Home Improvements & Maintenance : How to Fix a Dishwasher That Will Not Drain


Hi I’m Tim Gipson and I’m going to talk to
you about how to fix a dishwasher that will not drain. Now if you’ve got some standing
water in your dishwasher, most likely it’s because your drain line from the dishwasher
to the sink or the garbage disposal has become clogged. So the first thing we want to do
is there’s a basket in the back here, has a couple screws that hold it in. So the first
thing we do would be to remove that and see if there’s any large debris in there that’s
keeping it from draining. Now if we’ve done that and everything is OK, then the next thing
we want to do is we want to take some baking soda and some vinegar then with the baking
soda you want to put some in a cup and then you want to mix just enough water with it
so that it’s a pourable paste. So once we do that, then we’ll take the baking soda and
we’ll pour it down that drain and then we’re going to follow it with a cup of vinegar. Now that vinegar will fizz and
work with the baking soda and we’re going to let that set for about 10 or 15 minutes
to try to work and get down through that clog. And then the last thing we want to do is we
want to take a pot of boiling hot water, and it’s very important that you get this water
as hot as can be and then we’ll take that and we’ll pour that down the drain. Now for
most just your regular type of clog, that should clear it. Now if that doesn’t clear
it after that first application, then you might have to repeat the process one or even
two more times for a severe clog but eventually you will be able to get that clog cleared
and these are things that you usually have around the house. They do not cost that much,
they’re just pennies per application and they are safe to your plumbing and the environment
so it’s a good thing to use. I’m Tim Gipson and that’s how to fix a dishwasher that will
not drain.

100 thoughts on “Home Improvements & Maintenance : How to Fix a Dishwasher That Will Not Drain

  1. I'm trying to figure out how to drain my dishwasher even though it was find a few days ago and when I ran a full cycle the water seem to drain pretty good as nothing has leaked out of the washer.And all the water has sat on the bottom.

  2. Hi, This was amazing how this was so simple and did the job. I have been trying to get my dishwasher to drain for a couple weeks. Replaced with a $45 Impeller kit to find out that was not the problem. I was thinking I would be looking at buying a new dishwasher. I came across your video and thought no way could something so simple would work. Tried your baking soda and vinegar a couple times and it is now draining like a brand new dishwasher. I will be doing soda and vinegar often. Thank You

  3. How do i clear out the last of the water so can i pour the baking soda n viniger? The drain is still filed with water that i cant get out

  4. I spent 3 hours messing with it before I realized some water is normal in the drain. I did clean some gunk out of the drainage line going into the disposal, which I guess was a good thing.

  5. thank you so much it realy worked. I had to do it twice forgot to use the vinegar, you can also use sponges to get the water out. Thanks

  6. I was expelling water manually for weeks. So glad I looked online.  You are awesome.  I thought I needed a new dishwasher.  You are a blessing from God.
    Thanks so much.  I am doing this to all drains in the condo periodically.

  7. I love you, Man! You just saved me $110 service call plus $80 per hour plus any parts they would have told me "were necessary" to fix my expensive German dishwasher. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  8. QWOOHOO!! So glad I found this video! I'm in the kitchen with my dishwasher racks on the floor…cleaned out the filter and was stuck on what to do about the water welling in the bottom. Gonna try this!

  9. We  woke up sunday morning to our dishwasher leaking water  from the front door onto floor. We had a river of water sitting in the bottom of the dishwasher. After watching this we bailed the water out from the bottom and then took the filter off.  There was a huge amount of disgusting balvkish jelly like substance in the  filter  .. ( i assume years of soap and food ) . we then did the baking soda and  Vinagar . We did this twice in an hour .. We then watched another video which said to take the soap floater off and check that for debris. True to the video there was alot soap and scum in that . After cleaning and putting everything back we ran our dishwasher through the rince and hold just to see if it leaked and it didnt . I am now doing a load of dishes and its been all good.. Thank You soooo much . This was so helpful saved me a new dishwasher and or a plumbers cost ..

  10. You blocked the interior of dishwasher. Where is the drain and what does it look like? How do I open it if it is in the back? I am too short to reach back there!

