How to Clean a KitchenAid Dishwasher Filter: A Step-by-Step Guide

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By Everett H. Miller


In the fast-paced world of modern living, your KitchenAid dishwasher is a faithful kitchen companion. It diligently tackles the aftermath of delicious meals, leaving your dishes sparkling clean and ready for the next culinary adventure. However, for your dishwasher to perform at its best, it requires a little TLC in return. One essential maintenance task that often gets overlooked is cleaning the dishwasher filter. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore why cleaning your KitchenAid dishwasher filter is crucial and provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to do it effectively.

Understanding the Importance of a Clean Dishwasher Filter

The dishwasher filter plays a pivotal role in the dishwasher’s operation. Its primary function trap food particles, debris, and other solids that may remain on your dishes after a wash cycle. Over time, this filter can become clogged and inefficient, leading to various issues, including subpar cleaning results and unpleasant odours.

Now, let’s delve deeper into why you should make cleaning your KitchenAid dishwasher filter a regular part of your kitchen maintenance routine.

Why Clean Your KitchenAid Dishwasher Filter Regularly

Maintaining Optimal Dishwasher Performance

When you think about it, your dishwasher’s job is no small feat. It has to remove harsh, stuck-on food residues from your plates, glasses, and silverware, all while conserving water and energy. A clean dishwasher filter is essential for this task, ensuring that the water spraying onto your dishes is free from debris.

A clogged filter restricts water flow, making it harder for your dishwasher to clean effectively. You might start noticing uncleaned dishes or even bits of food residue left behind. Regularly cleaning your dishwasher filter ensures it operates at peak performance, delivering spotless results every time.

Preventing Unpleasant Odors

Have you ever opened your dishwasher, expecting fresh, clean air, only to be greeted by a foul odor? This unpleasant surprise is often a consequence of a dirty dishwasher filter. Food particles and debris trapped in the filter can decompose over time, releasing odorous gases into your dishwasher and, subsequently, your kitchen.

Cleaning your KitchenAid dishwasher filter regularly helps prevent these odors, leaving your kitchen smelling clean and inviting. Plus, who wouldn’t want to enjoy their meal without the lingering scent of yesterday’s dishes?

When Should You Clean Your KitchenAid Dishwasher Filter

Now that we understand why a clean dishwasher filter is crucial let’s talk about when you should perform this maintenance task. It’s essential to recognize the signs that your dishwasher filter needs attention so you can act promptly.

Signs That Your Dishwasher Filter Needs Cleaning

  1. Dirty Dishes After a Cycle: If you’ve noticed that your dishes aren’t coming out as clean as they used to, it could be a sign that your filter is clogged. The reduced water flow might not be effectively rinsing off food residues.
  2. Unpleasant Odors: As mentioned earlier, a foul smell from your dishwasher indicates that it’s time to clean the filter. Food particles stuck in the filter can produce unpleasant odors as they decompose.
  3. Visible Debris: Opening the dishwasher and seeing visible food particles or debris in the filter clearly indicates that it needs cleaning. Please don’t wait for it to become a more significant issue.
  4. Longer Cycle Times: A clogged filter can also cause your dishwasher to take longer to complete its cycle. This can lead to increased energy consumption and potentially higher utility bills.

Now that you know when to clean your KitchenAid dishwasher filter, let’s move on to the practical part: how to do it effectively.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Clean a KitchenAid Dishwasher Filter

Cleaning your KitchenAid dishwasher filter is a straightforward process that can be done in a few easy steps. Follow this guide to ensure your dishwasher operates at its best.

Step 1: Safety Precautions

Safety should always come first. Before you start, ensure your dishwasher is turned off and the power supply is disconnected. It’s also a good idea to wear gloves to protect your hands during the process.

Step 2: Gather Your Supplies

You’ll need a few basic supplies to clean your dishwasher filter:

  • Screwdriver
  • Soft brush or toothbrush
  • Mild dish soap
  • Warm water

Ensure you have these items ready before proceeding.

Step 3: Access the Filter

Locate the dishwasher filter. In most KitchenAid dishwashers, the filter is situated at the bottom. It’s typically found beneath the lower spray arm or in the center of the dishwasher floor.

Step 4: Remove and Rinse the Filter

Remove the filter by turning it counterclockwise (usually about a quarter turn). Once removed, rinse it under warm running water to remove any loose debris. Use a soft brush or toothbrush to scrub away stubborn particles gently. Be thorough but gentle to avoid damaging the filter.

Step 5: Clean the Filter Housing

While the filter is out, take a moment to clean the filter housing as well. Use a cloth or sponge dipped in warm, soapy water to wipe away any residue or grime. Ensure the accommodation is completely clean before reassembling.

Step 6: Reassemble Your Dishwasher

Once the filter and housing are clean, place the filter back into its original position and twist it clockwise to secure it in place. Make sure it’s snug but not overly tight.

Reconnect the power supply, turn on your dishwasher, and run a short rinse cycle to ensure everything functions correctly. Your KitchenAid dishwasher is now ready to deliver pristine results once again.

FAQs About Cleaning a KitchenAid Dishwasher Filter

FAQ 1: Can I clean the filter without turning off the dishwasher?

It’s recommended to turn off the dishwasher and disconnect the power supply before cleaning the filter to ensure your safety. Always follow safety precautions when working with appliances.

FAQ 2: How often should I clean my KitchenAid dishwasher filter?

Cleaning your dishwasher filter every 2-3 months is a good rule of thumb. However, if you notice any of the signs mentioned earlier, it’s best to clean it immediately.

FAQ 3: Can I use vinegar to clean the filter?

Yes, you can use vinegar and water (equal parts) to soak the filter and remove stubborn residues. Remember to rinse it thoroughly with clean water before reassembling it.

FAQ 4: What if my filter is damaged?

If you notice any cracks or significant damage to your filter, it’s best to replace it. A damaged filter may not effectively filter debris and can lead to dishwasher performance issues.

FAQ 5: Can a dirty filter damage my dishwasher?

Yes, a dirty or clogged filter can lead to reduced water flow and increased strain on your dishwasher’s components. Over time, this can result in damage and decreased performance.


In conclusion, maintaining a clean KitchenAid dishwasher filter is a simple yet crucial aspect of dishwasher care. By cleaning it regularly, you can ensure your dishwasher operates at its best, delivering spotless dishes and preventing unpleasant odors. Remember to watch for the signs that your filter needs cleaning, and follow the step-by-step guide to perform this essential maintenance task effectively.

Don’t let a dirty filter compromise the performance of your beloved KitchenAid dishwasher. With a clean filter, you can enjoy the convenience and efficiency of your dishwasher for many delicious meals to come. So, roll up your sleeves and give your dishwasher the care it deserves, and it will continue to be your kitchen’s trusty companion.

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