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How To Drain A Dishwasher: A Step-by-Step Guide

We’ve all been there – unloading the dishwasher only to find that the water hasn’t drained away as it should.

Whether you have dirty dishwater filling up your sink or standing water at the bottom of your machine, it’s important to know how to properly drain a dishwasher in order to keep your dishes clean and your kitchen dry.

In this article, we’ll take you through the steps on how to drain a dishwasher. In the end, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to tackle a dishwasher drainage problem like a pro.

7 Steps on How To Drain A Dishwasher

draining a dishwasher

There are several steps you’ll need to take to drain a dishwasher properly. While the exact process may vary depending on your dishwasher model, these seven steps should guide you:

Step #1: Soak up any standing water and check for clogs.

The first step to unclogging your dishwasher is to remove as much water from it as you can. Use a sponge or towel to soak up the water, and if there’s a lot of it, use a cup or bowl to empty it out.

Step #2: Check the garbage disposal

If your dishwasher is still not draining, try running the garbage disposal. This will help to break up any clogs in the drain line.

To do this, turn on the garbage disposal and let it run for a few minutes to clear any food debris. Next, turn on the dishwasher and see if the water drains properly. If it doesn’t, there may be a blockage in the drain hose. If you find any blockages, use a wire hanger or pliers to remove them.

Step #3: Inspect the air gap and clean it if required.

The air gap is a small, raised knob located next to the sink faucet. It allows fresh air to enter the dishwasher and prevents dirty water from flowing backward into the sink.

An air gap can be clogged with food particles and other debris, which will prevent your dishwasher from draining properly. To clean it, remove the cap and twist the air gap open counterclockwise.

In case there’s debris blocking the air gap, use a toothbrush, tweezers or a straightened wire hanger to clear it. Screw the cap back on and check if your dishwasher drains properly.

Step #4: Check the dishwasher drain hose for any blockages.

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

First, inspect the drain hose for any visible signs of damage. Make sure it is connected properly to the sink and dishwasher and that there are no kinks in the hose. You may need to replace the drain hose if it is loose or damaged.

Step #5: Clean the dishwasher filter

cleaning the dishwasher drain filter

The dishwasher drain filter’s main purpose is to catch food and other debris so that your dishwasher doesn’t get clogged. The filter is located under the lower spray arm inside the dishwasher tub.

If your dishwasher filter is dirty, it can prevent your dishwasher from draining 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.

When you remove the lower spray arm, take the opportunity to clean other areas nearby. Using a toothbrush or other cleaning tool, scrub away any buildup from the drain hole, spray arm, and drain valve.

Step #6: Ensure the dishwasher drain pump is working properly.

The drain pump is responsible for moving water from the dishwasher into the designated drainage pipe. In order to gain access to the drain pump, you first have to remove the dishwasher kickplate. The kickplate is located at the bottom of your dishwasher, and it covers up the drain pump.

After you take off the kickplate, remove the drain pump and clean it with a toothbrush or other cleaning agent. Then, screw the drain pump back in place. If your dishwasher still isn’t draining properly and you believe that the drain pump is to blame, replace it.

Step #7: Consider reaching out to appliance technicians

how to drain a dishwasher

After following the steps listed above, and your dishwasher is still not draining water properly, it is time to consult a professional. A qualified technician will be able to diagnose the problem and resolve it efficiently.

If you need a repair technician for your dishwasher. Look no further than Nationwide Appliance Repair. We are an Australian-wide appliance repair company that offers certified and experienced technicians who can repair all major brands of dishwashers. Our services are high-quality but won’t break the bank.

For repairs or more information, please schedule a call with us or click on the “Contact us” text at the top of this page. Our customer service representative will be happy to help you.


A dishwasher that functions well is a sign of an effective household, so be sure to take care of your dishwasher and fix any issues immediately.

If the dishwasher still won’t drain after you’ve completed all of the steps above, it’s time to get professional help. Contact us at Nationwide Appliance Repair or search for an appliance repair service near you.

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