Cleaning the water pocket in the dishwasher

The water pocket on the side of the dishwasher can often be cleaned without removing it. However, if the dirt is very stubborn or old, it is sometimes necessary to remove it and clean it more intensively, but this requires knowledge of how the solenoid valve works.

First try without dismantling

One of the first possible causes when a dishwasher stinks is contamination of the water pocket. This component, also known as the water sensor, has a float and thin water flow nozzles on which dirt, fungi and mould can accumulate.

When cleaning the dishwasher, it is always worthwhile to first run it through with liquid detergents before considering dismantling it. The plastics that make up the water pockets of modern dishwashers resist strong chemical agents such as drain cleaners, acids and alkalis.

If removal is necessary because the flow-through cleaning is not sufficient, the residual water must first be drained from the water pocket. For this procedure, the solenoid valve is energised on one side, but this should only be done with the appropriate expertise.

Also of interest:

To clean the water pocket

  1. Pass cleaning without removal

    Pour pipe or drain cleaner into your dishwasher and run a pass through at the highest temperature setting. Repeat this procedure with caustic soda and with diluted citric acid. Finally, run two to three empty rinse cycles with clear water to rinse out any chemical residue.

  2. Remove the water pocket

    Unscrew the inner side panel of the dishwasher. After emptying the water pocket, loosen the retaining screws and dismantle the usually three water hoses. Remove the water pocket from the machine.

  3. Soak the water pocket

    Place the water pocket in a container or the bathtub with detergents mixed in, such as denture cleaner, citric acid or chemical household cleaners. Let the water pocket soak in the cleaning bath for several hours.

  4. Rinse the water pocket

    Flush the water pocket with water pressure by holding the water hose to the different water spouts. Flush several times in each direction.

  5. Scrape out the water pocket

    Insert a piece of nail cleaner and move it back and forth inside the water pocket and the dirty canal paths and scrape out the dirt. Keep flushing in between.


  • Bucket or container
  • Absorbent cloth
  • Neodymium magnet
  • Needle or nail centre piece without head

Materials: Special cleaner, Denture cleaner, Drain cleaner, Caustic soda, Citric acid

After setting up the machine, the wastewater bend in the water pocket should always be higher than the wall inlet of the wastewater pipe or higher than the water level in the trap. If this is not the case, the waste water remains in the water pocket up to the separating valve. Suspended matter or residues then settle in this sensitive area and regularly lead to blockages.

David Shaw

David Shaw

Dishwashers expert with over 10 years of experience. He writes articles and shares his knowledge on many sites. Helps you choose the best (portable, countertop, built-in) dishwashers on this site.

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