A dishwasher is a great appliance in your home, but if the drain becomes clogged, it can be a real headache.

If your dishwasher isn’t draining properly, it can cause water damage to your floors and cabinets and can even lead to an overflowing dishwasher.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps on how to unclog a dishwasher drain and get your appliance back up and running again. We will also provide some tips on preventing this from happening in the future.

8 DIY Steps To Unclog a Dishwasher Drain

Here are the easy steps you can take to unclog your dishwasher drain:

Step #1. Removing Your Dishes

The first step is to remove all of the dishes from your dishwasher. You will need to access the drain to clear the clog, and this can be done more efficiently without dishes in the way.

Step #2. Checking The Garbage Disposal

If your dishwasher drains into a garbage disposal, you will want to check to see if the disposal is clogged. If it is, you will need to clear the clog before proceeding.

Step #3. Disconnecting The Power Source

After you have cleared the dishes and checked the garbage disposal (if applicable), the next step is to disconnect the power source from your dishwasher. This can usually be done by unplugging the unit from the wall outlet.

Step #4. Removing The Water Inside The Dishwasher

Once the power is disconnected, you will need to remove the water inside the dishwasher. This can be done by using a sponge or other absorbent material to soak up the water and then wringing it out into a sink or bucket.

Other tools, such as a wet/dry vacuum or drain pump, can also be used to remove the water. You can also mix hot water and baking soda into the standing water to help break down the clog. For more information on how to drain your dishwasher, check out this blog: How To Drain A Dishwasher: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step #5. Checking and Cleaning the Filter

The next step is to check and clean the dishwasher filter. The filter is usually located near the bottom of the dishwasher and can become clogged with food and other debris. If you can’t locate the filter, check the user manual for your specific dishwasher model.

Step #6. Cleaning The Dishwasher Drain Hose

After the filter has been cleaned, the next step is to clean the drain hose. The drain hose is under the sink and can become clogged with debris over time.

You will need to disconnect the drain hose from the dishwasher and then clean it with a brush or other cleaning tool. Once the drain hose is clear, you can reattach it to the dishwasher.

Step #7. Cleaning The Sink’s Air Gap

The next step is to clean the sink air gap. If you don’t have a garbage disposal, the dishwasher will have an air gap installed under the sink. It is a small, slotted cylinder that allows air to enter the dishwasher while draining.

The air gap can become clogged with debris, preventing the dishwasher from draining properly. You will need a brush or other cleaning tool to clean out the air gap.

Step #8. Running The Dishwasher Through A Cycle

Once you have completed all the above steps, you can run the dishwasher through a cycle to test it out. If the dishwasher is still not draining properly, you may need to call a professional for help.

Tips To Prevent Clogged Dishwasher Drain

To prevent your dishwasher drain from becoming clogged, there are a few things you can do:

  • Run the dishwasher regularly, even if there aren’t many dishes to wash. This will help to prevent food and other debris from building up in the drain.
  • Don’t overload the dishwasher. This can cause food and other debris to build up and eventually clog the drain.
  • Clean the dishwasher regularly. You can use a vinegar solution to clean the interior of the dishwasher and help prevent clogs.
  • Use a drain strainer. A drain strainer can help to catch food and other debris before it has a chance to enter the drain.


A clogged dishwasher drain can be a prominent annoyance. However, by cleaning your dishwasher regularly and using a drain strainer, you can help prevent this problem from occurring.

If your dishwasher does become clogged, you can use the above steps to clear the clog and get your dishwasher working again. However, if the clog is severe, you may need to call an appliance repair professional for help.

Quality Appliance Repair will be able to help you with any dishwasher repair needs that you may have. We have networks of qualified and experienced appliance repair technicians throughout Australia who can provide you with fast and affordable service.

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:

Give us a call today to book an appointment!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put Drano in a dishwasher to unclog it?

Drano is a product that is designed to unclog drains. However, it is not recommended to always use Drano in a dishwasher to unclog it because of the corrosive nature of the product.

Why do I have standing water in my dishwasher drain?

If you have standing water in your dishwasher drain, it is likely because the drain is clogged. You will need to clear the clog from the drain to fix this problem.

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