We have all been there… you put a load of dishes into the dishwasher and several dishes are not cleaned properly. This can even happen if you lightly prewash all the dishes, which makes it even more frustrating. We have a few troubleshooting tips that you can check on your own before having to call an appliance repair technician to come take a look at your dishwasher.
Check Interior of Dishwasher – I have often found that when dishes are coming back a little dirty, it is because the inside of the dishwasher is not clean. This may sound odd for something that is responsible for cleaning, but residue can build up on the inside walls of the machine. And if you look down at the drain inside the dishwasher, you may also find food particles that were unable to drain. This is pretty common for people that sometimes to do not rinse their dishes before putting them into the dishwasher.
A quick solution to this is to clean out the drain and run a cycle with three cups of vinegar. You can also buy dishwasher cleaning pods that will clean up the inside.
Clogged or Dirty Filter – if you have an older machine, the filter could be loaded with food particles. These older machines have a device in them that is like a mini-garbage disposal that will grind down food particles and wash them down the drain. If that becomes clogged for some reason, you will start to see food particles on your dishes. You will have to refer to your owner’s manual for how to properly access and clean the filter.
Clogged Sprayer Arms – we have mentioned this before in our PM posts, and it is a common issue when the dishwasher is not properly cleaning. This is an easy fix by simply scrubbing down the arm to loosen dirt and dislodge and stubborn particles with a toothpick in the sprayer arms. After I do this, I like to use vinegar or a cleaning pod in an empty cycle to ensure all the particles are rinsed out before I do a regular wash load again.
Check Water Temperature – colder water can definitely be a problem if you are getting dishes with a greasy residue on them. If your dishwasher does not have a heat-boosting mechanism, check your water heater to make sure the temperature is set to 120 degrees.