How to clean your dishwasher's filter

One of the most frustrating things to happen is when an appliance clunks out and no longer works. So it could need an expensive repair or replacement. 

One of the most common household appliances that can cost big bucks is the dishwasher.

General maintenance for your dishwasher isn’t just running the clean cycle but involves taking out the filter and removing the built-up food and residue inside.

Most people may know you’re supposed to rinse off your dirty dishes. But a lot of times, plates can still have some leftover residue when they go inside the dishwasher.

So what happens to all of those little pieces of food?

Many times it’s caught by your dishwasher’s filter.

Over time, it can become compacted, heavy and cause your dishwasher to not run efficiently.

The filter is inside on the bottom. If you don’t see it right away, you may need to shift one of your cleaning blades to the side. 

In some models, the device is even labeled "filter" and has instructions on how to turn it to lock or unlock

.A helpful tip to remember is "lefty loosey and right tighty."

To unlock the filter we are going to be turning it counterclockwise.

Once the filter is out, there is another turnstile to unlock and separate into two pieces. Check inside to see what has been caught in the bin.

Give the filter a good clean with soap and water. Then put the two pieces back together and lock into place.

Before placing the filter back inside, wipe up any extra debris or residue that may be laying around on the bottom.

Now the filter can be twisted back into position at the bottom of the dishwasher.

Taking it a step further with an empty dishwasher, splash a cup of white vinegar on the bottom. A cup of white vinegar can also be poured into a bowl to go on the top rack.

Then you can run the clean cycle.

While the dishwasher runs for the next several hours, you can also clean your garbage disposal by running hot water for one minute down the drain.

Then reduce the pressure so that it trickles about the width of a pencil.

There are several different products available, even packets in biodegradable packaging that go right inside the drain.

While the water is still running, turn on the garbage disposal to let the cleaning foam do the work for another minute.

All of this can help eliminate odors and keep your appliances working for the long run. The manufacturer recommends that this be done once a month.