A dishwasher really doesn’t have an easy life: every day it reliably makes sure that the used dishes are ready for the next use. And it saves a lot of work in the process, because loading and unloading takes only a fraction of the time that would be needed to wash and dry dishes by hand. From time to time, however, the dishwasher or the dishwasher sieve must be cleaned to ensure that the appliance is up to the task in the long term. If you regularly clean the sieve, you can significantly extend the life of your dishwasher under $300.
What is the function of the dishwasher filter?
The heart of a dishwasher is the pump. This delivers the clean water to the spray arms and nozzles, which is used to rinse the food debris from the dishes. The contaminated water flows back into the bottom tub, through the strainer, and is finally discharged into the drain.
The strainer filters out coarse food debris and all those solid particles that could clog and damage the pump and hoses. Grease and lime are also retained. If the dishwasher strainer did not exist, the pump and pipes would quickly become clogged with grease and food residues. Since the lines in a dishwasher under $700 are sometimes only small in diameter and have many bends, even small deposits quickly cause problems here. With every rinse cycle, new contaminants accumulate – and at some point, nothing works anymore. It is not for nothing that clogged heat exchangers or waste water pipes are a very common problem when the dishwasher stops working.
The impeller of the pump is also very sensitive and would probably stop turning after just a few rinses. If the impeller does not work, the water is no longer conveyed. At the same time, however, the pump is driven by the motor and, if jammed, can be damaged to the point that it must be replaced. This is costly and cannot be repaired by amateurs. Often, in such a case, the repair customer service must get involved or even buy a new dishwasher.
Why should the dishwasher sieve be cleaned regularly?
Depending on how often the dishwasher is used and how dirty the dishes are, the sieve will become clogged with residues from previous wash cycles within a few weeks. Above all, the grease film that always forms and is difficult to remove prevents this important component from actually functioning. In the same way, coarse particles are deposited, such as peel residues, which do not dissolve. In addition, unpleasant odors arise when the food residues in the sieve modern. This happens quite quickly because there is always some residual water below the sieve, in the so-called pump sump. Bacteria quickly form in the moist environment, which then causes a musty smell that becomes noticeable every time the dishwasher is opened. And last but not least, limescale also plays a role, especially in areas with hard water.
Dishwasher manufacturers therefore advise cleaning the dishwasher strainer every 4 to 6 weeks. This is the only way to prevent the strainer from being permanently damaged and to prevent foreign bodies from getting into the pump and hoses. You can also prevent unpleasant odors with regular cleaning.
How is the dishwasher sieve cleaned?
Cleaning the strainer is done within a few minutes. Proceed as follows:
- Empty the dishwasher and pull out the bottom rack.
- The sieve is located in the bottom tray. Turn it out counterclockwise. Some dishwashers have two strainers: one for coarse particles and one for fine particles. Refer to your owner’s manual to determine if this is the case with your appliance.
- Remove all visible, coarse soiling and rinse the sieve with warm water and detergent. For thorough cleaning, you can gently rub the strainer with a sponge, brush or discarded toothbrush.
- Reinstall the strainer by turning it firmly clockwise. On most devices, there is a mark in which position the sieve must be installed.
How can I tell that the filter needs to be replaced?
If you notice damage such as broken parts or cracks when removing it, the strainer needs to be replaced. Dishwasher strainers are common dishwasher spare parts that can be purchased for any dishwasher under $500 online or at specialty stores. If you use a defective strainer, it can damage the pump and other components in the long run. The follow-up costs or even a new purchase of an appliance are much higher than investing in a new strainer every now and then.
Conclusion: Clean dishwasher filter, increase service life
Take a look at the strainer regularly and clean it thoroughly at certain intervals. This way, you can be sure that the machine will not be damaged by avoidable impurities. In addition, you will prevent unpleasant odors.