How to Unclog a Dishwasher Drain

What You'll Need
Owner's manual
A straightened-out coat hanger
Baking soda

Unclogging a dishwasher drain is well within the abilities of virtually any household handyman or woman, particularly if you're armed with the right tools. So, if you're ready to tackle that clogged dishwasher drain head-on, simply read on to learn everything you'll need to know.

Step 1 - Take Precautions

First, make sure your dishwasher and garbage disposal, as well as the electricity to both devices, are safely shut off. When working with electrical appliances, particularly those that involve water, safety should always be high on your list of priorities. Once you've confirmed that everything has been turned off, you can move on with the next step.

Step 2 - Check the Dishwasher's Drain Hose

Find the drain hose that links it to your garbage disposal. You may have to pull the dishwasher away from the wall, or find it through the cabinet under the sink. Consult your dishwasher's owner's manual to make determining the location of the hose that much quicker. Once you've found it, carefully disconnect the hose and use a straightened hanger to ream it out and extract the source of the clog. Then, simply reconnect the hose. If that doesn't clear the problem, the source of your clog most likely lies in the dishwasher drain itself.

Step 3 - Check the Dishwasher Drain

Once again, you may be required to consult your dishwasher's owner's manual in order to determine the drain's exact location. When you've found it, carefully remove the drain catch and filters. Use your straightened wire hanger to search for, and extract, any clogs. In the event that you can't hook it or find it, gently pour one tablespoon of baking soda followed by two tablespoons of vinegar down your dishwasher's drain. This will create a chemical reaction that should lay waste to the source of your clog.

Step 4 - Reconnect the Drain and Turn on Power

After giving your baking soda and vinegar ample time to take effect, it is safe to reconnect your drain catch and filters and turn your dishwasher and garbage disposal's power back on. Your dishwasher's drain should once again function properly.

The next time you find yourself at the mercy of a clogged dishwasher drain, just remember these four easy steps and you can make stopped-up dishwashers a thing of the past.