  11. Thank you. Your method worked! Your video is very clear. I had to do the "treatment" twice. My husband didn't know where to start plus all other videos showed somewhat complicated repairs. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Get a product called Lemi-Shine and use it as directed.  However, usually it's a chopper (on the Whirlpool made machines) or a drain impeller that needs to be replaced.  Mark @ Appliance Service

  13. It would be REALLY REALLY helpful if you would answer at least some of these questions. A tip is great, but if I can't follow up with a question about it when I've done it, I fail to see the efficacy. Thanks for the video regardless.

  14. Hi, Thank you. I have a Frigidaire that doesn't have the basket in the back. It has the chopper, etc. I'm trying the 2nd round, but it hasn't worked yet. Just not sure if I'm giving it enough time, or if maybe I need a new chopper or drain impeller (as suggested below). Just wondering how long you usually wait between tries.

  15. Hallelujah!! It worked! First time. I had opened the airgap and could see that a very small amount of water was being pumped out. So, after putting in the vinegar and soda (I used about 1/2 c soda and 1.5 c vinegar(  for no particular reason), so after putting it in, I periodically pumped just a little of the solution through the system (on the "drain cycle" to get more of it into the "plug."  Waited 15 minutes. As soon as I added the boiling water (lots of it) it flushed right through!  I will plan to do a mini treatment regularly since this is the second time it plugged and the first time cost a lot of money. This time…not so much!!  Thank you, Mr. Gibson

  16. TO CLARIFY MY LAST COMMENT:  When I said "plunge the hell out of your drain" I mean to say "plunge the hell out of the drain at the bottom of the inside of the dishwasher" not the sink drain.  Thank you and goodnight.

  17. My dishwasher would not drain. I took everything apart only to later discover the drain line was clogged with coffee grounds. They were poured down the sink side with the garbage disposal.  Used a coat hanger and snaked it. Thanks

  18. Woo Hoo!!!!! It works! I had to do it 3 times, running it in between each treatment the 3rd time It completely drained thank you soooo much

  19. I can't seem to pour the mixture "down" the drain. The standing water won't allow anything to go down. I have cleared any muck out of the basket but nothing seems to be going down… any thoughts? Oh, I don't have an airgap either and my kitchen sink seems to be draining just fine. 

  20. I did your trick and I had a similar dishwasher but disconnected the line to garbage disposal found clog and did the baking soda and vinegar trick and it seemed to work like a champ. Back in business and good as new.

  21. A tip for everyone. When you pour everything in its not going to drain immediately. Dishwashers reuse water through different cycles but inbetween cycles the water is drained by a pump. So what I did was poured everything in once, used a towel to soak it up. Then did that twice more. Next just run the dishwasher and inbetween cycles the water will drain!!

  22. Okay the basket in our dishwasher is all cleaned bit nothing will go down its starting to smell and look bad what do I do need ASAP

  23. Just thought I would throw this in here. For those of you that tried this and it worked that's great. For the those that tried this, the remedy, cleaning out airgap to DW and the tray inside bottom and it didn't work you now will be looking at replacing a failed pump. Just putting this on here for those who might not know what the next step is. Good Luck

  24. Every dishwasher make has different problem s the one in this video is 15+ years old most new dishwasher have an electric drain pump that pumps out the water..glass or other objects get stuck in the drain pump causing it not to drain. This guys method doesn't work at all on a new dishwasher..just so u all know

  25. IT worked. Thank you so much. I did use a small plunger type suction tool to push the mixture of baking soda hot water etc. all up and down and it forced my lines clean. No more placing bacon grease sheets in the machine. I will be washing them by hand. 

  26. why not liquid plumber.  I think if you indeed removed the basket over the drain you should have poured it in with the basket off.  just a thought.

  27. Here in Indianapolis we have had many consecutive minus zero temps. Turns out our drain line had some ice in it. Saved ourselves a service call.

  28. My basket does not have screws should I just pry it to make it pop out I don't want to brake it what should I do

  29. If you have a length of tubing (I had some for cleaning my fish tank) or hose and a bucket, you can siphon the liquid out. Much easier and tidier than hand bailing or sopping up with a towel.

