It’s happened to all of us. We unload the dishwasher and notice that the water hasn’t drained completely.

Maybe the sink is full of dirty dishwater, or there’s water standing at the bottom of the dishwasher. In any case, you need to know how to drain a dishwasher properly so that your dishes come out clean and your kitchen stays dry.

In this article, we’ll show you how to fix a dishwasher that isn’t draining properly. We’ll walk you through the steps to diagnose the problem and fix it yourself. So let’s get started!

Step-by-Step Instructions on How To Drain A Dishwasher

There are a few different reasons why your dishwasher might not be draining properly. Follow these steps to figure out what the problem is and how to fix it.

Step #1: Soak the standing water and check for blockage

The first step is to remove as much water from the dishwasher as possible. Open the dishwasher door and start to soak the water with a sponge or towel. If there is a lot of water, use a cup or bowl, and empty it out.

Next, check the dishwasher drain for any blockage. See if food debris, grease, or other debris is causing a clog. If you find anything, remove it so the water can flow freely.

Step #2: Run the garbage disposal

If your dishwasher is still not draining properly, the next step is to run the garbage disposal. This will help to break up any clogs and allow the water to drain more easily.

To do this, turn on the garbage disposal and let it run for a few minutes. Then, turn on the dishwasher and see if the water drains properly.

Step #3: Check the air gap and clean it if necessary

The air gap is a raised cylinder or knob located next to the sink faucet. It allows air to enter the dishwasher and helps to prevent dirty water from flowing back into the sink.

If the air gap is clogged, it can cause your dishwasher to not drain properly. To clean it, unscrew the cap and open the air gap counterclockwise.

Use a toothbrush, tweezers, or straightened wire hanger to remove any debris. Once the air gap is clear, screw the cap back on and see if the dishwasher drains properly.

Step #4: Inspect the dishwasher drain hose

The drain hose is the black or white rubber hose that connects the dishwasher to the sink drain. If this hose is damaged, kinked, or not properly connected, it can cause your dishwasher not to drain properly.

First, check to see if the drain hose is kinked. If it is, straighten it out so the water can flow through more easily.

Next, check the connection between the dishwasher and the drain hose. Make sure that it is tight and not leaking. You may need to replace the drain hose if it is loose or damaged.

Step #5: Clean out the dishwasher filter

The dishwasher drain filter is located under the lower spray arm. It helps to catch food and other debris so that it doesn’t clog up the dishwasher.

If the dishwasher filter is dirty, it can cause your dishwasher not to drain properly. To clean it, remove the lower spray arm and unscrew the filter. Rinse off the filter with water and put it back in place.

You can also clean the surrounding areas while removing the lower spray arm. Use a toothbrush or other cleaning tool to remove any buildup from the drain hole, spray arm, drain valve, and other areas.

Step #6: Check the dishwasher drain pump

If your dishwasher still isn’t draining properly, the next step is to check the drain pump. The drain pump helps to move water from the dishwasher into the drain pipe.

To access the drain pump, you will need to remove the dishwasher kickplate. This is the panel at the bottom of your dishwasher that covers the drain pump.

Once you have removed the kickplate, unscrew the drain pump and clean it with a toothbrush or other cleaning tool. Reattach the drain pump and screw it in place. If the dishwasher is still not draining properly and you think the drain pump is the issue, then you may need to replace it.

Step #7: Call a professional

If you have followed all the steps above and your dishwasher is still not draining properly, it’s time to call a professional. A qualified technician can diagnose the problem and fix it quickly.

If you are in need of a dishwasher repair technician, we recommend calling Quality Appliance Repair. We are an Australian-wide appliance repair company that offers high-quality service at an affordable price. Our network of technicians is certified and experienced in repairing all major brands of dishwashers.

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:

We hope to assist you soon with your dishwasher needs!


A perfectly working dishwasher is a sign of a well-functioning household. So make sure to take proper care of your dishwasher and fix any issues as soon as possible.

If you have followed all the steps above and your dishwasher still isn’t draining properly, then it’s time to call an appliance repair specialist for help. And if you’re thinking about replacing it instead of repairing, check out this blog post: Is It Better To Repair Or Replace A Dishwasher?, it has more info that might help you decide.

Same Day Repair* and 12 Month Parts Warranty -All Brands, Affordable Prices

Call a Local Appliance Tech Now

Google Rating
Based on 1381 reviews