I fixed the dishwasher, or the Multiplication of Screws

So I’m proud of myself, yes I am. I fixed the dishwasher.  I’m not exactly a handyman, in that I’m terrified of some essential handyman skills (like the harnessing of electricity), but I’m hugely curious and I love a challenge.  So when things break or don’t work properly, I often give fixing them my best shot.  Sometimes the results are less-than-stellar (like the … gulp … French door handles, but in my defense the doors are literally made out of cardboard held together by post-it note glue, and that was not in my instruction manual).  But sometimes, well, the dishes are clean again.

I’m terrible at reading directions for repair-type things. The diagrams never look like the objects in question, and there are ALWAYS more pieces than there are supposed to be.  But if I watch someone else do something, I can probably do it myself next time.

I remember a few years ago I had a plumber out to repair all the inner workings of the toilet tank, which was dying of hard-water-induced old age.  Well, not three weeks later the other toilet began to die the same death, so I put my newfound skills to the test and replaced everything I could find a part for at Home Depot.  I remember posting proudly on facebook about my accomplishment, and my ex-student Michael (whom I adore) posting in return “You are so weird.”  I’ll give you that.  But my toilet flushes, so there!

Well, our dishwasher had recently begun to go downhill.  Washing-wise. It’s been going downhill appearance-wise for ages. Like, if you try to push a casserole dish in a little too tightly there’s a 50/50 chance a rusty prong will give up it’s tenuous hold on the rack below.  But, you know, it still cleaned, so whatever.  But then it stopped. The dishes on the top rack were increasingly more gross as the dishwashing days went on.  So I took out the racks, disassembled all the traps and covers and removed anything I could find that seemed like it might hinder dish cleanliness. I poked in spray holes and removed yuckiness I don’t want to remember.  And, lo and behold, the dishwasher cleans again!

There’s a certain satisfaction you get when you give your beaten-to-crap, 10 year old, cheap-ass appliances new life.  You’re making the world a better place, like when you help an old woman across the street, or feed a stray dog.  But less so.

Excuse me, I have dishes to wash.

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