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It is important to regularly clean your dishwasher filter as it is the only way for keeping your beautiful crockery (dishes) sparkling after every cycle of usage. A dishwasher filter is an essential part of the working of dishwater. It helps in trapping food, dirt, and other such particles that are left behind from cleaning which turns out to be obstructing the cycle. Once a month, cleaning the dishwasher is recommended as it gets exposed to unwanted particles.
Your dishwasher may be used to clean things but it also needs to be cleaned now and then. Maintenance of dishwasher filter can make a large difference between the unsoiled dirt-free tableware and items flawed by unattractive stuck-on food particles. So basically, the filter’s purpose is to prevent the bits of food from staying up on the pans, spoons, plates, pans, silverware.
But, the filthier the filter becomes, the more likely your dishes will come out looking dirtier. While I know your sofa and a glass of wine are screaming “me time” after a long day, follow these quick and simple techniques to clean your filter out in no time.
Determining the Type of Filter
A dishwasher usually has only two types of filters, either self-cleaning or manual.
To check if the filter is self-cleaning, look at the base of the dishwasher. If there is a plastic grid or a bunch of holes covering the filter, then it is a self-cleaning filter.
A self-cleaning dishwasher filter has an internal grinder that decimates food like a garbage disposal. It takes care of itself since there is no regular build-up of dirt and food over time. It doesn’t require much attention but may cause a minor disturbance of noise. The less noisy dishwashers are usually more expensive, so unless you want to break the bank, maintain the one you have!
If the filter is manual, then there will be a round plastic part under the spray arms at the bottom of the dishwasher (as shown below).
A manual dishwasher filter although quieter, requires regular maintenance. Avoid cleaning it, and the smell and buildup of food will probably haunt your kitchen. Keep in mind that the way you clean your filter, where it is and other important details will be in your dishwasher manual. Refer to this manual before starting the cleaning process.
Fortunately, it’s quite easy to clean a manual filter. The weapons of war you will need against the stinky dishwasher filter are:
Steps to Clean a Dishwasher Filter
1. Locate the filter and remove it by twisting counter-clockwise and then pulling upwards gently. There are usually arrows to indicate the direction it should be twisted for proper removal.
2. The upper filter is usually cylindrical with a flat filter underneath it.
3. If there is a lower filter, remove that as well.
4. Wash the filter under a flow of warm water. Use your hand to remove the loose dirt and gunk. For the more stubborn particles, use the sponge or toothbrush, and scrub the filter into oblivion.
5. Wipe the filter dry with a clean cotton cloth.
6. Place the filter back in place making sure they are properly aligned and placed and let it do its magic.
Maintenance Tips for Filter
1. Frequent cleaning will make the filter last longer.
2. While scrubbing the filter use a sponge or an old toothbrush. Do not use a wire scrubber as this will damage the filter.
3. Make sure both the upper and lower filters are locked in place and aligned properly before starting the dishwasher. Failing to do so could damage the filter and the dishwasher.
4. Refer to the dishwasher manual to find how frequently your filter must be cleaned. But if you start to see food particles and gunk being stuck to the dishes even after a wash cycle is a clear sign you need to clean your filter.
5. Scrape away food particles from the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Otherwise, the filter can get dirty easily.
When Should You Replace the Dishwasher Filter?
If you regularly clean your dishwasher filter then it can last up to 5 years. You should replace the filter if:
- your dishwasher is not working efficiently even after cleaning the filter.
- the filter is damaged or looks worn out.