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Your Guide to Eco-Friendly Dishwashers

Dishwasher Not Cleaning Dishes? Try These Easy Fixes

Table of Contents

Is your dishwasher not cleaning your dishes? We understand how big of a headache this can be, so we’re here to help you with some troubleshooting tips.

For a fast solution, skip the troubleshooting and call iFix Utah today. 

Clean the Filter

Your dishwasher’s filter must be free of buildup in order to do its job. To clean the filter, you’ll need to first locate it. Each model is different, but in most dishwashers, the filter assembly can be found in the back corner or near the spray arm. Once you locate the filter, turn the cylindrical filter counter-clockwise and lift straight up. Next, remove the coarse mesh filter.You’ll then want to scrub the filter with warm water and soap. Once the filter is thoroughly clean, slide in the coarse mesh filter followed by the cylindrical filter. Give the filter a slight tug to ensure it has seated. Avoid operating the dishwasher without the filters properly installed.

Practice Proper Loading Techniques

Having a healthy dishwasher starts with proper loading practices. We recommend reviewing your dishwasher’s manual for specific instructions on loading, but the following steps will help ensure that your dishes come out clean.

First, you’ll need to scrape off large food particles or anything solid. However, there is no need to pre-rinse your dishes before loading them in the dishwasher. If you pre-rinse, the built-in soil sensor may misread the amount of dirt and grime in the water. Plus, the detergent won’t have anything to break down.

Load pots, plates, and other heavy-duty dishes on the bottom rack where heat and water pressure are most intense. Place cups, glasses, small bowls, containers, dishwasher-safe Tupperware, and larger utensils in the top rack. Load all cutlery into the silverware rack. Alternate placing handles up and down so that all surfaces are sufficiently cleaned. Avoid loading knives, wood, brass, cast iron pans, china, and crystal in the dishwasher.

Faulty Appliande?

Check for Food in the sprayer arm

If you want crystal clean dishes, the dishwasher’s sprayer arm should be free of food particles and other debris. To clean, remove the arm and place it into a water and vinegar solution. Allow it to soak until the debris becomes loosened.

Clean the Air Gap

A dishwasher air gap is an essential component to your dishwasher and its operation. The air gap is a small metal or plastic device that is located on the countertop or sink and connected to two hose components. Its job is to prevent dirty water from draining back into your dishwasher and soiling the clean dishes. If the air gap is blocked, remove the cap and locate the tube that goes into the disposal. Insert a dowel into the hose to unclog the debris.

Clean the High Loop

Another element that needs to be working efficiently in order to have clean dishes is the high loop where the drain line of the dishwasher is looped to the highest possible spot under the sink’s counter rim then runs back down to connect to the drain system. Similar to the air gap, the high loop prevents drain water from pooling into the base of your dishwasher.

Reverse Hard Water

Hard water is a nuisance for every homeowner. It can leave residue on dishes that’s hard to clean off. Fortunately, hard water issues are reversible by removing the buildup in the dishwasher. Simply dump one gallon of white distilled vinegar in the dishwasher and allow it to sit at least 3-4 days. After the 3 to 4 days, run a hot and long cycle with no dishes or detergent. This will clean the buildup in the pump motor assembly. If necessary, repeat. Once that motor is clean, you’ll want to clean the spray arms, tub and racks by running a dishwasher cleaner through. We recommend using Finish dishwasher cleaner.

Use the Right Kind of Dish Detergent

We highly recommend using high-quality dishwasher detergent, which includes Finish or Cascade pods, pouches, or tablets. These are created to break apart food particles and help the dishwasher operate efficiently. Consider steering clear of liquid detergent, as it can stick to the gears and parts inside the dishwasher, causing them to malfunction. We always tell homeowners to use Finish Quantum or Finish Max in 1. They’re a bit more expensive than other brands, but buying it at Sam’s Club or Costco or in bulk is most cost effective.

Contact iFiX Today for Your Dishwasher Repair

A little routine maintenance can go a long way towards a healthy dishwasher. Inspections, regular maintenance, and education of overall operations will keep your dishwasher running smoothly, which will ensure clean dishes after each load. Since the dishwasher is a complex machine, we recommend contacting a professional for repairs. Call our locally-owned and operated appliance repair service at 801.731.4349 for all your dishwasher needs.



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