rinse dishes dishwasher not cleaning

Dishwasher Not Cleaning Properly? Here’s How to Fix It!

Is your dishwasher not cleaning your dishes properly? There are many reasons why this could be happening. Luckily, there’s a good change that it’s an easy fix! 

Rinse Before Loading

Pieces of food can clog a dishwasher. Rinsing your dishes before loading them into the dishwasher will not only prevent clogs, but allow the dishes to clean better. The dishwasher will do most of the work for you, but it’s still helpful to rinse before you load.

Rinse dishes before loading them into the dishwasher to prevent clogging
Rinse dishes before loading them into the dishwasher to prevent clogging

Load Your Dishes Differently

Each dishwasher is different. Check the owner’s manual to see the best way to load your dishwasher. These can be different depending on how strong the water jets are and where they are located.

Buy Quality Detergent

Using cheap detergents may clean your dishes, but do they clean them well enough? Sometimes you can find an inexpensive detergent that works well, but that’s not always the case. There are so many brands and qualities of dishwasher detergents to choose from. Find one that works well for you so your dishes are as clean as they can be.

Dishwashing detergent tablets. Use a quality detergent to ensure your dishwasher is cleaning properly
Dishwashing detergent tablets

Use Vinegar to Clean and De-clog

If you have dirt and debris buildup in your dishwasher, this can prevent it from cleaning properly. Vinegar is a good option to clean many things in your home. Using vinegar to clean and clear any minor clogs is an effective method. While your dishwasher is empty. Pour three cups of white vinegar into the bottom and run a full cycle. This should clear out any minor clogs and solve the issue of your dishwasher not cleaning properly.

Spray Arm Clogs

The spray arms on a dishwasher are what spray the water to clean your dishes. If these are clogged, the water will not be able to get through and your dishes won’t be cleaned. To clear these clogs, simply use a toothpick to clear the holes from any debris. The spray arms are located at the bottom of the dishwasher, and should be able to snap off for easy access.

Increase the Water Temperature

Many dishwashers are able to heat water to the ideal temperature by themselves. If your dishwasher isn’t able to do this, you might need to increase the temperature. To clean properly, dishes need to be cleaned in hot water. The recommended temperature is at least 120 degrees fahrenheit. This will most likely solve the issue of a dishwasher not cleaning if you haven’t been using hot enough water.

Replace the Inlet Valve

The inlet valve allows water to flow into the dishwasher. If it is failing, as all appliances do at one point or another, you will need to replace it. If water is not flowing to your dishes, it will not be possible for the dishes to fully clean. You can replace an inlet valve on your own, or you can call your local plumber to replace it for you.

dishwasher inlet valve
Dishwasher inlet valve

Clean The Filter

A dirty filter is never a good thing. If your dishwasher is not self cleaning and has a filter, check to see if it needs cleaned or replaced. If it’s too dirty, it won’t be able to trap small pieces of food or debris. This will result in your dishwasher not cleaning your dishes well enough, and left over pieces of food on your dishes. We recommend cleaning the filter once every month or two. Simply remove the filter from the bottom of the dishwasher and soak it in vinegar overnight then lightly scrub away the dirt and debris with a small brush (such as a toothbrush).

Use A Rinse Agent

Adding a rinse agent to the bottom of your dishwasher can vastly improve how clean your dishes come out of the dishwasher. Just add a small amount of the rinse agent to the bottom of the dishwasher before starting a cycle. This will help remove water spots and any dull or cloudy effects from your dishes. 

Buy A Water Softener

Sometimes a rinse agent just doesn’t do the trick when it comes to removing water spots. If this is the case for you, you probably don’t have a water softener. Water softeners remove lime buildup from your water. Lime isn’t harmful, but will leave spots on your dishes, making them appear dirty and dull. There are many other benefits to water softeners, but this one is the winner for us. Many people chose to buy a water softener to get rid of the water spots on their dishes, so they don’t have to worry about their dishwasher not cleaning their dishes anymore.

A water softener will reduce lime buildup on your dishes.
A water softener will reduce lime buildup on your dishes

Final Thoughts

If your dishwasher is not cleaning your dishes, consider these solutions! Usually the solution is simple, so don’t worry. Taking care of your dishwasher by cleaning out the filter, using a good detergent, and rinsing your dishes before loading will help you to increase the quality of your washes. If none of these options fix the problem, you may need to have a professional come out and inspect it for you.

Call 1-Tom-Plumber

Don’t hesitate to contact us here or call us at 1-Tom-Plumber (1-866-758-6237) if you need a plumbing service. 1-Tom-Plumber’s certified team of plumbers and drain technicians respond immediately to any emergency plumbing, drain cleaning, or water damage problem. We also handle the excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines. Our immediate-response team is available every day and night of the year, even on holidays.

Similar Posts