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Do You Need to Clean Dishwasher Drains?

Do You Need to Clean Dishwasher Drains?

Regular maintenance of home appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators, and ovens extends life and improves performance.

Home appliance maintenance also helps prevent breakdowns and saves money by avoiding costly emergency repair services. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Major dishwasher manufacturers recommend that a frequently-used dishwasher have its drains cleaned once a month, or every other month for dishwashers that are used less than two or three times per week.

Rinsing the dishes before placing them into the dishwasher is an excellent way to extend the time needed between dishwasher drain cleanings, as this reduces the amount of food waste that ends up potentially clogging the drains.

However, you may want to schedule a cleaning with a home appliance maintenance professional right away if you notice either of the following signs that a drain cleaning is more urgently needed:

Foul smell in the kitchen

If, after cleaning your kitchen, you are still able to detect an unpleasant smell, this can be a sign of clogged dishwasher drains. Washed-off bits of food from the dishes may be clogging the drains, and slowly rotting in the process.

This can result in the smell of decaying meat, sewage, rotten vegetables, organic waste, or other unpleasant odors permeating your kitchen. A stinky kitchen can not only make your life miserable while cooking or cleaning in the kitchen, but it can also lower the resale value of your home if you happen to be in the process of selling your home or finding renters.

Dishwasher not draining completely

After completing a full washing and drying cycle, there should be no water sitting at the bottom of the dishwasher. Any remaining water is an indication that your dishwasher drains may be clogged and in need of a cleaning.

Un-drained water can become an issue because it can lead to bacterial growth in your dishwasher, and can begin to give off a bad smell. Have your drains cleaned as soon as you notice water in the bottom of your dishwasher to ensure it does not become a bigger problem.

Cleaning your dishwasher drains doesn’t need to be a major undertaking. For people who are DIY-inclined, below are some easy steps to follow to clean the drains of your dishwasher and remove simple blockages by yourself.

  • Remove the racks in the dishwasher so you’re better able to see and access the basin and drains.
  • Use a damp cleaning cloth to remove any chunks of food or other waste materials that might be blocking the drains at the bottom of the dishwasher.
  • Look online to find your dishwasher model’s user manual for instructions on how to remove your dishwasher’s filter. Rinse the filter with water to remove any food particles.
  • Make a homemade sanitizer solution using 1 cup bleach, ½ cup salt, and ½ cup baking soda. Soak the filter in the sanitizer overnight and replace the clean filter in the morning.
  • The following day, use ½ cup white vinegar and ¾ cup baking soda to create a drain cleaner.  This mixture will dissolve and dislodge many blockages in the drain.

*Warning: Do not sanitize the filter and use the drain cleaner on the same day. Combining bleach and vinegar creates toxic chlorine gas which can be extremely harmful or fatal when inhaled*

If, after taking these steps, your dishwasher is still not functioning properly, it may be time to contact a plumber or home appliance maintenance professional.

When purchasing a new home, remodeling, or upgrading your home appliances in Lafayette, LA, Facets of Lafayette is an excellent resource for all your needs. Not only are we the largest distributor of plumbing fixtures, appliances, lighting, and outdoor accessories in all of Louisiana, our staff also boast a combined 200 years of experience between us.

From the initial consultation to part replacement, our service-oriented staff at Facets of Lafayette is your best resource for any home improvement project to create the luxurious and tasteful home you deserve. Contact us by filling out this form or by calling us at 337-981-7860 to discover all the ways we can help transform your living space into a place of welcoming comfort.

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