5 Ways to Unclog a Dishwasher

Register Appliance
May 8, 2023
Dishwasher Repair

Are you having trouble getting your dishwasher to drain properly? Has the water stopped draining or have dishes not been getting clean during wash cycles? Clogged dishwashers can be incredibly frustrating, but they’re also easily fixed!

In this article, we provide step-by-step instructions on how to clear away any blockage and get your dishwasher back into tip-top shape. Not only will we help you fix your clog, but we’ll provide advice for avoiding future issues so that you can keep your kitchen running smoothly. So dive in, and let’s unclog that dishwasher!

1. Prevent future clogs: pre-rinse your dishes

Are you tired of dealing with clogged sinks and dishwashers? One simple solution could be to start pre-rinsing your dishes before you load them into the dishwasher. While it might seem like a pointless step since the dishwasher cleans the dishes anyway, this simple habit could prevent future clogs and save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

By removing large food particles and debris before the wash cycle, you avoid the risk of those particles getting stuck in your pipes and causing blockages. So the next time you clear the dinner dishes, take an extra minute to rinse them before loading them into the dishwasher. Your pipes and drains will thank you!

2. Run the garbage disposal before you run the dishwasher

Running the garbage disposal before starting the dishwasher may seem insignificant, but it can actually make a big difference in the performance of your appliance. Most dishwashers actually drain their water out through the garbage disposal. Leftover food scraps and debris can backwash into your dishwasher’s drain hose, leading to clogs and drainage issues.

By running the garbage disposal, you can help eliminate any potential blockages and ensure that your dishwasher runs smoothly. Taking this simple precautionary measure can save you the hassle of dealing with a malfunctioning dishwasher and the expense of repairs.

Plus, it’s a quick and easy step that can be incorporated into your routine without any extra hassle. Just run the garbage disposal for ten seconds more than you think would be necessary.

So the next time you load up the dishwasher, don’t forget to give your garbage disposal a quick spin first.

3. Clear any debris from around the dishwasher’s filter

Dishwashers are a handy appliance that help make our lives easier. But sometimes they need a little extra attention. If you notice your dishes aren’t getting as clean as they used to or your dishwasher is making strange noises, it might be time to check the filter.

Clearing any debris from around the filter can improve the dishwasher’s functionality and help prevent clogs that could lead to even bigger and more expensive problems down the road.

To clean the filter, simply pop it out of the bottom of the dishwasher, take it apart, give it a good scrub under running water, reassemble it, and pop it back in. It’s a quick and easy task that can save you time, energy, and hassle in the long run. And it’s one of the many ways you can keep your home running smoothly. So grab some gloves, get down on the floor, and give your dishwasher the TLC it deserves.

4. Check the dishwasher’s drain hose

Be sure to turn off the water before this step!

  1. Check your user manual to find the location of the dishwasher drain hose. It may be connected to your garbage disposal or accessed by removing the front footplate of your dishwasher. Some models have the drain hose connected at the back of the dishwasher, and those can be more difficult to access. That requires unplugging and moving the dishwasher away from the counter.
  2. Use a pair of pliers to disconnect the drain hose from both the garbage disposal and the drain.
  3. Blow through the hose to check for clogs. Alternatively, you can run some water through it using your garden hose.
  4. If a clog is present, use a coat hanger or drain clearing wire to remove it, but avoid using a drain snake because its sharp edges could damage the hose material.
  5. Reattach the hose securely to both the disposal and the drain once it’s cleared of any blockages.
  6. Turn the water back on, and give the dishwasher a quick test cycle.

5. Run a mixture of vinegar and baking soda through the dishwasher for deeper cleaning

Dishwashers are among the best and most convenient inventions of modern times, making a once-dreaded chore a breeze. That’s why it can be frustrating when a dishwasher isn’t working properly.

If you find yourself dealing with a dishwasher that’s not cleaning dishes well or has a funky smell, a mixture of vinegar and baking soda might be the solution. This dynamic duo not only helps get rid of odors, but it can also help get your dishwasher back in working order by busting through clogs.

It’s an easy fix that can save you money and help keep your dishes sparkling clean. So next time you encounter dishwasher troubles, give this home remedy a try.

If none of these methods work, call a professional plumber to inspect the clogged dishwasher further

Dealing with a clogged dishwasher can be a frustrating experience, especially when all your initial efforts fail to yield any results. This is when you need to call in a professional plumber for a thorough inspection of the appliance.

With advanced diagnostic tools and years of experience, a plumber can identify the root cause of the issue and develop an effective solution. Whether the cause is a blocked pipe, a malfunctioning motor, or any other complex problem, a professional plumber can handle it all with exceptional skill and expertise. So, don’t feel embarrassed about picking up the phone to call a pro if your DIY efforts have fallen short.

The bottom line

You can take a few steps to keep your dishwasher clean and prevent future clogs. First, pre-rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. 

Additionally, run the garbage disposal before running the dishwasher to help clear out any debris. Furthermore, regularly check for food particles or grease that may be stuck around the filter of the dishwasher and dislodge it; using baking soda mixed with vinegar is also helpful if needed.

If none of these methods work, call a professional plumber to inspect further. They’ll also be able to provide advice on how best to maintain your dishwasher. In order to ensure that your dishwasher is always clean and functioning optimally, and to avoid clogs or other potential problems, it’s important to take all of these steps regularly.

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