As time progresses, your dishwasher racks may require a bit of upkeep. A frequent complaint is rust on the dish racks, leading to potential discoloration of your dishes. A rusted dishwasher rack can cause dishes to break, so it is essential to repair them quickly.

The great news is that you don’t have to purchase a new dishwasher rack if yours has rust or other issues. Instead, you can quickly repair it with a few tools and supplies.

Unearth the secrets within this article to discover how you can easily replace or restore your dishwasher racks.

Identifying Dishwasher Rack Damage

dishwasher rack

Before you begin your dishwasher rack repair, it is important to determine the damage that your dishwasher rack has sustained.

Rust Spots

Not only are rust spots unsightly, but they can cause irreparable pitting and discoloration to your dishware if not adequately addressed. If the rust has just begun to develop, it is possible to remove and refinish the rack.

Tears in Basket

Another issue is finding tears or large holes in the bottom of the dishwasher basket. These holes can cause water and detergent to leak out of your dishwasher, leading to inefficient cleaning and possible damage.

Loose or Broken Wheels

Loose or defective wheels can be a major obstacle preventing your rack from functioning correctly and even result in irreversible damage to the dishwasher.

Coat Missing

After extensive use, metal racks get rusted over time, and the plastic coating gets deteriorates. This is a common issue with most dishwasher racks and can be easily fixed with a fresh coat of vinyl paint.

Broken Rack Tines

Broken rack tines are another common issue among most dishwashers. This can occur when the metal tines weaken over time, leading to breakage and potential safety issues. If you notice any broken or damaged tines on your dishwasher rack, it is important to repair them immediately.

Step-by-Step Guide for Dishwasher Rack Repair

dishwasher rack repair

Dishwasher rack repair is a straightforward process. You just need to have the right tools and supplies before you begin. 

Rusted Dishwasher Rack

  1. The first step is to remove the dishwasher rack from the machine.
  2. The vinyl on dishwasher racks will blister if the metal underneath begins to rust, so use a rotary tool to remove the vinyl and rust from these areas.
  3. Utilize a cloth, paper towel, and alcohol or mineral spirits to clear away the affected areas.
  4. If it is a metal rack, use vinyl paint to give them a fresh look.
  5. For coated baskets, use a special coating kit to cover the basket. This will ensure that the rack can continue to perform its duties without any issues.
  6. Wipe this plastic coat evenly on every surface of the dishwasher rack.
  7. Let it dry for at least 24 hours before placing the dishwasher rack back in the machine.

Damaged Wheels

  1. First, you will need to remove the dishwasher rack from the machine.
  2. Using a wrench or pliers, loosen the screws on the wheels and then carefully pull them off.
  3. Replace with new wheels of your choosing. Make sure they match the size and style of your existing ones.
  4. Securely fasten each wheel with the screws that were initially used.
  5. Replace the dishwasher rack in the machine and ensure it is adequately secured.

Broken Rack Tines

  1. First, remove the dishwasher basket from the machine.
  2. Using pliers, carefully straighten out the rack tines that have been damaged.
  3. Once they are straightened, use a metal file or wire brush to remove any remaining rust or debris.
  4. Apply a coat of vinyl paint to the affected areas and let it dry overnight.
  5. The final step is to place the dishwasher basket back in the machine and ensure it is secure.

Defective Rack Track

  1. The first step is to remove the dishwasher rack from the machine.
  2. Carefully inspect the track for any signs of wear and tear.
  3. If any areas need to be repaired, use a metal file or a wire brush to smooth them out.
  4. Apply some lubricant on the track to reduce friction between it and the wheels.
  5. Replace the dishwasher rack in the machine and ensure it is properly secured.

However, if you’re thinking about replacing your dishwasher because of the defective and unusable racks, check out this blog post: Is It Better To Repair Or Replace A Dishwasher?, it has more info that might help you decide.

New Tips For Keeping Your Dishwasher Racks In Good Condition

dishwasher rack maintenance

If you want to keep your expensive dishwasher in excellent condition, follow these simple tips for keeping your racks looking their best:

  • Make sure your new rack does not come off the rails
  • Use a soft sponge and soapy water to clean the racks regularly.
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaning solutions or harsh chemicals on your racks, as these can damage the plastic coating.
  • Store them in a cool and dry place when not used, as extreme temperatures can damage the plastic coating.
  • Check the track and tines for wear and tear regularly.
  • Apply a light coat of protective glue or vinyl paint to the metal parts of your dishwasher rack every few months to help prevent rusting.


Although there is no single answer, the suggestions mentioned above will help you properly maintain and care for your dishwasher racks. If you take proper care of it, your dishwasher will serve you flawlessly for many years!

However, if you will problems with your dishwasher, and you’re looking for someone to help, it’s best to seek the assistance of a professional. We at Quality Appliance Repair is an Australian-wide network of experienced appliance repair technicians.

To learn more or to schedule a consultation, repair, or installation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us using the contact details provided below:

We are available 24/7, so if you need help with any appliance repairs, just give us a call, and we’ll be there!

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