Is the dishwasher unable to drain properly? It means it gets clogged due to overuse without maintenance and needs cleaning.
Among lots of solutions, baking soda and vinegar are commonly available and the most effective ingredients to clean out the dishwasher drain quickly and completely.
Therefore, learning how to clean the dishwasher drain with baking soda and vinegar can help you restore your dishwasher’s productivity efficiently without investing money and time in experts.
How to clean the dishwasher drain with baking soda and vinegar?
The dishwasher can stop draining due to clogging its filter, drain hose, and itself. In this section, we will explain how to clean all of those parts of the dishwasher with baking soda and vinegar, step by step.
Products you will need:
- Baking soda (Arm & Hammer Baking Soda)
- Vinegar (Heinz White Vinegar)
- Or Mr. Clean Multipurpose Cleaning Solution with Febreze
Cleaning the Drain Filter
Use a wet cloth
Start by cleaning around the filter and removing debris with a damp cloth. Remove the debris or food waste that you may find in the bottom of the dishwasher.
You should also wipe around the filter and catch basin. There’s may have small particles like noodles, bones, glass shards, or seafood shells.
Remove the filter
Check out your dishwasher’s user manual for appropriate instructions about how to remove the filter on the dishwasher.
In general, filters are held in place by four screws. You have to remove the bottom rack of the dishwasher first to get access to the filter.
Wash the filter
Debris or grease may attach to your filter, which you can remove by rinsing the filter with water.
A clogged filter doesn’t let the dishwasher drain perfectly and clean the dishes properly. You can also use a damp vac to clean the grease or debris from the filter.
Reconnect the filter
After cleaning the filter completely, reconnect it to your dishwasher, fastening it with screws with a screwdriver.
Set all four screws in place before fastening them, so you don’t need to remove all the screws if one drops into the bottom accidentally.
Unclogging the Drain
Remove the bottom rack
To release the drain from inside your dishwasher, you have to remove the bottom rack first.
This way, you can access the filter, catch basin, and drain. But before working on the dishwasher, make sure it is completely disconnected.
Remove the filter and drain catch
A drain catch and filter are usually placed in the bottom center of the dishwasher, which you can remove using a screwdriver.
The placement of the filter can vary, so if you don’t find it in the mentioned place, follow the user manual.
Remove the clog
After removing the drain catch and filter, you should see the drain. If you find any clogs in there, simply remove them with an auger or straightened wire hanger.
Apply baking soda and vinegar to the drain
Make a solution of 1 tablespoon baking soda and 2 tablespoons vinegar and pour it down the drain to remove grease, debris, or scum from there.
You can also flush this solution down the drain to clean it. Another alternative you can apply is drained cleaner. But some drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals.
Wait for 10-15 minutes
The solution of baking soda and vinegar will slowly break up clogs in the drain. So you should wait around 10-15 minutes to let the solution do its job.
Then pour some warm water into the drain to remove the debris along with the solution.
Run a normal cycle
After unclogging the drain, reconnect your dishwasher and run a normal cycle on it. This way, you can drain properly and water won’t pool at the bottom of the dishwasher.
Removing a Clog from the Drain Hose
Disconnect all the power to the dishwasher
Before starting troubleshooting a clogged drain, make sure all the power is shut off that leads to the machine.
It means removing the plug from the power outlet, removing the fuse, or turning off the breaker.
Check the owner’s manual
Most dishwashers include an owner’s manual, and by checking it you will learn where your drain hose is located and how to remove it.
Disconnect the drain hose
After finding the drain hose, pinch the wire clamp and slide it up using pliers. Put a catch basin under the drain hose to collect spills that may release the drain hose.
Unclog the hose
An auger or wire hanger will help you unclog the hose. After disconnecting, wiggle the drain hose to loosen the debris that may have been locked in.
Put an auger into the drain hose to remove the loosened debris. Instead of using an auger, you can apply high-pressure water through the drain hose to clear the drain hose.
A garden hose will deliver you the required high-pressure water.
Reconnect the hose
Once you have removed the clog from the hose, re-connect the drain hose to the dishwasher.
Plug in the machine and run it on a normal cycle without putting any dishes in it. Your dishwasher should drain properly now.
Tips to Keep a Dishwasher clean and prevent it get clogged
Run the garbage disposal first
Simple precautionary steps can keep your drain from getting clogged. A dishwasher should share a drain with the kitchen sink, which can backup your machine.
So, before using the dishwasher, run the garbage disposal to clear the drain and make the machine more efficient.
Scrape off food
The dishwasher drain may be clogged due to large food particles that get trapped in the drain or filter.
To prevent this, scrape off the large particles from the dishes before placing them inside the dishwasher. It’s good practice to keep a dishwasher clog-free and clean.
Don’t over rinse the dishes
Though you remove large food particles from the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, don’t pre-wash the dishes completely.
The dishwasher requires a little grease to prevent the soap from becoming foam during washing. Without this grease, a dishwasher can get damaged.
Fill the dishwasher before every use
Overusing can clog the dishwasher easily. Running a full dishwasher can save you money and enlarge the life of the machine. But you shouldn’t run the dishwasher for partial loads.
FAQs About Cleaning Dishwasher Drain With Baking Soda And Vinegar
How to clean a drain pipe in the dishwasher?
Pour a mixer of vinegar and baking soda into the drainpipe of the dishwasher.
Wait for about 15 minutes so the mixer can break up the clogs in the pipe. They apply high-pressure water into the pipe to clean it.
How to know if a dishwasher drain hose is clogged?
A little amount of standing water is acceptable in the dishwasher bottom.
But if you notice water above the drain leaking onto the floor after opening the door, it means your drain hose has become clogged.
How to clean a dishwasher with baking soda?
After ending the first cycle, take the bowl out and drop one cup of baking soda on your dishwasher’s bottom.
Then run a short cycle on the dishwasher. This way, baking soda will remove the strain from the dishwasher and make it fresh.
Food debris, grime, and built-up grease are the main culprits that make the dishwasher clog.
If a dishwasher stops draining after being used, it means the drain filter has become clogged.
It can happen occasionally if you don’t maintain your dishwasher properly.
If the drain becomes clogged, the baking soda and vinegar method is an effective solution to unclog it.
It means learning how to clean the dishwasher drain with baking soda and vinegar will improve your ability to maintain the dishwasher properly without calling professionals.