Have you ever stepped in the kitchen and wondered what in the world that smell is? It could be your dishwasher. If this has happened to you, you may need to learn how to clean a dishwasher drain.
A dishwasher can become filled with grime if the dishes aren’t rinsed off into the garbage disposal before being placed into dish racks. Food then clogs the drain, which can leave standing water in the bottom of the dishwasher. It can also lead to decomposing food particles getting stuck to the bottom of the machine.
This nasty combination will not only stink up the kitchen but inhibit the proper cleaning of your dishes. Properly rinsing off dishes, and regular dishwashing machine cleaning and maintenance can help to prevent gunk build-up and clogging of the dishwasher drain.
The following cleaning methods are also ideal if you have issues with a white film on the basin. This build-up is a result of hard water mineral deposits that can result from the water heater.
How to Clean a Dishwasher Drain
1. Cleaning a Dishwasher Drain
The dishwasher can become clogged when food particles get trapped in the drain filter. A clogged drain can cause slow drainage of water or stop the water draining completely. The following steps can help eliminate this issue.
Remove the racks from the dishwasher for easy access to the tub. Using a damp cloth, remove any food debris and gunk from around the catch basin and filter.
Following your owner’s manual instructions, unscrew the filter and remove it from the washer. Wash the filter thoroughly under the kitchen sink faucet. Reassemble the filter back into the tub drain.
2. Dishwashing Method without Borax
This method is an ideal way of cleaning if you are looking for homemade dish soap without Borax. While baking soda is sodium bicarbonate and has the same alkalinity as Borax, washing soda is sodium carbonate and is a good alternative.
After fully loading the dishwasher, add the washing soda and kosher salt into the open compartment. Pour some vinegar into the second compartment and close the lid. Add the dishwashing liquid anywhere within the dishwasher, but use caution.
Using any more liquid soap then recommended will overflow the dishwasher with soapy water suds. Once washing has completed, open the dishwasher door to air dry.
3. Cleaning a Dishwasher Filter with Bleach
Cleaning a dishwasher filter is essential to the operation of a dishwasher. A filter that has become clogged with food, grease, and gunk will no longer function the way that it should.
Since the water cannot drain properly, the dishes may end up washed in unclean water. It is vital to use a drain cleaner for dishwasher to prevent contamination to clean dishes.
Using the owner’s manual, remove the filter from the bottom of the dishwasher. Rinse the filter under the faucet to remove debris down the sink drain. Mix the bleach, baking soda, and salt into a container and submerge the filter in the solution.
Allow the filter to sit overnight. Re-install the filter in the morning and run the washer on the standard-setting without dishes.
4. Deep Cleaning the Dishwasher
If you have never cleaned your dishwasher, then you may need to do a deep cleaning. This form of cleaning is more thorough and intense than a standard sanitizing method. Be prepared to get down and dirty when performing a deep clean. You’ll be surprised at how efficient your dishwasher runs.
First, inspect the drain for clogs. If the washer tub is slow to drain, you can use try using a homemade drain declogger. Start with an empty dishwasher.
Use an old toothbrush to remove any grime from the spray arm and the inside of the dishwasher door. Use the end of a hanger to clean crud out of crevices. Remove and soak the filter in warm, soapy water. Rinse the filter and replace it.
Once the racks and the filter are back in place, run a normal wash cycle with a cup of vinegar placed on the top rack. Sprinkle the baking soda along the bottom of the washer and run a short washing cycle at the hottest setting.
5. Clean Your Dishwasher with Vinegar
One of the easiest ways to maintain your dishwasher is to clean your dishwasher with vinegar. Doing this weekly will eliminate the need to hassle with future extensive cleaning. Vinegar is excellent for loosening up grease, food gunk, and scum from inside the walls of the dishwasher.
This method should be done once every couple of weeks. Fill a dishwasher safe mug with 1 cup of white vinegar and place it on the top dishwasher rack. Run the wash cycle on regular using the hottest water setting. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.
6. Natural Dishwasher Drain Cleaner
There are many uses for baking soda when it comes to cleaning. Baking soda is also great for use on stainless steel. What does baking soda do? It is gentle enough that it doesn’t scratch the steel, yet abrasive enough to remove stuck-on food and hard water deposits.
This is a natural way to clean a dishwasher without using harsh chemicals and detergents. Sprinkle some baking soda along the bottom of the dishwasher tub.
Run the dishwasher on a regular cycle using the hottest temperature. That’s it! Doing this once a month after you have done a deep cleaning ensures that your dishwasher stays clean and smells fresh.
7. Declogging the Dishwasher Drain
If you have kids in the home who refuse to rinse their dishes before stacking them in the dishwasher, you may have a drain clogged with food debris. If your washer has been newly installed, this could be a result of an air gap or kinks in the drain hose. If the appliance is not new, it could be because of a clog. Before calling a plumber, there are a few simple steps you can try to relieve this problem.
Remove the bottom rack and the filter from the tub. Carefully pour the vinegar and baking soda down through the basket located at the bottom of your dishwasher. Let the solution sit for 15 minutes. Pour hot water into the dishwasher drain to work the clog loose.
It is essential to maintain proper operation of your dishwasher to ensure clean dishes and optimal performance. Checking the door gasket, tub filter, and performing regular cleaning using your own DIY dishwasher soap will go a long way in making sure that your dishwasher works as it should.
Who would have thought that you’d have to clean a cleaner? We hope this information is useful for you. Feel free to share these tips on how to clean a dishwasher drain with your friends and family on Facebook and Pinterest!