How to Clean a Clogged Dishwasher

Your dishwasher is an appliance that can be prone to clogging because of small food bits, grease, and other particles left behind. Also, it is connected to your plumbing system, and anything attached to a plumbing system is prone to clogging. When there is a blockage, the water from the dishwasher has nowhere else to go but back in the appliance. That’s why it helps to know how to locate and solve the blockage problem as soon as possible. There could be several reasons why your dishwasher is clogged.

Reasons and Solutions for a Clogged Dishwasher

1. There is food in the garbage disposer.
If your dishwasher is connected to a garbage disposal and there are food particles in the disposer, water won’t be able to flow freely. You need to run water into the garbage disposal to wash out the remaining particles. Make sure the disposer is not on when you need to clean it manually.

2. The kitchen sink is clogged.
Since the dishwasher and sink use the same drain line, a clog in the sink can clog the dishwasher as well. Unclog your kitchen sink and check if this takes care of the drainage problem in your dishwasher too.

3. There is water in the air gap.
Remove the cap and locate the tube that connects to the disposal. You can check your appliance manual to locate it faster. Remove the tube and clean it before putting it back in place.

4. There is a clog in the dishwasher itself.
You should locate the dishwasher drain by checking the manual. Once you’ve found it, remove the drain catch and filters carefully. Using a straightened wire hanger, try to search for and extract the clog. If that doesn’t work, then pour one tablespoon of baking soda into the drain. Follow that with two tablespoons of vinegar. Leave it to settle and react with the particles causing the blockage for 15 to minutes. Reconnect the drain catch and the filters, then turn your dishwasher and garbage disposal back on to test if the water will already flow freely.

Prevention is Key

The best way to make sure your dishwasher runs flawlessly is by following strict maintenance practices. This may seem like a hard chore, but regular cleaning and diligently preventing clogs will be a lot more convenient than having to deal with a malfunctioning dishwasher.

• Rinse pots and pans, dishes, and silverware before placing them in your dishwasher to get rid of food particles, oil, and other grime that can cause blockages.

• Run hot water through your garbage disposal for about a minute before you turn on the dishwasher. This helps to get rid of any remaining food and grease in the disposal pipe to ensure a smoother running cycle for the dishwasher’s water flow.

• Clean the basket frequently. There can be hard water buildup or any other collection of particles stuck in the basket. You can use a vinegar solution and run it through the dishwasher every month or as often as needed.

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