Dishwasher Clogging

A dishwasher is one of the most important appliances in your kitchen, making cleaning dishes a breeze. However, there are times when your dishwasher can become clogged even after cleaning it. 

This can be frustrating, as you might have to hand wash dishes or risk damaging the appliance if you continue to use it. But if you know the proper ways to handle the situation, things might look brighter for your kitchen. 

In this article, you’re going to learn about the top ten things to do if your dishwasher is clogging continuously, even after cleaning it. Let’s get going. 

Major Signs of Dishwasher Clogging


If your dishwasher drain pipe is clogged, you may notice the following signs:

  • Water not draining: If water is not draining from your dishwasher after a cycle, this could indicate a clogged drain pipe.
  • Standing water: Standing water in the bottom of the dishwasher is a clear sign of a clogged drain pipe.
  • Foul smell: A clogged drain pipe can cause water and food debris to sit stagnant in the dishwasher, leading to a foul smell.
  • Water backing up: Water may back up into your sink or even onto your kitchen floor if the dishwasher drain pipe is clogged.
  • Unusual sounds: You may hear unusual sounds from your dishwasher, such as gurgling or bubbling, indicating a clogged drain pipe.
  • Dirty dishes: A clogged drain pipe can prevent water from reaching all parts of the dishwasher, which can lead to dirty dishes.

If you notice any of these signs, addressing the issue as soon as possible is important to prevent further damage to your dishwasher and potential water damage to your home. You can start by checking the drain hose and ensuring it’s not kinked or twisted. 

If that doesn’t solve the issue, you may need to remove and clean the drain pipe or call a professional to help.

Related: Standing Water In Dishwasher When Not In Use

Top 10 Things to Do If Your Dishwasher Is Clogging

You may opt to fix the dishwasher by yourself to save money. At times, DIY fixes for drain cleaning may not work. It’s then time to call a local pro to remove stubborn drain blockages. 

However, you can try out some effective things to clean the dishwasher if you want to wait before calling a professional. 

Here are ten things to do if your dishwasher is clogging up even after cleaning it:

  1. Check the Filters

The filters in your dishwasher trap food particles and prevent them from clogging the dishwasher’s drain. Over time, these filters can become clogged and need to be cleaned or replaced. 

Start by checking the filters and cleaning them if they are dirty. If the filters are damaged or worn, consider replacing them.

  1. Check The Spray Arm

The spray arm in your dishwasher is responsible for spraying water onto your dishes to clean them. If the spray arm is clogged, your dishes won’t be cleaned properly, and the dishwasher may become clogged. Check the spray arm for any blockages and clean it if necessary.

  1. Clean the Drain

The drain is the most common place for clogs in your dishwasher. Check the drain for any blockages if your dishwasher is still clogged after cleaning the filters and spray arm. Use a drain cleaner or a pipe brush to clean the drain and remove any debris.

  1. Use Hot Water

Hot water can help break down any clogs in your dishwasher. Try running the dishwasher with hot water to help loosen any blockages. You can also try pouring hot water down the drain to help clear any clogs.

  1. Run Vinegar Through The Dishwasher

Vinegar is an effective cleaning agent that can help remove buildup in your dishwasher. Run a cycle with just vinegar to help remove any clogs or buildup in your dishwasher. Be sure to use white vinegar and not apple cider vinegar.

  1. Check the Garbage Disposal

If your dishwasher is connected to a garbage disposal, it’s important to check the disposal for any clogs or blockages. A clogged garbage disposal can cause your dishwasher to become clogged as well. 

Use a drain cleaner or a pipe brush to clean the garbage disposal and remove any debris.

  1. Inspect The Hose

The hose that connects your dishwasher to the drain can become clogged or damaged over time and negligence. Inspect the hose for any kind of blockages and replace it if necessary.

  1. Use a Plunger

A plunger can be an effective tool to remove any clogs in your dishwasher. Place the plunger over the drain and pump it a few times to help loosen any blockages. 

If the plunger doesn’t prove to be effective, you may remove the drain pipe to remove any obstruction that remains. 

