How to Clean a Dishwasher Filter to Eliminate Bad Smells

Are you frustrated with the terrible odor that your dishwasher gives off? You’re in the right place. If you use a dishwasher for some time, there is no way around ending up with bad smells. The reason for this smell could be food or mildew odor coming from your dishwasher’s filter. If you want a clean dishwasher filter, read along!

Why Does the Filter Need Cleaning?

The filter in a dishwasher acts as a means to prevent food particles and greasy residue from being redeposited into the system. That’s why the filter starts to smell bad after a while, so you need to clean it regularly. If you’re wondering why this didn’t happen with your old dishwasher, it is likely because more modern, water-saving home appliances are more prone to bad smells. Due to its water efficiency, a new dishwasher is more prone to trapped food particles and bad smells, so it needs filter cleaning. A clean dishwasher filter will give off no bad smells.

You’re a Few Steps Away from a Clean Dishwasher Filter

Here’s your comprehensive guide to dishwasher filter cleaning:

-Safety First!

Before you get started cleaning your dishwasher’s filter, you have to make sure you’ll be safe through the process. For this, you will have to turn off the dishwasher and unplug it. Doing so will ensure your safety and avoid any accidents while you’re removing and reassembling the filter.

-Locate and Remove the Filter

The filter is typically at the bottom of a dishwasher underneath or next to the water-spray unit. Usually, it is in the form of a cylindrical or flat mesh. To remove the filter, you may need to pull or twist depending on the dishwasher model. To make sure you don’t break anything, you can check your dishwasher’s manual for more personalized instructions on how to remove the filter.

clean dishwasher filter

-Rinse The Filter Under Running Water

After you have removed the filter from the appliance, you should first rinse it under running hot water to wash off the food particles and residue that has gathered. This will clean your filter to some extent. Still, a deep clean is also recommended, especially if you’re cleaning your filter after a long while or if it smells too much.

-Soak the Filter in a Cleaning Solution

Next in the dishwasher odor removal is the deep clean. For a deep-cleaning process, you can start by soaking the filter in a bowl of hot water and dish soap, or hot water and white vinegar. This will help break down the grease in the filter, and get rid of any bad smell. Now you can use a soft brush or toothbrush to scrub the filter and make sure none of the smelly particles are left in there. For more tips on cleaning and maintaining household appliances, check out the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension’s guide.

-Flush with Hot Water

After you’re done with soaking and scrubbing the filter, you must run hot water over it again, and make sure that all of the greasy residue is washed off and the filter doesn’t feel greasy in your hands anymore.

-Check for Damage

While cleaning, inspect the filter for any damage or tear. If the filter is damaged, it is best to replace it with a new filter to ensure the proper function of your dishwasher.

-While You Have the Filter Out

Now that you have gone to the lengths of cleaning the filter, it is recommended to also check the filter’s housing for any dirt or residue. If you find it to be dirty, it can usually be cleaned with a damp cloth or sponge.

-Reassemble the Filter

After you are done cleaning the dishwasher filter and its housing, you can go ahead and put the filter back in its place. This should be easy since you figured out how to remove it.

-Run a Cleaning Cycle

It is highly recommended that you also clean your dishwasher itself whenever you clean the filter. This could be done by running a cleaning cycle. A commercial dishwasher cleaner or a mixture of baking soda and vinegar could get the job done quite well. This is to make sure you get rid of any smell or buildup in the dishwasher.

-Don’t Forget Regular Maintenance

To make sure your dishwasher runs smoothly cleans your dishes well, and doesn’t smell bad, don’t forget to regularly conduct the above cleaning process. Read along to find out how often you need to do the dishwasher filter cleaning.

How Often Should I Clean the Dishwasher Filter?

Normally, your dishwasher has a self-cleaning, a manual-clean, or a hybrid filter. Particular information about the type of your dishwasher’s filter can be found in the manual. A self-cleaning filter is not visible and removable, since it has a mechanism to break down the food particles and residue. These filters are maintenance-free. A manual-clean filter, on the other hand, is visible and removable, since it needs to be cleaned regularly. Usually, cleaning your manual-clean dishwasher filter once a month would suffice. Hybrid filters are something in between, so although they do self-clean, they still need to be cleaned manually from time to time. This means that even though you might not need to clean your hybrid filter once a month, regular cleaning is still a necessity. A clean dishwasher filter is the key to eliminate any bad dishwasher smells in your kitchen.

Home Appliance Repair Services in Austin, TX

If you live in Austin and you’re looking for expert dishwasher repair and maintenance services, Travis County Appliance Repair is the best one around! Our highly skilled appliance technicians help repair and maintain home appliances in Austin, Texas, and the surrounding areas. Offering top-notch home appliance repairs for a wide range of home appliances, Travis County Appliance Repair Service is the trusted partner you need to ensure the durability and functionality of your home appliances. Contact us now to schedule a service and start getting quality appliance repair services.

clean dishwasher filter

Frequently Asked Question

If you cannot find the filter, either your dishwasher has a self-cleaning filter or it has the filter placed in a part of it different from the typical dishwasher (under the water spray arm). You can check your dishwasher’s manual to find out if either of those is the case.

Yes, you can use regular dish soap to clean your dishwasher filter. This is for the deep-clean step mentioned above. Alternatively, you can soak the filter in a solution of warm water and white vinegar.

If your dishwasher still smells after cleaning the filter, it may contain buildup in other parts of it. Running a cleaning cycle with a dishwasher cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda would usually solve this.

Related Posts

amazing things you didn't know about Appliance Repair