Nobody likes a dirty dishwasher, especially when it starts to smell bad. Not only is it unsanitary and unappetizing, but a dirty dishwasher can also shorten the life of your appliance.

Aside from the smell, a dirty dishwasher can also cause a clogged drain, damaging furniture or appliances. Regularly cleaning the dishwasher drain is a great way to prevent potential problems and keep it running smoothly.

It is a quick and easy process that only takes a few minutes. In this article, we’ll show you how to do it using just a few simple ways and tools. So, let’s start!

5 Easy Steps on How To Clean Dishwasher Drain

Here are five straightforward methods you can use on how to clean dishwasher drain:

#1: Cleaning The Drain Filter

dishwasher drain cleaning

The first step is to remove the dishwasher filter. This is usually located at the bottom of the dishwasher.

  • Start with an empty dishwasher and locate the filter. Then clean the surrounding area with a damp cloth. You can put a few drops of dishwasher solution on the wet cloth to help dissolve any residue.
  • The next step is to unscrew the filter and remove it from the drain. You can read the dishwasher manual to see if there’s a specific way to remove the filter. Usually, four screws need to be loosened.
  • Once you’ve removed the filter, shake off any debris and dirt that might be stuck to it. Then, place it in a bowl of hot water with some dishwashing liquid and let it sit for a few minutes.
  • After that, rinse off the filter with clean water and wipe it dry with a clean cloth.
  • Return the filter to the dishwasher and secure it tightly with the screws.

#2: Clearing The Garbage Disposal

Another important step in cleaning the dishwasher drain is clearing out any garbage disposal debris.

  • The first step is to turn off the power to the dishwasher and the garbage disposal. Then, use a flashlight to look for any large chunks of food or debris that might be stuck in the drain.
  • You can use a long stick or even a wire hanger to dislodge the chunks of food. After that, you can rinse the garbage disposal with warm water to eliminate any remaining debris.
  • Finally, return the dishwasher to its original position and secure it with the screws.

#3: Cleaning The Drain Hose

The drain hose is the part of the dishwasher that connects it to the kitchen sink drain line. You’ll need to clean this hose from time to time in order to prevent clogs and blockages.

  • Start by disconnecting one end of the dishwasher hose and the other from the kitchen sink.
  • Place a bucket underneath the hose to catch any water that might come out. Once you have the hose disconnected, inspect it for any signs of blockages.
  • If you find any, use a wire hanger or pipe cleaner to remove them. You can also use a vacuum cleaner to suck out any debris.
  • Inspect the hose for any cracks or tears, and replace it if needed. Once you’re done, reconnect the drain hose and secure it with the screws.

#4: Checking and Cleaning The Air Gap

The air gap is a small device that’s placed on the kitchen counters beside the faucet. Its purpose is to prevent wastewater from flowing back into the dishwasher.

  • You can easily know if the air gap is clogged because the wastewater will flow out of the air gap instead of into the drain.
  • To clean the air gap, start by removing the cap with a screwdriver and emptying out any debris that might be stuck inside.
  • Then, use an old toothbrush or pipe cleaner to remove any dirt or food debris. Once you’ve cleared the debris, reattach the cap and ensure it is secured tightly.

#5: Using A Baking Soda Solution

baking soda solution

You can use a baking soda solution if the dishwasher doesn’t drain properly. You can pour it at the last step of the process mentioned above or do it once a week as a preventative measure.

  • To make a homemade drain cleaner, mix one cup of baking soda with two cups of warm water in a bowl. You can also add vinegar for extra cleaning power.
  • Pour this mixture into the dishwasher and run a full cycle. The baking soda will help loosen any food particles stuck in the drain and will also help eliminate any bad odours.
  • Once the cycle is complete, make sure to wipe down any visible surfaces inside the dishwasher with a damp cloth.


Cleaning the dishwasher drain is an essential part of maintaining a healthy kitchen. By following these steps, you can ensure that your dishwasher remains in top condition and will continue working properly.

For unfortunate instances where your dishwasher needs repair and upgrade, it is best to call a professional. They can help determine the cause of any clogged dishwasher drain and provide solutions for any necessary repairs or replacements.

Quality Appliance Repair is the best place to go for all your appliance repair needs in Australia. We have networks of technicians all over the country with decades of experience.

To learn more or to schedule a consultation, repair, or installation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us using the contact details provided below:

Contact us today and let our team help you with your dishwasher needs!

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