Dirty Dishes and Frustration: How to Fix Your Dishwasher When It’s Not Cleaning Properly

dishwasher not cleaning dishes properly

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Few things are more frustrating than opening your dishwasher to find that your dishes are still dirty. If you’ve ever experienced this problem, you know just how irritating it can be. But don’t worry, there are several things you can do to troubleshoot and fix this issue.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the most common reasons why your dishwasher may not be cleaning your dishes properly and provide some practical solutions to help you get your dishes sparkly clean again.

Check the spray arms

The spray arms are responsible for distributing water throughout the dishwasher and onto the dishes. If they’re clogged or damaged, they won’t work effectively, resulting in poorly cleaned dishes.

To check the spray arms, remove the racks and inspect the arms for any clogs or obstructions.If you find any debris, remove it and rinse the arms thoroughly with warm water. If the arms are damaged or cracked, you’ll need to replace them.

Clean the dishwasher filter

The dishwasher filter traps food particles and debris, preventing them from circulating back onto your dishes. Over time, the filter can become clogged, reducing the dishwasher’s cleaning ability.

To clean the filter, remove it from the dishwasher and rinse it thoroughly with warm water. If the filter is particularly dirty, you can soak it in warm, soapy water for a few minutes before rinsing it again. Make sure the filter is completely dry before putting it back into the dishwasher.

Check the water temperature

Dishwashers are designed to work with hot water, usually between 120°F and 140°F. If your water isn’t hot enough, the dishwasher won’t be able to clean your dishes properly.

To check the water temperature, run the hot water in your kitchen sink for a few minutes before starting the dishwasher. This will ensure that the water entering the dishwasher is at the correct temperature.

Load dishes properly

Proper loading of the dishes is essential for getting them clean. If you overload the dishwasher, the water won’t be able to reach all the dishes, leaving some of them dirty.

If you stack dishes on top of each other, the water won’t be able to reach the bottom dishes. And if you put dishes in the wrong orientation, they may block the spray arms.

To avoid these issues, make sure you load the dishwasher according to the manufacturer’s instructions, leaving space between dishes and ensuring that they’re positioned correctly.

Use the right amount of detergent

Using too much or too little detergent can affect the dishwasher’s cleaning ability. If you’re using too much detergent, it can leave residue on your dishes, making them appear dirty.

And if you’re using too little, your dishes won’t get clean at all. Check the manufacturer’s instructions on the detergent package to ensure that you’re using the right amount.


In conclusion, a dishwasher that isn’t cleaning your dishes properly can be a frustrating problem to deal with, but there are several things you can do to troubleshoot and fix the issue.

Check the spray arms and clean the dishwasher filter, make sure the water temperature is correct, load the dishes properly, and use the right amount of detergent. By following these steps, you can get your dishes clean and sparkling once again.


“If you need help to rescue your home or business appliances, don’t hesitate to contact SOS Appliance  Repairs in  BrantfordLondonWoodstockHamiltonIngersoll and all Southern Ontario area”.


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