The washing machine’s just finished its cycle. You take the clothes out – but they’re still soaking wet. What’s going on? Well, the washing machine pump filter could be the culprit.  

Cleaning the pump filter is never high on anyone’s list of household chores. But when neglected, it can lead to drainage problems. Fortunately, cleaning it is a quick job you can easily do by yourself.

We’re going to show you how to find and clean your washing machine filter.

What is a washing machine pump filter?

The pump filter is an important feature of any washing machine. It’s part of the drainage system and helps to capture lint, debris and even loose coins. It stops the pump from clogging up. But issues start when the filter itself gets blocked. So it needs to be cleaned.

It's easier for water to flow through a clean filter, meaning your pump doesn’t need to work so hard. The end result? A longer lasting machine.

How often should you clean the filter?

When it comes to looking after your machine, cleaning the filter should be a routine part. It’s recommended that you clean it every one to three months. Be proactive and you won’t have a broken washing machine. Or a pile of dirty laundry.

How to clean the filter

Cleaning your pump filter is a simple job you can do in minutes. You don’t need to call a professional in. Follow these steps and you’ll soon have a nice clean pump filter.

1. Find the pump filter

First, turn your machine off at the plug. Now, look for the pump filter. It’s usually on the front of your machine, somewhere near the bottom. If not, check your machine’s manual to find out.

The pump filter cover will look like a small, circular or rectangular cap. It should just flip open or come off easily. It should be noted that some models might have a front panel that you remove by unscrewing or releasing clips.

2. Prepare to catch the water

Be prepared for some water trickling out when you remove the pump filter. It’ll make your life easier if you put down a shallow bowl or towel on the floor beforehand. Place it at the front, just below the filter.

3. Unscrew the filter

Taking the pump filter out is usually something you can do by hand. Give it a turn anti-clockwise. If it's tight, just use some gentle force. If it’s a little tricky to pull out, use some pliers to give you more grip.

4. Wash the filter under a tap

Once you’ve got the filter out, get a soft brush. A toothbrush will do. Then gently scrub away any dirt, lint or other build-up on the filter. Finally, give it a rinse under a hot tap to make sure it’s thoroughly clean.

5. Clean inside the filter housing

Before you put the filter back in, give the filter housing a clean too. You can use the same brush you used to clean the filter – or a damp cloth. Then pop the filter back in and plug your machine in again. By looking after your machine’s filter, you’re doing your bit to help it work effectively.

What to do if this doesn’t solve the problem

Tried these steps but still having problems? Don’t worry, there are some other things you could help. We’ve got more tips on what to do if your machine isn’t draining and help for other common washing machine problems.

But, if you’ve tried everything and you’re still having problems – it’s time to call a professional.

About the author

Dan Flanagan

Dan joined Domestic & General as a Digital Copywriter in 2022. He’s already helped to write and shape copy for our customers and our business audience alike. His background lies mainly in PR and Comms, writing press releases and advertising. Dan lives in Brixton, South London equidistant between the gym and the pub, fighting an eternal battle of wills.

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