Cleaning the filter on your washing machine is crucial because it helps to keep your washer running at peak performance and prevents bad smells from building up inside.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t clean the filter as often as we should because it’s hard to find on certain washing machines.
If you have a Whirlpool top-loading washing machine, the filter is most often located in the bottom right corner on the outside of the unit. Some models have a different location for the filter, so you should check your user’s manual to make sure you’re looking in the right place.
If you’ve ever wondered what your washing machine’s filter does, you’re in the right place. We’ll also tell you how to clean your filter and how often you should do it, as well as give you a few ideas of what you can do if your washer stops draining.
What Does The Drain Filter Actually Do?
The drain filter serves two important purposes in your washer. It filters the wastewater from your machine and keeps lint, loose change, and other small objects from entering the drain pipe.
Besides filtering wastewater, the drain filter also protects your washer’s drain pump. If your washing machine’s drain filter is full, your drain pump can get clogged. A clogged drain pipe could ruin your washer.
How To Clean Your Whirlpool Top Loader Washer Filter
Now that you know how vital your washer’s filter is, here are some step-by-step instructions on how to keep it clean.
- Find The Filter
If you don’t know where the filter is, you won’t be able to clean it. Most washing machines have a filter on the outside of the unit, on the bottom right. Some models may have the filter in a different location, so you should check your user’s manual to make sure you’re looking in the right spot.
- Remove The Filter
Before you can clean it, you’ll need to pull the filter out of your washing machine. You may want to put down some old towels or place a bucket underneath the filter before you remove it. If the filter is really full, sometimes water can leak out when you take it out.
- Clean The Filter
Most of the time, all you’ll need to do to clean your filter is put a little soap and hot water on a cleaning rag and use it to scrub the filter.
If there’s a lot of stuck-on gunk, you may want to grab a scrub brush to get in the little nooks and crannies to remove it all. A toothbrush will work great for this purpose.
If scrubbing doesn’t get it clean, you can let the filter soak in a sink filled with hot, soapy water and try cleaning it again in an hour or two.
- Clean The Filter Holder
Before you put your freshly cleaned filter back into your washing machine, you should also clean out the filter holder. Make sure there’s no dirt or debris in the way, and give it a good wipe-down to remove any mildew that may have built up.
- Replace The Filter
Slide the filter back into the holder, being sure to screw it in all the way. Close the door on the outside of the washer, and you’re good to go.
How Often Should You Clean Your Filter?
Check the user’s manual to determine how often you should clean the drain filter on your washing machine.
Most of the time, you’ll only need to clean it every three or four months. Sometimes, though, the filter gets full more quickly than that.
Here are some signs that it’s time to clean it.
- Lint or detergent buildup left on clothes after washing
- Clothes that are soaking wet after a wash cycle
- The smell of mildew could indicate that your machine isn’t draining well
Why Is My Whirlpool Washer Not Draining?
There are a few different reasons that your washer isn’t draining, including:
- Clogged drain hose
- Broken pump
- Broken lid switch
- Broken belt
If you need to remove standing water from your washing machine before you make your repairs, you can drain it with a hose.
All you need to do is unplug the appliance, then disconnect the drain pipe from the back of the washer, holding it up higher than the washer tub to keep the water from pouring out.
Make sure you put a bucket underneath the drain hose to catch the water, then lower the hose into the bucket.
When the bucket is full, raise the drain hose above the washer tub again, then empty the bucket. Repeat this process until the washer tub is empty.
If this process doesn’t work, you’ll probably need to call a plumber to fix your machine. In the meantime, you can remove the water by bailing it out with a bucket.
Where is the Lint Trap on a Whirlpool Top Load Washer?
You’ll often find the lint trap on a Whirlpool Top Load Washer inside the agitator just under the detergent dispenser. If it’s not there, it should be on the back of the washer near the bottom.
If you’re having trouble finding the lint trap, check your user’s manual for the exact location.
We all know how important it is to clean the lint filter in the dryer, but cleaning the drain filter in the washing machine is equally important.
A clogged drain filter can keep your clothes from getting clean, keep the water from draining out of your washer, and even make your washer smell bad due to mildew from standing water.
How often you need to clean it really depends on your lifestyle. For instance, someone with pets will need to clean it more frequently than those without pets because the fur can fill up a drain filter fairly quickly.
If you have a Whirlpool top load washer, you can usually find the drain filter on the bottom right corner of the machine. If you’re having trouble locating the filter, check your user’s manual to make sure you’re looking in the right place.