I am writing this for anyone who feels their dishwasher is dying or about to die and who has no little or no knowledge of dishwashers. It might help.
I have a Bosch dishwasher. It is about 5 years old. Interestingly, it has four buttons for settings like “extra hot” and a knob — a timer, really — to set it. The knob is actually not digital but analog.
Recently it started making terrible grinding noises. Furthermore, it would not drain properly. Water would come in ok, but when it came time to draining, it has a problem. Plus the dishes would often come out dirty. I thought: rats! I need to get a new one. Instead, I did the following:
— Drained the water. You must do this. If you don’t, eventually you will get mold in your dishwasher. You don’t want that. For one thing, it is gross. For another, it might lead to other problems. So drain your dishwasher and hand dry it with towels.
— Cleaned out the drain area. This should be obvious if you have a clog. Also, don’t put dishes with lots of small things left on them, like rice. That’s often asking for trouble. Wipe them off first.
— Called a plumber. This didn’t help much, actually. In fact, by the time he came, the problem started to improve! He did teach me one thing though…
— Poured white vinegar in the dishwasher. If you have any clogging in the dishwasher (likely from soap), this will help dissolve the clog without damaging the dishwasher. (I don’t think you should use a strong declogging agent like Mr Plumber.) Pour in the vinegar in an emply dishwasher without soap and then run it like a regular load.
— Started using liquid soap. I was using a cheap powder and this may have led to clogging. Also, I heard that those all in ones lead to clogging. I have been using liquid soap for some time now and I find it works better.
— Fixed my soap cup. Mine was broken, and I think this lead to problems with when soap entered the machine and led to problems. By fixing the cup — really, just adjusting the spring that opened the cup door at the right time — my dishes started getting cleaner.
— Powered off the dishwasher. Yes, that’s right. Alot of these dishwashers have microchips in them. I am not sure about mine, but mine seemed “confused” about where in the wash cycle it was in. After powering off the dishwasher, the confusion went away. I believe it actually reset the chips. I could be totally out to lunch here, but try it.
Now, this will not always fix your dishwasher. Before this one, I had an old one that also broke down. When my repair man came over, he looked at the computer board and it was black. It had overheated and fried itself. The cost of fixing it was so much, buying a new dishwasher made sense.