Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dishwasher Tune Up

Over the past 6 months my dishwasher has steadily stopped washing my dishes well. It started with the glass cups, leaving food on the inside, then got worse and worse until two weeks ago when nothing was coming out clean and was actually dirtier than when it when in.  Then to top it off, it started leaking like crazy! Arg!  This happened in our old home and we ended up selling our home with a brand new dishwasher.
Well, we just financed a fence for our new home and I did NOT want to tack on another $450 to our Home Depot credit card. So, what's a gal to do? Clean baby clean.

Steps to giving your dishwasher a tune up and possibly even stopping a leak:  
1: Clean out the filter on the bottum of the dishwasher. I wore gloves for this. *gag* The cover should come off pretty easily with the removal of a screw or just a little leverage of a butter knife.  *Caution: Don't force it.  It will be pretty easy if it's meant to come off  .Clean everything out well and replace cover.
2: Check all of the holes where water sprays out. Water is usually recycled from the bottom so food and even soap granuals can clog the holes. I even found a shard of glass from a cup that broke a few months back. I used a skewer to clear the holes out.

3: Clean out the steam vent on the door. Once again, gloves. *gag* I was SHOCKED how dirty this was and I am fairly certain that this is what was causing the leak. It was full of gunk and wasn't allowing water to drain off properly. Thus, the leak. The cover on the inside of the door should be easy to remove with a butter knife.  *Caution: Don't force it.  It will be pretty easy if it's meant to come off.  Clean it out. Replace cover.

4: Last step. This one is easy. Run the EMPTY dishwasher with a 1/2 cup of CLR cleaner. (found with the cleaning supplies) This helps to remove anything you missed in steps 1-3.  And just to be safe, run again to be sure all the cleaner is gone.

That's it! Easy, takes about 15 minutes, and you will be amazed at the difference. No more leaking! :)
Leave a comment if you try it and it works for you. I know it saved me money and time!

206 comments:

1 – 200 of 206   Newer›   Newest»
cjgillard said...

Thank you - Thank you - Thank you!! Just got up from my computer and followed your steps...and was AMAZED at what I found! (Yuck) Can't wait to see how my next load of dishes turns out!

Beca said...

I totally needed this 2 days ago. We had our dishwasher spontaneously stop cleaning as soon as my sister and her family moved in with us...! We cleaned the rubber seal around the door and ran a hot cycle with a cup of vinegar and I also added Rinse Aid (never knew!!). It's back to working perfectly now, but I like the extra steps you have so I'll try them out as upkeep. Thanks, found you via Pinterest!

Alex said...

Oh my...SOOO helpful...I just moved into an old house apartment and our dishwasher just doesn't clean dishes...makes no sense since that's what it is supposed to do. Can't wait to try this :) Thanks
Visit me!!!! http://diymathqueen.blogspot.com/

Babblin' Brooke said...

Let me just say, if this works, you'll be my HERO for ever and ever! Totally pinning it to my "Honey-do list for Anthony" board on Pinterest. I don't think I could handle the 'gag' factor. I've been doing our dishes by hand for several weeks now because our dishwasher is NOT WORKING!! GRRR!

Also, I think your blog is absolutely yummy and I'd like to follow but don't see the GFC widget soooo... I guess I'll be adding you to my Google Reader!

I'd love to have you stop by my blog when you get a minute. Thanks so much for the yum factor {not on this post} and the gag factor {ON this post}.

Babblin' Brooke

Cindy said...

Wow! I had no idea this post would go so crazy! The traffic to my little blog has sky rocketed. I really hope that it helps you out. I know it totally saved my bacon and that my dishwasher has new life. Thank you Beca for the additional suggestions! I will try those too! I also read somewhere online that using vinegar instead of rinse aid in your dishwasher works just as well as a product like Jet Dry. Who knew! I will also check out your blogs! I'm always looking for fun new things.

Jennie Blaser said...

I'd say I'm looking forward to trying this, as our dishwasher stopped cleaning awhile ago, but I'm not sure if 'looking forward' to that gunk is right. I'll say I"m looking forward to having clean dishes again! :) I love all your recipes! Thanks for sharing

Amy said...

eek! I just tried to pry off that little vent cover at the top of my dishwasher door & it is *not* meant to snap off!! Learn from my mistake: if it does not come off easily, stop trying! Otherwise, you may have to confess to your husband & listen to him sigh heavily as he takes the whole dishwasher door apart to get that little cover back on. Not that I would know or anything........

Cindy said...

Oh Amy! I am so sorry! Mine came off really easily. I hope no permanent damage was done.

Amy said...

nah, it all worked out fine, and the dishwasher got cleaned in the end!! =)

Jan said...

Found this on Pinterest and I am really excited to (get my husband) to try all of these icky steps, hahaha. Our dishwasher is so bad and I am always hand rinsing my dishes when the machine has just "cleaned" them! And if we forget to make sure the disposal is spick and span before we turn the dishwasher on, it's a million times worse. (They drain into the same pipe.)

Thanks for the tips! :)

Mallory said...

This is awesome! Found it on Pinterest and I think I will try to do this even though our dishwasher is only a year old. We have a lot of Lime in our water so the CLR might definitely do the trick. Do you put it in the soap dispensers or just in the base of the washer??

Cindy said...

I just put the CLR in the bottom. That seemed to work well. I really hope it works for everyone. It made a huge difference for mine.

The Chatterley Chat said...

A-MAZING!!! I saw this a week or so ago, but tonight as I had the kids set the table, none of us could tell if the dishwasher had been run or not because of the grit on everything (they had). I was so fed up, I skipped dinner to de-gunk the thing. Good thing I did, as I'm sure it would have come right back up. Gag is right!! There were parts on the drain cover that were literally covered in mold, lime scale, and pink slime. And I've been washing my dishes in this! A couple of tips: Don't forget the water sprayer for the top rack (if there is one). That had some of the worst clogs. Also, I didn't have CLR and used lime away instead. Bad idea. I don't think it's nearly as effective and it foams up like crazy, so I also ended up mopping up the floor too. Lastly, (and maybe this goes without saying for everyone else) don't try to start the dishwasher with the door open to see if the sprayers are unclogged. After poking a skewer in the holes, the sprayers work just fine. Just trust me on this :). Thanks so much for posting this!!!

Geevz said...

I found this via pinterest and just cleaned mine out. Thanks for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

I also stumbled across this on pinterest. If the inside of dishwashers are any indication, then we have exactly the same machine. Which makes me even more game-on to try this. :}

Angel Haynes said...

Pinterest is so great! Thanks for writing this blog and thanks to whoever pinned your great tips! :)

Megs said...

Found you through Pinterest as well. Can't wait to try these steps!!

QuietStorm said...

my dishwasher at my apt sucks. and it looks very similar to what you have pictured. i will be trying this as soon as i get home and i hope it snaps off. i just washed dishes yesterday and there are little spots all over my plastics which i know have to HANDWASH/SCRUB to get off or just throw away! i really hope this helps me! :-)

Cindy said...

I'd like to know how it goes. Good luck!

Jennifer Officer said...

