwasher Filter”

  1. eewwww! and here i was, thinking my dishwasher was just a cheap piece of junk…i will definitely be taking mine apart tonight and cleaning it! thanks!!

  2. i wondered if there was another way to clean the dishwasher besides pouring expensive cleaners (that claim to do the job) down the drain. we will have to see if this is the problem with our dishwasher.


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