    PS. I will buy new tubing for the fish tank.

  30. My dishwasher is a 2014 GE with hidden controls.  Its basically new.  It doesnt drain.  I have tried a shop vac from both sides, etc..   Will this work on my "newer" dishwasher or is this for older dishwashers.

  31. im going to have to try this. mine wont drain so i called my landloard and they said to just turn it on and let it run and it will drain… so i did that when it first happened and it worked. and it happened again last night so i tried it again and it didnt work. i know the pump and everything is good in it. its just clogged i believe

  32. Thing is, Water is not draining at all, so when you apply the method above to the already clogged drain full of water it doesnt do anything… but dissolve in the water.

  33. This worked for my Frigidaire dishwasher, but not at first. First, I had to use towels to get out all the standing water. Did the baking soda/vinegar mixture, waited 10 minutes, poured scalding hot water (7 cups), ran the dishwasher for a few seconds, then hit cancel, and nothing seemed to happen. Then I ran the dishwasher again for a few seconds, then hit the cancel so it would drain. I did this 3 times. Each time, it drained a little more water. I could also hear the water draining out of the garbage disposal.Then I poured the baking soda/vinegar mixture a second time, waited 10 minutes, poured scalding hot water, ran it for a few seconds, then hit cancel. Drained perfectly. Thanks for the tip!

  34. Oh my goodness – this worked!
    After watching many dizzying videos that required tools, unscrewing things, removing tubing, unbolting the dishwasher from the counter top, shop vacs to remove water from the base of the trap, I came across this easy, short video. One application of baking soda, vinegar and steaming hot water and the problem is gone. Thank you.

  35. Thank you, this worked for me. I did the process with the baking soda, vinegar and hot water three times then turned the dishwasher on and it drained perfectly. Thank you once again for sharing. It is appreciated.

  36. Thank you so much. I tried this – it took two applications but it really worked. Just so everyone knows make sure there is no standing water – use paper towels, cup or baster to remove the standing water. Then pour baking soda paste, followed by vinegar, and then by really hot water (I boiled with a kettle).

  37. thank you so much!! my dish washer has been out of commission for 3 years. I almost bought a new one until I found your video. I tried your trick and now it's working like new!! YOU ARE AWESOME!!! many thanks for saving me $$$$.

  38. I use a manual bilge pump typically used for small boats to drain out my dishwasher before following the tips in this video. The pump costs about $30 and has proven to be handy for small jobs. Great video and great advice. Thank you!

  39. Just did this and turned on a rinse cycle and could hear the water draining perfectly. And it has since passed the real test as I ran the full cycle with dirty dishes. It drained perfectly. Thank you so much for this great video.

  40. Thank you very much for sharing the experience. I used your way and finally opened the clog, and drained all water successfully. It was a severe clog in my rental apartment, I repeated for at least 8 times, plus finally also poured in a few bottles of lemon juice, after 6 hours struggle finally fixed the problem. Thank you again.

  41. This advice is so great! I have used this method successfully on two dishwashers now. Saved me money, time, and headache. No better solution! Another piece of advice I found that works well for solving the overflow from getting water all over my counter: first, unscrew and lift off the cap of the overflow device at the sink, then place a paper towel tube over the mouth of the device and blow any clog free. Two great tricks to maintaining a happy dishwasher.

  42. Great tips, combo of x 2 solutions Baking Soda and vinegar and of course hot water. Great to the point tip. not wordy.  Loved it.

  43. I tried three times but no luck…:( The thing is, after all that, I kept trying to drain with cancel/drain button, it hardly drained any… should there be something clogged in the hose? BTW, my kichen sink works fine

  44. Amazing result….I was just about to order another dishwasher after trying everything else….I'm so glad I found this video. Thanks for sharing your advice. Great result !!!! 😃😃😃

  45. Here I am in 2019, so grateful for this video. I had to run 2 cycles, but this worked!! My family thanks you for this inexpensive, simple solution, saving us time and aggravation. You rock!🤓

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