If your old Whirlpool dishwasher filter has become full of limescale (due to hard water), the filter requires cleaning. Similarly, if your old Whirlpool dishwasher filter has become full of food deposits, it needs to be cleaned.
Another scenario where your dishwasher filter would require cleaning is if it has become full of soil.
Further still, if dishes come out smelling bad, that may be an indication that the dishwasher’s filter requires cleaning.
Below we will be looking at how you can remove various types of dirt from the filter.
Table of Contents
Self-cleaning vs. manual cleaning
Before proceeding, it is important to point out that the filters fall into two categories. The first category is that of self-cleaning filters.
These contain some sort of grinder mechanism, which helps in cleaning them as they are used. The grinder crushes the food particles and other debris that this kind of filter traps.
It grinds them into very fine pieces, then directs them out of the machine via the drain.
Such filters tend to be harder to remove. And the dishwashers where they are used make more noise (mainly because of the grinder system).
The second category is that of old Whirlpool dishwasher filters that require manual cleaning.
These filters tend to be easily removable, and the machines on which they are used are usually quieter.
By making reference to your Whirlpool dishwasher manual, you can tell whether the filter in it is self-cleaning.
Examining the filter can also give you hints on whether it is self-cleaning or it requires manual cleaning.
Is the filter easily removable? Does it have arrows showing you what direction to twist it in order to unlock it? If yes, it is probably one that requires manual cleaning.
Steps to take in Cleaning a Whirlpool Dishwasher Filter
To clean limescale from an old Whirlpool dishwasher filter, you need to follow these steps:
- Twist the filter assembly in a counterclockwise direction to unlock it
- Soak the filter (for around five minutes) in warm water that contains a mild detergent
- Use a soft brush to gently scour the limescale that is on the filter’s body
- Place the filter under a tap and allow water to run over it for several minutes
- Reinsert the (now clean) filter back into the old Whirlpool dishwasher
How to clean soil
You know that your Whirlpool dishwasher filter is full of soil if dishes are coming out with a gritty feel. To clean soil from the filter, you need to do as follows:
- Locate the filter (within the bottom part of the dishwasher) and remove it
- Place the filter in a sink
- Open the sink’s faucet tap to get the water running
- Allow the water from the faucet to hit the filter for several minutes (like three). This should be enough to remove soil particles.
- Return the (now clean) filter to the old Whirlpool dishwasher. Ensure that you secure it properly before starting to use the machine again.
How to clean food particles
There is one way to tell if your Whirlpool dishwasher filter is saturated with food particles. That is if dishes are coming out with bits of food on them. To clean food particles from the filter, follow these 5 simple steps:
- Get the filter out of the dishwasher (by twisting it, then gently pulling it off)
- Soak the filter in warm water that contains several drops of dish soap and detergent. Allow it to remain there for at least five minutes.
- Scrub the filter gently using a soft brush (or using a piece of cloth dipped in warm soapy water)
- Place the filter in a sink and allow water from the faucet to run over it for several minutes.
- Replace the (now clean) filter on the dishwasher and twist it in a clockwise direction to secure it
How to clean oily grime
To rid an old Whirlpool dishwasher filter of oily grime, do as follows:
- Remove the filter from the bottom center section of your old Whirlpool filter
- Allow the filter to soak in warm soapy water for at least five minutes. During that duration, the warm soapy water will remove the oily grime from the filter.
- Place the filter in a sink and open the water. Allow the filter to be hit by a water jet for a couple of minutes in order to rinse it.
- Return the now clean filter back to the old Whirlpool dishwasher
How to remove grime from self-cleaning old Whirlpool dishwasher filter
Sometimes, you may discover that the supposedly self-cleaning old Whirlpool dishwasher filter has accumulated grime. The question that arises is what you are supposed to do in that sort of situation.
And the answer is that you can remove the grime from the self-cleaning filter using baking soda and vinegar.
You start with the vinegar and then use baking soda to complete the process.
With regard to vinegar, what you need to use is specifically the white variety. You just put the white vinegar in a cup.
Then you place the cup of white vinegar in the Whirlpool dishwasher’s bottom rack.
Thereafter you run the dishwasher (a full cycle). By the end of it, the white vinegar would have found its way to the filter and cleaned it.
With regard to baking soda, you start by spreading it on the dishwasher’s floor.
Then you run the machine (a full cycle). By the end of the cycle, the baking soda would have found its way to the machine’s filter. It would then have cleaned it.
The most important thing in both cases (for baking soda and vinegar) is to ensure that the dishwasher gets air-dried. That is as opposed to it drying via a heat cycle.
So while running with both the baking soda and vinegar, you turn the heat cycle off.
Frequently asked questions
When should I replace an old Whirlpool dishwasher filter?
You should replace your old Whirlpool dishwasher filter if it has become too worn out.
That is, if it has become so worn out that it can’t perform its intended purpose properly.
Your first course of action when you notice a drop in performance should be to clean the filter. If the filter performance remains poor in spite of cleaning and it shows signs of wear, consider replacing it.
How long does a Whirlpool dishwasher filter last?
The filters tend to be durable and can last as long as 5 years before needing replacement.
What is a Whirlpool dishwasher filter?
It is a component that (mainly) prevents the recirculation of food particles within the machine.
The condition of your Whirlpool dishwasher filter has a huge effect on the machine’s performance.
If you want your Whirlpool dishwasher to give you consistently good results, you need to be cleaning its filter regularly.
Cleaning the filter entails following the simple steps we have outlined above.