I am getting ready to clean my dishwasher and hoping that helps! I wonder if anyone has any suggestions for making it quieter? (And if you could figure out how to make it unload itself, that would be helpful, too!)

hungryhippie said...

Just lost my first comment...dang it. Anyways--thank you for this. My hubby has been deployed for 6 months and crap is breaking all over the house. Including the dishwasher--same thing is happening -dishes dirtier than when they went in. I will do this now. You're so clever!!
(I'm a new follower for more super brilliant ideas!) x
natalie

Mandi said...

Oh my goodness, THANK YOU!!! I'm another Pinterest'er who is SO grateful for this post! I won't go into details, but we'll just say it was nasty and my parts are still soaking after a good scrubbing :P I have high hopes for clean dishes finally!!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!

Meredith said...

Thank you So much for posting this! I can not believe that I have been serving my family food off dishes 'cleaned' in my dishwasher- it was absolutely disgusting!

Rachel said...

Thank you for this! We've been having water not filter out as well as it should in our dishwasher. So any little plastic item will end up in the leftover water on the filter. I'm going to try this tonight! :) Also, we had problems with water coming out of the steam vent on our dishwasher, so I took it out and flipped it. Now the vent points up instead of down, which has stopped any water leakage!

Anonymous said...

I am already gagging but anxious to try it this weekend! Thank you for sharing!

Bugglesnug said...

Oh thank goodness for the Pinterest link that lead me here! We've been discussing getting a new dishwasher because of the same problems. I'm going to attempt to pry the gunk out tonight...gross.

Kari said...

Totally going to try this. Our dishwasher has started leaving that gritty residue behind on the dishes (mostly on top shelf). Thanks for the tips; found you via Pinterest.

Sarah said...

Ok,going to empty the dish washer and try this out....I am scared at what I might find in there!!! Here it goes...

Stephanie said...

I too found this thru Pinterest and am waiting on Step 4 to finish (though I subbed in vinegar for CLR since that is what I had on hand). Hopefully it will make a difference in my dishwasher and I don't have to deal with the landlord over a dishwasher that makes my dishes dirtier! =)

Heidi said...

So glad I saw this on Pinterest! I have been so frustrated with my dish washer. Also, I looked around a little at your other posts, SO excited to try the zuppas toscana recipe! (sp?) Thanks :)

260 said...

Good ideas. I do this (minus the CLR) about once a month since I got a dishwasher and it has kept it running smoothly. I'd imagine there are similar steps to follow for your clothes washer.

ElizabethB said...

I think we have the same dishwasher.

Sonia B said...

Some of the cleaning issues people have mentioned may be due to the removal of phosphates from dishwashing detergents . . . however, I will definitely be trying this TONIGHT! I hope it helps. Thanks for posting.

Charlotte said...

Eiiick, I removed stuff cleaned it, then put CLR in bottom and just tried to run my dishwasher and its gone on strike!!! No water, nothing - just smells like burning CLR.....not quite sure what to do now - uhhh, wishing hubbie was home..

Cindy said...

Charlotte, I'm not sure what happened. Did you just take off the covers? I can't think of how these steps could result in that outcome. Please keep us updated on what happened.

Cindy said...

Did you put it all back together before running it?

pjrdunn said...

Ok! I just saw this on Pinterest! Got up and started the steps!! First off, I was totally grossed out!! haha! I'm about to run it empty with cleaner. I'm already amazed by what I've cleaned out, so I KNOW it's going to run so much better!!! Thank you so so so much!! :)

Cindy said...

It really is amazing how gross it is. Good luck!

Kate said...

Cindy - do you have any suggestions on what to do if I can't get the covers off? My dw is in desperate need of cleaning, I just can't get to it!

Cindy said...

Do you have the user manual? If not, you can usually find them online now. There might be instructions in there. You could also try just doing the sprayer holes and running the clr and see if that gets you anywhere. I wouldn't risk breaking anything though. What is your disher model? I can help with research.

AngieBrumley said...

Saw your tip on Pinterest and repinned. As old and crappy as our dishwasher is, I was expecting massive gunk. It wasn't so bad! Running it empty with CLR now...can't wait to see if there is any improvement. We've also found that we get best results using Finish Powerball Quantum.

Unknown said...

Another good product is called "Lemi Shine"-totally makes everything look brand new again-even glass...

J. Jones Photography said...

found you on Pinterest. Thanks so much for this great tutorial on how to get your dishes clean!!!

Anonymous said...

ok, so I did this today, it is pretty gross, get gloves if you don't have any, and it's not a quick clean, it WILL take you some time to do. I live in an Apt. so I have no idea how old me dishwasher is, but the water wouldn't even drain. now that it's clean it drains and is spotless!!! my dishes are coming out better than before, but still not spotless. Hopefully it just takes a couple of runs to make them squeaky clean. either way it was worth it cause the dishwasher itself was dirty and needed a good cleaning. I would recommend doing this to anyone who owns a dishwasher.

Rebecca said...

I love using lemishine to clean the dishwasher and a little in each load to help with my hard water issues but now I want to remove stuff and really clean everything now.

Peyton-Leigh said...

I am not looking forward to the *gag* part but I am looking forward to having clean dishes again! We just bought our house 5 months ago, and therefore the dishwasher that came with it, and the only dishes that are consistently clean are the ones on the bottom rack. Our drinking glasses ALWAYS come out with junk stuck on the outside. It drives me CRAZY how many times I have washed items over and over again (can you tell I detest washing dishes by hand?).

Found this on Pinterest, btw! Thanks for the tips!!

Libby said...

So stoked to find this. I have been thinking about purchasing a new DW but maybe this will help extend the life of my old one. This will be my task tonight when I get home. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Also found this thru Pinterest! <3 I have a really old dishwasher that still works well but needs a good cleaning. Not sure if it has ever been cleaned, scary!

Anonymous said...

Pinterest! Thank you! My husband thinks im super woman now. Working fabulous:)

kiminnc said...

I did it! I think I need to include that in my spring cleaning!

Anonymous said...

Oh! I learned, at least from my washer, that you should also clean under the bottom of the door. Gunk gathers there too. Like cement I tell you!

Oh also, I have a septic so I don't like using too many chemicals if I can avoid it, but a cheep way to clean the inside of the washer is to put in a pack of unsweetened kool-aid lemonade or orange. It's got to have the citric acid. It makes the inside squeaky clean! Even with hard water!

Anonymous said...

Found this on Pinterst! Thanks so much! I was so fed up with my dishwasher leaving my dishes dirty & my glasses cloudy! Tried this and now it's as good as new! The only thing I don't differently is that I didn't have the CLR so I used distilled vinegar and it worked like a charm! Thanks again!

Christin said...

Just tackled my dishwasher thanks to your tip. I was appalled by the 1/2" thick calcium and mineral deposits in the drain and the awful amount that coated the steam vent. I couldn't pop the entire drain cover off but I reached in and scraped off as much as I could. Here's to cleaner dishes!!

Carrie said...

OK I am wondering if I should send you the money I was saving to call a repair man. OMG. Works like it's brand new. Thanks a million for your tip and thanks for your desire to share with all of us frustrated dishwashers. Blessings

Anonymous said...

