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!

222 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 222 of 222
Anonymous said...

I just paid my appliance repairman $55 for this same info. Will try CLR (it's already in my cabinet) instead of the dishwasher magic he suggested monthly. Thanks!

Paul said...

Gently pried off the steam vent no problem. But had trouble taking off the drain screen at the bottom, like others here, it seems. Turns out -- if you have one of these entry-level Ikea / Whirlpool machines -- that screen does not exactly pry off nor does it have screws. There are two things holding it in place. First, on the left hand side (or the side with the blank plastic face, fewer holes), there's a sideways plastic tab holding the screen on. This half is generally looser and can be flexed up to release the plastic tab. Once that's done, you can turn the whole screen counterclockwise and it will release. Plastic locks hold the main holey screen half down into an open drain. When turned, they slide off the tabs in the drain they're locked into. Reassemble by simply doing the reverse.

Then behold the horror, the horror.

Anonymous said...

Good ideas and comments. I manage apartments and ask tenants to fill dishwasher dispenser with a package of lemon Koolaid and run a full wash cycle. Should remove most of the gog.

William Rice said...

Paul mentioned the machines with the round drain screen, mine is like that. It has the electronic panel that is in top of the main door. Here is a trick, I can take that plastic piece and screen out. (Make sure there is no trash in the bottom of that water drain outlet in the bottom, it goes directly into the pump) You can run buckets of hot water through the machine by starting the "normal wash", let it run for about 30 seconds, then press "Start/Cancel". It will pump all of the water out of the bottom. (Wash rinse,repeat) Before I started using the "high temp" setting every time the water used to get stagnant, even if I pre-washed the dishes. The most disappointing appliance since the horrid smelling front load clothes washer. Good luck!

Trademark Attorney said...

Thanks for the brilliant tutorial! The dishwasher looks absolutely glistening!

Anonymous said...

My dishwasher looks exactly the same as yours in the image, but both my boyfriend and I can not get the filter off - we got one end off using a butter knife but were worried we might break because it was so tight it so stopped. Is there a screw or something on this model that I should look out for?

NavyMommy said...

Totally disgusting. I had NO idea! I just nominated myself for Worst Housekeeper of the Year as I posted this on my Facebook page for my friends who also didn't know!!

mark bill said...

Thanks guys for the fantastic information, truly appreciated work!!

house cleaning services

Anonymous said...

I just cleaned the gunk out and now I am running it... I will let you know if it works for me! ~Lori

Trademark Solicitor said...

Great stuff! This really does solve the intricate problems of cleaning the dishwasher, not exactly anybody's favourite tasks!

Anonymous said...

OMG I never knew this!! The one on the door was gross. Mine didn't have a bottom one like your picture so I am going to google my brand/model. Thank you thank you thank you

Anonymous said...

Aren't you holier than thou! Not helpful

Anonymous said...

Not helpful. Why comment other than because you enjoy to criticize?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for helping us! This was a life saver. I even wrote Whirlpool suggesting to them to add a step by step guide in there dishwasher manuals. Thank you so much!!

Rob Rose said...

I just cleaned out our dishwasher. I found blocked jets (lemon pips...)I thought they just went away... An almost blocked bottom filter from paper labels on pickle bottles - the dishwasher cleans the labels off so well and the the paper blocks the filters. I guess I won't do that again.
and all sorts of grit from cleaning the grill and pots etc. I found the lower spray bar turned off with a quarter turn in the opposite direction that it spins. I used compressed air to clean the bar...plastic cello tape came out of it...
I can't wait to use it again - thanks I never even thought of doing this job...without my wife even asking...brownie points...lol

Anonymous said...

Found your blog via Pinterest less than an hour ago. I began having issues with the DW not washing dishes clean. Turns out, it was not dispensing hot water. Busy with my dad's health issues, I decided to forgo getting it fix and simply handwashed and dried my dishes in the DW. Then I noticed standing water. Kitchen towels did the trick for a while but now I'm desperately tired of handwashing. Followed your instructions and have the necessary parts in pieces. But the standing water issue remains. I can't figure out what to do now. There's a little spinning wheel at the bottom attached with a screw. I can't remove it to see if that's where the clog is. My warranty is out and so my hubby is automatically mad at me for that (like most men). My ShopVac got nicked by my hubby and his employees destroyed it. I've yet to get a replacement, or else I'd be sucking up that standing water so I can remove that spinning wheel where the bottom filter cover goes. Help! :(

Desperate In Texas

Anonymous said...

Had also the same problem with dirt, had a good result with...... winshell washer and javex, 1 ounce of each plus 4 ounces of water, wait to put it when water Inside in hot.

Once a while, pass a cloth at the bottom of the door, a lot of build up dirt, soap.

For bright dishes add a few drops of windshield washer to the rincing agent, the chemicals are very simular.

Maryna said...

Many thanks for this article!!!!!You can't even imagine how ypu helped me with this tips!!! I bought my dishwasher 2 months ago. It was expensive purchase, it was siemens http://hardware.be/vaatwasser/siemens and can you imagine what I felt when it just stop clean my dishes!!!I was so upset I didn't know what to do till I found your article. Frankly speaking, I wasn't sure that this method help to my dishwasher. But I didn't give up and tried!! how I was happy when the dish was fully clean!! I'm so happy!!

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for this article!!!!!You can't even imagine how ypu helped me with this tips!!! I bought my dishwasher 2 months ago. It was expensive purchase, it was siemens http://hardware.be/vaatwasser/siemens and can you imagine what I felt when it just stop clean my dishes!!!I was so upset I didn't know what to do till I found your article. Frankly speaking, I wasn't sure that this method help to my dishwasher. But I didn't give up and tried!! how I was happy when the dish was fully clean!! I'm so happy!!

Tammy Rome said...

We just moved into a new house with appliances all less than 5 years old. The dishwasher has been leaving so much residue on our dishes that my husband thought we needed to replace it already. I found your page and followed the directions. It worked like a charm! You just saved us about $600.00 so THANK YOU. :-)

Anonymous said...

My dishwasher is pretty much spotless inside and no clogged holes so I don't know why my dishes have recently been coming out with food all over them. I have torn the dishwasher apart several times. My water softener has not been working properly for quite some time so I'm gonna try the CLR, maybe there is scale build up that I'm not seeing, sure hope it helps, the dang thing is only 2 1/2 years old!!

Alea said...

Hi! I know this is an older post so I'm not sure if you will see this but I have the same dishwasher that is pictured and am having issues with standing water where the filter is. Have any ideas/advice?

«Oldest ‹Older   201 – 222 of 222   Newer› Newest»