Can you go a day without your electronics? The refrigerator? Or the oven? Or maybe your washing machine? You probably answered no, to all of them.
But you probably never thought of your dishwasher the same way. Maybe because doing a few dishes is not as hard as cooking without an oven? If you thought that, you are wrong, dear reader.
While we might not give the same importance to a dishwasher, we would go crazy if it was unusable for even a day.
And one of the most frequent reasons why it stops is the drain. The drain gets clogged, and you need to routinely clean and maintain it for the dishwasher to run smoothly. This is mostly done by removing the hose and then cleaning it.
But what if you don’t want to remove the hose, or say for some reason, you are not able to? What do you do then? Find a way of course! And that is exactly what we will be discussing here today – How to clean dishwasher drain hose without removing it.
Why Does A Dishwasher Drain Hose Get Clogged
Before you know how to clean your mess, you need to get to know your mess. Once you know how and why the drain gets clogged, cleaning it and preventing it gets much easier for the future. In other words, you will get to know what you are doing wrong, or what you can do instead.
A simple and common reason is that the hose is clogged. This happens when you forget to give your dishes a wash before putting them in the dishwasher. Oftentimes, there are larger pieces of food and leftovers, which if not removed first will get stuck in the hose.
Say that you do clean your dishes first, but the hose still is clogged. This could be because of grime.
If you have not cleaned out your hose or drain in a really long time, then chances are, there is a ton of grime stuck to the walls inside which caused it to clog up. The more oil-rich dishes you wash in the dishwasher, the faster this grime will build.
Cleaning Your Dishwasher Drain Hose Without Removing It
Now to the main part, the process. Read thoroughly and carefully through the steps so you can follow suit and get your hose cleaned out as soon as possible!
- Remove all the dishes from the dishwasher. You don’t want them getting caught up in the mess.
- Turn both the dishwasher and the garbage disposal off. This is a very critical step, as there is electricity involved. If you don’t do this, you risk getting electrocuted as you will be working with water and electricity simultaneously. We don’t want that now do we?
- Remove the bottom rack of the dishwasher. This makes it easier for you to move in and work and to check the filter.
- Inspect your garbage disposal. This is often a reason why the drain gets clogged. So run the disposal first, and then see if that solves the problem. If it does, then great! If it does not, follow the next steps.
- Dishwasher clogs can be solved with effective DIY solutions. For this, you have to mix baking soda and vinegar in equal parts, and then pour it into dishwasher basket. You will be able to find the basket at the bottom of the dishwasher. Let this sit for 15 minutes.
- Next, follow up with boiling hot water and run the rinse cycle. In these 15 minutes, the baking soda and vinegar solution has prepped the drain and loosened up all the grime and slime that has been clogging it up.
Following up with the boiling hot water then cleans it down smoothly to give you a squeaky-clean drain!
Other Problems To Look Out For
After you have cleaned your dishwasher drain, you can check out all the other smaller sources of problems, to ensure you don’t have to face this anytime soon.
1. Dishwasher Air Gap
The dishwasher air gap is another space where such troubles arise from. If the air gap is not clear, the dishwasher will overflow and you will find that the water has reached your counter.
For this reason, take the cap off of the air gap and check for debris stuck there. If there are any, clean them out and your problem will be solved.
Cleaning the filter regularly is yet another good habit when using the dishwasher. Remove the bottom tray and then unscrew the filter. Take it out, clean it thoroughly and then put it back in. If the filter catches onto too many food debris, your dishwasher wont work properly.
Caution When Cleaning Dishwasher Drain Hose
Instead of using a DIY solution, some people resort to using chemicals used in the bathroom. While bathroom cleaners or bathroom drain cleaners are effective in their own ways, they contain chemicals that are too harsh for usage in the dishwasher drain.
This is because the pipes in the bathroom are made of a thicker and heavier plastic than those in the dishwasher drains. So chemicals used in the bathroom such as Sodium Hydroxide are deemed safe for those heavier plastic drains, but could possibly destroy or melt the thinner plastic in the dishwasher drain.
For this reason, do not use chemicals or solvents that are not manufactured for usage in dishwasher drains.
Suppose you did everything, but somehow the hose is still clogged. This means you cannot escape the easy way but have to remove the hose for a thorough cleanup. But this is the last resort, and only do this if all the other ways have failed. To remove the hose and give it a proper cleanup, follow the following steps:
- Remove the dishwasher’s plug from the outlet to turn the power off. This is done so that you don’t risk getting yourself in harm’s way when dealing with the hose.
- Get your owner’s manual, as it will have all the instructions as to where the hose is located, and how you can detach it.
- Get your pliers, and use this to pinch the wire clamp, and then slide the pliers up the hose. While doing this there might be spills from the hose, and it won’t be a very clean one, so do place a container or catch basin underneath it to collect the liquid.
- Now that your hose is disconnected, you can proceed to clean it internally. This is often done using wire hangers since it can be found in every home and is an easy method. Straighten the wire hanger, and use it to remove clogs by inserting it into the hose. While doing this, make sure to give the hose a nice wiggle, which will help to loosen the debris inside.
- If you don’t prefer this method, either because you have to get your hands messy, or you don’t have a wire hanger, you can use high water pressure instead. Sending water at high pressure inside the hose will have the same effect, and will loosen the clogs.
- With the hose cleaned, you may now reattach it. Following that, plug your dishwasher back into the outlet, and then proceed to run a normal cycle. Running the cycle now will clean the entire hose out again, and will let you know if you’ve succeeded in unclogging it.
However, if you don’t feel confident enough to do this bit on your own, get a professional so that there are no damages done.
To prevent reaching this last resort, clean your hose using the solution mentioned above often to keep it clean, so it does not reach this stage in the first place.
To conclude, if you take good care of your dishwasher drain, then you will not face these issues too often. However, if you are stuck with a clogged drain, and want a quick and easy solution, go through the process where we have described how to clean dishwasher drain hose without removing it.
This is simple and easy, and something you can do right at home. But for the future, repeat this process once a month to keep the drain in a good shape, prevent grime from building up too much, and this will allow you to keep the entire system running smoothly!