Dishwasher Not Cleaning
There are few things as frustrating as when your dishwasher is not cleaning as it should.
If your dishwasher is not cleaning, you should determine what the problem is right away and take the necessary steps to troubleshoot it.
This article will help you understand the common culprits and the possible solutions so you can spend your evenings relaxing and not hand washing dishes.
Causes Behind a Dishwasher Not Washing
Two of the common causes behind a dishwasher not cleaning are clogged filters and/or spray nozzles.
Yet, there are several other reasons this could be happening, such as:
- Overlapping items can prevent water from effectively cleaning each item. This can be the result of loading items without enough individual space.
- Phosphates often found in dishwasher detergent can prevent hard water from cleaning dishes. Hard water impacts cleaning performance and also builds up in water lines, which can reduce a dishwasher’s lifespan. A dishwasher water softener can combat the problems associated with hard water in a way that isn’t costly or involves the hassle of needing a whole house system.
- For those not using a water softener, the issue might be that you are not using enough detergent.
Hard water generally requires extra detergent.
- Using detergent not meant for your dishwasher can result in poor washing performance and produce excessive suds.
- Not using a heavy cycle for a heavy load.
Steps to Check for a Clogged Filter
It’s not uncommon for there to be a small amount of standing water at the bottom of your dishwasher from time to time. If you’re seeing an inch (2.5 cm) or more, your dishwasher may have a clog.
Use these steps to determine if a filter is clogged.
We recommend always referring to and following your dishwasher use and care instructions. Consider this to be your primary source of information.
- Find where the dishwasher filter is located. It is typically situated at the back corner of the bottom tub, or around the base of the bottom spray arm.
- Take out the filter. To do this, you should follow the instructions in your dishwasher use and care guide prior to starting.
- Clean the filter by rinsing it with water. This is usually effective in removing much of the soil and debris. If you find that food particles aren’t washing away, then you can soak the filter in warm water for several minutes.
- The last step is to reinstall the filter.
Calcium deposits or other stuck-on bits may require you to do a gentle scrubbing with a sponge, soft brush or an old toothbrush. Never use a wire brush or scouring pad, as they are abrasive enough to potentially cause damage to the filter.
- Have a look at your drain motor and drain hose.
- If you find that your dishwasher is still not properly draining, there may be another reason behind your dishwasher drain being clogged.
- Standing water in your dishwasher could also be caused by a broken drain motor or a clogged drain hose.
- It’s always a good idea to solicit the help of a qualified professional to deal with these issues.
Steps to Check for Clogged Spray Nozzles
One or more clogged spray nozzles could be the result of improperly loading your dishwasher.
Dishwasher is not properly loaded
If the dishwasher was improperly loaded, the spray arms will be unable to work as they should. Check to see if there are any items that are blocking and/or preventing the spray arms from turning as needed. An example of this is when taller items in the bottom rack are restricting the spray arms from turning. In this case, you may need to adjust the top rack.
You can perform a test by loading the dishwasher and then carefully turning the spray arm. If the spray arm does not turn with ease, you should try reloading the dishwasher.
The “Top Rack Only” option may have been selected
If your dishwasher is equipped with a Top Rack Only option, then remember that this cycle is designed for washing a small load of dishes that are loaded exclusively on the top rack. If you are running a load on this cycle, then the lower or bottom spray arms will not be able to clean anything on the lower rack.
If either the upper or lower spray arm is not working
Extremely hard water mineral deposits may be damaging your dishwasher. One reason for this is that residue can build up on internal parts (such as the spray arms), the dishwasher’s interior and the contents of the load.
Troubleshooting Help for Common Causes
Let’s review a few possible solutions to common issues that are impeding your dishwasher from working.
Broken soap dispenser
Another issue could be a broken soap dispenser, which may result in your dishwasher not cleaning dishes and other items.
Detergent stuck in the dispenser?
Inspect to see if there is any detergent caked inside the dispenser.
If you notice caked detergent, start by trying to clean the dispenser. Older detergent that has been exposed to air can form into clumps and have a hard time dissolving. This will result in the dispenser door sticking to the detergent. To repair the issue, replace the detergent and store it in a tightly sealed container in a cool dry place.
Is the upper rack in the lowest position?
Another possibility is that the upper rack is stopping the detergent dispenser from opening when in the lowest position. To fix this issue, move the upper rack to an even higher position.
"Rinse Only" cycle
Selecting a short cycle like "rinse only", could leave some detergent in the dispenser since a full clean cycle was not used.
There are a lot of reasons why your dishwasher may not be cleaning as intended. If the troubleshooting tips provided in this article don’t fix the issue, then we recommend contacting our customer service team or scheduling a service appointment.
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