How to Clean a Dishwasher Drain

The dishwasher is an appliance that many of us cannot imagine living without. Often built right into the cabinet beneath our kitchen sink, modern dishwashers usually only require us to rinse our dishes, put them in and take them out. The wonderful machine does the rest of the dish cleaning for us with minimal noise, expense and effort. However, eventually, the dishwasher drain is going to need some cleaning. After all, food and grease travel through that drain every day. Bigger particles are going to catch in the drain grate. A clogged dishwasher drain is going to prevent proper cleaning of the dishes. Luckily cleaning the dishwasher drain is almost as easy as running the dishwasher.

Step 1

Empty the dishwasher and remove the dish racks so that you can easily locate the drain inside your dishwasher. The drain is under a drain grate, usually at the back of the dishwasher.

Step 2

Remove the drain grate by either popping the grate out, or by unscrewing the screws holding it in place. Different types of dishwashers will have different options.

Step 3

Use the soapy water and the toothbrush or scrub brush to clean inside the drain area and the grate.

Step 4

Rinse the drain area with clean water. Then replace the drain grate.

Step 5

Pour ½ cup of salt, 1 cup of baking soda and 2 cups of vinegar into the drain (in that order). The mixture will bubble. This will clean the drain and the drain hose.

Step 6

Wait until the vinegar/baking soda mixture has stopped bubbling. Then pour 1 cup of bleach into your detergent dispenser. Replace the dish racks and run the empty dishwasher on a regular cycle. This will clean the entire machine.

Catherine Grainger

From her home in Wisconsin, Catherine has been writing content for a variety of Internet media since 2003. Her areas of writing experience range from baby care advice articles, to zoo animal research papers. Catherine is currently earning her Associates Degree in Communications from the University of Phoenix, and a Career Diploma in Freelance Writing from Penn Foster University.