How to Clean a Washing Machine Filter

A washing machine is a great appliance that can save you a lot of hassle. Only with a click of a button, you can wash all your clothes within a few minutes. However, just like every other electric appliance, washing machines require maintenance too.

And usually, it’s the machine filter that requires maintenance. If you don’t know what it is and how you can clean it, read along. Here, you’ll find what a washing machine filter is and how you can clean the same. So, let’s roll in.

What is a Washing Machine?

A washing machine is an electrical device that helps in washing clothes. There’s a simple agitator that agitates the clothes you put in against soap suds in most washing machine types. Once the cycle is complete, it drains the dirty water through an outlet.

What is a washing machine filter? 

All washing machines have lint traps in their driers that people generally know about. They make sure to clean it at regular intervals. Similarly, all the washing machines have filters, which are also required to be cleared often.

To clean the filter, the first thing that you must know is its location. The location of the filter is generally given on the manual that you get with the machine. But, if you don’t have that, you can look for it at the end of the drainage hose, under the center agitator’s cover, at the back panel, or in front of the unit beyond a small hatch. The location of the filters may vary.

What can be the reason for lint in washing machines? 

While the washing machine works, friction is developed between the hose and the garments. This causes the fabric to break into very tiny bits and pieces. Fabrics like cotton, wool, etc., produce a large amount of lint than synthetic materials.

How to Clean a Washing Machine Filter? 

There are two types of filters present in the washing machine, i.e., inlet filter and lint filter.

Lint Filter

The lint filter is located at different places in a top and front loading washing machine. Now, let’s talk about the way of cleaning a lint filter.

In Front Loading Machines

  • In the front right part of a front-loading washing machine, you can look for an access door.
  • You can open it just by pressing it or can open the screw if it doesn’t open by pressing. You will find the lint filter after opening the access door. It will be with an accessible handle.
  • Take the filter out by rotating the handle outwards. It will come out with a discharge of water. Don’t worry about that. It’s completely normal.
  • Clean the filter properly and place it back by rotating the handle in an inward direction.

In Top Loading Machines

  • There will be housing for the lint collector in the hose itself. Remove the slot from the housing and open it.
  • It will be similar to the structure of a box. Remove it and clean it nicely. You can brush it and can also put it under running water to get better cleaning. After the work is done, place the box back into its housing.
  • If you have an agitator, the lint collector will be under the softener dispenser. Wash it and clean it adequately under water and place it back inside in the correct order.

Symptoms of Clogged Lint Filter

It is obvious that you wouldn’t know by yourself if the lint filter is clogged or not. Here are some symptoms that can help you in knowing that: –

  • The washing machine takes more time to clean the clothes than usual.
  • The washing machine vibrates during the washer cycle.
  • The clothes are wet even after the washing cycle is over.

Inlet Filter 

The inlet filter is located in the back panel. This filter allows the entry of the water from the main source through a passage of a pipe. The filter can get dirty and blocked from different items that enter through this pipe.

  • To clear this filter, you have to go to the back panel. Before you start with this process, don’t forget to unplug the washing machine from the plug.
  • You will find a tap handle like structure at the back panel that is the connection of inlet water. You have to remove this structure by rotating it in a counter-clockwise direction.
  • When you do it, there will be a small filter inside the slot. Remove the machine’s filter and clean it properly with the help of a brush. You can also clean the inlet pipe using water by detaching it first. But that is optional.
  • When you are done cleaning the filter, place it back to its place, i.e., the slot, and close it tightly with the part removed.

Should you Clean the Air Filter or Call an Expert?

This is a basic question that pops up in everyone’s mind. And the answer is simple too. If you know enough about safely getting to the filter, then you can follow the above steps, and get it done on your own. After all, it’s an easy process and will take some minutes to complete.

However, if you don’t have prior knowledge or are unable to reach the filter, call an expert. Also, if the washing machine is under warranty, you should get it done by the servicing company. They’ll most probably do it for free, and it’s a more reliable option.


Using and maintaining a washing machine are two different things. If you use your washing machine regularly, regular maintenance is necessary too. And, maintenance is not only necessary when you discover some symptoms or problems. You should get it done every few months.

However, mostly the problem is with the filter, which is rather easy to clean. You can follow the simple steps given above and use your washing machine all year long. If you find the insights given above useful, please share them with others who may need them. Also, keep coming back for more.