Why is My Dishwasher Not Cleaning Properly?

Discover the reasons why your dishwasher isn’t cleaning dishes effectively and learn how to fix the most common problems yourself. Often, what seems like a broken dishwasher can be resolved with some simple troubleshooting and maintenance.

When you rely on your dishwasher to tackle the dishes after each meal, it can be frustrating when they don’t come out clean. By following the tips in this guide, you can address common dishwasher problems and get your appliance back to peak performance in no time.

1. Dirty or Clogged Dishwasher Filter

If your dishwasher leaves food residue or your dishes feel gritty, a dirty or clogged filter might be the culprit. Over time, filters can become blocked with debris from regular use. Cleaning the filter is a simple fix that can restore your dishwasher’s cleaning power.

The filter is typically located beneath the bottom rack and secured with a twist-off cap. To clean it, remove the filter (following the owner’s manual instructions) and rinse it thoroughly under hot water. For stubborn gunk, soak the filter in hot, soapy water and gently scrub it with a soft brush before rinsing.

2. Incorrect Loading of Dishes

If your dishes are gritty and speckled with food, improper loading might be the issue. When dishes are loaded incorrectly, the water spray may not reach all surfaces. Overlapping dishes or placing them at the wrong angle can block water flow, preventing thorough cleaning and leaving soils and detergent behind. Additionally, this can cause marks or scratches on your dishes.

To ensure better results, load dishes without blocking the spray arms or the detergent dispenser. Place items at an angle and face down if they are concave, like mugs or bowls.

3. Low-Quality or Incorrect Detergent

Using the wrong type of detergent can lead to spotty dishes. Always use automatic dishwashing detergent – other types can affect performance or cause suds to overflow. Using too much detergent can also be problematic. Ensure you use the right type and amount of detergent.

Additionally, not using a rinse aid can result in streaky or cloudy dishes and glassware. Adding rinse aid can enhance washing and drying performance.

4. Dirty Dishwasher Interior

A build-up of soil, detergent, and minerals on the inside of your dishwasher can cause dishes to come out less than sparkling. Regularly cleaning the dishwasher’s interior can prevent odours and build-up that impact cleaning effectiveness.

5. Low Water Temperature

If the water temperature is too low, dishes may not wash properly. For optimal cleaning, water needs to reach a temperature above 65°C. Hot water dissolves and activates the detergent, helping to remove germs, dissolve food, and tackle tough stains.

Make sure to select a wash cycle with an appropriate temperature for your dishes to achieve the best results.

6. Blocked or Clogged Spray Arms

The spray arms in your dishwasher distribute water to clean the dishes. If they become clogged with food or debris, the washing performance will suffer.

To check for blockages, run water through the spray arms to see if any holes are compromised. If needed, remove the spray arms and rinse them under a tap to clear any obstructions.

Need Support?

If problems persist after following these instructions, please contact our expert customer service team by calling us at 020 7183 6944. We’re here to help ensure your dishwasher performs at its best.

Author: Repair Aid®

Date published:

Browse categories

Problems with your appliance?

customer service

If your appliance is in need of a repair, please contact our friendly customer service team and we will assist you in any way we can.

Call for advice: 020 7183 6944

We look after the appliances you use every day

Reliable, Convenient, Professional

At Repair Aid, we make appliance repairs easy. Our expert technicians come to your home, ready to fix any eligible appliance, regardless of where or when you bought it. With our quick and efficient service, you can have your appliances running smoothly in no time.

Dishwashers - Help and Advice

For additional assistance with your appliance, explore our Help and Advice section. You'll find a wealth of helpful information and answers to common questions, ensuring you get the most out of your appliance.

Major Appliance Brands We Repair