How To Clean A Whirlpool Dishwasher Drain (Ultimate Guide)

All electronic appliances need to be cleaned and well-maintained if you want them to work properly.

You just can not own one and expect them to self-clean without any outer support.

A dishwasher helps to clean the piled-up utensils which are gathered after cooking. You just throw them into the dishwasher, and your work is taken care of by the dishwasher.

Have you ever thought that your dishwasher needs cleaning too? It needs to clean the filth of the dirty dishes, which clogs the drainage and causes dysfunction.

How To Clean a Whirlpool Dishwasher Drain

Issues and Solutions of a Whirlpool Dishwasher

Improper maintenance may lead to a lot of issues in your dishwashers, such as slow draining or water may not draining at all. It may also appear that water collects at the bottom of the tub of your dishwasher.

Some common issues indicating your dishwasher needs cleaning are listed down below:-

Incomplete Wash Cycle

When your cleaning cycle is not completed, it may create some problems in working properly.

You have to keep checking if the complete clean indicator is indicated. If not, close the door and press the start button to complete the washing cycle.

Clogged Drain

Sometimes, it so happens that the drain gets clogged with dirt on your dishes, and the drainage is restricted.

To clean the clogged drain, you have to separate it and wash it and attach it back to the dishwasher.

Kinked drainage hose

The drainage hose is attached to the bottom of the dishwasher to the drain pipe below the sink. Make sure that it is not kinked or pinched, for it may cause some problems in your dishwasher.

Try to remove the kink or pinch in the pipe. If this also does not work, replace it with a new one.

Clogged drainage hose

A clogged drainage hose may also create improper function of the dishwasher as the filth gets stuck in it.

To clean the clogging of the hose, detach it and put one end of the hose under the running water and let the dirt come out of the other end.

When you see that it is cleared properly and clean water is coming from the other end, attach it back to the dishwasher.

Incorrect Installation of Garbage Disposal

When a garbage disposal is not installed properly, it causes issues. It mostly happens when you install a new one, and it is attached in the wrong way.

The garbage disposal is on the right side and has a knock-out plug which is supposed to be removed to avoid drainage restrictions.

Stuck Check Valve

The location of the check valve is just before the drainage hose, under the dishwasher. It also gets full of compiled dirt which needs to be cleaned for the dishwasher to work properly.

This valve is a one-way valve from where all the dirty water drains out. The valve has to be opened correctly, and something has to be put underneath to prevent the water from scattering all over the place.

After cleaning it, place it back in the dishwasher.

Drain Pump Failure

Sometimes, it may happen that you don’t find any known reason, but there is still a draining problem, and your dishwasher is filling up with water. It may occur due to drain pump failure.

In case of a failed drain pump, you have to replace it with a new one.


Read: How to Clean Old Whirlpool Dishwasher Filter Easily

how to clean the drain on a whirlpool dishwasher

Tips to Maintain the Whirlpool Dishwasher

If you want the long life of your Whirlpool Dishwasher to proper functioning, you need to take care of it so that it runs efficiently for years.

Some of the tips for maintenance are mentioned below:

The Fine Filter Cleaning

There is a filter placed at the bottom of the Whirlpool dishwasher, which needs regular cleaning.

When you wash your dishes, the leftover bits of food fall on them and get collected. If it was not there, it would clog the drain or may keep circulating inside your dishwasher.

To clean it, simply soak it in warm water with detergent or liquid soap and give it a quick scrub with a soft sponge.

Door Gasket Inspection

The door gasket is found running along with the dishwasher door inside it. It helps in air-tightening the door so that the water does not leak or spill from the dishwasher.

Sometimes food particles get stuck in it, causing gaps resulting in leakage. To clean it, wipe it with a sponge or rag soaked in soapy water. This will solve the issue.

If you find any tear in the gasket, you need to get a new one and replace it.

Examine the Spray Arm

The small holes in the spray arm get stuck with the food particles and dirt, which need to be unclogged.

Remove it and clean it with the help of a needle or something pointed. After dislodging of dirt is done, soak it in warm water with liquid soap and wipe it with a sponge.

Dish Rack Repairing

There is a plastic coating on the racks of the dishwasher, which sometimes falls off with regular use.

The metal underneath starts to show, which may get rusted, and the rusty scrapes may fall and end up in the pump, causing serious damage.

You need to coat it again with the dish rack coating paint to prevent damage.

Deodorizing and Cleaning the Interior

This is one of the most important preventive measures to be taken for maintaining your dishwasher.

The interior should be cleaned regularly even if you don’t find it dirty.

To do this, there is a simple method you need to follow. Place two cups of vinegar at the center of the bottom rack inside the dishwasher and start a small cycle.

When the cycle is complete, wipe it with the help of a rag.

Adjust the Water Temperature

The temperature for washing the dishes should not be less than 120 degrees Fahrenheit as too cold water may leave the dishes dirty with dried food on them.

The temperature should not exceed 150 degrees Fahrenheit, as it will waste both money and energy.

It should be between those two temperatures, and to check it, place a glass of water under your kitchen sink faucet and place a meat thermometer.

Check the temperature and adjust it accordingly.

Choose the Right Detergent

The selection of the right detergent is very important for your dishes as well as for your dishwasher.

The dish soap used in the kitchen sink for the dishes is not a substitute, and you should use a detergent made especially for the dishwasher.

Using the cheap or wrong detergent may cost you damaged dishes as well as a ruined interior of the dishwasher. So it’s wise to choose the right detergent for the maintained dishwasher.


Fixing the Clogged Dishwasher

There may be some small issue with your dishwasher, which may be fixed at home. There are some methods to try before you call the professionals and save your money and time at the same time.

1. The clogged drain is mostly caused by the dirty filter. Sometimes the chunk of a food particle, dirt, and the soil gets stuck in the filter and prevents water from draining out.

The filter is inside the bottom of the dishwasher, which can be seen when the bottom rack is removed. In some models of the dishwasher, it is found at the back, while in others, it is at the base of the spray arm.

2. Remove the filter, which is covered by a grill or mesh. This can be easily removed with the help of a hand.

3. Rinse it by putting it under the running faucet in the kitchen sink. Most of the dirt will be washed away by this. To remove the tough debris, scrub it with a sponge or a soft brush, most likely an old toothbrush.

Do not use any abrasive scrubber-like wire brush as it may damage the filter leaving it of no use. Fix it back to the dishwasher once the cleaning is completed.

4. If the cleaning of the filter does not solve the issue, you can look for other problems which can lead to the improper function of the dishwasher.

You can probably check the valve or draining hose to see if it is not stuck with the debris.

All these are small tips and tricks to check and solve the clogged dishwasher issues at home by yourself. If all this does not work, you can always take professional help.



The continuous maintenance of the Whirlpool dishwasher ensures its longevity. You always need to pay attention to see if it is working properly or not.

Finding small problems early which can be solved easily can save you from expensive repairing or replacing of the dishwasher.

If you notice any leakage, blocked pipe or hose, or any strange sound from the dishwasher that cannot be solved by yourself, contact the company professionals.