Out of all the household appliances, I probably worry the least about the dishwasher. With the clothes dryer you gotta clean the lint trap; the ice dispenser in the fridge is always finicky; the flat top electric stove requires daily cleaning; the garbage disposal died recently and needed to be replaced. Our GE QuietPower 3 dishwasher is around 6 years old and I have not done any maintenance at all. Dirty stuff goes in, clean stuff comes out… up until a couple of months ago.
First we noticed that our QuietPower was not so quiet anymore. What used to be a distant hum of the pump and the swooshing of the water, became a loud noise that could be heard from the master bedroom on the second floor. Then the plates and the silverware would not get clean no matter how we loaded the dishwasher. Finally, the dishwasher would start smelling funky a day or two after finishing the cleaning cycle even with just a couple of dishes that were pre-rinsed. The dishwasher was obviously upset and in need of some maintenance.
I looked at the instructions that came with the dishwasher but there was nothing besides “you should clean the filters once in a while”. Not much help so after some DIY experimentation I finally figured out how to get to the stuff that desperately needed to be cleaned.
Here are a couple of pictures of the components removed and the gunk that covered them – pretty gross! And this does not even show the worst stuff that was sitting in the rectangular trap in the back corner under the plastic filter. You can see the filter still snapped into the cavity under the plastic pipe in the second picture. I took it out and found all kinds of nasty stuff in the filter and in the cavity, where the metal impeller is spinning to chop up all the food leftovers. Imagine the stuff you get out of the shower drain and it will be pretty close to what was in there. No wonder it smelled too!
I spent some time cleaning it all out and thought that it might be helpful if I took a video of the dis-assembly, which is the part that took me some time to figure out. I posted a short 2 minute video on YouTube which shows the whole process from start to finish. Take a look and maybe you’ll also decide that it’s a good idea to do this simple maintenance on your dishwasher. Now that I know how to do it, I plan on cleaning the filters regularly to prevent problems that cropped up after years of neglect.
*There are comments embedded throughout the video but for some reason they are not coming up when I play the video in Internet Explorer. If you click the YouTube button inside the video screen below it will take you to YouTube to watch the clip and the comments should then be visible.