Older Dishwasher Repair

I'm hoping one of you can help me with these dishwasher problems I'm having lately. First, the circular "door" for the detergent compartment no longer clicks shut into place. It stays open, so the detergent falls out as soon as I close the dishwasher door. Is there anyway to fix this myself?


Also, there is an odor that I can't get rid of when the dishes are washing.
Maybe there is a trap somewhere that catches the food particles, that needs to be cleaned?

I don't have a book for this dishwasher, as it came in the house I bought. I can't find a way to take the sprayer arm off to see if there is any problem there either. Can anybody offer any pointers to this clueless dishwasher user?

Thanks a million to all who send in such terrific ideas and helpful hints, and also the awesome pictures!


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Dear Queen Bee,

Please tell us the brand of your dishwasher and model name, if possible. We might have the manual and that would help us to help you. There are wonderful people on this site with lots of "smarts" to guide us.


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I go to a place online called http://www.repairclinic.com that has parts for appliances they might be able to help.

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Once a week I pour a cup of white vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher, add detergent and then run it.It helps to clean out built up detergent as well as makes your dishes and glasses sparkling.I no longer have an odor in the dishwasher. Make certain that you also run the hot water before starting the dishwasher so your dishwasher doesn't spend half of the time trying to heat up the water. Also use Jet Dry or a like product. I thought I was in need of a new dishwasher and spoke to a gentlemen in our local appliance store and he gave me these tips. Five years later and my dishwasher is still going strong and I have sparkling clean dishes, glasses and silverware!

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You can use those tab things for you dishwasher soap - you don't need a soap holder for those just put it on the bottom of the machine. They don't fit in my soap holder either.

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Thanks for all your suggestions so far !! The dishwasher is a General Electric Permatuf (?),

Model #GSD500D-03BA. I hope I copied the numbers down correctly, with my poor old, tired eyes, those teeny tiny numbers are very hard to read....

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You should be able to go directly to the GE site and get a manul for your dishwasher.

When we moved into our house I phoned for the manuals for our fridge, stove and dishwasher, and they sent them out to me.

Good luck!

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My dishwasher runs too long

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For cleaning, here's a great trick. Buy a jar of TANG orange drink powder. Then get your water as hot as possible at the sink. Start your empty dishwasher and let it run for one minute. Open it, pour the TANG in the bottom of the dishwasher. Let it run for several minutes and turn it off for a while to let the citric acid in TANG work. Turn it back on and let it run through its entire cycle.

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If you just want citric acid you can get it from the drug store for very cheap. I have never needed it in the dishwasher but have used it to clean the inside of my toilet tank. From black to white! My dishwasher soap is always accompanied by Pink Solution (Heavy mix) (The web site is www.pinksolution.ca) It leaves the dishes glowing and you don't need as much dishwasher soap.

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Two places to look: www.the-appliance-site.com and www.repairclinic.com.

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In This Article
Repairing a Dishwasher
Repairing a Dishwasher Yourself
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Home and Garden Home Improvement KitchenMarch 7, 2005
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