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  • Writer's pictureJenny Wilson

TikTok was right! There's stuff lurking in the dishwasher

Updated: Jul 14, 2021

True confessions time from your pro organizer.

(***warning! seriously gross pictures below***)

Me being me, I watch a bunch of cleaning videos. They're soothing and I love seeing rooms become shiny and fresh. I often get inspiration for new ways of scrubbing. It's great.

Then there are times my mind gets blown with brand new information.

I may be the very last person to know this but it turns out, there is a secret compartment in the dishwasher that traps the nastiest sludge I have ever encountered. I know about the basic filter, of course. I can see that with my eyes. I make sure to scoop the big food bits away from it. But lately my dishes keep coming out of the wash with this dusting of special grit seasonin' coating the insides. I was stumped on what was causing it.

Enter a TikTok compilation of "Stuff You Should Be Cleaning." I'm watching, nodding along to cleaning the shower head, and washing pillows, and then *BAM!* the dishwasher filter. The filter shown in the video is a little cannister looking thing which of course, my machine doesn't have. But now I think there may be a Maytag filter conspiracy. So I go to the fantastic wonder that is YouTube to find out about my dishwasher model.

Lo and behold, under the bottom water arm, a hubcap looking thing, and what I orignally thought was the only filter, there is another filter lurking in a tiny pit.

This is what was in it:

UGH. It was so so so gross. I can't even describe the level of ewwwwww I felt. Thankfully it cleaned up very quickly and popped back in with little fuss.

If you're like me, new to the world of mysterious filters, I recommend googling your dishwasher (and your clothes washer while you're at it) to find out about your filter cleaning process. Could be you have your very own special stash of sludge too. And if you do, be sure to tell yourself what I told myself: we are not terrible home cleaners. It's just that nobody taught us about this part yet. Now we know (and knowing is half the battle).

When you are ready and able to invest in your future calm, you can hire me or any of the talented pro organizers listed with the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO) at

I'm now open for in person organizing sessions, sanity saving cleaning services, as well as packing and unpacking services. Gift certificates available.

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