This is the first place I ever read of cleaning out the steam vent area...never even noticed it before. I gently pried all the way around with a knife till I figured out how to lift on the "top" edge and then slide out of the "bottom" edge. GAG!! Found a dead (clean?) water roach behind that grill. Thanks so much for posting this.

Mika said...

I just found this on Pinterest and so needed it!
...Adding to my To-Do List since I took off from work today!!!

Primginger said...

We have recently gone through this as well, our DW was a bit more complicated to take apart but I made sure I took pics of everything so I knew how it went back together. Your right in the sense that things get blocked, it's gross, but also, your detergent can cause problems as well. Our silver strainers and glasses were not coming clean at all, so we started adding white vinegar to the rinse agent and I make my detergent, you have to remember to an some sort of citric acid to help cut down on the cloudiness.....so add dry lemonade mix....really works, my dishes have been sparkly lately

Anonymous said...

I forced the top one. :( Oops!

Rachel said...

Oh man... just tried to do this to mine, and NONE of the covers come off. :0( I cleaned what I could, but I don't think it's gonna help too much, not much came out. After this load of dishes I'm running CLR through to at least clean out all the calcium buildup.

Recycled Soup said...

OMG I can not believe how filthy my dishwasher was! Thanks so much for this! I plan to write a blog entry about homemade dish detergents, I will definitely be linking to this as well! Thanks Again!

Jennifer said...

THANK YOU!!!
Looks like we have the same exact dishwasher (from the inside at least!) but mine is almost 20 years old and I know it's never been cleaned because I'm the only one who's ever owned it. I was SCARED to look in there...and it was pretty nasty. It took me forever to get that filter basket off though...I finally realized there was a screw in there - VERY rusted and it was extremely difficult getting that out. Once I did, I still had a hard time getting it off, but I finally succeded. I can just tell a difference already because the actual inside of my dishwasher is even cleaner! My husband was very impressed...so thanks so much!!!

Suzy said...

From the picture you posted, it looks like we have the same exact dishwasher interior. But I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get the grate off. I don't see a screw, but its definitely not popping off with the prying of a couple butter knives.

Any suggestions would be appreciated! I'm sure cleaning like you suggested will make a huge difference.

tinkartist said...

Another thing that will help with the glasses is to use LemiShine. I blogged about it a couple three posts back... http://tinkartist.blogspot.com

RosieW said...

Just did this - at least partially. The steam drainer thing on the door wouldn't come loose. I had two screws holding the bottom drain in place. Mine loosened with a 1/4 socket. OMG - ten years of accumulated gunk. Scraped off the big stuff then soaked in small sink with some bleach and a couple of Tbs. of TSP. Found product Lime Away under the sink - it's a CLR product, and I sprayed with dilute Lime Away and have the washer going through a cycle. Thanks so much for this comprehensive how-to.

PozKat said...

This was an awesome find! Our dishwasher has been doing a horrible job at cleaning latley! We use CLR in our bathroom all the time to clean, but I never thought about using it in the dishwasher! I wasn't able to pop the vent off the bottom- I might just be too scared that I don't want to break it, so I left that alone. I pulled string out of one the sprayers, and I was able to pull the steam vent off- It look liked dried crusty paper inside there! So weird! I loaded it with CLR, and now waiting to see if the next time I wash if there will be a difference! I'm sure there will be, since CLR works magic in my bathroom! Thanks SO MUCH for posting these cleaning tips! I will be moving in a few months, so I will want to have my hubby do our new houses dishwasher! :)

lisabranam said...

You literally just saved me from doing the dishes! Thank you. I can't believe how easy this was. We had given up using our dishwasher and were planning on replacing it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you soo much for this wonderful tip it helped us a lot. I am a mother of two so we go through a lot of dishes in a day. We were begining to think we needed a new dishwasher and this saved us a lot of trouble. Thank you soo much. You have no idea.

Marlis said...

Just funny how no one seems to read the instructions that come with the dishwashers. I have always cleaned mine once a week to remove trapped yuckies.

Cindy said...

I am such a ding bat! Twice now I have accidentally deleted comments instead of posting them! I am so sorry to the two people I did that too. Gosh. I need my brain examined.... or a bigger screen. My phone's isn't exactly spacious... Anyhow, I'm glad you are excited to see the difference! I really hope it works for you like it did mine!

*~*JerseyDreamer*~* said...

I stumbled on this article a couple of weeks after I cleaned out our dishwasher. Was having the same problems -- food in the glasses and everything coming out progressively dirtier. I removed the rotating blades and discovered that they were clogged -- with sticker labels from some new dish ware! Once I pulled the labels out of the holes, the dishwasher worked like a charm again. Thanks for posting this; It's a good reminder of the (free and easy) steps we can take to fix a problem independently. :)

52 Creations said...

OH MY GODDDD!!!! I saw your post and having just moved to this APT I thought HMM our dish washer is pretty crudy NOTHING gets clean maybe I should clean it!!! AN OH MY FRIGGIN GOD a whole eco system living there including MOLD I can't believe we have been eating off dishes that were in that sink hole!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH for inspiring me to wash the darn thing. SAVED ME!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you SO much!! I have been shopping for a new dishwasher because mine quit cleaning properly. I called a repairman who said my motor was "frozen" and wasn't worth fixing and was just cheaper to buy a new one. Well...I read this last night; decided I had nothing to loose; bought a bottle of CLR; spent a couple of hours cleaning out a disgusting dishwasher and BAZINGA!!! After two run-threws with CLR and one with a tablet (empty) I loaded it up and dishes came out like a brand new dishwasher! I don't believe that they have ever come out that clean - even when we bought it brand new!! Thanks!!!

Kat said...

Just saw this on Pinterest and am going to try it this weekend! My dishwasher looks like your picures and is 11 years old, so I'm sure there will be a lot of gunk and *gag* when I get in there!

Anonymous said...

Just saw this on pinterest. My dishwasher is not that old but I have kids that think little people live in the dw and clean there plates when they try to put dishes that have food on them. Thin I am gonna see what I get into this weekend.

Darla said...

Great post but you'll never guess what works just as good as CLR..... A packet of TANG juice crystals. I use it for everything cleaning (and won't ever drink it again after seeing what it does). LOL
We have REALLY hard water and horrible lime scale tgat builds up on everything. My poor electric kettle has large chunks of lime that you can break off if not cleaned for a month and we only use filtered tap water in it.
I pour a pack of tang in my kettle and fill with water, I boil it and then let it sit overnight... Dump out and rinse in the morning... It sparkles!!!

Anonymous said...

I had forgot this pi, just rememeber it today. Should have done it, when I pinned it a couple of months ago. Needless, to say, my dishwasher, was totally gunked up. Nasty, thick black junk living there. No wonder, my dishwasher was not cleaning. I have it going thur a cycle with lemonaid koolaid, so we shall see, how much better, it does. I know, at least, there is not black junk, living there now. I plan on doing this at least twice a year. Thanks, so much for you blog.

Anonymous said...

Thank you....what a HUGE difference this made!!! Maybe I should have read the manual on up-keep :-)

a.green said...

Anyone have problems with over-foaming? Just walked away and came back to foam all over the floor.

Cindy said...

Someone said that foaming happened when they used Lime Away. I didn't have trouble with CLR.

