Is your dishwasher not cleaning your dishes like it used to? It can be a pain when it starts to fail at its primary job, leaving you with a sink full and a dishwasher full of dirty dishes. Before you begin scrubbing dishes by hand, there are a few things you can try to fix the problem.
Why is My Dishwasher Not Cleaning?
If your dishwasher’s not cleaning your dishes, you may be missing an essential ingredient: water.
Check for Water
To check that your dishwasher has running water, ensure the water valve is turned on. Next, place empty cups inside the dishwasher. Place one face up on the bottom rack and the other face up on the top rack and run your dishwasher. When the cycle completes, you know there is adequate water flow if there is water in both cups. If you have water flow but your dishes aren’t clean, you may need to adjust the temperature of the water.
Adjust the Temperature
If the water is too cold, it won’t be hot enough to break down grease and food residue. As a result, your dishes will come out dirtier than when they went in. On the other hand, if the water is too hot, it can cause dish detergent to become less effective. To get the best results, your dishwasher should be at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If your dishwasher has water and the correct temperature but isn’t cleaning your dishes properly, it might be due to a clogged filter.
Clean the Filter
To clean the filter, start by emptying it and removing the bottom rack. Remove any debris that may be sitting at the bottom of your dishwasher. Then, locate the filter. The filter is located on the bottom near the spray arms in most dishwashers. Refer to your Owner’s Manual for the specific location. Remove the filter and rinse it with water. If there are caked-on food particles, use a soft brush to scrub it. Once the screen is clean, replace the filter and bottom rack. With regular maintenance like this, you can keep your dishwasher’s filter clean and ensure that your dishes come out sparkling clean.
Ensure Spray Arms Are Working Correctly
Another common reason for a dishwasher that’s not cleaning is clogged or blocked spray arms. Sometimes large pots and pans can prevent your spray arms from spinning correctly. Manually spin the spray arms and ensure nothing is obstructing their path. If there are no obvious obstructions, then the next step is to check for clogs. The holes in the spray arm can easily become clogged with bits of food or grease. Simply use a toothpick to clean out the holes.
Check The Dispenser
Every dishwasher has a soap dispenser that releases detergent during the wash cycle. This detergent is responsible for cleaning your dishes, so it’s important to ensure that the dispenser is working correctly. If the lid doesn’t open during the cycle, the dishes may not get clean. Try opening it manually, or refer to your Owner’s Manual for instructions. If not, try running a cycle without any dishes in the dishwasher. If the lid still doesn’t open, there could be something blocking it. Try using a toothpick or brush to scrub the springs if they’re visible. Sometimes they can get blocked with food and other debris, preventing them from closing or opening. You can also use a mixture of hot water and vinegar to pour over the dispenser door. The vinegar and hot water will help loosen and dissolve residue that may be keeping it stuck. However, if the dispenser spring or door is broken, it will need to be replaced. If the issue isn’t with the detergent dispenser, it may be an issue with the detergent itself.
Use Correct Amount and Type of Detergent
Few things are as frustrating as dirty dishes, especially when you know they’ve been through the dishwasher. To avoid this dilemma, it’s important to use the correct type of detergent and the right amount. Different dishwashing detergents are formulated for different types of water, so using the wrong one can leave your dishes covered in spots. Hard water, for example, contains high levels of minerals that can interfere with the dishwasher’s ability to clean properly. If you live in an area with hard water, you’ll need to use a dishwasher detergent that contains built-in water softeners. In addition to using the right type of detergent, you must be careful not to overuse it. Too much detergent can cause excessive sudsing, which can lead to poor cleaning performance and even damage your dishwasher. To further enhance the cleanliness of your dishes, use a rinse-aid solution.
Use Rinse-Aid to Prevent Water Spots
Rinse-aids help reduce surface tension in water, which allows it to more easily flow over surfaces and rinse away remnants of soap and food. As a result, dishes washed with rinse-aid are less likely to develop water spots. So, if your dishwasher isn’t getting your dishes as clean as you’d like, consider adding a rinse-aid to the mix. It just might be the secret ingredient you need for spotless dishes.
Load Dishes & Silverware Properly
Some people believe it doesn’t matter how you load a dishwasher as long as all dirty dishes fit. However, this isn’t true. Dishwashers are designed to spray water and detergent from the bottom up, so it’s important to make sure that all of the dishes are positioned in a way that will allow them to be reached by the water. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a dishwasher full of dirty dishes.
How to Load Bottom Rack:
On the bottom rack, put large pots and pans on the outside and smaller items on the inside. bowls should be upside down so that water can get inside to clean them better.
How to Load Top Rack:
Put mugs, cups, and wine glasses along the sides of the top rack and small bowls and plates in the middle.
Dishwasher Not Cleaning Silverware?
Ensure your dishwasher properly cleans your silverware by positioning forks and spoons up and knives face down. Mix forks and spoons to avoid silverware nesting together, which can prevent water and detergent from cleaning in between.
Next time you’re loading your dishwasher, take a few extra minutes to make sure that all of the dishes are properly placed. It will make a world of difference in the cleanliness of your dishes. If you still have issues with your dishwasher not cleaning, call the dishwasher repair experts at Same Day Service Co. today!