Dishwasher Not Cleaning Dishes Well?

Is Your Dishwasher Not Cleaning Dishes Well?

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It's hard to come to grips with a dishwasher not getting dishes clean—that's a pretty serious hitch in the dish-dishwasher relationship. But don't give up on your troubled appliance! We have ideas for helping you diagnose and solve some of the performance issues that commonly occur with automatic dishwashers.

1. Test for Running Water

Dishwashers are more water-efficient than handwashing… but they still need water to clean your dishes. 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.

Testing dishwasher for running water by placing a glass in bottom rack before cycle

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 the spray arm’s path, remove it.

Checking dishwasher spray arms for obstructions

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. Try Cascade Platinum Plus

Troubleshooting this one is easy. Sometimes, getting better cleaning and shinier dishes from your machine is simply a matter of detergent choice. Using just one premium ActionPacs™ per dishwasher load can deliver dazzling results.

6. Check the Dispenser

Make sure the dispenser is dry and closes firmly. This allows the detergent to be released properly. If you’re concerned your ActionPacs aren’t fully dissolving, we have a whole handy-dandy guide on how to use Cascade ActionPacs.

7. Load Dishes Evenly

Loading your dishwasher properly can make a big difference. Place dishes evenly to avoid nesting—if the water spray can’t reach them, it can’t clean them. If your dishwasher isn’t cleaning glasses properly, make sure you’re loading them properly.

Dirty plate and utensils loaded inside bottom rack and dishwasher basket

8. Mix Up Silverware

Spread out forks, knives, and spoons to expose them to water. You might not think it, but there are a number of things to consider when cleaning utensils in the dishwasher.

Do you feel empowered to fix your dishwasher? Great! You’re now on the path to becoming an Official Dishwasher Master: Simply explore the full range of Cascade dishwasher detergent products and learn all the ways to solve any dishwashing challenge. Your reward is a lifetime of sparkling-clean dishes.

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