Kay said...

Has anyone had any problems with your dishwasher NOT cleaning tea stains from plastic containers? Or tomato stains. It washes fine but does nothing for stains. HELP

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU! That was the most digusting thing I have done! My dishwasher started leaving greasy film! FIxing to re-load and try it out!!!

Lola mont said...

Just finished taking mine apart. And yuck!! I remember hubs taking it apart one time before but it looks like we should do more than once every five years. Ya think??! Many thanks for the tutorial and for lighting a fire under my butt to get this done :)

The Gardiner Gang said...

It seems we have the same dw but I can only pop off one side of the bottom drain thingy and I can see all the gunk but I can't get to it! Any suggestions? I don't have a manual and can't find one online. HELP!! :)

Mom of Boys x4 said...

I have to say, I had NO idea that much "goo" could build up! It sounds like a power washer in there now and I too am excited to see how my next load of dishes comes out. Thank you for the enlightenment and resolution!!

Cindy said...

Hey Gardiner gang! Look up your dishwasher's user manual online and it should help. Mine is a Whirlpool Model # DU840SWPQ0. I pry out the one side with a butter knife and then the middle kind of pops out when you pull up on it. Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

I had the same problem with my new dishwasher. I called Sears to come out and the service man told me that dishwasher soaps no longer put phosphates in their soap. He told me to try Lemme Shine. It worked like a charm.

Elizabeth said...

distilled vinegar works just like the CLR and you don't have to worry about the chemicals. We just dump a bunch in the bottom of the dishwasher, let it sit for a while, and then run as normal. easy peasy :)

Anonymous said...

Just read this and been having to rewash my glasses and bowls a good bit of ime that are on the top shelf. Drives me crazy. I will try this in the am after I unload the dishes that are washing now. who knew. thank you so much.
Jacque

Teresa said...

Very informative! I use vinegar with every wash cycle and everything comes out spotless, most esp. the glassware. :o) I'm sure my compartments could use opening and cleaning but...ewwwww.

rschum86 said...

Glad I found this on Pinterest, but not glad to be the one that gets to clean it since we have had our dishwasher since I was around 10(about 15 years). Everything still works good, but I think there is glass or something in it so I might as well clean the nastiness away while I'm at it...and if ya'lls were as bad as you say then don't doubt mine will be the most disgusting.

Camellia said...

OMG I'm going to be trying this as soon as I'm done rewashing my dishes that were in there! I've been having to re-wash my dishes for months now and there's nothing I can do about it since I live in an apartment!

Loree said...

Will try this tonight, Mine is not cleaning properly. May have to buy some CLR.

Anonymous said...

Instead of CLR I'm probably just going to use vinegar.

Anonymous said...

I bought a dishwasher a few years ago. Now it's just a dishrinser.

Anonymous said...

I had the exact same problems with my dishwasher, and I de-gunked the bottom like you did, but I used 20 Mule Team Borax. All-Natural, environmentally friendly, and way less expensive. More uses too! It'll tune up your toilet, washing machine, and pots & pans among 100s of other uses. Check it out -- for next time.

Calico Crazy said...

We've been hand washing our dishes for over a year as the dishwasher went from nearly useless to totally useless and non-draining. When I had it all apart and cleaned I dumped some baking soda in the drain area and then poured in some vinegar. Added more when I ran a cycle and each time it drained the flow of water out became stronger and stronger! Finally a working dish washer. Think I'll grab some CLR tomorrow for one last cleaning but I'm really pleased with how far I've come tonight.

Shari said...

THANKS SO MUCH! DH and I did this today...sorry to say we didn't know we had to do any of this. I hate to think of the dishes we ate off of before! YACK!!!
Found you on Pinterest!

Anonymous said...

I have tried everything I can think of with our dishwasher. We have such incredibly hard water that it really is easier to wash dishes by hand. I've tried adding vinegar, salt and even cleaning it by running it with amonia. I've tried the steam shark and pulled pieces out to clean them. One thing I have NOT tried yet is seeing if I can get those vents to come off. Wish me luck. That's my last hope!

Anonymous said...

Our dishwasher is leaking really bad. I am going to try this tonight to see if it works. Can't wait!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. My dishwasher was only 4 years old and has been dirtying up the dishes more than cleaning them! After sopping up as much water as possible I was able to see where the screws were. Needed a star t-20 tipped screwdriver that my hubby picked up on the way home for lunch @ Harbor Freight Tools. So for under $7 I was able to tune-up/repair the dishwasher. It's running right now & I can't wait to see how the dishes look!

Anonymous said...

i took my vent apart. YUCK!!!!!!!!!!! i have never taken that out before. GROSS!!!!! i clean my dishwasher with vinger and then when that is done i use baking soda and run it again.

Susan said...

Is CLR safe to use in your dishwasher if you have a septic tank? The property where we are living is all septic and well water. If so, this would be great, since this dishwasher here is terrible!

Budget Earth - Do Method Method Cleaning Products Work?

Anonymous said...

Yuck!!! I can't believe how discusting my dishwasher was! No wonder my dishes weren't clean! Thanks for the tips!

Kristen V said...

Ahh! I can't wait to do this!!
I don't have time to try this until the weekend, but who knows...sounds like it may be worth it to stay up late tonight just to clean the sucker out!

mnjespersen said...

I found this on pinterest and immediately set to work.. question. With your pictures you posted I am guessing we have the same dishwasher because everything looks exactly the same.. how did you get your filter out? I got one side off but couldn't get the other side to come out. I didn't want to put to much force into it so I wouldn't break it.

Cindy said...

On mine it just pops off with a little force. I would look up your dishwasher's user manual online and double chech though.

Our Small Hours said...

Awesome! I'm trying to TODAY.

Susan W. - MS said...

Okay. So I just found this via pinterest. I was eating lunch and when you were "gagging" (lol) I almost lost my lunch!!! I'm so afraid to check in those little vents and filters and holes...I might really lose it, but alas, I know that I must. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'm extremely sensitive to chemicals (they give me all kinds of grief) so I can't use CLR, but I tried some white vinegar mixed with lemon juice and a little salt & it worked a treat! Thanks for the tips!

Derinda said...

I'm pinning this and will put it on my to do list. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hey.. love the ideas! Just a suggestion.... make a "print" version of your directions, I just burned up nearly 30 pages of comments and blank sheets printing this off!

AmyG said...

Lemi-Shine, YES! Also, Dishwasher Magic. I get it at WalMart. It is amazing. Tip: run it before the un-clogging steps because if you don't, you will be unclogging again. It removes a horrifying amount of buildup inside the dishwasher. Mine was only a few years old when I climbed in and took the entire thing apart, ( GE Crap) cleaned it all, unclogged, then slapped it back together. It was better, but not good enough for a 3 year old DW. I ran the Dishwasher Magic next. Good news: actual SHEETS of calcified white crap fell to the bottom. I mean, stuff I could t even see on the walls of this thing. Bad news: repeat unclogging. :/ best news: worked like new.
Try it - it's cheap and you will gag with a smile while you remove all the junk, because you wi know you are a genius. Tell the man you just "fixed the DW"... No big thing. He does not have to know it took 2 hrs and a whole lot of cussing....

