Dishwasher Not Cleaning Well?
If your dishwasher is running but not cleaning there are a few things that you can check before calling an appliance repair company.
- First check the water temperature, if the water is not hot enough, the dishwasher will not clean properly. This can be done by putting a meat thermometer in the water stream of the faucet at the kitchen sink. Run the hot water until the temperature peaks out and that would be your hot water temperature. The minimum temperature the water should be is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. But be careful not to keep your water too hot though, as that can etch the dishes. I personally keep my water at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Bacteria isn't properly destroyed unless the water gets to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Some dishwashers do heat the water to 160 degrees, but only once or twice in a washing. While others will heat while the dishwasher is running, but not to any particular temperature. If the water is hot enough through out all the cycles the dishwasher will clean better.
- Another thing we find mostly with-in the last year, is a problem with the soap. Dishwasher soap manufactures were mandated by the government to remove the phosphate. Phosphate is a chemical that was in the soap. This chemical was the cleaning power behind the soap. Every since the phosphate was removed we have been getting more service calls for dishwashers not cleaning. I found a product that works really well, it is called lemon shine. It is a soap additive that works well. You can order it through our parts line at 1-800-856-9292
- Also check the spray arms on the dishwasher. They can get clogged with food debris. If they get clogged the water will not flow through them properly, and they will not rotate properly. To clean them they need to be removed form the dishwasher. Just use water and something to poke the food out of the spray arm. Never use soap as that can cause your dishwasher to have a sudzing problem, and that can be a real mess!
- Be careful not to over load the dishwasher. This is a common problem we find. Remember that the water needs to hit all the dishes as the spray arms rotate. If some dishes block by other dishes the water will not properly rinse them.
- If your dishes are spotting try using a rinse agent. Rinse agents make the water wetter and that allows the water to run off the dishes better. If the water stays on the dishes while they dry, the hardness in the water will cause spotting on the dishes.
- This last thing I'm going to suggest may sound silly, but we do find this problem on occasion. Make sure you dishwasher is hooked to hot water and not cold. As I wrote earlier, good hot water is needed to properly clean the dishes. Cold water will also cause a problem with the dishes not drying. If the water is cold, (or not hot enough), the dishes will be cold as well. When that happens the heating cycle will struggle because it will have to warm the dishes before it can dry them.
If you try these suggestions and your dishwasher is still not cleaning, you may need an appliance repairman after-all. If you you do need a dishswasher repair person, give us a call, we would be glad to help!