DrainChecker Blog

Dishwasher blockages and how to stop them

Dishwashers can save arguments.

Because washing-up is the chore that no-one wants to do, even if it is their turn!

And modern dishwashers actually use a lot less water than washing-up by hand, if you load them fully.

So you need to take care of this very handy kitchen appliance, and keep it working properly.

The first and perhaps most important tip is to make sure to minimise the amount of food left on your pots and plates. Scrape any food waste into your food recycling bin – including fat, oil and grease left on your pans. It’s a good habit to get into, whether you use a dishwasher or you’re washing-up by hand, because food going down the waste from your sink goes to the same place as waste from the dishwasher!

You should also clean out the pumps, spray bars and filters on your dishwasher regularly – check the manufacturer’s guide to see how often they recommend to do this. You can usually easily remove the filter and give it a good clean in hot soapy water. You can clean the racks too. But remember, don’t just drain this water away… throw any food gunk into the bin first!

Check the pipes too for any food waste or grease that may have cooled and solidified, and any cracks or splits. The same goes for the rubber seals around the door, which can sometimes get mouldy.

And here’s a tip to keep your dishwasher smelling nice and fresh. Pour about a mug-full of white vinegar into a dishwasher-safe bowl and put it on the bottom rack. Use a cycle with a drying function. The vinegar will mix with the warm water and help neutralise any nasty smells.

It’s also a good idea to run a few hot cycles through the week, as dirt and grease will dissolve more readily than in cooler water. And you should use the dishwasher regularly, to keep it flowing freely.

Start your new dishwasher cleaning regime straight away – don’t wait for signs of blockages like weird gurgling noises, water backing up, the dishwasher being slow to drain, or nasty smells. But if you continue to notice signs of a blockage, give us a call at Happy Drains, because it could indicate a more serious problem that our expert technicians will be best placed to fix. But sorry – they won’t volunteer to do the washing up!