So you're about to start another load of dishes, when you look down and realize there's a lot of standing water in your dishwasher!
What do you do?
Grandma always said, "I don't need a dishwasher, because YOU'RE the dishwasher..." But that's not what you want, is it? To get your dishwasher draining again, here are some things you can try:
1. Run Your Garbage Disposal
You may already know this, but in case you don't: Your dishwasher and garbage disposal are connected through the same drain line. This is why dishwashers are typically always next to the sink, so that the drain hose can go through your cabinet, and then the dishwasher pumps the dirty water and small food particles into the garbage disposal. Of course, if your garbage disposal isn't clear, then your dirty dishwater can't pass through it.
So to get rid of your dishwasher clog, see whether your garbage disposal is clogged!
2. DON'T Use Chemical Cleaners
As we mentioned in our previous blog post, you don't want to use chemical cleaners because they always run the risk of corroding/eating your pipes. Instead, you can try a mix of vinegar, baking soda, and boiling water to fix the clog.
Mix 2 cups of baking soda with a mixture of 2 cups water, 2 cups vinegar. Pour this down the basket at the bottom of the dishwasher. Then, after waiting for it to settle for about 15 minutes or so, pour some boiling water down the basket as well.
However, the vinegar and baking soda mix is more effective against food particles that might have gotten stuck in your dishwasher drain. It's less effective against another type of clog: fat (F), oil (O), and grease (G), also called FOG.
3. How to Unclog When You’ve Got “FOG”
The problem with baking soda and vinegar is that baking soda is a base and vinegar is an acid, which produces a solution that is salty and foamy, but to a small extent cancels itself out. It works on food, but not so much on oil and grease.
You know what does destroy grease, though? Dish detergent.
So if the baking soda and vinegar solution didn't work and your dishwasher is still backed up, try this:
Heat a big pot of water until it's boiling, then add three tablespoons of dish detergent. You may actually need to try a few rounds of this solution down your dishwasher basket, as there may be more grease than you think. You can try adding some salt to the solution as well, because the abrasiveness of the salt helps to naturally scour out your drain, without corroding it.
If you've tried all these organic solutions, ran your garbage disposal, and last but not least, checked the dishwasher filter to make sure it's clear...
And you still can't figure out what's wrong, then it's time to call in the professionals!
The experts at Michael's Plumbing are not only able to install/hook up new dishwashers and garbage disposals, but also do maintenance on your dishwasher.
If you live in the Orlando area, call us right away at (407) 219-9772 or schedule an appointment online, so you avoid "becoming the dishwasher!"