Cleaning a dishwasher filter is easier than you might think. Our guide shows you how to remove, clean and reinstall your dishwasher filter in a few simple steps.

 

Help keep your dishwasher performing at its peak by cleaning your dishwasher filter periodically. You may need to clean your dishwasher filter when:

  • Soil or other objects can be seen on the Upper Filter Assembly.

  • Cleaning performance has dropped significantly (food remains on dishes after a cycle).

  • You can feel grit and grime on your dishes after they are cleaned.

Side view of a loaded dishwasher.

KNOW WHEN TO CLEAN YOUR DISHWASHER FILTER

Help keep your dishwasher performing at its peak by cleaning your dishwasher filter periodically. Check your dishwasher filter when:

  • Cleaning performance has dropped significantly (food, grit or grime remains on dishes after a cycle).
  • Soil or other objects can be seen on the Upper Filter Assembly.

To access the dishwasher filter, remove the lower dish rack. Find the filter in a back corner of the tub bottom or around the base of the bottom spray arm. Some dishwashers have a triple filter system with two parts:

  • The upper filter assembly keeps oversized items and foreign objects, along with very fine food particles, out of the pump.
  • The lower filter keeps food from being recirculated onto your dishes.

Removing, cleaning and replacing your dishwasher filter is easy. Check out the chart below for some recommendations on how often you should do it. 

HOW TO CLEAN A DISHWASHER FILTER

Follow these simple steps to clean your filter and keep your dishwasher performing at its best.

How to remove your dishwasher filter.

STEP 1: FIND YOUR DISHWASHER FILTER

  1. To access the dishwasher filter, remove your lower dish rack to expose the bottom of your dishwasher. You can find the filter in a back corner of the tub bottom, or around the base of the bottom spray arm.
  2. Some dishwashers have a triple filter system with two parts: an upper filter assembly and a lower filter.
  3. The upper filter assembly keeps oversized items and foreign objects, along with very fine food particles, out of the pump.

  4. The lower filter keeps food from being recirculated onto your dishes.

STEP 2: REMOVE YOUR DISHWASHER FILTER

Give the upper filter a quarter turn counterclockwise and take it out. Next, grab the lower filter, lifting it slightly, then pulling it forward to take it out as well.

 

A person cleaning a dishwasher filter by rinsing it under a faucet.

STEP 3: CLEAN YOUR DISHWASHER FILTER

Rinsing your filter under the faucet will remove most soils and debris. If food particles don’t rinse off easily, soak the filter in warm water for a few minutes. Calcium deposits or other stuck-on bits might require gentle scrubbing with a soft brush, sponge or an old toothbrush to get clean. Do not use a wire brush or scouring pad, as they may damage the filter.

STEP 4: REINSTALL YOUR DISHWASHER FILTER

Once your filter is clean, reinstall it in your dishwasher.

  • Return your lower filter to the bottom of the dishwasher tub, locating it properly under the tabs, so that the upper filter will line up with the round opening in the tub bottom.

  • Place the upper filter into the opening in the top of the lower filter.

  • Turn the filter clockwise. You should feel it drop into position. If your filter still turns freely, it’s not seated properly, so keep turning it clockwise until it locks into place.

  • Avoid damaging your dishwasher by ensuring that both the lower and upper filter assemblies are returned to the locked position before running. 

  • The arrows on your upper and lower filters don’t have to align perfectly — a filter that won't turn clockwise is locked and ready to run.

For specific information and maintenance instructions for your particular dishwasher model, consult your product manual.

 

A person reinstalling a dishwasher filter.

REPLACING A DAMAGED DISHWASHER FILTER

If your filter is damaged or worn, it should be replaced.

 

Check out the Maytag replacement parts site to find the part you need.

 

Once you have your new filter, follow the instructions above to install it in the dishwasher.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU CLEAN YOUR DISHWASHER FILTER?

Removing, cleaning and reinstalling your dishwasher filter is easy and takes only a few minutes. Check out the chart below for some recommendations on how often you should clean your filter based on the number of loads you run per week and whether you rinse or scrape your dishes before loading.

Number of Loads Per Week

If you wash before loading

If you scrape and rinse before loading

If you only scrape before loading1

If you do not scrape or rinse before loading

1–3
Once per year
Once per year
Twice per year
Every two months
4–7
Once per year
Once per year
Twice per year
Once per month
8–12
Once per year
Twice per year
Every three months
Every two weeks
13–14
Once per year
Twice per year
Every three months
Once per week
A dishwasher with a stainless steel chopper.

READY TO UPGRADE TO A NO-FILTER DISHWASHER?

Current Maytag® dishwasher models feature a four-blade stainless steel chopper, so there's no filter to clean by hand. Consider upgrading to a dependable Maytag® dishwasher with a powerful chopper. Browse the full Maytag® dishwasher line up for more information.

MORE DISHWASHER BASICS

Find out what could be causing your dishwasher to clog and learn how to tackle it head on.

Understand the parts that drive your dishwasher and find replacements.

Learn what’s going on inside your dishwasher and how it beats handwashing.

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1. Manufacturer’s recommendation