How to Check Filters in Dishwashers

Dishwasher filters collect food and pieces of dishware that break off during a dishwashing cycle so they don't clog the drain. Many dishwashers contain self-cleaning filters, but others you must clean yourself to prevent blockage and possible damage to the filter or machine. If your dishwasher filter requires manual cleaning, check it on a regular schedule to keep it in good working condition.

Food particles can clog your dishwasher's filter, preventing proper draining.

Step 1

Open the dishwasher door and pull out the bottom rack. Remove the rack for easier access to the filter.

Step 2

Locate the sprayer arm in the center of the bottom portion of the dishwasher.

Step 3

Feel under the bottom portion of the arm until you locate the filter.

Step 4

Remove the filter assembly from the dishwasher by lifting the filter up at the edge, or if necessary, by turning the filter assembly counterclockwise until it unlocks. Depending on your dishwasher, you may have more than one filter located by the arm. Some contain flat filters while others use a basket to collect debris. Your filter may have a small handle that you pull up on to remove the filter, while others may lock into place.

Step 5

Rinse out the filter screen in your sink and examine it for cracks, rips or rust. Purchase a replacement filter if yours appears damaged.

Step 6

Put the filter back in place under the sprayer arm.


  • Do not use an abrasive brush or cleaning pad on your filters as they can damage it.

About the Author

Based in Columbus, Ga., Ashley Hay has been covering animal health and wellness since 2004, and arts and entertainment since 2008. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in psychology from the University of Central Florida.