in , ,

How to Unclog Dishwasher Drain Hose

Dishwasher drain hose junction with the outgoing pipes from under the kitchen sink

Clogged dishwashers are no fun, but it is bound to happen. The source for the clog is not as important as cleaning it up and getting your appliance to drain properly again. It is not a clean job, but someone has to do it.

Take a few minutes to continue reading our article. It is filled with the information you need to know about, so you do not open up your dishwasher’s door and find a pool of dirty water waiting to greet you.

Easy Steps to Unclog Your Dishwasher

It is not a fun job to do but if you want your dishes to get clean and your dishwasher to run right, you need to deal with the problem. Here are some easy steps to follow to make this tedious and dirty job go a little faster and a little smoother

Step 1 – Turn Your Dishwasher Off

Hand turning a dial on the front of a dishwasher

There is no need to give yourself an electrical surprise. Cutting the power to the dishwasher is the way to remain safe while unclogging the drain hose.

Step 2 – Remove Everything

You will want to remove all dishes, flatware, and racks. This will give you the space you need to work. There is no sense in injuring yourself while you work.

Step 3 – Remove the Water

If the water is deep enough, use a cup, bowl or pot to remove the standing water. Then use a thick towel to soak up what remains when most of the water is removed.

Step 4 – Examine the Drain Hose

Since the hose did not let the water go out, the clog may be somewhere inside the hose. Once you find it, get ready to remove the hose.

Step 5 – Remove and Clean The Hose

Gloved hands removing hose from drain spout at the wall

This is not a tough task and depending on the design of your dishwasher removing the hose should be a matter of undoing a screw or two and then gently pulling it off.

Once the hose is off, clean out the clog but be careful as you do not want to put extra holes inside the hose.

Step 6 – Inspect Your Drains and Drain Connections

This is to make sure they are free from debris that may clog up your dishwasher in the near future. With the hose off, this is a good time to get that done.

After you have done all this, put everything back together and run a cleaning cycle to make sure the clog is gone.

Alternative Clog Spots

Under the sink view of a garbage disposal

The hose is not the only part of the dish washing system that can get clogged. Here are some alternative places to look if unclogging your hose doesn’t completely cure the problem.

1. The Garbage Disposal – The dishwasher drains through this device. Making sure the disposal is free from food particles will help your dishwasher drain better. Make sure to unplug the disposal so no one accidentally turns it on when your hand is inside.

To remove any debris, you may have to remove the p-trap and go at it from the bottom up. The p-trap is the curved portion of the drain system

2. The Air Gap – Believe it or not, this is a very important dishwasher part. It helps direct the dishwasher where it is supposed to send the dirty water and debris. If it is clogged, the dishwasher may send its contents to your sink instead of the drain pipe.

Removal of this part is a matter of removing a few bolts and screws. Once off you can give it a thorough cleaning. Spraying water is first, then use an old toothbrush to get any debris left behind.

3. Clean the Drains – It is the most obvious part of the dishwasher that gets clogged. If the food items are large when the plates and bowls are placed inside your dishwasher, chances are the drains will get clogged before the hose.

Remove the racks and dishes and check the drains. If they are clogged, remove them and give them a good cleaning. Once dry, return them to their spots and make sure they are securely in place.

One Word of Advice

Close up of a dishwasher full of red dished and stainless steel utensils.

As you search for the clog and clean up any you do find, check to see if there are any worn or broken parts. If you see some, now is the time to go out and buy replacement parts. Once you get those parts simply install them so that your dishwasher will be ready to go for a few more years.

Then once you have cleaned and replaced any parts that need replacing, run a cleaning cycle with vinegar to make sure you got all the clogs and soap build-up out of the appliance.

Please keep in mind that we may receive a small commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

Woman kneeling in front of an open dishwasher cleaning the inside

How to Clean a Dishwasher with Mold

Dishwasher full of dirty dishes standing open with water in the bottom

How to Drain a Dishwasher with Standing Water