Liquid plumr easily dissolves scum, hair, clothing fibers, and other particles that can cause your drains to clog.
Many home owners experience slow or clogged drains which may lead to your kitchens having a bad smell as the residue in your sink starts to rot. This can make you feel frustrated especially if it is a recurring problem in your home.
There are many ways you could unclog your sink, however, drain cleaners are usually the go-to method for clearing out clogs. But can you use drain cleaners to clear out clogs in your dishwasher?
Can You Use Liquid Plumr on Dishwasher?
Liquid plumr should not be used for clearing dishwasher drain clogs. The toxic chemicals in the liquid plumbr may be left behind and once you wash dishes in a cycle, these chemicals may transfer onto the dishes and you may ingest them.
This drain opener could also damage the rubber of the drain hose because of its potent chemical formula. Liquid plumr uses a concoction of chemicals such as sodium hydroxide, sodium hypochlorite, and surfactants that will corrode the hose.
Possibility of Using Drain Cleaners other than Liquid Plumr
Some drain cleaners are safe to use in dishwashers while others are not.
No. Do not use Drano cleaner in your dishwasher. Drano is a very potent drain cleaner that may corrode and damage both the inside of your dishwasher and the drain hose creating a bigger problem than you initially had.
2- Green Gobbler
Yes. Green gobbler can be used in your dishwasher. Green gobbler comes in a variety of products including the 20% vinegar home and outdoor solution, which is 4times stronger than regular white vinegar.
To use it in your dishwasher, ensure that you put it in a dishwasher-safe cup and dilute it with some water.
Place the cup in the top rack of your dishwasher and add baking soda to it and run a hot water cycle.
This formula will remove stains and clear out some of the clogs while still being gentle on your appliance.
3- Instant Power
Yes. Instant power is dishwasher safe as it utilizes citric acid to remove the stain films and odor from dishwashers.
However, it might not be strong enough to clear out a clog. Instead, this product should be used regularly to prevent the clog from ever forming.
Yes. Zep is a dishwasher rinse additive that is safe to use in a dishwasher.
It removes grease, lime, and food residue in your machine while also gently scrubbing dishes. It prevents your machine from clogging by regularly breaking away residue before it builds up and forms clogs.
Possible Reasons Why Your Dishwasher is Not Draining
There could be numerous reasons why your dishwasher is not draining. Some of those reasons are:
1- Blocked Kitchen Sink Drain
There could be a clog in the kitchen sink drain caused by food debris or grease blocking the passage of water.
Since the dishwasher drains dirty water to the sink drain, a clogged sink drain may make a dishwasher unable to perform this function, and water will remain standing in the dishwasher.
2- Your Inlet Valve Is Faulty
The reason why your dishwasher might seem clogged is that your inlet valve may either be damaged or loose. Your faulty inlet valve could lead to standing water in the machine.
A faulty inlet valve means that even when your machine is not operational, water will still be leaking into your dishwasher making it seem as if your dishwasher is not draining out the water.
3- A Knockout Plug May Be Blocking the Flow of Water
A knockout plug is a little piece of plastic that may be located inside a newly-installed garbage disposal system.
Since the drain hose is usually located in the same area as the garbage disposal system, the knockout plug may hinder the dishwasher from draining out water after a cycle. Some user manuals neglect or overlook informing people to remove the knockout plug.
A professional may notice the knockout plug and take it out but a DIY installer may overlook removing it.
4- Dirty Traps and Filters
One may forget to empty the dishwasher traps and filters. When food particles and debris accumulate in your traps and filters, they may form a clog and water may start to back up because water flow has been blocked. This will also give a foul fish-like smell.
5- Wrong Detergent in Dishwasher
Most dishwashers use powder detergents as opposed to regular liquid dish soap. If you use liquid dish soap in your dishwasher, the results might be that the water will be too sudsy to properly drain out. Sticking to powder detergents will keep the water flowing regularly.
6- Clogs in the Drain Hose
This is probably the most common issue as to why your dishwasher isn’t draining. Grease and food that accumulates over time could end up clogging your drain hose making it unable to pass water from the dishwasher to the sink drain.
