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Monday, October 19, 2015

How to Clean and Maintain a Dishwasher (part 2)

Inspect the bottom of your dishwasher around the drain. There will be a grate or grill around it, under the arm. This is where wastewater goes. Look for debris clogging up this area. Remove any solid matter that builds up, especially bits of paper, shards of broken dishes, gravel, etc. If you think stuff has gotten down inside, you'll have to do some simple disassembly to get at it.

1. To remove accumulated debris, unplug the dishwasher.

Look for a plug under your sink. Make sure to unplug the dishwasher and not the garbage disposal! Follow the cord back to your dishwasher to make sure.

  • If your dishwasher is at all mobile, move it around to see the proper cord move.

2. Carefully remove the screws at the bottom.

Take care not to drop them! The cover of the filter will lift off, leaving the area exposed.
  • As you disassemble this section, take care to notice what you take off and where. Take photos along the way and set the pieces someplace safe, in the order they came off. When you start reassembly, there will be no question of what you should do.

    3. Place a piece of tape on the opening of the filter.

      This is to prevent debris from getting in it as you clean it. You want the debris out of the dishwasher completely -- not clogging up the pipes even further.

      4. Use a cloth to remove solid debris and then scrub down the base as necessary.

      Be careful of handling broken glass if that is part of what you find here. Rubber gloves are a good idea, too.
      • Use a brush or a cloth to loosen and remove deposits. For dishwashers that have not been properly cleaned recently, you'll need a strong cleaning agent to get at the years of buildup.

      5. Screw everything back together and plug it back in.

        It'll be easiest to do the reverse of what you did to get it apart. Don't over-tighten the screws, especially if they are going into soft plastic.
        • You may want to give it a quick run to see if everything works like it should.

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