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How To Unclog A Dishwasher Drain

Clogged dishwasher drains are a common problem and can be a real hassle to deal with. 

If your dishwasher drain is clogged, it can cause water to back up and overflow, leading to serious water damage.

In this article, we will show you how to unclog a dishwasher drain using simple household items. We will also provide tips on how to prevent your dishwasher drain from becoming clogged in the first place.

8 Steps on How To Unclog a Dishwasher Drain

how to unclog a dishwasher drain

Don’t let a clogged dishwasher drain slow you down! Follow these simple ways to clear it out quickly:

#1. Unplugging The Power Source

The first step in unclogging your dishwasher drain is to unplug the power source. This will ensure that the dishwasher won’t be running while you work on it, and you can avoid any potential electric shocks or accidents.

#2. Taking Out The Dishes

After the power supply turns off, remove all of the dishes from your dishwasher. This will allow you to access the drain more easily and help to make sure that any debris or buildup is cleared away.

#3. Assessing Your Garbage Disposal For Any Issues

If you have a garbage disposal, you’ll need to check if that is the source of your clogged dishwasher drain. If it is, use a pair of pliers to remove any debris or buildup around the blades and clean out the chamber of your disposal.

#4. Extracting The Water Inside Your Dishwasher

You will need to get rid of the water inside your dishwasher in order to unclog it. If you do not have a wet/dry vacuum, you can use a bucket and sponge to absorb the water. Be sure to pay attention to where the water is flowing out of the dishwasher in case it is a sign of a more serious issue.

#5. Checking and Cleaning the Filter

dishwasher filter

Now it’s time to examine and clean the dishwasher filter. It is generally positioned close to the bottom of your dishwasher, where food particles and other messes can easily become lodged in it. If you cannot locate the filter, consult your appliance manual for guidance on locating it in relation to your specific model.

#6. Cleaning The Drain Hose

Once you have cleaned the filter, it’s time to take a look at the dishwasher drain hose. Locate the drain hose and use a damp cloth or a vacuum cleaner to remove any debris or buildup from it.

You can also remove the hose from the dishwasher and check for any blockages in the pipe. If you detect a blockage, use a plumbing snake to dislodge it.

#7. Checking The Sink Air Gap

If there is an air gap in the sink, you should check it to see if there are any blockages. The air gap is a cylinder-shaped device that is installed on the sink to prevent backflow from entering your dishwasher. It is located beside your sink faucet and should be easy to spot.

Open the cap of the air gap and clear away any debris that may be clogging it. Use a plumbing snake or a wire hanger if needed. It’s also a good idea to flush out the device using hot water for an even deeper clean.

#8. Test Your Dishwasher And Check For Any Signs Of Clogs

Now that you have taken all the necessary steps to unclog your dishwasher drain, it’s time to turn on the power source and run a test cycle. Pay close attention to any signs of a clog during this process, as it may indicate that you need to repeat the steps listed above.

If the dishwasher runs smoothly, your clog should be cleared, and you can put the dishes back in to finish the cycle.

Dishwasher Drain Maintenance Tips

dishwasher maintenance tips

Regular maintenance on your dishwasher drain will help ensure that it continues to run at peak performance and avoid clogging. Here are some simple tips to follow:

  • To keep your dishwasher free of debris, run it frequently – even when there are barely any dishes to clean. This will help maintain a clog-free drain.
  • To prevent a clogged drain, refrain from overfilling the dishwasher. When you do this, the residue left behind by food and other materials can accumulate and eventually cause issues.
  • Keeping your dishwasher in optimal condition by cleaning it regularly with a vinegar solution. Doing this will help clear away any clogs and ensure the interior is free of debris or grime.
  • Installing a drain strainer can be incredibly helpful in avoiding clogged drains due to food or any other types of debris. By catching it before it enters the drain, you are much better prepared for potential plumbing issues.


By following these simple tips, you can help ensure the longevity of your dishwasher drain and keep it running smoothly. Regular maintenance is key to avoiding plumbing issues and can save you time and money in the long run. Take the steps today to keep your dishwasher drain running smoothly for many years to come.

If you have any questions or concerns about your dishwasher drain, contact a professional appliance technician for assistance. They can help you pinpoint any issues and provide advice on the best course of action.

National Appliance Repair provides comprehensive, professional service for all your dishwasher needs. We service entire Australia and can provide same-day service in most cases. With years of experience and a commitment to customer satisfaction, we will be able to help you with any dishwasher repair needs that you may have.

Contact us today for more information about our dishwasher repair or installation services to schedule an appointment. We look forward to serving you!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put Drano in a dishwasher to unclog it?

Drano is not recommended for use in dishwashers, as it can cause corrosion and damage to the pipes. It is also not safe to use in a dishwasher, as the chemicals can be hazardous if inhaled or ingested. It is best to contact an appliance technician for help with a clogged dishwasher drain.

Why do I have standing water in my dishwasher drain?

Standing water in your dishwasher drain is usually caused by a clog in the drain hose. You can remove the standing water by plunging the drain hose and then running hot water through it to unclog any debris. If the clog persists, contact an appliance technician for assistance.

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