Cindy said...

Sorry that you didn't see my "printer friendly" button before you tried to print. It's green and at the bottom of every post.

Cindy said...

I will have to trey that! Love me a product that works!

Shannon Scherz said...

I use white vinegar with a drop of food coloring in it for my rinse aid. The food coloring is just so I can see when it needs to be refilled. :) Works like a charm!

Anonymous said...

OMG! We have lived in this 10yr old apartment for about a year now and I always have to pre-rinse the dishes before loading it in the dishwasher. If it wasn't 12:00am right now, I'd get up and do this! As anxious as I am to do it now I will wait til tomorrow and do this first thing in the morning!

Leah said...

Wait I'm sorry I'm butting in here but I too have a garbage disposal that shares a pipe with my dishwasher... Could this really be why my dishes aren't always clean?? I have a six yer old that thinks everything can go in there and as much as we tell her not to she "forgets" I am def trying these cleaning steps.... After I locate my supply of cleaning gloves....

Leah said...

I am eager to try this idea (found on pinterest) but my dishwasher doesn't look anything like that do you think it would still work?

The Coolest Allen Family said...

Our dishwasher started leaking terribly. My husband and I just got done cleaning it and so far no leaking! Yay!!! Thank you so much. A new dishwasher was so not in the budget right now.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! This worked wonders for my dishwasher, and now I don't have to hand wash dishes anymore.. which makes me very happy :)

ginger.boyll said...

So glad I found this! And we have the same dishwasher! :) Mine was surprisingly not as bad as I expected - maybe because I usually rinse my dishes before putting them in the dishwasher? The steam vent was utterly icky, but the filter at the bottom was only a little dirty. I'm going to be trying the lemi-shine to see if that makes a big difference for me in how clean the dishes look. Thanks again!:)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips but took me a *bit* longer than 15 min :-)

the jackiest said...

Thank you, thank you! My husband and I have been talking about giving our dishwasher the old heave-ho ever since we moved into this place. Luckily I stumbled across your post on Pinterest and decided to give it a try. You have breathed new life into my dishwasher! I never would have even thought to try this. Thank you for sharing!

I hope you don't mind, I linked to your post on my blog. (I am new to blogging, so I hope it wasn't poor etiquette to not ask your permission first.) Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I took the step one apart and its full of water nasty!! is this normal?

Kitten said...

I must admit that I was horrified, disgusted, and somewhat feeling guilty after I took my dishwasher throughly apart and saw what was cycling through. I stopped using my dishwasher a while back since it wasn't cleaning very well and the children were not rinsing the dishes good enough to get them clean regardless. However, I am new to Pinetrest and finding some amazing tips and thought I would give this a try. I do all my own repairs and such as I am a single mom of three. It would be quite an accomplishment if I finally victored over an appliance. Can't wait till the fourth step is finished so I can take a peek. Thanks.

christine.evans279 said...

Just found you on Pinterest and can't wait to get home to try this. We live in an apt. where the dishwasher leaks, is horribly loud and leaves dishes dirty! My boyfriend has lived in a house with NO dishwasher so he just hand washes his dishes but I can't stand to do that. So excited and horrified to start cleaning our dishwasher as I'm going to assume it has never been cleaned! Ick!

Johnson County Restaurant Reviews said...

Thank you! I just did this and it was really gross. I'm pretty sure our 10 year old dishwasher had never been cleaned. Yuck. It's running now and I'm optimistic!

Audrey said...

I can't thank you enough for the information. A couple of minutes after reading the info I went to my dishwasher and took off the vent screen and OMG you're right it was enough to make you gag!!! I cleaned it all out and am now running a cycle with dishwasher cleaner!! My dishes were getting clean but hopefully now they will be cleaner!!!! Thanks again

Anonymous said...

I am so happy I found this, (pinterest). I live in military housing and I have had nothing but trouble with my dish washer, what's worse is manitence has come out to help drain it and "fix" it twice, followed by of course a lecture on not putting dirty dishes in the dish washer. Soo I did a super prewash in the sink, popped it in the dishwasher and started a load. Only to come back later to very dirty dishes. Yuck. Anyways I am going to do this today, with some help(hubby) and let you know. But from the sound of it it looks like you nailed this problem on the head! Thank you again!!!!

Lindsay Chung said...

Pinterest strikes again! Thanks!

Lindsay Chung said...

Well, I couldn't get the filter screen off my dishwasher, but I did clean the vent cover, water sprayers and running it with CLR now. I hope it works! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

This is awesome! I got everything off without a hitch but nasty water was pooled under the drain. How do I get that to drain so I can properly clean it?

Anonymous said...

You might have to twist gently to towards you while pulling. That's how mine came off!

Anonymous said...

ok so we tried the advice from this blog... helped a bit but still having problems. SO we just paid $100 to have a dishwasher guy repairman come and give us great advice. He has a dim view of the newer high efficiency dishwashers and regulations to remove phosphates, require less water and power usage etc. what he said to do was NEVER use gel detergent, only powder or tablets. the gel causes buildup. He recommended getting a few bottles of something called "Dishwasher magic" and run it through the dishwasher until it is all gone. He said it was better than CLR. After that only use powders or tablets and the dishwasher should run as it was designed . Pass it along.

Melissa said...

Let me just say "EWWWWWWWW" I don't have an issue with my bottom filter but would have NEVER though to clean the steam thingy and

it.

was.

gross.

Had a Jet Dry Dishwasher Cleaner and used it instead of CLR (that I did not have on hand). This is now a monthly chore...that thing has not been cleaned in ohhhhh 8 years!! I didn't know it needed to be!!

Thanks!

Bella Ellis said...

I'm 40 years old & I remember my dad running our dishwasher through the hot cycle with 4 cups of White Vinegar poured in the bottom every 6 months. He said it cleaned out all holes & the gunk in the drain pipes & hoses. We never had problems with our dishwasher . Unless you count me & my older sister whinnying about who's turn it was to load the dishwasher.lol

nak said...

The clr do you put it where you put the dish washer soap scared to do this my dish washer is over 5 yrs old never been cleaned like this might have my man do it lol

nak said...

The clr do you put it where you put the dish washer soap scared to do this my dish washer is over 5 yrs old never been cleaned like this might have my man do it lol

Julie Pitts Cochran said...

oh.my.word. I am mortified by the amount of filth I found in the bottom of my 4 year old dishwasher. You would think I had been washing my dog in there. Bless you, bless you, bless you for the tips. Found you via pinterest. Wish they had invented that website years ago, I would have been a better mother and wife long ago... oh well, there's still time for me. Great blog, btw, love it!

Armywife said...

My dishwasher was leaving my dishes with a white film, and I'm going to try this tomorrow, thanks! :-)

Valerie said...

I dont even know what to say...THIS TOTALLY WORKS!!...I literally just took my dishwasher apart piece by piece. I can not believe what i was washing my dishes in. AND my family was eating off of them!! This was quite an eye opener. Needless to say, I will be cleaning my dishwasher from now on. I am dumbfounded by the amount of build up, lime, junk etc that was lurking in my dishwasher. Thanks again for this information I will be sure to pass it on! :)

Anonymous said...

