Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. Please read our disclosure for more info.
A dishwasher is one of the most important parts of your kitchen, and a clogged drain can prevent this invaluable appliance from performing its job functions. Luckily, there are tons of tips and tricks you can use if you have a dishwasher drain clogged within your home.
The way you go about fixing a drain clogged in your dishwasher depends on whether or not it connects to a garbage disposal drain. As such, clogged drain remedies range from mixtures of common household ingredients to checking your drain hose.
To learn all about the ways you can fix a drain clogged with sludge and other debris, then keep reading. You’ll learn the top 5 ways of fixing a drain clogged in your dishwasher, getting this important appliance back up and running in no time.
In This Post:
Reasons for a Clogged Dishwasher Drain
If you’ve found yourself saying, “My drain is clogged. What caused it?” then your first step is to ask yourself what you put down your sink. Your dishwasher and sink use the same drainage line, so your sink can affect how your dishwasher performs.
There are four areas a clog usually occurs in your kitchen. These areas include the dishwasher, sink, air gap, and garbage disposal. If you notice your sink filling with water when your dishwasher is in use, one of these four areas most likely has a clog.
A garbage disposal may cause a clog if you’re putting things such as liquid fat, grease, and oil down the drain. If this is the case, you may cause a clog and notice problems within your dishwasher.
Signs of a Dishwasher Drain Clogged
While a little water is normal, if you notice more and more water accumulating in the bottom of your dishwasher, you may have a clog. You may also hear a gurgling noise coming from kitchen drains, a sign a clog is forming.
If your dishwasher or kitchen sink begins to drain slowly, a clog is forming. It’s best to take immediate action before this clog becomes an even bigger issue.
Water backing up into your kitchen sink when your dishwasher is in use points to a clog. Turn off your dishwasher and check to see if food is trapped in your garbage disposal, as this can cause water to back up. If the problem persists, you have a clog that needs attention immediately.
After running your dishwasher, dirty dishes may indicate there is a clog. This is because a clog may prevent water from entering your dishwasher, leaving you with dishes that were never cleaned.
These reasons are why you should follow five tips to unclog a dishwasher drain.
1. Identify the Issue
Now that you know the causes of a drain clogged in your dishwasher, you can look to see what may be causing the issue. If you suspect the problem is a garbage disposal being used improperly, then oils trapping food particles in your drain may be to blame.
Once you determine the cause of your clog, you can work on fixing a drain clogged in your kitchen plumbing. If your dishwasher has dishes in it, remove them and prepare your dishwasher for any work that needs to be done, gathering your tools.
Turn off your dishwasher, along with any electricity running to it and to your garbage disposal. Remove standing water as well, as these steps are very important for safety reasons.
2. Investigate the Plumbing
Identifying the problem is half the issue. Next, investigate the plumbing in your kitchen. Ensure your drain hose is thoroughly connected to your dishwasher as well as your garbage disposal or sink.
Do your hose clamp and drain solenoid show signs of wear and tear? If so, replace them, as they may be the culprit for a clogged drain. Next, investigate the air gap cylinder to ensure nothing is stuck inside of it, also causing a clogged drain.
3. Dishwasher Filter
Your dishwasher has a filter that traps anything that comes loose while your dishwasher is doing its job, such as leftover food particles. Clean this area to ensure your filter is working properly. If needed, unscrew the filter to clean it, accessing difficult to reach dirt and debris accumulation.
4. Unclog Your Garbage Disposal
Begin by unplugging your garbage disposal, making sure to never perform maintenance on a garbage disposal with power running to it. Additionally, avoid pouring chemicals down your drain, as there are tons of negative consequences to your pipes and the environment.
Instead, pour ¼ cup baking soda into the drain, and then a ½ cup of vinegar. Once it fizzes and sits in the drain for a few minutes, flush it out with very hot tap water. Keep the water running for several minutes, working to push the clog through.
You can do this several times to help break the clog up. Plungers can also help to loosen a clog. Remember that you have to clamp the end of the dishwasher line before plunging your sink, as the hose can come off the disposal nozzle at the point of entry.
5. Vinegar and Baking Soda Mixture
If your clog persists, vinegar and baking soda may do the trick. Mix equal parts of the two and pour them into the dishwasher drain. Let the mixture sit for a minimum of 15 minutes before pouring hot water down the drain.
Run your dishwasher’s rinse cycle and check to see if the clog has fixed itself. If you still have a clogged dishwasher drain, it’s time to call in a professional plumber.
Keep Your Dishwasher Clog-Free
While dishwasher clogs can cause issues within your kitchen’s plumbing, there are ways to treat them at home and to prevent them. To protect your dishwasher filter from clogging, be sure to rinse food from your plates before putting them in the dishwasher.
Be sure to use your dishwasher on a regular basis, as water and detergent help to flush out your appliance and prevent clogs from forming. Keep your dishwasher’s filter clean and free from dirt and debris which lead to a dishwasher drain clogged with sludge. Periodically use vinegar to keep your dishwasher working properly, filling a bowl with two cups of vinegar and placing it on the bottom rack.
Run your dishwasher without detergent and allow the vinegar to help rid it of bacteria and odors.
For more articles about DIY maintenance, make sure to check out the rest of our informative articles. Our website has access to tons of great information, perfect for all your home-repair needs.