Repairing your rusted dishwasher rack

As dishwasher racks age, so do their parts. Sometimes you have to replace moving parts, but with years of usage the heavy coating on the racks begins to deteriorate and fall off. This doesn’t affect the way the dishwasher runs, but it does reveal the metal rack structure underneath. Exposed to water, the metal racks begin to rust. A rusting dishwasher rack being to “bleed” out with each washing. What results is a discoloring of your dishes. In other words you have dishes with rust stains – not good. Worse, the exposed wires can scratch your dishes. You might think you need to replace the dishwasher rack (never mind, the whole dishwasher!), but that can be expensive, especially with the major brands like Whirlpool, Kenmore or Maytag. The good news is that they make a perfect little repair kit – dishwasher rack caps you can glue on to repair your rusting dishwasher rack. Read further to see how east and cheap of a fix this is.

Dishwasher rack caps
It’s nice to know there is solution that’s simple to use and actually works well. And for under 10 bucks, it doesn’t get much cheaper. A kit like the one shown is a good product to use to make this repair. The first step is to pull out the rusted dishwasher rackas far as it will go. If you wish, you can remove it from the dishwasher completely and place it on an even surface somewhere where it’s easy to work on. Dry the rack until there is no moisture present on any surfaces.

The second step you should do depends on your rack and how much rust or corrosion you have to exposed wire tine. You want to have a clean and smooth surface on these before moving on. You can get this by wiping the tines with an abrasive surface like that of a kitchen sponge. Sand paper also works well. Just before to wipe away and remaining dust.

The third and final step- gluing and attaching caps. The dishwasher rack repair kit will come with two basic parts – a glue (or goop) and the actual caps for the tines. As you can guess, you’re going to apply the glue and place the caps over the top. The glue is very fast-drying. This is good, as it helps to create a firm old once the caps are in place. But this also means you want to work quickly…but carefully. Just make sure you have plenty of light while you apply it and that space to move easily and freely as you work. It’s also a good idea to have a damp rag or paper towel handy in case of any dripping or accidental touching with the glue applicator. Have the cap your about to place on the tine ready, so as soon as you put the glue on you can push on the cap. One small tip is to not breathe to deeply or closely to the glue/goop – it has a strong odor, but nothing to worry about – just be aware of.

Rack Repair Kit

Can buy at Amazon here

Again, the dishwasher rack repair kit pictured is just an example. It gets really good reviews at Amazon, which you can review for yourself. The kit comes with detailed instructions and even a non-latex glove to use. Since the kits are so inexpensive, it is recommended to buy two of them. You may not need the extra caps, but the extra glue/goop in the second kit may be needed depending on how many tines you’re repairing on your rack. You can also buy just the glue bottle separately so you don’t run out. Yes, a name like “Uber Goop” is a funny name, but it’s not a gimick as one reviewer points out – it just works.

Dishwasher replacement rack caps do the following:

  • Reseal and waterproof exposed metal on rack tips (tines)
  • Add better protection against deterioration or chipping of rack tines than original coating – should last longer than the dishwasher itself
  • Match to the color of your rack so it doesn’t feel like a “cheap” fix
  • Give you the satisfaction of solving an annoying problem as a DIY’er without spending money on replacement racks

***Of course, if you don’t mind spending a little extra money, you can find a new rack to really make things feel like new again. Brands such as whirlpool, Frigidaire, GE offer racks like this one to replace rusted or damaged ones.


  1. Nancy Joens says;
    24 May 2011 - 8:23

    in my dishwasher it is not just the tips of the tines but also small areas of the rack where plates sit. Will applying the goop coat the wire rack in these areas or would you suggest cutting a piece of the tip and glue it around the rusted areas?

  2. Use just the goop coat for those areas. It may take more than one coat, and over time you’ll need to reapply. Just part of dealing with an older rack that is rusting.

  3. Alberto Enriquez says;
    20 Jul 2011 - 14:35

    This product works, but your best bet is just not to buy a dishwasher manufactured by the Whirlpool company (several brands including Sears)––or you’ll be forever “touching up” these racks.

    I had a ’60s Kitchenaid that finally wore out after a number of easy home repairs. This Whirlpool is just THREE years old and failing! The thin polyvinyl coating is porous and allows the non-stainless steel rack underneath to rust and even break off tines altogether. Spoke with Whirlpool and without an “extended warranty” I’m on my own. How is it one set of racks lasted nearly 50 years––and this one only three?
    Whirlpool engineering cuts too many corners.

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