Jut had a repairman leave. He suggest 3ups of vinegar on the longest hottest setting once a month

Anonymous said...

Your dishwasher look exactly like mine! Can't wait to try this out tonight :)

Anonymous said...

Never use gel dishwasher detergent. It just clogs your dishwasher. And always - always - rinse your dishes to help your dishwasher out. Otherwise you are just washing with dirty water. You will never have gunk problems if you do these two things.

Carolyn said...

I've been battling this problem as well, so I jumped up too-and followed your instructions-the MT dishwasher is running w/ the cleaner now--my filter is "odd" it's round and takes up the whole middle of the bottom-and the door trap-mine is INSIDE the molding-so it can't be removed-so let's just hope cleaning the filter out of GUM ewww-and running the cleaner thru it-will help - THANK YOU SO MUCH-

Anonymous said...

It's not that's it's ran into the same pipe (they all are).... Its that they did not raise a loop of the dishwasher drain tube ABOVE the height of the garbage disposal when it was installed, allowing backflow into the dishwasher. =)

Brittany Eckert said...

I just have to say I was extremely excited to try this! My husband and I have been talking about getting a new dishwasher because of this problem. We were actually talking about using our tax returns to get a new one. It's 11pm and I have to work in the morning but I couldn't lay in bed thinking about saving so much money by doing something so simple. So, I got out of bed and ran to the kitchen with a smile on my face (yeah, a smile even though I knew what I was walking into). I opened the dishwasher, took the racks out and stood there staring for about 1 complete minute before I said outloud "Where the h*ll are the filter thingies?!" Well needless to say my Maytag dishwasher doesn't have them. I live in Newton, Iowa, home of Fred Maytag the founder of Maytag. You would think I would have something nicer to say about Maytag appliances but, I don't! I am going to buy a new (non-Maytag) dishwasher! But I do want to say THANK YOU! I will keep these step by step instructions for the next one! I hope others have better luck than me. But at least I know what I have to do now!

Bev said...

Amy who posted. All dishwashers outlet pipes should have a backflow preventer on them. You said your garbage disposal and dishwasher share the same drain. This is very unhealthy. Good luck!

Helen Bennett said...

Oh my! I found this on pinterest and decided to take a peek since the dishwasher in the picture looks identical to ours. We just moved into this house a month ago and been having issues with the dishwasher. We cleaned the bottom areas like you suggested before I seen this. But I didn't think to look at the vent on the door. OMG it was so dirty. I am fairly certain we could have been getting sick just from whatever was in there. I don't think the people that lived here before us EVER cleaned their dishwasher. I almost threw up. Thank you for suggesting to look there. It's getting cleaned as we speak.

Jenn said...

Hi! Found your website through Pinterest a few months ago and pinned it. Our dishwasher hasn't been working for at least a year and a half. I HATE hand washing, so today, I decided, WTH. I just want to say THANK YOU!!! A million thank yous to you! My dishes are spotless! You have made my life soooo much more easier!!!!!

reldra said...

Oh my gosh!!!! I haven't used my dishwasher in maybe over a year. I had bought Palmolive Eco detergent on sale. After a week, all of my dishes were covered in oily thick stuff and white stuff. First I thought because it is a cheap dishwasher--- at home depot for $115, but only a year old. I started soaking my dishes in white vinegar and then added baking soda to try to get this stuff off. It wouldn't come off of anything metal. Had to toss baking pans and most of my silverware. I ran vinegar through the dishwasher too, eventually it would not drain and the inside was covered with this clear slime. I called a repairman, paid $50 for the diagnosis, he said the motor was probably shot, he asked to see my detergent, I showed him. He said 'Yep, 3rd call this week where someone had started using this." He said I could try to keep running vinegar through the machine, but it would be cheaper for me to go out and get a new one than for him to replace many, many parts. I then called the Colgate-Palmolive 800#. By then I had found countless similar complaints on the net about Palmolive Eco, especially on Amazon. The Palmolive rep would not even entertain the idea it was the fault of the detergent, yet sent me a whole bunch of coupons and rebate checks. The checks totaling $25, I didn't cash them. I then called Home Depot and asked if I had a warranty. They said it was a floor model, so no warranty. I said "All of your appliances are out on the floor." He answers, "Yes they are all floor models and have a 1 year warranty for manufacturer error." HMM, well. I told him, "My aunt paid for this on her Home Depot card, would if she just stops paying?" He says "Then she goes to collections." HMM, well. No more shopping at Home Depot. I tried a few more times. Cleaning out the sprayer, cleaning the filter. Had pipes checked for clogs. Ran with baking soda and vinegar about 20x. It refused to drain, would empty the bottom with a large cup and dump in the sink. I had given up. I have been washing dishes by hand, just didn't want to spend the money. I came across this blog 2 hours ago. I first sprayed clr on the sprayer arms and put an entire cup in the bottom...it was filthy from my prior tries. I then ran 'hot water prewash' with another 1/2 cup clr. Then Normal wash with 1/2 cup clr. I couldn't believe it when 1/2 way through the prewash I heard the sprayer arm start moving the water. The normal cycle finished, the bottom had drained and not up into my sink. The inside was shiny new. I then ran a light load of dishes. Both dishes on the top and bottom racks came out spotless. I used some Cascade that has been in the cupboard for over a year. I didn't even think to put in rinse aid. THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU!!!!!

P00dles said...

I have super-hard water, glasses always have a mineral film. Started using a detergent booster, can't remember what it was called but it was expensive and smelled suspiciously like citric acid (label did not list ingredients). I bought a pound of food-grade citric acid on Teh Internets for cheep and started putting a tablespoon in the detergent dispenser - I don't use this normally as I use the detergent "pods." Works GREAT! Plus, wash greens, apples etc. in a citric acid solution (teaspoon per quart or so), greens stay fresh and apples don't brown.

angela g said...

Ooops! This made me smile though! :)

Cleaning Equipment said...

Great tips, i will definitely have to try. I will bookmark and be back again...

Anonymous said...

I have heard other commenter mention LemiShine. I am a HUGE fan of the stuff. We have the hardest water anywhere and I can't use my dishwasher without it. I did some research on LemiShine because it is quite expensive. Turns out all it is is citric acid. The same stuff in citrus fruits. So I did some comparison shopping and found it in bulk quantities online for WAY cheaper. I bought a 5 gallon bucket for around $50. Not too bad considering each bottle of LemiShine is about $4.50! Just add a tablespoon to the soap dispenser along with a detergent tab and it works miracles.

Anonymous said...

* Tip from the repair man: Our problem was gunk clogging the drain hose running from the dishwasher into the disposal. The repair man showed me how to bend a hanger into a loop and use it to pull gunk out of the hole, or at least loosen the clog so water can wash it out.
**I know we're NEVER supposed to put our hands in the disposal, so this must be done carefully. Better yet, turn the power breaker off.**
Every dishwasher has a hose that goes from the dishwasher into the drain (through the disposal if you have one.) If you put your hand just barely into the disposal you can feel a small hole on the side. Make a loop with the wire hanger and try to pull gunk out, or at least loosen it so it can be forced out when running your next wash cycle.
Mine was completely clogged forcing the rinse water back into the dishwasher, GROSS!
Be careful not to push the gunk into the hose - or be prepared to remove and replace the pipe clamp holding the dishwasher hose to the disposal.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much now can anyone tell me how to fix the white rubber on the dish washer prongs thats rotting off?

