How To Drain a Dishwasher With Standing Water

Are you dealing with a dishwasher full of standing water? Are you feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to begin? Well, don't worry! We’re here to help.

In this blog post, we will guide you through the simple steps necessary to drain your dishwasher and get it back up and running.

You'll be amazed how easy it is when following these instructions – no special tools needed! So if you find yourself staring down at a dishwasher full of water, read on for some helpful tips.

Supplies and Tools Needed

Before you can start draining your dishwasher, you'll need to gather a few supplies:

  • Towels or rags
  • Bucket
  • Vacuum cleaner (optional)

Additionally, if the water is coming from a clogged drain, you may also need a plunger and/or snake.

Step 1: Preparing for the Job

The first step is to prepare your work area. Place towels or rags around the bottom of the dishwasher to catch any water that spills out when you open it.

Have a bucket nearby in case you need it to catch more water and keep everything dry during the process. If you have a vacuum cleaner, make sure it’s nearby and ready to go.

Step 2: Opening the Dishwasher

When you open the dishwasher, be careful not to spill any water on yourself or your surrounding area. Pull out the bottom rack and locate the drain screen. This is usually located near the back of the dishwasher, but it can vary depending on the model.

Step 3: Cleaning the Drain Screen

Using a damp cloth, carefully clean around and inside the drain screen to remove any debris that may be clogging it. Take your time with this step to make sure everything is clear.

Step 4: Vacuuming Out Standing Water

If there’s any standing water in the dishwasher, use a vacuum cleaner to suck it out. If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner, carefully scoop or pour it into a bucket. Remove as much of the water as you possibly can.

Step 5: Unclogging the Drain (if necessary)

If your drain is still clogged, try using a plunger or a snake to unclog it. Start by attaching the snake to your drill and working it down the drain line until you feel resistance – this should dislodge any debris that’s causing a blockage. If that doesn't work, use the plunger to create suction and break up any clogs along the way.

Step 6: Cleaning the Dishwasher

Once you’ve removed as much water and debris as possible, it’s time to give your dishwasher a good cleaning. Start by wiping down all surfaces with a damp cloth and then use a mild detergent and warm water to scrub away any remaining residue. Rinse everything off with clean water and you’re all done!

Read more: The 10 Best Dishwashers Under $1000 For 2023

Frequently Asked Question

1. I’ve tried everything and my dishwasher still won’t drain! What should I do?

If you’ve followed all the steps outlined above and your dishwasher is still not draining properly, then it may be time to call a professional. A plumber can take a closer look and help you identify and resolve the issue.

2. Why is water sitting in the bottom of my dishwasher?

Water sitting in the bottom of your dishwasher can be caused by a few different things. The most common culprits are a clogged drain line or a faulty pump. If you’ve tried cleaning out the drain screen and unclogging the drain line, then it may be time to call a professional to diagnose and repair the issue.

3. What happens if I run my dishwasher with standing water?

Running your dishwasher with standing water can cause serious damage to the motor and other components. Additionally, it can lead to a buildup of mold and mildew that could put you and your family’s health at risk. We strongly recommend draining any standing water before running your dishwasher.

4. Is there a drain button on dishwasher?

No, most dishwashers do not have a drain button. If you find yourself dealing with standing water in your dishwasher, refer to the steps outlined above to help you get it draining properly again.

5. Why do I have to manually drain my dishwasher?

In most cases, you’ll need to manually drain your dishwasher because it is clogged or otherwise not working properly. You may also have to manually drain the dishwasher if you’ve recently moved and the plumbing isn’t connected yet.

6. How do you empty a dishwasher that won't drain?

If your dishwasher won’t drain, refer to the steps outlined in this post.

  • Start by preparing your work area and gathering some supplies like towels or rags, a bucket, and a vacuum cleaner (optional).
  • Then open up the dishwasher and clean out the drain screen. If there’s any standing water, use a vacuum cleaner to suck it out. If the drain is still clogged, try using a plunger or snake.
  • Finally clean the dishwasher with a mild detergent and you’re all set!

7. What are the top reasons dishwasher won't drain?

The top reasons a dishwasher won’t drain are usually related to clogs or blockages. This could be due to a clogged drain line, an accumulation of debris in the drain screen, or buildup inside the pump.

If you’ve tried all the steps outlined in this post and your dishwasher is still not draining properly, then it’s time to call a professional.


Drain maintenance for your dishwasher may seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be! With the right supplies and an understanding of the steps involved, you can get your dishwasher draining properly again in no time. And if all else fails, don’t forget to call a professional for help.

Now that you know how to keep your dishwasher drain functioning properly, don’t forget to give it a routine check-up every few months. A little bit of preventive maintenance can go a long way in keeping your dishwasher running smoothly and saving you from costly repairs down the line!

Good luck!


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