While properly functioning dishwashers may not qualify as necessary household appliances, many families would be lost without them. Dishwashers have a number of intricate parts, including hoses, filters, and valves, each of which play a critical role in the functioning of your appliance. Begin your maintenance routine by checking all the dishwasher’s hoses and gaskets, which can become loose, brittle, or worn over time, causing water to leak out. Next, check your air gap valve to make sure it is not clogged. After identifying the air gap, which typically has a chrome cover and is located between your sink and dishwasher, use a screwdriver and tweezers to remove any build-up.

Your dishwasher’s spray arm can also become clogged. Carefully remove the arm and use a wire to clear out any build-up in the arm’s holes. At this point, you should also clean your strainer and filter, which are often removable. Finally, scrub the strainer and filter with a brush before placing them back into their original positions.

About the author: A longtime appliance service technician, Daniel Schemer has worked for Sears, Maytag, and Whirlpool. In his free time, Mr. Schemer enjoys playing sports, especially hockey, and spending time with his children.