How To Unclog A Dishwasher - The Safe Way

Discovering that your dishwasher is blocked and you cannot use it can be inconvenient. However, this problem

Discovering that your dishwasher is blocked and you cannot use it can be inconvenient. However, this problem is not uncommon with dishwashers; they can become clogged with various things. There are many possible reasons why your dishwasher might not be draining correctly and not cleaning the dishes.

If you find that your machine isn't working correctly and won't finish a cycle or has another issue, there may be something obstructing the flow of water or operation. If you need to unclog a dishwasher, continue reading to discover common causes of clogs and convenient solutions to get your machine working again so you can get back to washing dishes instead of worrying about them!

If your dishwasher is clogged, there are a few things you can do to try and unclog it. First, check the drain for any blockages. If there is none, try running some hot water down the drain to see if that clears it. If the clog is still there, you may need to use a plunger or a plumber's snake to try and remove it.

Quick Fixes

  • First, check the dishwasher filter and clean it if it is clogged.
  • Next, clean the dishwasher drain with a plunger or a plumber's snake.
  • Finally, run the dishwasher through a cycle with vinegar or lemon juice to clean the dishwasher and prevent future clogs.
  • Next, check the dishwasher's spray arm and clean it if it is blocked.
  • Finally, run the dishwasher with a dishwasher cleaner to clean the dishwasher itself.

What can cause dishwashers to become clogged?

These machines are designed to withstand heavy loads of dishes through daily use, but over time, anything can happen and cause your machine to develop a problem.

  1. Poor water flow - You might have a water flow problem in your home's plumbing that goes to the dishwasher. If the flow isn't sufficient, it might not correctly wash or clean your dishes.
  2. Clogged drain - Another potential problem is that your dishwasher's drain may become clogged with food remnants. Food particles, whether they're scraps or particles from dishes, can quickly build up and cause a clog that won't let the water flow out of the machine.
  3. Issues with the water inlet valve - If there is a problem with the water inlet valve, it might not allow enough water into the dishwasher. If this is the case, it may not thoroughly clean your dishes.
  4. Issues with the water outlet valve - The valve may not open, or you may have a problem with the pump. The water won't drain from the dishwasher if these don't work correctly.

The dishwasher is not draining or working correctly

If your dishwasher is not draining, it may be clogged with food particles, grime, grease, or other particles blocking the drain, causing water to back up in the machine. If the dishwasher isn't cleaning dishes properly, it could signify a clog. Another potential sign that your dishwasher is clogged is if it takes a long time to complete a cycle. If your dishwasher isn't working properly and isn't draining, you should troubleshoot the problem as soon as possible to prevent damage to your machine.

  1. You can start by checking the water level in the machine. If it's above the normal level, there may be a clog in the drain. You can also check the water pressure going into the dishwasher. If it's lower than normal, there could be a clog in the water line.
  2. Next, you can visually inspect the dishwasher to check for particles that might be blocking the drain. Sometimes you may be able to remove the clog through the inside of the dishwasher. If you cannot do so, you can call a maintenance specialist to come and check the machine.

Cooked Food that is stuck in the strainer

A common cause of a blocked dishwasher is cooked food particles stuck in the machine's strainer. If you've just cleaned the dishes and put them in the dishwasher, it's essential to make sure you remove all food particles from the strainer before you start the machine. The dishwasher is designed to wash dishes, but that doesn't mean particles won't get caught in the machine.

Leaving food particles in the strainer can cause a blockage, preventing the water from flowing through the machine or cleaning the dishes thoroughly. If you notice a problem with your dishwasher and have just cleaned the dishes and put them in the machine, open the machine and remove the strainer to check for any food particles that may be stuck. If particles are stuck in the strainer, carefully remove them so they don't get stuck in the machine.

Food remnants from plates or bowls

Another common cause of a blocked dishwasher is food remnants from plates or bowls. If you wash dishes and place them in the dishwasher, they might have food particles that can cling to the plates and bowls. If this happens, it can cause a blockage in the machine, preventing the water from properly flowing through.

It can also prevent the machine from cleaning the dishes as well as it should. If you notice that your machine is not cleaning dishes properly, look at the plates and bowls to see if there are food particles on them. If there are, remove the plates and bowls from the machine to clean them and then put them back in. If the food is stuck on the dishes, you'll want to scrub the plates and bowls with soap and water to remove it.

Grime, grease, and food particles from the sink drain hose

If you have a dishwasher with an in-sink water filter, it can collect grime, food particles, and grease. If this gunk is allowed to build up in the filter, it can cause a clog in the machine. If you have a dishwasher with an in-sink water filter, you'll want to clean it regularly to keep it from becoming clogged and causing a problem with your dishwasher.

You may notice a decrease in the quality of your dishes if the filter is clogged and it takes longer for your machine to complete a cycle. If you regularly clean the filter and notice a problem with your dishwasher, it could be a sign that the filter is clogged. If you discover that the filter is clogged, remove it and clean it with soap and water to clean the filter and prevent the clog from getting worse.


There are many possible causes of a clogged dishwasher, but luckily there are also many possible solutions for unclogging it. If your machine is not draining or cleaning dishes properly, you may have a clog that you can fix quickly at home. If you notice a problem with the machine, open it up, check for a clog, and try cleaning out the problem area. To avoid having to deal with a clog in the future, be diligent about cleaning dishes before putting them in the machine, and cleaning the filters regularly.