A dishwasher is supposed to make cleaning dishes easier, but it can cause its own headaches if it starts rusting. Rust in your dishwasher might mean the appliance is on its way out, or there may be an easy fix that could get your dishwasher up and running in no time at all. Here’s what you need to know about rust in your dishwasher and what to do about it..
What Rust Means
Rust isn’t your dishwasher’s friend, and there are two main ways it can get into the unit. First, water can splash over the exterior of the dishwasher while the door is open, or it can leak through gaps in the door seal. Second, if a rusting object was put inside with dishes or utensils, they could deposit rust onto other items that were clean when they went into the machine. The good news is that you can repair most rust spots without replacing the entire appliance.
If your dishwasher is rusting, this can happen for a few reasons. The appliance could be old, it could have clogged water pipes, or it might not have been installed properly. Luckily, rust in the dishwasher is usually fixable. You’ll want to find a rust cleaner that’s best for your dishwasher before attacking the rust with any chemicals. Depending on what caused the rust in the first place, you may need to take other steps as well. For example, if your dishwasher has started leaking because of rusty connections, then you should probably replace it. You should also replace a rusted-out machine if the leak is bad enough to ruin flooring or walls underneath the appliance.
Repairs vs. Replacing
When your dishwasher gets rusted, it can be difficult to determine whether the rust inside is due to a minor defect or a major malfunction. When you get a new appliance, most of the time, this problem won’t come up, but when you have an older dishwasher, it is important that you know what to do about rust because it is much more common than you may think. You should replace the dishwasher if there are leaks, rust all over the interior, or if the motor has stopped working and it cannot be repaired. But if there is just some surface rust on a part of the machine (e.g., on a spray arm), then you should clean off the rust with steel wool and try using liquid detergent instead of powder detergent so that corrosion doesn’t form again.