Dishwasher Repair: Chipped or Rusting Racks

man and woman working on a dishwasher
  • 1 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 40
What You'll Need
Dry cloth
Rubber gloves
Wire cutter
Metallic wool pad (steel or aluminum)
Vinyl dishwasher caps
Retailed, crack-sealing solution (with or without applicator)
Anti-corrosive, vinyl solution

Many people seem overwhelmed by the idea of doing their own dishwasher repair, assuming that it is a demanding process. However, this is a misconception since most dishwasher repairs can be easily done at home, without the need to employ professional services or buy expensive repair kits.

Dishwasher Repair Basics

Dishwashers are regarded as sturdy household appliances but with constant use, the water-exposed surfaces start rusting or they tend to develop cracks. The dishwasher racks have an outer vinyl coating that is most prone to cracking. If the cracks are not repaired in time, it can lead to internal, irreversible corrosion that starts eating into the mainframe of the dishwasher. It should be understood that having basic dishwasher repair knowledge is vital since dishwashers are constantly exposed to water, chemical detergents, and steam. Minor repairs, like tending to chipped rubber coatings, can be easily done by using basic household tools and purchasing some reasonably-priced supplies. Further, the only alternative to executing a timely dishwasher repair is replacing it with a new one, which is a costly proposition. Use the following information for a thorough, easy-to-perform dishwasher repair.

Preparing Dishwasher Repair Surfaces

dishwasher rack

Protect your hands by wearing rubber gloves. Start with emptying the dishwasher. Remove all the dishes and disassemble the racks. You need to dry the dishwasher before performing repairs and remove all excess rust or chipped surfaces. A metallic wool pad is ideal for this. Scrub hard at all sites that are either rusted or chipped. After scrubbing, dab the entire dishwasher with a dry sponge to absorb any form of leftover moisture.

Repairing Cracked Dishwasher Racks

Apply a few drops of crack-sealing solution on the chipped sites. Ideally, you should use the applicator included in the package. However, if you don’t want to buy the applicator, use a small, paintbrush. You should apply coatings as per the packaged instructions. Usually, three to four coatings are sufficient to seal the cracked surface. The coated site should be left to dry for at least 24 hours. Switch-on all the nearby fans to hasten the drying process. Test the repaired rack, by pouring some water around it. If some water drips, through the repaired site, you need to repeat the coating.

Repairing Rusted Dishwasher Racks

man working on dishwasher

Areas that have extensive rusting (without any cracking) need to be repeatedly scraped to remove all traces of corrosion. Use sandpaper for rubbing the rusted areas. Once the rusted site develops a smooth surface, coat it with a vinyl solution. These solutions are commonly retailed as ‘anti-rusting’ solutions, specifically meant for treating metallic/synthetic surfaces. Some rusted tips may appear crumbly. These usually don’t react well to any kind of anti-rust treatment. Trim off these tips with a wire cutter. Use steel wool pads for buffing the edged tips. Coat the ends with the vinyl coating. Apply a thicker coat here since the sliced tips offer a greater, exposed surface. If coating the rusted tips seems demanding, use vinyl caps. These are retailed for most types of dishwasher racks.

Dishwasher Maintenance Tips

To ensure that cracking or rusting doesn’t affect your dishwasher again, develop a systematic cleaning regimen. Use a mild detergent to clean the dishwasher, every time greasy utensils are washed. Even when you don’t use the dishwasher, wipe it with a dry cloth. Never allow bits of food to accumulate along the insides of the dishwasher.