If your dishwasher is still full of standing water after being run, there are a few simple steps you can take to try and solve the problem yourself. The sight of dirty, stagnant water instead of sparkling clean crockery is enough to make your heart sink, but the solution is usually quite straightforward. Here are a few things to check.

1. Clean the filters

Firstly, it is very important to switch the machine off at the mains. Then look for the filters in the bottom of the dishwasher. The filters are designed to trap food particles and prevent excess grease being spread around the dishwasher, so they need to be cleaned out on a regular basis to prevent blockages.

They should pull or twist out easily. Lift the cylindrical filter out first, followed by the metal mesh filter plate. Check the sump, which is the lower pit underneath the filters, for larger pieces of food which may be stuck there. Run the filters under the tap to remove built-up grime and food deposits, using dish soap and an old toothbrush if they are really dirty.

2. Check the drain hose or sink

If cleaning out the filters hasn’t solved the problem, then you need to check if the drain hose is blocked. This is the pipe that carries dirty water away from the appliance, and is typically connected to the same drain line as the kitchen sink. Pull the machine away from the wall, and check to see if there are any kinks in the hose which are blocking water.

If the hose is connected to the kitchen sink, try plunging the sink to clear any blockages. Alternatively, you could use a drain unblocker, or try a combination of baking soda, vinegar, and hot water.

3. Check if the drain pump is damaged

Sometimes, the drain pump can be clogged with food waste or pieces of broken glass. Checking the pump is a more technical task that requires access to the underneath of the dishwasher. Consult the manufacturers’ instructions for guidance, as if you damage the machine you may void your warranty.

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