Dishwasher doesn’t clean

Dishwasher doesn’t clean


A dishwasher that fails to clean your dishes effectively can be a frustrating issue. Dirty or streaked dishes can result from a variety of factors, and it’s crucial to identify and address the problem to ensure your dishwasher operates efficiently. In this guide, we’ll explore common reasons why a dishwasher may not clean dishes properly and provide troubleshooting steps to help you diagnose and potentially resolve the issue.

Common Causes of a Dishwasher That Doesn’t Clean Properly

  1. Improper Loading: Overloading the dishwasher, placing dishes too closely together, or blocking the spray arms can hinder water and detergent distribution, leading to ineffective cleaning.
  2. Food Residue: Excessive food debris left on dishes before loading can clog filters, spray arms, and other dishwasher components, affecting cleaning performance.
  3. Hard Water Deposits: In areas with hard water, mineral deposits can accumulate on dishes and dishwasher components, causing them to appear dirty or streaked.
  4. Incorrect Detergent Usage: Using the wrong type of detergent, not using enough detergent, or using expired detergent can result in poor cleaning performance.
  5. Spray Arm Blockage: A clogged spray arm can prevent proper water and detergent distribution, leading to inadequate cleaning.
  6. Water Temperature Issues: If the dishwasher doesn’t reach the required water temperature, it may not activate the detergent effectively.

Troubleshooting Steps for a Dishwasher That Doesn’t Clean Properly

  1. Proper Loading:
    • Avoid overloading the dishwasher and ensure there is enough space between dishes to allow water and detergent to reach all surfaces.
    • Place larger items in the lower rack and smaller items in the upper rack for optimal cleaning.
  2. Scrape, Don’t Rinse:
    • While it’s unnecessary to pre-rinse dishes, scrape off excess food debris before loading them into the dishwasher to prevent clogs.
  3. Use the Right Detergent:
    • Ensure you are using the correct type of dishwasher detergent recommended by the manufacturer. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the appropriate amount of detergent.
  4. Run Hot Water First:
    • Before starting a wash cycle, run your kitchen faucet until hot water flows to ensure the dishwasher begins with hot water for better cleaning.
  5. Clean Filters and Spray Arms:
    • Remove and clean the dishwasher’s filters, spray arms, and any other components that may be clogged or obstructed to ensure proper water flow and distribution.
  6. Consider a Water Softener:
    • If you live in an area with hard water, consider using a water softener or a dishwasher cleaner designed to combat hard water deposits.
  7. Adjust Detergent Amount:
    • Experiment with the amount of detergent you use based on your dishwasher’s capacity and the level of soil on your dishes.
  8. Run a Test Cycle:
    • After performing the above steps, run a test cycle with the dishwasher empty to see if it cleans dishes effectively.
  9. Consult a Professional:
    • If the dishwasher continues to perform poorly despite troubleshooting, or if you suspect a more complex issue with internal components, it’s advisable to contact a dishwasher repair technician for a thorough assessment and repair.


A dishwasher repair that doesn’t clean dishes properly can be a frustrating issue, but with careful troubleshooting and maintenance, you can often identify and address the problem. By following the steps outlined in this guide and referring to your dishwasher’s user manual for specific guidance, you can work towards resolving the issue and ensuring your dishwasher operates efficiently, leaving your dishes sparkling clean. If the problem persists or if you suspect a more significant problem with internal components, professional assistance may be necessary to diagnose and repair the issue effectively.


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