Anonymous said...

Careful with vinegar as a rinse aid, I've read it can ruin the rubber seals. I read that you should put some vinegar in a dish on the top rack instead of pouring it in the rinse aid compartment/hole.

Kat said...

Lately I've been noticing that my dishes are not coming out as clean as they should; spotty glasses, food particles left on the dishes. Today I ran it empty with baking soda (was told to do this) and it didn't make a difference! I saw this post and I will be trying this tomorrow!! :D

Anonymous said...

I have all the same issues as everyone else on here with their dishwashers...Mine is very old, I am going to do this dirty chore tomorrow when the kids go to school...I just bought some CLR the other day, so I am super excited to see if this works on mine!!! Thanks for the tips!!!! keep them coming :)

Anonymous said...

WE DID THIS A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO & I'M HAPPY TO SAY THIS WORKS WONDERS I WAS GROSSED OUT BY WHAT WE FOUND ALL THAT WHITE CALCIUM IN MY DISH WASHER I HAVE DONE IT RECENTLY AGAIN I'M SO GREAT FULL! I ALSO DID WITH MY COFFEE MAKER I DID THE PRE CLEANING THEN THE CLR & ON A STAIN I HAD IN ONE OF MY BATHROOMS I HAVE AN EMPTY NEST. I'M USE TO MY KIDS CLEANING THAT BATHROOM TO MY DISMAY IT STAINED BUT CLR CAME THRU AGAIN BUT IT ALL STARTED WITH YOU. SO A HUGE THANK YOU SO MUCH. :-D

Anonymous said...

Here is one simple and very cheap way to keep your dishwasher clean about once a month at least pour a cup of bleach into your dishwasher before starting the machine and yes use the dishwashing soap you normally use, do this with the dishes washing. It will keep your machine from getting any build up of all that guck. I used to clean my dishwasher out by hand but since it tried bleach I don't have to anymore!

Katie Montgomery said...

Came here from Pinterest...this is amazing! You would NOT believe how disgusting things were in there! Ack! It was smelling bad too! I am running an empty cycle now and then I'm going to do the vinegar as well. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

going to buy CLR TOMORROW! Can't wait to try this. I did look in the dishwasher and mine (a Maytag) doesn't look anything like yours at the bottom. It has the sprayer but no visible filter in the bottom or the door. I don't really have a screen or anything I can take off (maybe a relief!) I did poke the holes in the sprayer with a skewer and will buy the CLR tomorrow and see how that goes. Hopefully that will help. YUCK!

Kansas A said...

Another place to clean (and gag) is under the door, it gets awful there too. Thanks for the other tips!

Paula said...

I have a GE with Stainless inside and out. I tried everything until I tracked the odor to the vent at the top inside of the door. I had to take the door apart to see inside the vent, but discovered a dead roach that was causing the smell. then I just unscrewed the vent and dug it out.

Edna M Pletz said...

I did not know it could be so easy to clean up all that gunk. I cleaned it thoroughly and then tried my new homemade dishwasher detergent. Just to see how well it worked out. I used white vinegar in the rinse pod as well. Lime-A-Way is something I used regularly to clean it. Fantastic results all around!

Anonymous said...

Ok - this is the second time I've worked on the DW from this post. The first time, after some tinkering and endless searching online for the manual (rental apartment with lousy appliances...), I discovered I couldn't really open the drain area. I did discover, not having rented in a decade and never with a DW before, that no one had cleaned out the bottom of the DW in forever. I found giant pieces of broken glass in there and they weren't mine. Ok. Cleaned things out as best I could and ran vinegar, etc. through. Major improvement and have been running the lemishine and vinegar regularly. Lately though, I've gotten increasingly frustrated with the lousy performance. Came across the pin again and decided to try again. I pried the steam vent off. I don't think it worked exactly the way it was supposed to because part of it cracked. BUT, it has pretty small entry holes and obviously came off at some time in the past because inside, aside from the gunk, I also found two of those children's magnetic letters and there's no way they got in there with the cover on. I didn't have regular CLR but I did have the CLR cleaning spray that I use to get the water stains off the bath. I used that. Either you shouldn't do that or I used too much - suds everywhere so now the kitchen floor is nice and clean too :-) I'm running the follow up rinses now so we'll see how the next load does. I have no doubt it will be an improvement but I still suspect the landlord and I are going to have a come to Jesus about the appliances in this place ;-) And I'm still dying to know how those letters got in the steam vent...

Anonymous said...

I have used vinegar and CLR. The last 2 times I used CLR and now the dished on the bottom rack are worse then when I put them in. I checked to make sure that everything was moving the way it should. Our plastic pitcher comes out brown when it wasn't that color when I put it in. I rinse everything before putting it in the dishwasher. We have had the dishwasher for 3 years and have very hard water. Should I continue to use the CLR or not?

Jeanne said...

My dishwasher is only 2 years old and it was horrible at cleaning items on the top shelf and barely passable for the lower shelf. I bought the "extended warranty" because I had a similar problem with a prior dishwasher. Repair guy came out took apart the lower part of the machine and there was all this gook; I said, "let me clean that out" and he said you just need to run the Finish dishwasher cleaner through it and it will be fine. Did that. Not fine. Went online and saw that running a cycle with vinegar was an excellent way to clean a dishwasher - tried that. Not up to excellent. Then I found your blog and took everything apart that I could get to and found massive yuck that should have been cleaned up by the finish or the vinegar. Cleaned with my trusty (designated for cleaning) toothbrush, reassembled and ran CLR through a couple of times and VOILA' my dishwasher is now cleaning dishes again. I've resolved to run CLR once a month to keep it tuned up. Your blog was the only one to suggest taking the thing apart and cleaning it and then doing the CLR cycle. THANK YOU!

janice said...

I have put white vinegar in with every load since our kids bought us a dishwasher 4 years ago. It still works like new. I have also heard that running a load with a packet of lemon kool-aid will clean the inside of your washer... might take the stains off your plastics.... oh, and i also use lemi shine rinse aid. We have very hard water.

najamonline4u said...

That is a good trip to stop leaking. i should try it

William Rice said...

The CLR will work. If your machine is really unhappy, it may not be a instant 15 min cure. I have been in the technical equipment field for longer than I wish to admit. Understanding some basics of your machine makes a big difference. My Mom's machine often does not get hot enough, which is a killer. I just did hers, it took a while. I used a stock pot and heated the water up to about 150 degrees. I also waited until the second wash cycle to put the CLR in. (Many machines have a 2 short wash cycles then a long wash cycle to help get the crud off). I waited until the pump drained the first time and then added the 150 degree water and then 1/2 cup of CLR in pool in bottom of machine. (the first cycle lasts about 6 min, the chemical washes out before the third long cycle.) It will foam up and may overflow if opened during the third cycle! (Yeah, Curious as a cat. I made a mess...) When you hear the pump come on and water flush in to your disposal you will know it is draining.. I scrubbed the inside of the machine and took everything apart and hand cleaned I could. I could go on forever. Instead, I will say I have worked on some really wild complex stuff, but a lot of that was maintenance. Do not wait until your machine stops cold if you know you have hard water and crud buildup. Thanks for the info!

