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Product Help | Whirlpool

Cleaning the Removable Filtration System - Dishwasher

Possible Solutions

The below pictures depict what your dishwasher's spray arms may look like:

DW Regular Filter system.jpg   DW KA Filter model spray arm.jpg

Cleaning your filter

Your dishwasher's triple filtration system minimizes sound and optimizes water and energy conservation while providing superior cleaning performance. Throughout the life of your dishwasher, the filter will require maintenance to sustain peak cleaning performance.

The triple filter system consists of 2 parts, an upper filter assembly, and a lower filter.

  1. The upper filter assembly keeps oversized items and foreign objects, along with very fine food particles, out of the pump.
  2. The lower filter keeps food from being recirculated onto your dishware. The filters may need to be cleaned when:
  • Visible objects or soils are on the Upper Filter Assembly.
  • There is degradation in cleaning performance (that is, soils still present on dishes).
  • Dishes feel gritty to the touch.

It is very easy to remove and maintain the filters. The chart below shows the recommended cleaning frequency.

DW filter cleaning times.jpg

Very Hard Water

If you have hard water (above 15 grains), clean your filter at least once per month. Building up of white residue on your dishwasher indicates hard water. For tips on removing spots and stains, see the "Troubleshooting" section in your Owner's Manual.

Filter Removal Instructions

  1. If the water filter area (bottom of the dishwasher) gets larger food particles or foreign objects (toothpicks, broken glass, olive pits, etc.) around it, they should be carefully removed by hand and discarded before removing the filters. If foreign objects drop into the filter area, the dishwasher could have further issues.
  2. Turn the Upper Filter Assembly ¼ turn counterclockwise and lift out.  Note that you may have to move the spray arm to remove the filter, especially if you have the X style shown above.

  1. Separate the upper filter assembly by gently pulling apart.

  1. Clean the filters, as shown.

Cleaning Instructions

Filter Style 1

IMPORTANT: Do not use a wire brush, scouring pad, etc. as they may damage the filters. Rinse filter under running water until most soils are removed. If you have hard-to-remove soils or calcium deposits from hard water, a soft brush may be required.


CLICK HERE to watch the video of filter cleaning.

Filter Style 2

The pump is protected from large objects entering it by the foreign object cup in the front and below the lower rack. The maintenance-free filter system does not require any regular cleaning or maintenance. If this cup fills up with particles or objects, depress the tab in the center and pull up on the cup to remove it. Dispose of the contents and then replace the cup. To replace the cup, put into the opening and push down to lock in place.

CLICK HERE to watch the video of filter cleaning.

Filter Reinstallation Instructions

  1. Noting the previous illustrations, place the lower filter under the locating tabs in the bottom of the dishwasher, so the round opening for the upper filter assembly lines up with the circular opening in the bottom of the tub.
  2. Insert the upper filter assembly into the circular opening in the lower filter.  
  3. Slowly rotate the filter clockwise until it drops into place. Continue to rotate until the filter is locked into place. If the filter is not fully seated (still turns freely), continue to turn the filter clockwise until it drops and locks into place.

NOTE: The upper filter assembly arrow does not have to align with the arrow in the lower filter as long as the filter is locked.

IMPORTANT: To avoid damage to dishwasher, do not operate your dishwasher without the filters properly installed. Be sure the lower filter is securely in place, and the upper filter assembly is locked into place. If the top filter assembly turns freely, it is not locked into place.


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