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How To Fix A Dishwasher That Isn’t Cleaning Your Dishes

Dishwasher view

How To Fix A Dishwasher That Isn’t Cleaning Your Dishes

Is your dishwasher not cleaning your dishes like it used to? 

Before you start thinking about investing in a new appliance, there are, fortunately, a few things you can do to get your appliance working properly, and those dishes just as squeaky clean as they should be! 

Below, we’ll take a look at what you can do to fix a dishwasher that’s not working properly.

Perform Regular Dishwasher Maintenance

Just like your car, or any other appliances in your home, your dishwasher also requires a bit of regular maintenance every few months to ensure that it continues to function properly. 

On top of that, proper dishwasher maintenance will also help you extend the appliance’s lifespan as long as possible.

While you might be able to resolve your dishwasher issues on your own, other problems might require expert attention.

So, if you’re not sure how to proceed, or if you’d simply prefer to leave it to the pros, don’t hesitate to contact us today

The fact is that if you try and fix your dishwasher on your own, without knowing what you’re doing, you could end up causing more damage or even voiding your warranty. 

So why take the risk? 

An experienced technician can identify the problem and repair it so that your dishwasher cleans your dishes, just like it should.

Dishwasher maintenance

Properly Position Your Dishes

If your dishwasher isn’t cleaning your dishes properly, it might simply be because you’re overloading the appliance, or just not positioning the dishes properly.  

Here are a few tips on proper dish placement. 

  • Plates and bowls should always go on the bottom rack.
  • Angle your casserole dishes, pots, and pans to face downward (best also on the bottom rack).
  • Avoid placing larger cookware items near the front of the bottom rack. They can block the detergent from being released. 
  • Use the utensil tray for your utensils, but make sure not to overload it.
  • Cups and glasses go on the top rack, placed upside down.

On the other hand, if you position your dishes properly inside your dishwasher, but they still don’t come out clean, you could have a more serious issue with the unit’s spray arm.

dishes in dishwasher

In this case, you might want to solve yourself the hassle of diagnosing the appliance on your own by contacting a professional appliance technician. A trained appliance technician can easily diagnose the issue and will have your dishwasher ready to clean your dishes in no time.

Dishwasher Spray Arm Is Stuck

As mentioned, another common reason for a dishwasher that isn’t cleaning your dishes is a faulty spray arm. In this case, it might not be spraying water properly, or you might have a stuck spray arm. 

As the name implies, a dishwasher’s spray arm is the part of the appliance that sprays water and detergent during a wash cycle to clean the dishes. So, if the spray arm isn’t turning, your dishes won’t get washed. 

In some cases, the reason why your dishwasher spray arm might get stuck is due to food particles or hard water buildup. 

The dishwasher spray arm is located at the bottom of the appliance. To access it, simply remove the lower rack and reach into the dishwasher to try and rotate the spray arm manually. 

If the spray arm doesn’t move, or if you can feel resistance while turning it, you’ll want to check for blockage signs. 

In some cases, if there’s a lot of hard water buildup, removing and cleaning the dishwasher arm with soap and hot water should help resolve the issue.

Dishwasher Spray Arm

Obstructed Water Supply/Clogged Drain

Poor dishwasher maintenance can sometimes lead to an obstructed water supply or a clogged drain. 

Once again, food particles and hard water can build up and eventually block water from properly entering and draining from your dishwasher.

You can tell you have an obstructed water supply if you open your dishwasher after a cycle and see water sitting at the bottom of the appliance. 

To fix this problem, start by removing the drain strainer and emptying out any food particles that may have built up. 

Then, mix a solution of hot water, vinegar, and a touch of baking soda. Let the solution sit at the bottom of your dishwasher for about 15 minutes. Then, rinse with more hot water, and hopefully, this will clear away the obstruction. 

If the water supply remains obstructed, you could have a bigger plumbing problem on your hands. In that case, don’t hesitate to contact a technician for help right away.

Dishwasher drain

Issues With Your Water Valve

The water valve controls the hot and cold water supply to your dishwasher. 

In some cases, if your dishwasher isn’t getting the right amount of hot water, this might be why your dishes aren’t clean at the end of the cycle. 

You’ll usually be able to tell there’s a problem with your water valve if you notice a leak outside the dishwasher. Alternatively, you might also notice leaking water inside your dishwasher when it’s not running. 

If you’re unable to pinpoint the source of your leak, shut off the water at your home’s water main and contact an experienced technician as soon as possible. 

Dishwasher water valve

Get Your Dishes Clean – Contact A Pro 

With proper care and maintenance, your dishwasher can clean dishes for many years to come. 

However, if you’ve tried to fix your dishwasher and it still won’t clean dishes, it’s in your best interest to get in touch with a professional appliance repair technician

Not only will contacting professional help be able to save you the headache, but you’ll also save time, energy, and money in the long-term.

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