Our dishwasher, our poor 2 year old dishwasher was having problems. Sometimes, our family of 8 people have to do 3 loads of dishes a day! We would do a load and all of the top rack dishes were either greasy (even when they weren’t greasy before we put them in!) or just plain dirty. I was getting frustrated. The kids were putting away dirty dishes without noticing it. We would pull out a dish and have to throw it back into the sink or hand wash it. I really don’t have time to hand wash that many dishes! I also really dislike hand washing!! Finally, I happened upon this post on Pinterest that told me, I could clean out my dishwasher and hopefully avoid having to buy a new one. Being of the frugal, do-it-yourself mindset that I am, I decided to go for it!
Here’s what we did:
- Drill (possibly a star bit), check to see what kind of screws are holding your filter in
- Butter knife (to pry filter up)
- CLR – Calcium Lime and Rust Remover
Make sure dishwasher is empty. Remove bottom rack.
Locate the filter and vented cover in the bottom of your dishwasher where the drain likely is. I had to first unscrew all the screws holding it down. Mine took a star bit, which thankfully we had in our drill in the laundry room at the time or I probably wouldn’t have done it then. After all screws are out, carefully pry the filter up, but don’t force it. It shouldn’t be that hard to get up. I thought I had all of the screws out once and discovered there was one underneath the arm going up to the top shelf….so we had to pull that apart to get completely underneath.
Lift filter out and rinse it. Pull the plastic piece underneath the filter out and clean it. Mine was caked with grease. It was really gross. It’s in a place that you can’t see it, so you’d never know it was there! No wonder I was having problems with greasy dishes! I used a butter knife to get all the caked on grease off. Then I washed it good in hot, soapy water. Underneath the plastic piece that lifts out, you’ll want to clean out around where the drain is. There was some nasty stuff around that as well. Scrub down the arm that spins and unclog any holes on it
|This is the underside of the plastic thing the filter attached to. Can you say ewwww?!|
Wipe down the inside of the door and the tub, making sure it is all sparkling clean. I had to scrape some melted plastic off the bottom of my tub. I should have done that a long time ago, it came off so easy!
Reassemble all the pieces that you removed from the dishwasher. Use a skewer or something “pokey” to poke all of the holes where water shoots out. You could have some calcium deposits built up.
After I had done all of these steps, I ran the dishwasher and it was better, but not as good as I’d hoped. I wasn’t sure I was ready to claim this as a success. So I finally decided it was time to do the next step.
Step 6 (very important!)
Run CLR through your dishwasher. We hadn’t bought it yet. So we finally decided to try it. We ran the CLR through once and then, as it says on the CLR bottle, we ran it again to get out any left over cleaner. We made sure that the Rinse Agent was filled (we have just been using vinegar here lately).
Admire your shining dishes!
- You may want to start with the CLR step to see if that makes any difference right at first. For me though, I’m glad I did the other steps, because that grease was so caked on and nasty! You don’t want water shooting through that grease and onto your dishes!
- The writer at The Quick & the Hungry blog recommends taking off your vent on the door and cleaning that out, too. I couldn’t get mine off without possibly breaking it, so I didn’t take that extra step. She did say that hers was nasty, so if you think that it is something you can get off without breaking, go for it!