7- Faulty Drain Hose
Your drain hose may have kinks that prevent water from being carried to the sink drain. Try straightening your hose so that it can drain water or get a replacement hose and properly hook it up to your dishwasher.
8- Clogged Air Gap
The air gap is a small cylindrical compartment located under your sink probably near the dishwasher outlet hose. Once the air gap is clogged, it might prevent water from draining into the sink drain.
Remove it and clean it out with a hard brush to remove grime and build-up.
9- Damaged or Old Plumbing
Damaged or old plumbing will prevent your dishwasher from properly draining out the water. Kinks in the plumbing itself will make water back up in the dishwasher or take a really long time before all the water is drained out.
Unclogging a Dishwasher (Best Ways)
Depending on your specific problem, there are numerous ways to clear a clogged dishwasher. These include:
1- Use Cleaners Specific for Dishwashers to Clear Out the Clogs
For a dishwasher clog, you can use citric acid or ammonia-based products that are marketed for cleaning dishwashers. These products are safe options to clear the drain without damaging the appliance.
Products such as cascade, lime shine, and affresh dishwasher cleaners will help tackle problems such as grease and food particle buildup before it turns into a clog.
However, these products do not clear out clogs. They are tailored toward preventing clogs from happening.
2- Use a Concoction of Baking Soda and Vinegar to Clean the Drain
A vinegar and Baking soda Solution effectively works to break down grease and remove food particles from the dishwasher and the drain.
3- Use a Long Metal Wire to Manually Pry Out the Clog
You could use a metal stake to try and wiggle the food out of the drain hose to make the water flow out easier.
However, be careful to avoid damaging the hose while trying to pry out the clog. This is because, with a metal rod, you may end up piercing the drain hose which will lead to leaks while water is draining out of the dishwasher.
Also, be careful if you intend to use a plunger to unclog your dishwasher. A plunger can damage the drain hole. Only use a sink plunger if you have to.
4- Run Pressurized Water through the Hose
Disconnect the drain hose from the dishwasher and the sink. Take your drain hose outside and inspect the inside of it. You might notice clogs stuck to the walls of your drain hose and this is what you would want to clear out.
Run pressurized water through the drain hose by running another hose into it and turning on the water for a while so that the clog can be loosened and cleared.
Using Liquid Plumr (Indirectly) to Unclog a Dishwasher
Try and unclog kitchen and sink drains instead. Unclogging your sink drain might lead to your dishwasher draining more effectively.
Liquid plumr could be used to clear sink drains and also the garbage disposal system that could get clogged and prevent the flow of water.
Pour an appropriate amount of plumr into your sink or as instructed on the label and wait 15 to 30 minutes for it to have time to work. You might also decide to leave the plumr in your drain overnight.
Pour hot water into the drain to wash away the liquid plumber from your drain system.
This process will clear your drain and essentially clear the path for the dishwasher to drain.
Be careful when leaving liquid plumr for an extended amount of time especially if your plumbing is old. This is because the drain cleaner is very aggressive in unclogging drains and may end up damaging the inside of your plumbing.
Can You Prevent Dishwasher Clogs? (How?)
To prevent your dishwasher from clogging, there are steps that you can take including:
1- Rinsing Your Dishes
The most common practice is to rinse your dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. This will prevent chunks of food from clogging your filters and your drain hose.
2- Running Your Dishwasher Regularly
Going for prolonged periods of time without running your machine could make the debris in your drain hose harden and clog your dishwasher. It’s harder to clog your dishwasher if it is regularly used.
Make it a habit to run your dishwasher even when there are just a few dishes in it just to clear out the food debris that was left from the previous cycle and prevent it from hardening.
Using liquid plumr is an indirect approach for clearing your clogged drain problems but should not be used directly inside your dishwasher.
Maintenance of your appliance is always better than trying to solve a problem once the clog has already formed.
Ensure that you run your dishwasher frequently and use dishwasher cleaning products such as dishwasher tablets to keep your dishwasher clean.