How Do You Clean a Dishwasher Drain Hose Without Removing it?


A dishwasher failing to drain or showing signs of a blockage can create havoc in your kitchen because of its unpleasant smell and unhygienic conditions. 

One of the biggest reasons this can happen is when you fail to clean the dishwasher drain hose properly.

The drain hose is located below the dishwasher. It helps in carrying all the dirty waste materials from your dishwasher. So understandably, it’s supposed to get dirty and often cause a seriously bad smell.

Actually, 9 times out of 10 you’ll be able to clean the drain hose yourself by checking and removing any blockages found within your dishwasher’s filters, waste hose, and spray arms. Along with removing the blockages from these areas you should provide the drain hose with a thorough clean, particularly if your dishwasher smells.

In this article, you’ll learn how to properly clean the dishwasher drain hose so it doesn’t create an unpleasant smell and makes your dishwasher almost dysfunctional to work. Along with that, you’ll also learn how to clean the spray arms, water hose, and dishwasher filters.

Because a lot of times, those 3 can also cause problems with the drain hose and make it very hard to clean. 

Unblocking Your Dishwasher Spray Arms

The spray arm is a very vital piece in your dishwasher. The main purpose of a spray arm is to distribute water evenly so when it starts to drain, it’s going down evenly without making anything dirty. 

And if it gets blocked it can cause a very uneven supply of water in the drain hose which results in the hose getting dirty.

This happens because when the water starts coming unevenly your pots and pans may not get cleaned properly and all the fats and grimes will remain thick and get stuck in the drain hose.

Unblocking the dishwasher spray arms can be done by following the 5 steps given below.

  1. Remove the dishwashers’ bottom tray as this will give you clear access to the bottom spray arm as well as the attached spray arm on the top rack.
  1. Undo the retaining nut which holds the spray arms in place, once these have been removed you’ll be able to lift out the spray arms.
  1. With your spray arms out of the dishwasher, rinse them under running warm water to remove any debris. While doing this add vinegar and baking soda for better results. Also, scrub with a dry cloth to clean dirt.
  1. Use a toothpick to remove any debris which is clogging the holes in the spray arm and then repeat step 3.
  1. Fit each spray arm back in place, attach the retaining nut and tighten. 

Unclog Your Dishwasher Filters

When you think about the state of your pots and pans when you put them in your dishwasher, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that your dishwasher’s filters, which are positioned at the bottom of the appliance, can easily become blocked with food debris. 

If the debris is left, the filters will become full and slowed down, preventing your dishwasher from draining.

Thankfully, removing the filters to clean and unblock them is neither a difficult or time-consuming chore, and it’s recommended to you.

  1. Remove the bottom rack to provide you access to the filters
  1. Rotate the center filter anticlockwise and lift it out, before lifting out the mesh filter
  1. To remove the central filter within the cylindrical, push the 2 tabs in and lift it out
  1. With all filters removed, wash them in hot, soapy water to remove any dirt and debris. If the filters have a grease deposit on them, it’s recommended you pour boiling water over them.
  1. Once your dishwasher filters are clean, refit them in your dishwasher by reversing steps 3 to 1.

You can read my indepth article of how to clean your dishwasher filters here.

How to Clean a Dishwasher Drain Hose

On a regular basis, you will need to thoroughly clean it, especially you always want to make sure that the internal parts of the hose are free from grease and fats.

Cleaning the dishwasher hose will help to eliminate any dishwasher smells and keep it working to its full potential, ensuring your pots and pans are left crystal clean. 

Below you can find out how to clean your dishwasher drain hose without removing it –

  1. Remove the food leftovers. There’s a lot of waste, grease, grime, and food leftovers that get stuck inside the dishwasher and creates tension.
  1. Turn your dishwasher as well as garbage disposal off. This will make sure your dishwasher doesn’t get dirtier and gets clogged even more.
  1. Check the garbage disposal. A lot of times drains get clogged because of the garbage disposal. Run the disposal for 15 min to fill up and clean any debris. 
  1. Create a solution of vinegar and baking soda and apply it in the drain of your dishwasher. Let it sit for a while.
  1. Boil water and pour it down into the drain. 

This should remove any clogs of grease and grime. And make the basket as good as new.

If this method doesn’t work. There’s another method you can apply to clean the dishwasher drain hose easily. It is as follows:

  1. Ensure your dishwasher is empty of any pots, pans, and cutlery
  1. Set your dishwasher up to run a complete wash cycle, but leave the cleaning detergent out
  1. Add a hard solution of dishwasher cleaner, such as a limescale and detergent remover to make sure that any kind of fat and grimes are absolutely dissolved.
  1. Turn your dishwasher on and let it run its wash cycle. The dishwasher cleaner will make light work of cleaning the internal parts of your appliance, such as the drain hose, and remove it from any dirt, grease, and fat.

Taking the time to regularly unblock and clean your dishwasher hose will help your appliance continue to work at its peak performance for longer, ensuring your pots and pans are left fresh and your appliance is energy efficient.


Dishwashers are one of the most integral parts of your house, especially your kitchen, and cleaning them can be a hell of a task.

Thanks to so many fats and grimes that get stuck in the drain hose.

This not only clogs the dishwasher drain hose but also creates an unpleasant smell. Making the kitchen almost dysfunctional.

The first step to making sure this doesn’t happen is awareness.

That every time you are cleaning your dishes. If there’s fat, grease, or grime they’ll create havoc in the drain.

Try to remove as much fat as you can before you run the dishwasher. You can do that with baking soda and vinegar.

Another thing to note is that your dishwashing solution when combined with the fat and grimes only becomes an even thicker solution that can easily get stuck in the hose.

So, although you need soap or the dishwasher solution to clean the dishes, it actually harms the life of the drain hose and your dishwasher.

An easy step you can apply is just to put boiling water down the drain, which can go a long way in cleaning those solutions that get stuck in the hose.

And finally putting this article into action.

Just remember 4 things. Spray Arms, Water Hose, Dishwasher Filters, and Dishwasher Basket. 

To properly clean a drain hose you must take a note of all these 4 integral parts. 

And remember to have vinegar and baking soda with you at all times.

1 thought on “How Do You Clean a Dishwasher Drain Hose Without Removing it?”

  1. Pingback: Best 12 clean dishwasher drain hose - violetadvisors.com

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