How do you unblock a dishwasher

Is your dishwasher not draining properly or leaving a nasty odor in your kitchen? These are signs that your dishwasher may be blocked and in need of a little maintenance. But don’t worry, unblocking a dishwasher is easier than you think! In this article, we’ll take you through the steps to how do you unblock a dishwasher to keep it running smoothly.

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Signs that your dishwasher is blocked

  • If you notice that your dishwasher is taking longer than usual to drain, it may be due to a blockage in the drain or filter.
  • Another sign of a blocked dishwasher is water backups, which can cause standing water in your dishwasher.
  • A blocked dishwasher can lead to unpleasant smells in your kitchen, which can be caused by food particles or soap scum build-up.
  • If you can see visible blockages in your dishwasher, such as food particles or foreign objects, this is a clear sign that your dishwasher is blocked.

Causes of a blocked dishwasher

  • Over time, food particles can accumulate in the dishwasher drain and filter, leading to blockages.
  • Soap scum and mineral buildup can also accumulate in the dishwasher, leading to blockages.
  • Foreign objects such as utensils or small pieces of plastic can get lodged in the dishwasher drain or filter.
  • The dishwasher’s filters and hoses can become clogged over time, leading to blockages.

Steps to unblock a dishwasher

  • Before you start cleaning your dishwasher, make sure it’s turned off and unplugged.
  • Look for any visible blockages such as food particles or foreign objects and remove them.
  • The dishwasher filter can become clogged with food particles and soap scum, so it’s important to clean it regularly.
  • Remove the filter and clean it with warm water and a soft brush.
  • After you’ve removed any visible blockages and cleaned the filter and spray arm, run hot water down the drain to flush out any remaining debris.
  • If your dishwasher is still blocked, you can use a dishwasher cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to dissolve any remaining debris.
  • If none of the above steps work, you can use a plumber’s snake or drain auger to remove any stubborn blockages.

Preventing future blockages

  • Remove any excess food particles from your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.
  • Make sure you’re using the right dishwasher detergent for your dishwasher.
  • Clean your dishwasher at least once a month to prevent the build-up of food particles and soap scum.
  • The dishwasher filter should be cleaned regularly, ideally after every use.
  • Running hot water down the drain after each use can help prevent buildup in the dishwasher drain and filter.


  • By following the steps outlined in this article, you can unblock your dishwasher and keep it running smoothly.
  • Remember to also follow the tips for preventing future blockages to keep your dishwasher in good working condition.
  • By taking good care of your dishwasher, you can extend its lifespan and avoid costly repairs.
  • If none of the above steps work or if you’re unsure about any aspect of the process, it’s best to call a professional for assistance.

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