Dishwasher Won’t Drain? Here Are 8 Steps to Fix it

One of the most common problems reported to plumbers by homeowners is when a dishwasher won’t drain. While it can be scary to open the dishwasher door and see standing water at the bottom, it isn’t always a plumbing emergency. In fact, you may be able to correct the problem yourself without professional help. 

What to Do When Your Dishwasher Won’t Drain 

If draining your dishwasher is an issue, here are eight simple techniques to try at home.

1.  Run the Disposal  


A full garbage disposal or an air gap in a connecting hose can prevent water from properly draining out of the dishwasher. Simply running the disposal for about 30 seconds may fix the issue.  

2. Check for Blockages  

Check the bottom of the dishwasher to make sure that an item or pieces of food haven’t fallen from the rack to block the water flow.  

3. Load the Dishwasher Correctly  

Make sure you’re loading the dishwasher correctly. Read the manufacturers’ instructions or owner’s manual for tips and directions on how to load dishes for best results. 

4. Clean or Change the Filter 


You may have a clogged dishwasher filter that’s preventing water from draining. Many homeowners don’t realize that dishwasher filters need to be cleaned regularly. Check your owner’s manual to see where the filter is located on your dishwasher, and for instructions on how and when to clean it. For many dishwashers, the filter can be found on the inside bottom of the appliance. 

5. Inspect the Drain Hose 


Check the drain hose connecting to the sink and garbage disposal. Straighten any kinks that you may see, which could be causing the problem. Blow through the hose or poke a wire hanger through to check for clogs. Make sure the hose seal is tight, too. 

6. Double-check the Drain Valve 


Inspect the drain valve found on the valve bracket, often located at the bottom of the machine. Push on the valve to make sure it moves freely and isn’t stuck. 

7. Try Vinegar and Baking Soda 


Mix together about one cup each of baking soda and vinegar and pour the mixture into the standing water at the bottom of the dishwasher. Leave for about 20 minutes. If the water is draining or starting to drain at that time, rinse with hot water and then run the dishwasher’s rinse cycle. That may be enough to help loosen any clogs or debris that are preventing the dishwasher from draining properly.  

8. Listen to Your Machine While It’s Running 


Listen to your dishwasher while it’s running a cycle. If it doesn’t make the usual operating sounds, particularly if it’s making a humming or clicking noise, the drain pump and motor may need replacing. If this occurs, it may be time to call a professional for help.  

How to Properly Drain a Dishwasher 

If you need to clear standing water at the bottom of a dishwasher, here’s how to drain it: 

  • Line the floor under the dishwasher with towels or newspaper.  
  • With a measuring cup or a large ladle, scoop the water from the bottom into a bowl or the sink.  
  • When the water becomes too shallow to scoop, soak up the remaining moisture with cloth or paper towels. 

Always make sure that you’re using the right type of dish detergent per manufacturer’s directions, to avoid clogging the drain. Taking some preventative steps to keep your dishwasher running smoothly can also help you avoid drainage issues in the future. 

Looking for an affordable home warranty plan? Here’s where to start: 

14 Fast Fixes & Easy Upgrades for Your Home

14 Fast Fixes & Easy Upgrades for Your Home

Spring is a great reminder to take some time to spruce up your home a little here and there. It’s important to give your home a breath of new life every so often.


We found a great article with a list of quick ways to make your home as bright and cheerys as the spring season. Take a look at these tips to help you spiff up your house, from the front porch to the dining room table.


1. Front door decor: Liven up your front stoop by replacing winter plants with evergreens like boxwoods. Freshen up your stoop with a good hose down and think about a new paint job or washing of any outdoor furniture.


2. Refresh your floors: If you’ve got hardwoods that have seen better days, pick up a water-based formula like Bona and add a little elbow grease. This simple treatment will keep your floors gleaming for months.


3. Quiet the creaks: Silence squeaky doors, bed frames, and other metal joints with a good dose of WD-40.


4. Sweeten a stinky disposal: Drop cubes of frozen white vinegar and a few lemon peels down your disposal to combat the odors that can build up easily in your kitchen sink. Run the tap on cold and let the disposal do its thing for about a minute.


5. Hang it up: We all procrastinate hanging artwork and family photos because the task of hanging things straight can seem daunting. Finally check this to-do off the list by using D-ring hangers. See full instructions here.


6. Hide lighting cords: Replace cheap-looking wiring or chains on chandeliers with a jute-wrapped pole that hides the cord.


7. Get out those old stains: A set-in stain can be such an eyesore, but it can be removed with a powerful homemade stain remover. Mix 1 tsp. OxiClean with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle and spritz the stain liberally. Cover the area with a damp white rag, set a medium-low iron on it, and let the steam go to work. Keep an eye on the process, but the stain should transfer to the white cloth.


8. Change your ring: An updated doorbell can do wonders for your home and is such an easy thing to swap out, just be careful with live wires.


9. Update your threshold: The base of your front door sees a lot of traffic. You’ll be amazed at the transformation you’ll see with just a few coats of paint.


10. Tighten up: Tend to those loose door knobs and drawer pulls. A couple of screwdrivers and a walk around your home will have these pesky pulls fixed up in no time.


11. Give hardware a facelift: A can of copper, bronze, or nickel spray paint has the ability to completely transform the look of your kitchen. By updating the finish on your hardware, you introduce a fresh new feel.


12. Have a knock out number: Grab and easy-install solar light and hang it above your home’s address to make your home more inviting and easier to find. While your at it, pick up some new numbers to give the exterior of your home a simple but effective new look.


13. Fix up dining table scratches: For scratches that penetrate beyond the wood finish, rub a shelled walnut gently across the marks and then polish with a soft cloth. The nut’s oils naturally conceal the blemishes.


14. Clear the drains: Unclog slow drains without using chemicals by choosing zip ties instead. Cut notches in them with sharp scissors to make them effective hair removers. You can tie a few together for a longer reach.