How to unclog a whirlpool dishwasher?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “How to unclog a whirlpool dishwasher?” and provide information on factors that clog the whirlpool dishwasher and methods to help unclog the dishwasher.

How to unclog a whirlpool dishwasher?

To unclog a whirlpool dishwasher, check whether the filter of the dishwasher contains any debris. Debris like popcorn kernels, dirt, or wet paper can block the filter and prevent water from moving out.

To locate the filter, you would have to look at the bottom of the tub by separating out the bottom dish rack. In some machines, the filter could be observed near the spray arm or in the back corner.

To remove the filter, you might require a screwdriver. In some cases, you can also easily remove it using your hand. Once you have the filter in your hand, you would observe the debris and dirt present in the mesh.

Run the filter under a stream of running water to clean it. If the debris is stuck to the filter, you can clean it using a soft brush or a soft scrubber. Make sure to scrub gently as well. After cleaning the filter, place it back in its original position.

If in spite of cleaning your filter, the dishwasher isn’t working well, then the problem might be with the drain valve. You can try to move the drain bracket by yourself. If the valve is not moving and gets stuck, it means the drain valve would need to be replaced immediately.

You can also refer to your dishwasher manual to make yourself more familiar with the parts of your dishwasher. If you are unsure about any parts of the dishwasher, it would be better to call a repair center.

To prevent the dishwasher from causing the problem of clogging, it is essential to regularly clean them. You can use vinegar or baking soda to clean the dishwasher. Cleaning the dishwasher regularly can also reduce the build-up of odors and detergents.

Other causes for clogging a whirlpool dishwasher are as follows:

  • If the wash cycle was incomplete, it is likely to clog the dishwasher. Check to see whether the indicator present in the dishwasher illuminates with light that indicates “clean.” 

If it doesn’t that is because you would have interrupted the wash cycle of the dishwasher. For making the dishwasher run again, close the door of the dishwasher and click on the start button to begin the wash cycle.

  • If the drain is clogged, the dishwasher would not run properly. For this purpose, you can try running your garbage disposal if it shares the same drain that the dishwasher does. This would help in reducing the possibility of the dishwasher draining.
  • Clogging of the drain hose is another issue affecting the functionality of the dishwasher. For this purpose, take out the drain hose and check whether it is connected to the sink or disposal.

Place the end of the drain hose in a bucket and check whether the garbage clog would just come out. If this technique does not work, you can try to pull the drain hose out and clean it well or replace that particular part of the dishwasher.

If you are planning to remove the drain hose to check the issue, place a drain pan under the drain hose as the drain hose contains water in it.

  • The check valve is present just beneath the dishwasher and helps in removing the water. If the check valve is clogged, the water would not drain from the dishwasher. 

You can look at the check valve after removing the drain hose and ensure whether it is clean.

  • If the drainage system is working properly but the dishwasher is still overflowing with water, then it would be better to check the drain pump.
  • Also, it would be important to check and see whether the drain hose is pinched or kinked. If it is pinched, then the water would not drain out and affect the functioning of the dishwasher. You can replace the hose if required.
  • If the garbage disposal is not installed correctly, the dishwasher might not function properly. The garbage disposal would usually be found at the right side of the dishwasher machine. 

If the disposal bin is not installed well, then the draining process would not occur. Also, check the drain impeller as it carries water from the hose to the garbage disposer.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “How to unclog a whirlpool dishwasher?” and provided information on factors that clog the whirlpool dishwasher and methods to help unclog the dishwasher.


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