Dishwasher Not Cleaning – Find Out Why And How To Fix

dishwasher not cleaning

If you’re dishwasher is not cleaning, then you’re probably having a really difficult time getting your dishes cleaned. For large families, this can be especially annoying! You could be dealing with a simple problem that you can fix alone, or you might need professional repair services.

The good news is that the majority of the issues that cause a dishwasher not to clean are simple and easy to fix. It might take a little elbow grease, but you should be able to get it done. Let’s look at the possible issues.

Potential Problems

  • First, you could be dealing with dirty filters. When the filters are clogged, the food will redeposit itself onto dishes because it cannot get through the filters.
  • Second, it could be insufficient washing due to choosing the wrong wash cycle. Although it might seem trivial, you really have to match the wash cycle to the dirtiness of the dishes loaded into the washer. Try the strongest setting and see how that works.
  • Third, it could be old detergent. All dishwashing detergents work best when they’re brand new. They also need to be stored in dry conditions. Many homeowners unknowingly load older detergent into their dishwasher and can’t seem to figure out why it’s not cleaning properly.
  • Fourth, it could be poor quality detergent. There are some really cheap brands sold in some stores, so if the deal seems too good to be true, then the detergent could be poor quality, yielding poor washing results.
  • Fifth, the problem could be an obstructed dishwasher spray arm. It’s important to make sure the arm isn’t obstructed by fallen silverware or similar.
  • Sixth, it could be that the dishwasher wasn’t loaded correctly. When dishes aren’t loaded properly, it can prevent the water and detergent from hitting and cleaning them.
  • Seventh, the problem might also be clogged spray arms. It’s not terribly uncommon for the spray arms to become dirty and clogged, which can cause dirty water to spray onto your dishes.
  • Lastly, it could be a motor problem. You can check for a damaged drive belt or motor jams. In some cases, debris can accumulate and block the motor.

The Most Likely Culprits

Did you know that it’s actually a mistake to thoroughly pre-clean your dishes before loading them into the dishwasher? The detergent aggressively attacks the food on the plates and cups, so you need to leave the food particles alone.

Ideally, you should give dishes nothing more than a quick scrape before loading them in. The other most common culprit occurs during load time. While most people never do it, you should always read the manual.

It should tell you exactly where to put plates and glasses. There are specific spots inside of the dishwasher for these items, and if you don’t load them correctly, it can prevent them from getting clean.

Another common problem is using too much detergent. You should base the amount of detergent that you use on how much food soil there is on the dishes, as opposed to how many dishes there are in the load. Powder detergent usually works better than its liquid counterparts.

It’s quite common to make the mistake of impeding the spray arm, which can prevent adequate cleaning. Never load containers that don’t say ‘dishwasher safe’ on them into the dishwasher.

Tips To Make It Run Better

If you try everything in this article a few times and nothing seems to be working, then it’s possible that you’ll need to obtain professional repairs. Follow these simple tips to help your dishwasher run better.

First, don’t overcrowd it. You would be surprised to learn how easy it is to overcrowd the washer. There have probably been plenty of times when you just wanted to add one more bowl. Avoid doing this to make sure your dishwasher is cleaning properly.

Never confuse scraping your dishes with washing them. It doesn’t make sense to clean your dishes before putting them in the washer because that is the whole point of using the washer. Just give each dish a quick scrape.

Make sure you clean the dishwasher trap regularly. It’s usually located under the lower sprayer, and it should be a removable piece. You might find all sorts of weird things in the trap – make sure to remove them.

As mentioned earlier, it could be something mechanical. Feel free to use these tips on Bosch, Kitchenaid, Frigidaire and Maytag models.