Dishwasher Filters

This is my last resort with respect to dishwasher use. There’s a little filter in the bottom of the dishwasher that stops the food clogging the pipes. If it’s full of junk, it might be spreading over your dishes.

How to:

  • Open the dishwasher.
  • Take out the bottom drawer.
  • Locate the filter.
    • Similar size to the salt dispenser but with no lid. Usually in the front.
  • Take it out.
  • Clean it.
    • In a sink. Just wipe it until it’s clean.
  • Put it back.
  • Run the dishwasher with nothing in it.

Dishwasher Cleaner

This is a magic substance that is supposed to clean the pipes in your dishwasher. It somehow gets rid of all the food that is clogging up the pipes. Again, like magic. Usually costs a couple of pounds for a cleaner.

How to use:

  • Open dishwasher.
  • Put cleaner bottle where you’re told to.
  • Close dishwasher.
  • Put on the wash you’re told to.


Rinse Aid

This is usually a ‘my dishes are blotchy/wet help me’ problem. It should repel water from the dishes at the end of the cycle. Kind of like magic. Pretty sure it costs a couple of pounds a bottle. Also useful if your dishes aren’t cleaning and Dishwasher Salt has failed.

How to use:

  • Open the dishwasher.
  • Open the rinse aid holder.
    • This is the little flap next to the little flap you put the tablet. It’s on the door.
  • Fill it up.
    • Until you can see the liquid. It might overflow.
  • Close the holder.
  • Close the dishwasher.
  • Run a prewash with nothing in the dishwasher.

Sometimes there’s a little dial on the rinse aid pocket. I’m 90% sure this controls how much rinse aid is released each wash. I usually leave this on 1, mainly because this is what the previous tenants had left it on. It hasn’t caused any issues so far, so that’s promising.

Dishwasher Salt

Note: this is not just your standard salt you put in your scrambled eggs, it is a dishwasher specific product.

It should cost about a pound for a box, and if your machine isn’t working this is usually a good first port of call.

How to use:

  • Open the dishwasher.
  • Remove the bottom rack.
  • Look for the cap (usually back left ish) that says SALT.
    • Note: There may be another hole that does not say salt. The salt does not go here.
  • Open it.
    • If there is water in it, it’s ok. Just leave it there, and the salt should move it out the way or absorb it or something.
  • Pour salt in.
    • Until the pocket is full.
    • This can take a lot of salt. Like I used 2 boxes last time.
  • Put cap back on.
  • Put drawer back in.
  • Run a prewash with nothing in the dishwasher.

If this doesn’t work, see Rinse Aid.


Dishwashers are a tricky one. Generally you move into a new flat or house, and the dishwasher that comes with it probably won’t come with instructions.

Luckily, general dishwasher use is not difficult! Here’s how you do it:

  • Open dishwasher.
  • Load dishes.
    • The bottom layer cleans more vigorously then the top layer. More delicate things, like glasses, go on the top.
    • Make sure the spinny blade thing at the top has room to spin. Otherwise your dishes won’t clean
  • Select a programme.
  • Close dishwasher.
    • This and ‘select a programme’ will change order depending on your dishwasher.
  • Press start.

It is also important to know what can go in a dishwasher. Here’s a general list of things that don’t go in:

  • Good cutting knives
  • Non-stick pans
  • Wine glasses (posh crystal ones)
  • Cast iron things
  • Some plastics
    • They will say on them if it’s ok generally
  • Insulated mugs

Now, if you’re lucky, the previous tenants will have used the machine regularly, and it’ll continue to leave your dishes shining for your say in the house. If you’re unlucky, you’ll end up with a brilliant machine that specialises in spreading food all over anything you put inside it.

Here’s how you fix that:

1. Dishwasher Salt.

2. Rinse Aid.

3. Dishwasher Cleaner.

4. Clean the filter.

If, after all of the above, your dishwasher is still spreading mushy food all over your plates then it’s probably time to call an engineer. Sorry.