Dishwasher Not Washing As Well: Quick Fixes You Can Try

If your dishwasher not washing as well has become a concern, you’re not alone. Many people face this common issue but, luckily, it’s often simple to fix.

Dishwasher Not Washing As Well
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Troubleshooting Steps

The following are issues to look for in your dishwasher…

Clogged Filter

When your dishwasher is not performing up to par, a common reason could be a clogged filter. The filter traps food particles and other debris during the wash cycle.

Over time, the accumulation of these particles can obstruct water flow, diminishing your dishwasher’s cleaning capability. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to properly clean the filter:

Turn off the Dishwasher and Unplug It

Safety should always be your first concern when working on any electrical appliance. Locate the dishwasher’s electrical outlet and unplug it to ensure no electrical current is flowing while you work.

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Remove the Bottom Rack to Access the Filter

The dishwasher’s bottom rack usually just slides out. Simply pull it out and set it aside, giving you clear access to the filter located at the base of the dishwasher.

Turn the Filter Counterclockwise and Lift It Out

The filter is generally secured with a locking mechanism that you can undo by turning it counterclockwise. Some resistance is normal, but it should not be overly difficult to turn. Once it’s loosened, lift the filter out gently.

Rinse the Filter Under Warm Water

Hold the filter under warm, running water. Use a soft brush to gently scrub off any trapped particles and residues. Be careful not to damage the filter mesh as you clean. After rinsing, place the filter back into its original position. Turn the filter clockwise to lock it securely in place.

Plug the Dishwasher Back In and Test

Finally, plug the dishwasher back into the electrical outlet and run a short wash cycle. Check if the dishwasher’s performance has improved.

Faulty Spray Arm

If your dishwasher still isn’t cleaning dishes effectively after you’ve addressed the filter, another potential issue could be the spray arm.

The spray arm is responsible for distributing water and detergent across the dishes. If it’s obstructed or damaged, it won’t function as efficiently. Below are steps to inspect and clean the spray arm:

Turn off and Unplug the Dishwasher

Just like with the filter cleaning, safety comes first. Turn off the dishwasher and unplug it from its electrical source.

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Open the Dishwasher and Locate the Spray Arm

The spray arm is generally located below the bottom rack. You may need to remove the rack to access it easily.

Remove Any Debris Caught in the Spray Arm Holes

Inspect the spray arm for any visible blockages like food particles or mineral buildup in its holes. Use a toothpick or a similar small, pointed object to gently dislodge any blockages.

Run Water Through the Spray Arm to Ensure It’s Clean

Once you’ve removed any visible debris, it’s a good idea to rinse the spray arm under running water. This will help to flush out any remaining particles that might be inside the arm.

Reinstall the Spray Arm and Test the Dishwasher

Place the spray arm back in its original position. If it was removed, secure it according to your dishwasher’s manual. Plug the dishwasher back in, turn it on, and run a test wash to check for improvements in cleaning performance.

Low Water Pressure

A dishwasher relies on a sufficient amount of water pressure to clean dishes effectively. If you notice that your dishwasher is not washing as well, low water pressure could be affecting its performance.

Reduced water pressure hinders the dishwasher’s ability to spray water adequately, which means your dishes may not be getting cleaned as they should be. Here’s how to investigate and potentially solve this issue:

Locate the Water Supply Valve, Usually Under the Sink

Start by finding the water supply valve that feeds water into your dishwasher. This valve is often located under the sink in the kitchen. You may see a line running from this valve to the dishwasher.

Turn Off the Valve and Disconnect the Supply Line

Before making any adjustments, ensure safety by turning off the water supply valve. After that, using appropriate tools like wrenches, disconnect the water supply line from the valve. Keep a towel or a small container handy to catch any residual water that may spill out.

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Check for Any Blockages and Remove Them

Inspect both the water supply line and the valve for any blockages that could reduce water pressure. Common culprits include mineral buildup and debris. Clean the line and the valve opening using a brush or cloth, and remove any visible obstructions.

Reconnect the Supply Line and Turn On the Valve

After ensuring there are no blockages, reconnect the water supply line to the valve. Use a wrench to secure it, but avoid overtightening, which could damage the line. Once secure, turn the water supply valve back on.

Run a Test Wash to See if the Issue Is Resolved

With everything reconnected, plug your dishwasher back in and run a short wash cycle to see if the water pressure issue has been resolved. If you notice a significant improvement, you’ve successfully dealt with the issue.

Using the Wrong Detergent

The type of detergent you use in your dishwasher significantly influences its washing performance. Using a detergent that is not compatible with your machine can lead to poorly washed dishes. Here’s how to ensure you’re using the right detergent:

Check the Manufacturer’s Recommendation for Detergents

To find the best detergent for your dishwasher, consult the appliance’s user manual for recommendations. Manufacturers often list the types or brands of detergent that work best with their machines.

Dispose of Any Incompatible Detergent

If you discover you’re using a detergent not recommended by the manufacturer, it’s best to dispose of it properly. Follow local guidelines for disposing of cleaning agents.

Load the Dishwasher with the Correct Detergent

Once you’ve acquired the appropriate detergent, load it into your dishwasher’s detergent dispenser. Be sure to use the recommended amount as specified by both the detergent manufacturer and the dishwasher manual.

Run a Test Cycle to Check Performance

With the correct detergent loaded, run a test wash to observe any improvements. If the dishes come out cleaner and the dishwasher runs more efficiently, you’ve likely resolved the issue.

Please note that specific steps will vary widely depending on the model of your appliance. Check your manual for more information.

For more articles on dishwashers, click here: Dishwasher Problems and Solutions: Your Ultimate Guide to Hassle-free Dishwashing

Conclusion: Dishwasher Not Washing As Well

It can be frustrating when your dishwasher is not washing as well, but most issues are easily solvable. Following these guidelines can help improve your dishwasher’s performance and prolong its lifespan.