clean dishwasher drain hose without removing
Kristina Davis

Wondering how to clean dishwasher drain hose without removing it? In today’s day and age, we’re all dependent on the machines around us, right from heaters to keep us warm, washing machines to wash our clothes, and dishwashers to do the dishes.

But what happens if the dishwasher we depend on so much today, stops working as well as it used to? 

The most common problem with dishwashers is when they stop draining completely after use.

This happens when the dishwasher drain becomes clogged due to food debris or even because of a build-up of grease or grime.

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In such cases, the first thing you need to do to clean your dishwasher drain is to remove any clogs from the draining hose.

You do this by unclogging the drain and then cleaning the filter. 

It is said that prevention is better than cure, so you can prevent your dishwasher drain from clogging by following the care instructions given in the manual.

There are ways to also clean a dishwasher drain without actually removing it. Let’s find out how to go about it.

How to Clean a Dishwasher Drain Hose without Removing it?

dishwasher drain hose

Clearing a drain hose is quite complicated, and definitely not your average fix.

However, it is not rocket science and you should be able to handle it on your own.

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Step 1

The first and most obvious step to doing any kind of work on a dishwasher is to remove the dishes already inside. 

If the dishes are still dirty, don’t forget to separate them from the rest of the dishes so that they can be cleaned once your dishwasher is up and running again.

This may sound silly now, but when panicking about why your dishwasher isn’t draining, it may become very easy to forget such an obvious step.

Step 2

Once you have emptied the dishwasher of all the dishes, make sure you turn off the power to the dishwasher as well as the garbage disposal.

This is critical and something you need to do before moving to the next step.

Step 3

It may also be a good idea to remove the rack at the bottom of the dishwasher at this point. This will make it easier to access certain parts.

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For example, one of the parts you may need to check would be the filter which could be either at the back or the bottom of your dishwasher depending on the model.

Step 4

In case of a clogged drain, start by clearing your garbage disposal. Before you get your hands dirty trying to clean the drain hose, it is always better to inspect the garbage disposal, as your main problem could lie there.

If your garbage disposal is clogged that could be exactly why your dishwasher isn’t draining properly.

Run the disposal to eat up any large debris if present and then clean it out when it is full.

Step 5

If there is a clog in the drain of your dishwasher, simply try a quick fix solution to loosen it up.

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First, add a solution made with equal parts of vinegar and baking soda to the dishwasher basket and let it sit for a while.

The dishwasher basket is usually found at the bottom of the dishwasher.

Step 6

After approximately 15 minutes pour boiling water into the basket to clear the clog and run the rinse cycle.

What Not to Do

Do not use Drano. While a lot of people use Drano to unclog an overflowing sink or even the shower, it is not advisable to pour it into the dishwasher.

Drano is made up of Sodium Hydroxide which can damage the plastic drain hose of the dishwasher.

The PVC drain pipes used in sinks and showers are much thicker than the plastic drain hose making it okay to use Drano in those pipes.

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Another reason to not use Drano is that the chemicals in it could stay back in the drain pump and then splash onto your dishes while washing. 

Alternative Methods on How to Clean Dishwasher Drain Hose without Removing it

cleaning a dishwasher drain hose

If you are still facing an issue after trying the above-mentioned steps then you can alternatively try some other methods to solve your dishwasher problem. 

Clean the Dishwasher Air Gap

The air gap of your dishwasher could be the source of your clogging problem and you should check it next, before moving on to anything else.

You will be able to tell if the problem is with your air gap when your dishwasher isn’t draining properly and there is water flooding your countertop.

Take off the cap of the air gap and clear out debris if any.

Check the Filter

Like we mentioned earlier, the Dishwasher’s filter is usually located at the back or the bottom of your dishwasher, depending on the model.

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Unscrew the casing over the filter. Then clean out the filter completing, removing debris if any.

If Nothing Else Works

In the scenario that all of the above methods fail, you may want to try opening up the dishwasher and disconnecting the drain hose to clean.

This method may seem complicated and rightfully so, but you should be able to handle it on your own with the help of 5 simple steps. 

Step 1

Locate the dishwasher’s circuit breaker and turn it off. Open the door of the dishwasher and unscrew the two screws mounting it to the countertop.

Remove the kick plate at the bottom of the dishwasher; this is usually secured by two screws.

Note: The kick plates on some dishwasher models simply snap on and off.

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Step 2 

The wire should then be disconnected by removing the wire nuts in the electrical junction box under the dishwasher.

Then turn off the valve under the sink and disconnect the water supply. Pull the dishwasher out from under the countertop.

Step 3

Loosen the clamp of the drain hose and disconnect it from the dishwasher. Place a bowl under it, to collect any residual water from the dishwasher drain.

Detach the other end of the hose from under the sink by getting the clamp loose and pulling it off. 

Step 4

dishwasher drain hose

Pull the hose out and check for any cracks or dents. It is very common for the kinks in a dishwasher drain to cause clogs.

If this is the case, the hose will need to be replaced. If the hose looks good, gently bend it back and forth clearing any clogs in the process.

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Then run a high-pressure garden hose through it, which will clear out any small clogs.

Step 5

Reconnect the hose from both sides with the respective clamps. Reconnect the water supply and the electrical wire by securing the wire nuts in the junction box.

Move the dishwasher back into place, firmly attaching it to the countertop.

Secure the kick plate, by screwing it on or simply snapping it back on, depending on the model of your dishwasher.

Switch on the valve under the sink. Also, turn on the circuit breaker. Now, test the dishwasher.

The above-mentioned steps are fairly simple, and you should be able to handle them alone.

However, it is important to note that if you are still uncomfortable doing this and feel like it’s more than you can handle, you should contact a professional. 

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