Dishwasher not draining properly? While it’s normal for there to be a bit of standing water at the bottom of your dishwasher from time to time, if you’re seeing an inch or more, it’s highly possible you have a clogged dishwasher. But here’s the good news. There are some steps you can take to unclog a dishwasher that won’t require a visit from a service technician. For specific information and maintenance instructions for your particular dishwasher model, consult your product manual. And for more tips on other dishwasher issues, check out our troubleshooting guide.

A dishwasher filter at the bottom of a dishwasher

Step 1: Find Your Dishwasher Filter to Check for Clogs

If your dishwasher has a filter, it might be the source of the clog. Tough food particles or wet chunks of paper from container labels can get caught in the filter and keep water from draining. As a first step, clean the filter, then rerun the dishwasher to see if it drains.

 

The filter is located at the bottom of the dishwasher. Some dishwashers tuck it in the back corner, while other filters can be found around the base of the bottom spray arm.

A dishwasher filter cage

STEP 2: REMOVE the FILTER

The filter usually has a cage or grille covering it. On some models you can remove the dishwasher filter by hand, while others will need a screwdriver.

 

With the cage removed, you can pull out the filter. If yours is clogged, you will probably see food particles or other visible debris blocking the fine mesh.

 

A person turning on a faucet to clean a dishwasher filter

STEP 3: RINSE AND REPLACE THE FILTER

Luckily, a clogged dishwasher filter is easy to clean. Run it under the kitchen faucet to rinse off any food particles and debris. You can also gently scrub the filter with warm water and a soft brush, like an old toothbrush, perhaps—but don’t use a wire brush or scouring pad. You can damage the filter if you’re not careful.

 

Replace your sparkling clean filter and remember to put the cover back on.

 

An inside view of a dishwasher cleaning a load of dishes and silverware

STEP 4: CHECK YOUR DRAIN MOTOR AND DRAIN HOSE

If your dishwasher is still not draining right, even after a filter cleaning, there may be another reason your dishwasher drain is clogged. A broken drain motor or a clogged drain hose can also cause standing water in your dishwasher. Both of these issues are better left to the professionals. Call a service technician to check it out for you.

 

Need a service call for your Maytag® dishwasher? Call customer service at 1-800-344-1274. Hours of operation: Monday & Tuesday, 8 a.m.–8 p.m. (EST); Wednesday–Friday, 9 a.m.–7 p.m. (EST).

 

Visit the Maytag Owner Support Center

 

Food pieces spinning in a microfilter

WANT FILTRATION THAT NEEDS NO ROUTINE MAINTENANCE?

Select Maytag® dishwasher models feature Dual Power Filtration, an industry-first combination of 100% microfiltration and a 4-blade stainless steel chopper. It filters out, chops up, then drains food from the dishwasher in extra small pieces, helping prevent clogs so there's no need for routine maintenance.

 

Plus, any model with Dual Power Filtration also uses Leak Detect, a system that monitors water flow and drains unwanted water, helping identify and contain most types of leaks. 

FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DISHWASHER CARE AND MAINTENANCE

 

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