Is Your Dishwasher Not Cleaning Well?

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Use our troubleshooting guide to determine the most common problems and how to solve them.

Do you wish you had the skills of a plumber? Do you wish your diagnosis ran deeper than, “Uh, I don’t know … it’s not working”? Is your dishwasher not cleaning? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, we can help. Let’s walk through some of the basics of how to troubleshoot a dishwasher.

1. Test for Running Water
Place an empty cup on both the top and bottom racks and run the machine. If the cups are full of water after the cycle, that’s a good sign. At least you know your dishwasher is getting water.

Ensure the water is running

2. Check the Drain
You should never see pooling water in the bottom of your dishwasher when it is not running. Pooling water is a sign that your dishwasher is not draining properly. If your machine has a filter, remove it and clear any obstructions or debris that may have formed. If your machine does not have a filter, scoop out any debris that has collected from the bottom of the dishwasher.

3. Check Spray Arms for Obstructions
Manually spin the spray arms to ensure a fluid rotation. If anything is obstructing a spray arm’s path, remove it.

Make sure the spray arm is not clogged or obstructed

4. Check Spray Arm for Clogs
Occasionally the spray arms may clog from hard water or food debris. Clean the holes on the spray arm using a toothpick. The details make all the difference.

5. Use Cascade Platinum
For best results, use a premium ActionPac. With dry hands, carefully place a premium ActionPac into your dishwasher’s dry detergent dispenser.

6. Check the Dispenser
Make sure the dispenser is dry and closes firmly. This allows the detergent to be released properly.

7. Load Dishes Evenly
Load your dishes evenly to avoid nesting. If the water can’t reach it, it can’t clean it.

Load dishes and silverware evenly

8. Mix up Silverware
Mix up forks, knives, and spoons to avoid nesting. Never let your spoons spoon.

You’ve officially been promoted to Master Troubleshooter. Hopefully, that did the trick. If the problem still persists, it’s time to call a plumber.

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