Are you cleaning your kitchen as thoroughly as you think? For many people on TikTok, the answer was no. They had forgotten all about scourging their dishwasher filters. And people learning about this trend may realize that they have done the same. After all, it’s an easy thing to miss, especially if the dishwasher looks clean overall. But be prepared for how gross these neglected filters become.
“Many people don’t check their dishwater filters”
When a PSA about changing dishwasher filters went viral, people responded with their own videos of their disgusting filters. In the clips, they untwist the filter at the bottom of the machine and reveal thick layers of discolored goo. Many people are horrified by what they discover. 
The original video was posted by user Inspector Murph. In it, he explains that many people don’t check their filters, which are at the bottom of the dishwasher. By trade, he is a home inspector with over a decade of experience, according to his bio. His TikTok channel shows his work while giving advice to people about their homes.
One user, Amy Loomis Bonney AKA “militarymomof5boys”, made a video in response. In it, she explains that she never knew about the dishwasher filter, and when she unscrewed it, it’s full of white goop. Definitely in need of deep cleaning. In her caption, she jokes that she “finally convinced my husband TikTok is useful.” And the many people in the same position must agree.
How to clean a dishwasher filter
This trend may have sent you running to check your own filters. Not all dishwashers have filters that need to be cleaned manually, so don’t panic if you can’t find one. These filters catch little bits of food and grime so they don’t go back on the dishes during the cleaning cycle. Cleaning this filter doesn’t take very long and you should clean it about once a month or depending on how often you use your dishwasher.
Here’s how to clean a dishwasher filter:
- Pull out the bottom rack and remove the screen at the bottom of the dishwasher (if you have one).
- Remove the filter — which often looks like a cylinder with mesh around the sides. Simply twist it and pull it out.
- Wash the dishwasher filter by spraying it with the kitchen sink. However, if that doesn’ remove all the grime, soak it with warm soapy water. Then use a soft brush to scrub the entire filter to remove all residue. Don’t use a wire brush and don’t brush roughly — this could break the delicate filters. When you are finished, rinse the whole thing with water.
- Place the filter back into the dishwater. Make sure you twist it until it locks in. 
How to clean a dishwasher
While you’re at it, clean your dishwasher as well. The cleaner it is, the more efficient it could scourge your dishes, so try to clean it about once a month. Here’s how:
- Clear the drain beneath the bottom dish rack. Ensure there is no food or gunk stuck there. Wipe away any grime you see.
- Clean the dishwasher with vinegar by clearing the dishwasher of items. Then pour a cup of white vinegar into a dishwasher-safe bowl. Place it on the upper rack. Turn on the hot-water cycle and let it run. This should wash away any grease and mustiness.
- Do a final rinse with baking soda. Simply sprinkle one cup of baking soda on the bottom of the dishwater. Run another brief hot-water cycle. Afterwards, your dishwasher should smell fresh and look squeaky clean. 
Remember to stay on top of dishwasher maintenance by creating a cleaning schedule. Wash it more often if you use it every day and don’t rinse the dishes beforehand. But you could wash it less often if you don’t use it frequently and if you rinse the dishes before loading them up.
- “People on TikTok Are Cleaning Their Dishwasher Filters and The Results Will Horrify You.” Yahoo Life. Kelly Allen. August 16, 2021
- “How to Clean a Dishwasher Filter So Your Dishes Sparkle.” Bigger Homes and Gardens. Catie Parrish. May 11, 2021
- “How to clean a dishwasher.” Today. Karen B. Gibbs. April 28, 2015