Usage & Aftercare

Dishwasher Not Draining: Here’s How to Fix It – DIY

dishwasher not draining
Written by Jillian Wyatt

Undoubtedly, a dishwasher is one of the most important appliances for the kitchen and a great companion. It saves time and energy by making your cleaning job easier. Though we have a detailed guide on how to clean a dishwasher, this guide is specifically related to the dishwasher’s draining issue. Well, if you are facing the issue and your dishwasher is not draining, here are the steps you need to take before calling a plumber.

How do you know that your dishwasher is not draining? Well, you will observe the water in the bottom of your dishwasher which of course, shouldn’t be there. While creating our guide on selecting the best dishwasher 2021, we noticed that some dishwashers have a very common issue of drainage. Even some best rated dishwashers have a frequent issue where the water is not draining properly. But let us get into the topic and tell you some DIY stuff.

How to unclog a dishwasher?

When you find the clogged dishwasher, there are a few things you need to check. Let us mention them below.


This is the very first thing to do. Sometimes when a dishwasher is interrupted during operation (the middle of the cycle), that interruption of the process causes an issue. Usually, a dishwasher doesn’t know what to do with the remaining water. What you will need is cancelling the cycle (Check the manual about cancelling the cycle).

Removing the water:

Well, when you decide to do it yourself, the first step is to get ready. You will need to remove the standing water in the bottom of the dishwasher. Go get some towels and some cups and bowls. First, start with cups and bowls to remove the water into a bucket. Then use towels to soak the remaining water.

Checking the filter:

Dishwasher won’t drain. Well, the first step for you is to check the filter. During the drainage, everything passes through the filter that blocks any bits of foods and debris from going through the drain. So there is a chance that your filter gets blocked and you start seeing the water standing inside your dishwasher.

You can use a long-reaching tool to clear the blockage. Even if you can’t see it, you can clean your filter with a soft brush to avoid any chance of future blockage. You can check out our guide on cleaning the dishwasher.

You have to remove the blockage and then get the stuff out of the dishwasher; otherwise, you may again find your filters blocked due to the stuff you observed around the filter. Sometimes you may need some specific tool (depending upon the dishwasher you are using) to remove the dishwasher to clean it.


A dishwasher has the drain pump for drainage. Sometimes the drain pump may not work properly. How to check if that is the issue? Well, you can run your dishwasher and notice any grinding or unusual sounds.

You will observe the unusual sound, and this usually happens when the components of the dishwasher won’t work properly. If the drain pump is having an issue, that will result in the clogged dishwasher. You will need to call a plumber if this is the case.

Drain Hose:

You will need to make sure that the drain hose doesn’t have any blockage. It is quite easy to disconnect the drain to clean it properly with a longer tool. You will need to remove any debris and bits of foods to remove the blockage.

After cleaning it thoroughly, you will need to reattach it but don’t forget to seal it properly. You will need to follow the proper garbage disposal guidelines. The reason is that the drain hose is connected with it and it should be clean after every use.

Old Dishwasher:

While discussing the best dishwasher in 2021, we mentioned that the average life of a dishwasher is 7-10 years. After an average life, when your dishwasher has done an amazing job for several years, it may start causing issues. If this is the case, now is the time to change the dishwasher and replace it with a new one.

Air Gap:

It is a very common issue. You may need to clean the air gap, which is located near the faucet or the sink. One of the signs is the seeping water out of that gap after turning on your dishwasher.

Cleaning Thoroughly:

Now when you have read about most of the important steps you should take if your dishwasher is clogged, there is something else to do. You need to keep your dishwasher clean and follow the steps for unclogging a dishwasher. But you can read the guide on how to clean a dishwasher we’ve written for you.

The maintenance of the dishwasher is not just cleaning it from outside. You should read the manual thoroughly for the guidelines about maintaining and cleaning a dishwasher.  

About the author

Jillian Wyatt

Jillian Wyatt is a professional chef who specializes in areas of commercial kitchen equipment and safety. She loves sharing her knowledge through her blog. She often writes about hygiene, food, and kitchen related stuff for several top blogs. She often gives advice, tips, and information to everyone through her articles.
Jillian loves communicating and connecting with her readers through emails and comments. She is a passionate writer working on her new blog related to commercial outdoor activities and safety measures.