4 Early Signs That Your Dishwasher is Clogged

Dishes and flatware waiting to be washed in a dishwasher
A malfunctioning dishwasher may be one that is clogged and needs repair. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Dishwashers are a necessity for many homeowners — and they’re so affordable and easy to install, so they’re often built into new homes or added to old homes.

However, if a dishwasher has problems, it’s best to diagnose the issue before it worsens — and you end up with a sink full of dirty dishes that must be manually washed.

Here are common signs of a clogged dishwasher.

Woman wearing rubber gloves, holding her nose and pointing to a smelly dishwasher
A dishwasher that leaves unexpected odors could be clogged. (DepositPhotos)

1. It Smells Funny

If your dishwasher has an unpleasant smell when you open the door, this may indicate the plumbing system is clogged with crumbs, grease and grime.

The smell may be slight at first, but it will gradually worsen over time. 

Woman holding her hands over her ears to drown out the noise of a loud dishwasher
A dishwasher that makes unpleasant noises should be serviced. (DepositPhotos)

2. It Makes Unusual Sounds

When running the dishwasher, you may notice unusual sounds, such as grinding, off-and-on rinsing or sputtering.

A professional plumber should track down the source of unusual sounds. Perhaps a piece of flatware or a chunk of food got stuck in the drain, or a similarly small issue arose, and you can fix it.

But if the hose or drain is clogged, you will need an expert’s help to fix the problem.


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