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  Dishwasher Care And Maintenance

Here are some simple cleaning tricks and tips to try before you call an engineer out to look at your dishwasher that will help you keep your dishwasher in top condition and avoid many common faults as well as possiblky extend the lifespan of your dishwasher.

These apply especially where the dishwasher isn't cleaning properly or the cleaning performance seems impaired in some way.

The photographs in this article are representative and obviously the exact method will vary from machine to machine.

  The Dishwasher Filter & How To Clean It

This first image is typically what you will see at the base of most dishwashers with the tags explaining what the various bits of the filter are.


dishwasher sump with filters in place

In the image above you can see that there are basically three filters in the base; the mesh filter, the micro filter and the course filter.

The course filter catches all the larger bits of food, like bits of pasta and things like that. The micro filter catches all the very fine bits of food that are not caught by either the course filter or the mesh filter as well as stopping dirt coming back up from the sump. The mesh filter steers everything towards the other two and protects the sump from everything but the very smallest debris.

Now let's see how it comes apart for cleaning...


dishwasher sump with filters out

First you need to remove the small centre course filter, this is done in many different ways and on many you actually don't have to remove it at this stage. But usually they will be clipped in or a turn and lock/unlock, if you are unsure consult your user guide.

Once you ascertain that the micro filter should just turn and pull out or it will screw out. Whatever you do at either stage described here, force is not required at all, these components should easily unscrew or unclip.


dishwasher sump with filters out

This picture shows the filters removed from the sump.

The small course filter will almost undoubtedly required cleaned, usually into the bin as all the larger food debris will be there.

The fine microfilter will require a little more care. Bear in mind that this filter catches extremely small particles of dirt and debris from the dishes in the dishwasher and it looks like a shaver foil to some extent. Water should pass easily through it though and rinsing under very hot water (as hot as you can get) generally is enough to clean the filter.

It does no harm whatsoever to also clean the course filter and the mesh in this way as well.

What this does, by removing the debris, is prevents it going back onto the dishes and this is one of the causes of the very common compliant of grit or sand appearing in the dishwasher or on the dishes. It is in actual fact, re-deposited burnt on dirt.

dishwasher sump

This shows the mesh filter with the other removed. Usually this will simply lift off once the centre microfilter is removed as that locks the mesh in place.


the sump showing where the drain pump is located

For those that are a little braver or perhaps have drainage problems with the dishwasher, i.e. the dishwasher won't drain, this is the sump area with all the filters removed. Again, this is pretty typical but will vary from machine to machine.

You can see that there is some water left in the sump, this is not at all unusual and for most dishwashers, is actually normal.

The yellow cover on this model (part of the new ISE range) can be removed to reveal the pump impeller. Many dishwashers do not have this feature but many do have the drain pump situated in this way, so it is often possible to clear a blockage just by looking in there. Do be careful though as it is not uncommon to find broken bits of glass that have worked their way there.

Often items find their way here because the filters are not put back into place correctly!

Once you have finished cleaning simply re-assemble and you should be good to go.

  Dishwasher Spray Arms


A typical spray arm

Funny thing this that many people seem to rarely consider. Dishwasher spray arms get dirty and this is why that they are made removable, the top two culprits for blocking jets in my experience seems to be bits of spaghetti and the odd bit of rice. They do however get grease and other bits of rubbish in them from time to time so they do need removed and cleaned.


A typical dishwasher spray arm

In this example (shown above) of a lower spray arm the spray arm simply clips off but, especially on older machines, there can often be a small screw which will be a reverse thread so it will turn the opposite way to what you would usually expect.

Simply get the arm off and give it a good clean.


A typical dishwasher spray arm

And the picture above shows the upper spray arm which, in this case is exactly the same as the lower one in cleaning terms but it is worth noting that on the upper spray arm that there are spray jets both on the upper and lower sides of the arm.

This particular photograph shows a model that has an additional jet that fires an extra jet of water at the cutlery basket

If you carry out maintenance and still have a problem with your dishwasher and need further help with an issue please feel free to ask in our dishwasher help forum from this link

During its start up cycle the machine loads with water with no pressure to enable the water to spray to be effective .I have checked for blockages and cleared the pipes without success . Once the machine has emptied the waste away I have No1 and No2 lights flashing on the main panel. Hope you advise me . Stephen
code E24 on Kenmore Elite dishwasher
Very clear instructions. I found this website very useful. Thank you!
Andrew Baines
I have a Lamona dishwasher which is not heating, I have repaced the heating element but it is still not heating although it runs through the washing cycles as normal.any ideas please.
Pete g allen
Hi my hotpoint FDF-L11010G dishwasher fills but doesn't wash have cleaned filters and spray arms don't think spray arms are spinning any ideas please
Naeem S Banday
Hi,could anyone please advise if there are courses for white goods repairs/maintenance which one can learn from ??Thanks.naeemsbanday@ho
Kenneth Watt
Technically, yes it should.However the combination of letters includes a "rude" word that trips the anti-spam filters. So we have to adapt because of idiot spammers.
Brian Mascall
Hello,Very useful website - thank you. You refer repeatedly to the "course" filter. For the sake of clarity I believe that this should read "coarse".

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