Skip to Content

Water In Bottom Of Dishwasher When Not In Use – What To Do?

Did you notice water in the bottom of your dishwasher even though you aren't using it? You’re probably wondering if there is something wrong with your dishwasher. We have researched this topic and consulted the experts to find the best way to solve this problem. 

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Backflow is the main culprit for water in the dishwasher's bottom. A garbage disposal drain tube that is draped on the floor is what causes this to happen. Sometimes, this tube is not looped properly, which causes water to backflow after the pump is done pushing the water out of the dishwasher.

There are many reasons why your dishwasher may not be draining properly. We will discuss the most common reasons and give you tips on how to fix the problem. Continue reading to learn more about this issue.

A hand taking out a dirty drain filter of dishwashing machine close up, Water In Bottom Of Dishwasher When Not In Use - What To Do?

What Causes Standing Water in the Dishwasher?

Standing water in the dishwasher can drive your wife crazy, which can be a good thing. There are many reasons why this can happen.

A common misconception when trying to figure out why standing water is happening in their dishwasher is that there is some clog or obstruction inside. That is not the case at all.

Standing water in the dishwasher when not in use indicates that there is something wrong with the way the drain hose is positioned. Check out the video below to understand what we mean:

Nonetheless, we'll take a look at common causes of water in the bottom of the dishwasher:

Clogged Filter

Filter dirty from the dishwasher

A clogged dishwasher filter is one of the most common issues homeowners have to deal with. It can make your dishwasher run inefficiently and may also shorten its serviceability life.

Water will find its way into the dishwasher filter if it is clogged. Small food particles and debris can cause the filter to clog and prevent proper drainage. It's ideal for checking the filter at least once a month and cleaning it as needed. 

How to Unclog

1. Pull out the bottom rack.

Your dishwasher has a bottom rack that holds dishes and silverware. Remove it so you'll have room to maneuver.

2. Remove the impeller.

The impeller is the hardware that spins and sprays water to wash your dishes. Disengage and remove it from its place by loosening its screws.  You should see a plastic locking tab that needs to be popped out. 

3. Locate the dishwasher filter.

The dishwasher filter is located in the dishwasher filter chamber. Remove the drain filter by twisting it clockwise or counterclockwise until it pops out. There is an indicator to tell you what direction to take.

4. Clean the filter

The common way to clean a dishwasher filter is by giving it a gentle brush. You can use a toothbrush for this task. If the dirt and grime buildup is thick, you may soak it in a baking soda and vinegar solution to loosen it up.

Dishwasher filter screen in bottom of dishwasher. Home appliance repair, maintenance and service concept.

Clogged Garbage Disposal

Man installing garbage disposal in home.

Water will also cause water to sit in the bottom of the dishwasher if the garbage disposal isn't working correctly. When a garbage disposal is overwhelmed with more than what it can handle (for example, bigger chunks of food waste), it will become jammed.

Clogged garbage disposals can also be caused by excessive grease buildup.

How to Unclog

1. Remove big chunks of waste products by hand

Try to remove stuck food particles manually. This will make it easier and faster for your baking soda and vinegar solution to work on hardened dirt and grime.

2. Put some ice cubes

You can also run the garbage disposal with ice cubes to loosen stuck food particles. This serves a dual purpose since the ice cubes potentially sharpen your garbage disposal's blades.

3. Use the classic vinegar-baking soda combo

Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda. Let it sit for a while and add vinegar. This combination has been proven and tested over time. 

The baking soda-vinegar solution is very effective in breaking down and loosening up all the gunk in your garbage disposal and in every part of your home, including sinks, toilets, tubs, showers, etc. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes.

4. Boil a pot of water

Remove the screen from the top of your garbage disposal. Now, pour the boiling water into it. Allow it to run. This should remove the loosened debris.

Clogged Drain Hose

The dishwasher hose can often become clogged with food particles, soap residue build-up, and small fragments of broken glass, among other things. It needs to be cleaned periodically to ensure that it can drain efficiently.

How to Unclog

The best way to clear the hose is to run a snake through the hose. When there is an obstruction, free it up by using a brush or any tool and scrape it out. Afterward, rinse out the hose with running water.

Check out this dishwasher cleaning brush on Amazon.

Clogged Pump

Food particles can build up on the pump and make it ineffective, resulting in the pump not moving enough water. Detergent can also build up. A clogged pump can lead to many problems, including low water pressure and wash cycle stopping midway.

Since the dishwasher cannot complete its wash cycle, expect water to settle in the bottom of the dishwasher.

A noisy or erratic pump can signal a foreign object stuck inside or a mechanical component needing service.

You can look at what's inside the pump to see what's going on there before calling a professional for help. Who knows if it's just a corn kernel preventing the pump from doing its job?

How to Clean

Cleaning a dishwasher pump may require you to check your dishwasher's manual for instructions and caveats. This task requires patience because of its level of difficulty.

Before you even think of removing and disassembling the pump, keep track of the dismantling process so you can easily reverse the steps when it's time to put everything back together.

Check out this dishwasher cleaner on Amazon.

How Do You Clean A Smelly Dishwasher Hose Without Removing It?

Metal clamp for connection of dishwasher drain hose under kitchen sink close up.

The smell of your dishwasher’s hose can be eliminated by mixing vinegar and baking soda and adding some boiling water to it. This method not only removes the odor but it's also proven to unclog your dishwasher hose without detaching it.

To remove the strong smell from the hose, follow these steps:

1. Mix 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda in a large mixing bowl.

2. Pour the mixture on the top rack and run the first cycle.

3. After the cycle is completed, let it sit for a few minutes.

3. Boil some water.

4. Pour the boiling water into the basket and run a second cycle.

Can You Use Coke or Pepsi to Unclog a Dishwasher?

If you are looking for an inexpensive solution for your plumbing issues, consider pouring soda down your drain. This is the most popular way to clear clogged drains.

Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and other colas are usually cheap and readily available. They are also safe and effective at breaking down the clog and moving it out of the way.

This is possible because the phosphoric acid content effectively dissolves some substances and breaks down the clog. 

Check out this universal drain hose on Amazon

In Closing

Thorough maintenance and inspection are required to ensure that everything is running well and that the dishwasher is in the best possible working order. These pre-emptive measures are necessary to prevent serious breakdowns and avoid the costs of having to replace your dishwasher.

In most cases, looking for the culprit is a good idea before trying to fix the problem. If you find the source, you can try to prevent it from happening again. If you don’t find anything, it is time to call a professional to help you. 

You might also like:

How Much Space Should Be Between Kitchen Cabinets For A Dishwasher?

What Size Appliance Pull For Dishwasher?

Can You Wash Lamp Shades in the Dishwasher?