Dishwashers may not be a necessity in the kitchen, but they are very handy appliances. Not only do they use less water than handwashing your dishes, but they also give you more free time to sit back and relax in the evenings!
Many can’t imagine living without a dishwasher in their home.
Considering how popular they are, though, it’s surprising how many people don’t know all the facts about maintaining and cleaning their appliances.
One part of a dishwasher that many people forget about is the filter. Regularly cleaning your dishwasher filter is an essential part of maintaining your dishwasher.
But do all dishwashers have filters? Read on to find out!
How Do I Know If My Dishwasher Has a Filter?
Every dishwasher has a filter. This is what prevents small pieces of food from blocking the drain and clinging to your clean dishes. A clean filter is essential in ensuring your dishwasher continues to perform to a high standard.
There are two main types of dishwasher filters: self-cleaning and manual. Both of these filters are explained in detail below.
The first type of dishwasher filter is a self-cleaning filter. If you were unaware your dishwasher had a filter, this is most likely the king that your model has.
As is hinted at in the name, self-cleaning filters don’t require you to clean them yourself. However, depending on how old your dishwasher is, the mechanism by which it cleans itself will differ.
While older dishwashers typically have a grinder that breaks up the food, more recent, expensive models have a super fine mesh that pulverises the food as the rushing water pushes it through the filter.
The other main type of dishwasher filter is a manual filter. These are the filters that require regular maintenance to keep your dishwasher working correctly.
If you do not remove the food that builds up in the filter, your dishwasher will start to smell, and the water flow in the appliance will be reduced.
There is a new technology that is starting to combine some of the aspects of a self-cleaning filter with a manual one. For example, Beko’s EverClean filter has a sprinkler system built into it which helps prolong the period of time between manual cleans.
Where Is the Filter Located in a Dishwasher?
If you are still unsure about which kind of filter you have, you can simply look inside your dishwasher. Filters are typically located in the base of the dishwasher, so you will have to pull out the bottom tray to have a clear view.
Most filters will be found under the spray arm in the centre of the dishwasher, but they can also be located in one of the back corners depending on the make and model.
While manual filters will look similar to a water filter on a jug, self-cleaning filters will look like a series of small holes or a fine plastic grid. If still in doubt, check your dishwasher instruction manual.
How Often Should You Clean Your Dishwasher Filter?
As we’ve already stated, you only need to worry about cleaning your dishwasher filter if it is a manual one.
How often this needs to be done depends on how regularly you use the appliance and how dirty your dishes are.
In general, cleaning your filter once a month will be enough to keep your dishwasher running smoothly as long as you rinse your dishes before placing them in the trays.
You should also aim to give your whole dishwasher a deep clean once every 1-3 months, but your appliance manual may provide more specific guidelines for your brand and model.
If you notice any bad smells or noticeable food build-up in your dishwasher, you need to clean it as soon as possible, as leaving these build-ups for too long will result in blockages.
Fortunately, there is a way of unblocking your dishwasher if this has already occurred.
According to Finish, the easiest way to clean your dishwasher filter is as follows:
- Remove the filter from your dishwasher. Usually, filters have an arrow on them showing you which way to turn it so that it is released, but others will require tools to unscrew them. Check your user manual if you are at all unsure.
- Rinse the filter under hot water to remove any loose pieces of food
- Fill your sink with hot water and washing up liquid, and let the filter soak for a few minutes
- Gently scrub at the filter using a soft brush or sponge until any traces of food are gone
- Let the filter fully dry before putting it back into your dishwasher
While your filter is drying, we also recommend that you check the area the filter sits in for any leftover food. If there is any, you can give the surface a quick wipe to remove it.
Hannah is a freelance content writer with a passion for cleaning. She worked her way around Australia by cleaning hostels in exchange for free accommodation and used her cleaning skills to bag her a job as a chalet host for a luxury ski company in France.