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My dishwasher does not completely clean my dishes.

Investigate each of these six areas if your dishwasher is not completely cleaning your dishes:

Common dishwasher water inlet valve Water Inlet Valve

A dishwasher's water inlet valve is its most common part to fail. When your dishes are not being fully cleaned, quite often a faulty water inlet valve is to blame. Test your dishwasher's water inlet valve, and if it is no longer functioning as it should, you will have to replace it.


Common dishwasher spray arm and tube kit Upper or Lower Spray Arm

Your dishwasher has a lower spray arm. It may also have an upper spray arm at the top of the dishwasher. These spray arms are designed to shoot high pressure, high temperature water at your dishes. It is possible that the holes of the spray arms, where the water comes out, are blocked with debris, affecting wash quality. You should inspect your dishwasher's spray arms regularly. Clean out the spray arms as need be.


Image not currently available Heating Element

Water temperature is a key element in achieving clean dishes. A dishwasher's heating element is not designed to heat the water that enters it. Rather, the heating element is designed to maintain the heat of the water that enters the dishwasher. Its a good idea to run the hot water in your sink for a couple of minutes before you run the dishwasher. Just to make sure the water is nice and hot before it enters the dishwasher. If the water is unable to stay hot, it can adversely affect your dishwasher's cleaning ability.


Common dishwasher filter Filter/Drain Grate

There is a filter in your dishwasher. Its function is to keep large particles of food and foreign objects away from the pump. Many of the newly-manufactured dishwashers have self-cleaning filters, and routine cleaning isn't a concern. However, some other dishw ashers need to have the filter removed and cleaned regularly. If the filter or grate is clogged or blocked with debris, it may interfere with the normal functioning of your dishwasher. Consult your owner's manual for specific directions for removing your dishwasher's filter and cleaning it.



Common dishwasher detergent cup with gasket Detergent or Detergent Cup

It could just be that you aren't using enough soap to completely wash your dishes. Your dishwasher may be designed to dispense soap at two different times during the wash cycle. If you don't fill all of the detergent cups, then the diswasher will lose a cleaning cycle. Also, if you use a gel-type detergent, try switching to a powered kind. Powders tend to dissolve better in hot water. And don't buy in bulk. Detergents are most effective in the first two weeks. After that, they decrease in potency.

Alternatively, your dishwasher's detergent cup could be defective in some way. It is possible that it is gunked up full of built up detergent, and a thorough cleaning may be enough to get it working again. If that doesn't do the trick, you probably need to replace the entire detergent cup assembly. If your cup isn't even opening, please see our section My dishwasher detergent cup won't open.




Image not currently available Cycle Selector Switch

Sometimes a dishwasher's cycle selector switch is the reason why dishes are not coming completely clean. Test your selector switch to determine whether or not it has become defective. If it has, replace it.