Honestly, I don't know why dishwasher manufacturers don't make easily removable gunk screens like dryers have for lint.
Our dishwasher stopped working again, and I got fed up and prayed for a working dishwasher. The next morning, I went to work on google looking up how to remove the spray arm assembly so I could clean it. I figured that was the last thing I could try before we had to throw the whole thing out and start over.
Didn't ever learn how to remove the spray arm assembly, but I did find a bunch of forums discussing my exact dishwasher, with questions by regular folk and answers by handymen, that gave me a bunch of new ideas and enough instructions to pursue them.
I discovered very quickly that it's much much harder to work on the inside of a dishwasher when you are six months pregnant but the size of an average 8 months pregnant, with the baby all out front. I couldn't maneuver my body right to get into the dishwasher, reach things, etc. And the awkward positions made my sciatic nerve act up again. And just getting down on the floor and up again to, say, grab a different size socket for the socket wrench was difficult.
Following the instructions online, I removed the pump cover and found the pump was clean, but the inside of the cover had at least 1/4 inch pinkish crud on the inside, with a little black mold to even things out. How do I write YUCK as emphatically as I felt it?
So I removed the screen assembly in the back of the machine. That was easier said than done--two of the bolts are literally an inch under the heating element. I managed it, though, and found 2 inches of crud stuck behind the screens, gumming up the pump thing back there. Plus the screens were plugged with calcium/lime deposits from the hard water. So I cleaned all that up.
Then I had to run the machine several times empty to get all the gunk rinsed out of the spray arms, etc.
And things are looking better on that front--at least, freshly dirtied dishes are getting clean. The ones that were washed before are not getting cleaned and will have to be scrubbed by hand with a chore girl before they can be considered cleanable again.
What a pain.
And who would've guessed what gross stuff can collect inside a machine that processes soap and hot hot water at least once a day. Makes me wonder what kind of gunk got into the kids while we were using the dishwasher dirty!
I suppose if they were going to die from something, they would have already....
So that's two major appliances that have taken my time this week. No wonder my plan to work on one room a day hasn't made the house look any better (although Tim's work has...)