Dishwasher Draining Issues

The dishwasher is designed to clean, but did you know that the appliance itself needs to be cleaned periodically? Between stuck on food accumulating on the interior and loose food gathering in the filter, your dishwasher may fail to work properly.

Fortunately, cleaning your dishwasher is a nearly effortless task. In fact, the dishwasher may be one of the easiest appliances to keep clean in your entire house. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. 

Signs Your Dishwasher Needs Cleaning

There are several warning signs to look out for to determine if your dishwasher needs to be ran on empty.

  • Unpleasant odor
  • Food build-up in the filter 
  • Rusting inside the machine
  • Food in the sprayer arm

How to Clean Your Dishwasher

First and foremost, begin with an empty dishwasher. Pour 1 gallon of white distilled vinegar in the unit and let it sit 3-4 days and then run a cycle on the hottest and longest cycle with no dishes or detergent.

Some newer dishwashers won’t take quite a gallon. This will remove the accumulation of food in the pump and motor and will wash away grease and remove musty odors. We recommend cleaning your dishwasher once a month.

Now that the dishwasher motor and filter are clean, you’ll want to clean the spray arms, tub, and racks with Finish dishwasher cleaner. If the spray arms are still clogged with food deposits, repeat this step until the arms are clear.

This important step will strip the dishwasher of the buildup and reduce hard water issues.  Keep in mind that this may take multiple cycles of Finish dishwasher cleaner.

If your dishwasher still has an odor after a cleaning, simply squeeze a lemon into the detergent compartment and start a steam dry cycle. The citric acid of the lemon will counteract the odors caused by food buildup. 

Tip: Homeowners should also run an empty load after hooking up a new dishwasher. This will ensure that all the parts and pipes are properly connected. 

Other Dishwasher Parts You Should Clean:

Under the door

To clean the bottom your dishwasher’s door, use paper towels and a multipurpose kitchen cleaner. 

The silverware basket

Soak the silverware basket in a sink full of warm water and dawn dish soap.

The gasket

The dishwasher gasket can be cleaned using a toothbrush and a mixture of vinegar and warm water.

The detergent dispenser  

To clean the detergent dispenser, use vinegar solution and a soft sponge. 

The Takeaway

Deep cleaning and deodorizing your dishwasher will keep it performing at its best and ensure your dishes and utensils stay clean and sanitary.

If these steps seem daunting or out of your expertise, we’re happy to help.

Please call with any questions, 801-731-iFiX (4349) or e-mail at We service all major brands of kitchen and laundry appliances.


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