How to Clean the Drain Filter on a High-Efficiency Washing Machine

High-efficiency washing machines use less water than traditional washing machines, but may come with different problems. An error message of Sd (or 5d) on the screen of a Kenmore washing machine indicates a problem with too many suds. This is either a case of using the wrong detergent (standard detergent creates too many suds for a high-efficiency washing machine) or a plugged drain. If you determine that the detergent isn't the problem, and the drain line is not kinked, the next step is to check the drain filter.

Woman loading washing machine in kitchen
credit: Andrew Olney/Photodisc/Getty Images

Step 1

Lift the washing machine and place a block of wood or other sturdy item under it to hold the front off the ground. The machine should be at least 4 to 6 inches off the floor. Do not pinch lines in the back.

Step 2

Remove the three screws on the bottom of the lower panel of the washing machine, using the 1/4-inch socket or hex screwdriver.

Step 3

Remove the metal panel covering the bottom of the front of the machine.

Step 4

Locate the drain filter cover. It is usually a white plastic cylinder with a bar across the center (kind of like a screw, but the bar is elevated).

Step 5

Place a bucket or pan below the drain filter to catch any water backed up behind the filter.

Step 6

Turn the drain filter cover counterclockwise, using the bar across the middle as a handle. This will take a great deal of strength and it will turn slowly.

Step 7

Pull the cover out slowly, catching the water as it comes out. You can put the cover back on if you need to empty or replace the container pan or bucket.

Step 8

Pull out the cover and attached plug. Any debris (coins, nails, toys, etc.) that made it out of the washing machine tub will be in the filter attached.

Step 9

Clean out the filter, removing the hair, lint and debris clogging it. You may want to clean the filter itself with a calcium, lime and rust remover to remove any water deposits, or bleach if it has developed a smell.

Maria Tussing

A freelancer from South Dakota, Maria Tussing has been writing since 2000. She has been published in "Family Fish & Game," "Wondertime," "Today's Horse" and "Cattle Business Weekly," among other publications. Tussing holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Chadron State College.