  1. Check the Water Pressure

Low water pressure can cause your dishwasher to become clogged. Check your home’s water pressure and ensure it’s sufficient for your dishwasher.

The ideal water pressure for a dishwasher should be 20-120 PSI (Pound Per Square Inch). Check if your dishwasher water pressure is compliant with this required pressure. 

  1. Call A Professional

If you’ve tried all of the above steps and your dishwasher is still clogging, it’s time to call in a professional. A professional plumber or appliance repair technician can diagnose and fix any issues with your dishwasher.

Top 10 Reasons Why Your Dishwasher Keeps Clogging

You might end up with a clogged dishwasher for many reasons. If you prefer a dishwasher to manual washing in the sink, the overuse may lead to clogging. 

However, fixing a dishwasher may be tougher than unclogging a sink. Hence, you must be careful not to put your dishwasher out of order. Knowing the actual reasons for clogging may help you use it properly. 

Here are the top reasons why your dishwasher may be clogged:

  • Food Particles and Debris: The most common reason why a dishwasher keeps clogging is due to food particles and debris that gets trapped in the dishwasher’s filters, spray arms, and drain. 

Over time, these particles can build up and cause blockages that prevent water from draining properly.

  • Faulty Drain Pump: The drain pump is responsible for pumping water out of the dishwasher during the drain cycle. Water can back up and cause clogs if it’s not working properly.
  • Hard Water Buildup: Hard water contains high levels of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, which can accumulate and cause blockages in your dishwasher.
  • Clogged Garbage Disposal: If your dishwasher is connected to a garbage disposal, clogged disposal can cause food particles to back up into the dishwasher and cause clogs.
  • Low Water Pressure: Low water pressure can prevent your dishwasher from getting enough water to clean your dishes properly. This can cause food particles and debris to build up in the appliance, leading to clogs.
  • Damaged Drain Hose: A damaged or clogged drain hose can cause water to leak out of your dishwasher and create clogs in other parts of the appliance.
  • Faulty Water Inlet Valve: The inlet valve lets water into your dishwasher. If it’s not working properly, your dishwasher may not get enough water to clean your dishes effectively.
  • Improper Loading: Overloading your dishwasher can cause dishes to block the spray arms and prevent water from reaching all the dishes, which can cause clogs.
  • Detergent Buildup: If you’re using too much or the wrong type of detergent, it can cause buildup in your dishwasher, leading to clogs.
  • Broken or Worn-out Parts: If any of the parts in your dishwasher are broken or worn out, it can cause clogs or other issues. It’s important to inspect your dishwasher regularly and replace any damaged parts.

Can You Put a Drain Unblocker to Prevent Your Dishwasher from Clogging?

While using a drain unblocker to clear a clogged dishwasher may be tempting, it’s generally not recommended. Drain unblockers are typically formulated to break down organic matter like hair, grease, and soap scum that can accumulate in sink and shower drains. 

However, the chemicals in these products can abrade your dishwasher’s internal components and cause damage in no time. 

Besides, using a drain unblocker may not effectively clear the clog in your dishwasher. Since the clog may be caused by food particles, hard water buildup, or other non-organic materials, a drain unblocker may be unable to break down the clog.

Instead, it’s best to use a dishwasher-specific cleaner or a natural cleaner like vinegar to clean your dishwasher and help prevent clogs. 

You can also remove and clean the dishwasher’s filters, spray arms, and drain to remove any buildup that may be causing the clog. 

If you’re still experiencing issues with your dishwasher after cleaning, it may be time to call a professional plumber to examine and fix the problem. [1]

Read Also: No Water In Kitchen But Everywhere Else

End Note 

A clogged dishwasher can be frustrating, but there are several steps you can take to fix the problem. Start by checking the filters, spray arm, and drain, and try using hot water or vinegar to loosen any clogs. 

Call a professional to diagnose and fix the issue if all else fails. Don’t waste time and money by forcing the drainage in your dishwasher. 

Following the steps mentioned, you can ensure your dishwasher runs smoothly, and your dishes are cleaned properly.