How-To: Draining Your Dishwasher When it's Clogged

You have just ran the dishwasher to clean the dirty plates, cups and silverware from your family’s dinner. However, when you open the dishwasher door, you found an inch or two of standing water in the bottom of the unit. Don’t panic! Here are a few do-it-yourself tips you can try to take care of the problem.
  1. Be sure your garbage disposal is clear. Many times, a dishwasher drains through the garbage disposal. If your sink’s disposal is full of debris, turn it on and run some water. Once everything passes through, check and see if there is still standing water in the dishwasher.
  2. Use a homemade clog-eliminating solution. Make a mixture of vinegar, baking soda and hot water. Pour it down the basket in the bottom of your dishwasher. Wait about half an hour and then pour a pot of hot water down the basket. This can help to break up any clogs that may be in your dishwasher’s drain.
  3. Remove debris from the drain basket. If you still notice standing water in the bottom of the dishwasher, look in the water and see if there are large chunks of food, or even package or jar labels, which may be causing a blockage. 
If these above tips do not take care of the clog, it may be time to contact a professional plumber to take a look at the problem.