William Rice said...

Oh yeah, Gel dishwasher fluid is bad juju! Especially if you have low temp, water pressure or awful lime. (Welcome to Central Texas) Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if there is a natural version of CLR--not a fan of putting chemicals into a place that has my dishes that my family eats off. I use a fabulous all natural dishwashing soap that I make and it works wonderfully and we have horrible hard water. My dishes are clean and I love that I don't have crazy amounts of chemicals in the mix.

Jillian Young said...

My brother was an appliance repair man and my father sold major appliances for a living. Another great thing that cleans your dishwasher is to fill your detergent cup with "Tang" orange juice powder. This is the same as citric acid which is what the commercial dishwasher cleaners contain. I've been doing this for many years with great results. This of course is in addition to cleaning out your filters etc such as you stated.

gaillmar said...

I wish I had seen this BEFORE I bought a new dishwasher. But I have bookmarked this for future reference on my NEW dishwasher.

Stephanie said...

I'm so excited to try this! We just bought this house a month ago and I can only imagine the grossness I am going to find. We were considering getting a new dishwasher, this is a much cheaper option! Pinterest dream, thank you!

Anonymous said...

take a twist-tie and secure the dishwasher drain loop up high under the sink. most newer dishwashers have the high-loop built into the side of the machine, so you cant see that it is there once it is installed

Amie Wells said...

Not sure why I hadn't seen this before now on Pinterest, BUT...it was a lifesaver. Thank you so much for the post. I cleaned mine out this morning and OMG....it was definitely a *GAG* moment. How in the world does HAIR get inside the dishwasher? Horrible. But now, it's running the cycle of CLR and I can't wait to load it and see the magic. Again, thank you so much for this post!!

Bridget said...

I didn't read the comments so maybe someone else posted this, wear gloves "gag" area is the bottom of the door where the gasket is. It is probably the most grosses place in the whole dishwasher. that's for you post.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say after I read this today, I got up and cleaned mine out. I didn't have any yuck factor, but the vent had a lot of caked, flakey lime/calcium gunk left behind.
Thanks so much, I plan to walk over to me neighbor's house and show her how to do this. She has the same DW as mine!

Amy said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! We built our house 22 years ago and installed a Kenmore dishwasher. It worked great until about a year ago when it started leaking more and more with each wash. We just tried this and it totally worked! No more leaks!

Becky S said...

Just did this..... Oh my gosh it was gross! Thanks so much!

Becky S said...

Just did this..... Oh my gosh it was gross! Thanks so much!

brickwal92tt said...

All this can be avoided by simply rinsing you dishes before you load them! Then you only need to run the "quick wash" cycle and save water and $! Dishwashers are not meant to clean chunks of your leftovers off your plates......

Anonymous said...

This was so helpful. Thank you for posting. It's posts like this that make me love pinterest-useful, informative and helpful. Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

have You Ever Tried Turning Up The Thermostat On The Hot Water Heater? If Its Not Insulated Or Is An Older Model, This Will Increase Your Bill Some... But Totally Worth It For Cleaning, And Long HOT Showers... (Up North It Gets Cold!)

vj said...

Just wanted to add to the chorus of thanks. My dishwasher is 20 years old, and a little more than a year ago, it began leaking. I've been underemployed so I haven't been able (to afford) to call a repairman.

My dishwasher's filter is part of the spray assembly, so I was loathe to take that apart. But I did open the steam vent and was blown away at the amount of paper in it. Sheesh.

Just ran the dishwasher (with Borax for those keeping tabs at home), and it didn't leak AT ALL. Thank you so much!!

Anonymous said...

I was so surprised at how much lime build up there was. We rinse our dishes thoroughly and so I didn't think it would be BAD. How wrong I was! THANKS SO MUCH!





Anonymous said...

To add a few more tips for dishwasher maintenance:

I've seen a really dramatic improvement in how dishes look from adding (left-over) lemon juice, or white vinegar: just splash a 1/4 or 1/2 C. into the bottom of the washer before you press 'start'. Your dishes will really sparkle.

We had a problem with our dishwasher being REALLY (REALLY!!) noisy. It sounded like a heavy duty diesel engine or something. Up close.
I took out all the easy-to-take out filters and such (and found gunk as described) and then I went a bit further: unscrewed a cover or two (take pics to guide on reassembly if you decide to try this) and found an olive pit lodged in an intake to the pump. It was like the story of Andy and the Lion, and pulling the splinter from the lion's paw: presto, huge problem solved by removing the tiny little thing. If your machine has become much louder, you might find something lodge deep inside that can be removed and then you'll be back to living happily ever after.

Hope these help.

d5f3f148-98ec-11e3-8849-000bcdca4d7a said...

Wow! Thank you so much! My dishwasher is working like new again! I had to soak and scrub quite a few parts but it really was easy... and WOW! My glasses have never looked better. Thanks for saving me hundreds of dollars ( I was about to replace it when I came across your pin on Pinterest). Thanks again! April

Anonymous said...

Just telling my wonderful husband today that maybe we are suppose to clean out the dishwasher. I have been having the gunk sticking to my dishes for awhile. I have tried other remedies, but they just don't last..what a blessing to see this on Pinterest, I will be checking out to see if this will solve the issues. Thanks for passing this along.

SoooGood said...

Ok call me an idiot, but where do you put the 1/2 cup of clr? Normally I put a little dishwasher tab in that little cubby that clicks shut, but I don't think it holds water. Do you just pour it inside? or place it in a cup?? Sorry, I'm am dishwasher retarded.....

Pam Mike said...

just cleaned all the gucky places and am running it with vinegar (didn't have CLR)cross your fingers!

mvw said...

I searched a lot, but your photos are EXACTLY the same mode I have. I would not have tried the steam vent. I think that fungus was still alive.
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I just started my DW and noticed the smell; found this site when I looked for others with this problem. I use gel paks (no more of those), and have had a mess on the bottom of the DW for a long time. I'm not looking forward to the cleaning, but I know I'll have to do the deed.
Thanks for the help.

Anonymous said...

DO WHAT SHE SAID, but IF IT DOES NOT COME OFF, DON'T FORCE IT. I worked and worked, got it off, cleaned lots of STUFF out, now I can't get it back on. I'm going to research GE and see if I can find instructions, it this doesn't work, I may have to have a repair man do it. WHY, WHY, WHY did I not listen??

Anonymous said...

This was so helpful! Also, side note-my dishwasher was still cleaning but when I ran it empty to get rid of the inevitable smell from stuck on food, my dishwasher leaked all over the floor. It turns out that when you run it empty, well my frigidaire galleria anyway, there are no dishes to deflect the spray and the water can leak out of the door gasket. Good to know, since I panic easily and was about to waste a lot of money over some minor maintainence and information!

Angela Killpack said...

I'm always a little nervous to do things like this around the house. I'm worried I'll leave it worse than I found it. Cleaning out the dishwasher doesn't sound too bad though! http://dirtyductservice.com/benefits/

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