Tip & How-To about Dishwashers

How to repair or fix a Dishwasher if it doesn't wash well

A common cause of poor washing results is improper loading—dishes that block or impede the spray arm(s) or prevent the soap dispenser from opening. On the other hand, if your dishwasher has chronic problems with good washing, the problem may not be your dishwasher. A good first step is vary the amount of dishwasher detergent you're using and try switching brands.

Other possibilities: Your home’s water pressure may be too low, your water may be too hard, or the water temperature may not be hot enough.
In order for your dishwasher to fill to the appropriate level, water pressure should be from 20–120 pounds per square inch. If you suspect that your water pressure may be low, turn off all faucets or other users of water (such as washing machines and sprinklers) and then put a half-gallon jug under the kitchen faucet. Turn on the hot water full-blast. If the jug doesn’t fill within 14 seconds, your water pressure may be too low for proper dishwasher operation. Call your city water utility to discuss your options, or avoid drawing water elsewhere in the house or yard during dishwasher cycles.
The right amount of detergent to use depends on how large your load of dishes is and how hard your water is. Hardness is measured in grains of minerals—the more grains per gallon you have, the more detergent you’ll need. If your water has 12 grains or more of hardness, fill both dishwasher soap cups completely with detergent. If that doesn’t work, consider installing a water softener.
To check water temperature, hold a meat thermometer under the hot water faucet for two minutes; if it doesn’t register a minimum of 140 degrees F., turn up the temperature dial on your hot water heater. (However, if you have a newer dishwasher that heats the water internally, it isn’t necessary to turn up your hot water heater.)
If your dishwasher has worked fine in the past but suddenly your dishes aren’t clean after the dishwasher completes all cycles, listen to the spray arm(s) spinning inside during the wash cycle. If spinning poorly, wait for the machine to cool down, remove the spray arm(s) by unscrewing the hubcap(s), lifting the arm(s) off, and then cleaning out the spray holes in the spray arm(s) with a stiff piece of wire.

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dishes are always dirty, maybe even dirtier after running dishwasher. has hot water, lower arm moves.


Check the outlet holes on both spray arms for clogs. If necessary, remove the spray arms, clean out the holes and empty out any debris inside the spray arms. Verify that the upper arm is turning also.

If the machine does not drain completely at the end of the cycle, the pump drain outlet is partially blocked and you are retaining dirty water for the next load.

You may have a chemistry problem - inferior soap, empty rinse agent dispenser, or extremely hard water.

Improper arrangement of the dishes can prevent some from being washed. Make sure no dish blocks the spray to another.

Jul 23, 2011 | Dishwashers

2 Answers

Hi I have a Blanco dishwasher BFDw8 which is having poor wash results in the top tray I have tried all the trouble shooting things in manual. Investigated further by opening door during wash cycle several times and discovered the top arm is not moving although water is still coming out of the arms. I did get a split pea particle out of the arm approx 2mm and have since had a mildly better wash and have used superior wash powder and rinse aid to try and help. Also have put a cleaner through dishwasher still have grainy finish on top shelf items. Arm is free to move. Can you help Merrilyn


  1. Check the water temperature. Should be 125 to 140 F.
  2. Check pump re-circulation., Listen, see if it sounds like it is spraying the water around with enough pressure.
  3. Check water level when the fill cycle has completed. Should be just under the heating element. If not, possibly need to replace the water inlet valve.
  4. Check the spray arm and pump cover for splits or leaks.
  5. Check to make sure dishwasher is draining after each cycle. There should only be a little water in the bottom of the tub.
  6. Make sure the dishes are loaded properly, or dishwasher is not overloaded.
  7. Possibly try a different detergent. Some liquid-gels will bubble and a pump cannot pump bubbles.
Scrape away large pieces of food, bones, pits, toothpicks, etc. Burned on food should be loosened before loading. Empty liquids from glasses and cups. Foods such as mustard, mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon juice and tomato products may cause discoloration of stainless steel and plastics if allowed to sit for a long period of time. Unless the dishwasher is to be operated at once, it is best to rinse off these food soils. Load racks so that large items do not prevent the detergent dispenser from opening. If the dishwasher drains into a food disposer, be sure disposer is completely empty before starting the dishwasher.
just click on the above questions for more help the answer will come to the screen
  1. A common leaking trouble maker
  2. Another common leaking trouble maker - especially for leaking out of the door area
  3. Can I use a rubber or plastic hose for the hot water on my built in dishwasher ??
  4. Some common pump assembly pictures...
  5. Dishwasher Basics
  6. Dishwasher child lock help new25.gif
  7. Dishwasher soap notice
  8. Draining and washing help
  9. Help for storing an appliance
  10. How to remove the access panels
  11. I just installed my food waste disposal, now my dishwasher will not drain, what could be wrong??
  12. I moved and lost the tap adaptor for my portable d/w, help!!
  13. Important disclaimer
  14. I would like to try to install my own dishwasher
  15. Loading your dishwasher help
  16. Motor and pump assembly screw and impellor help
  17. My dishes are not as clean as they used to be, what might be wrong?
  18. My dishwasher racks have rusted.
  19. My dishwasher will not fill with water
  20. My dishwasher will not start
  21. My soap dispenser will not open
  22. Sand like deposits inside the glasses and d/w
  23. Some common soap door dispensers breakdowns
  24. Some common soap door dispenser door springs new25.gif
  25. Stainless Steel Cleaning
  26. Strange grinding noises and not washing properly
  27. The dishwasher doors falls down
  28. White filming on the glasses

Oct 05, 2008 | Dishwashers

1 Answer

dishwasher leaves a film of soap on dishes. what needs to be cleaned inside as far as mechanics or is this dishwasher done?


If your dishes or glassware appear filmy or spotted following a complete wash cycle, adjusting the amount or type of detergent you’re using and adjusting your hot water heater’s water temperature may solve the problem. But before you do either of these, put a rinse additive (such as Jet-Dry) in the rinse dispenser to improve the sheeting action of the water.

Next, you’ll have to determine whether the film is removable or permanently etched. To do this, soak a glass in undiluted white vinegar for about 15 minutes. Or, wash the glass with warm water and concentrated dishwasher detergent or a high-phosphate detergent (such as Glass Magic).

If the film comes off, it is probably caused by hard water minerals, improper amounts of detergent, or unsuitable water temperature.

Permanent etching is often caused by a combination of soft water and excessive heat or detergent. If glassware is permanently etched, there isn’t anything you can do to make it clear again. But you can avoid future etching by taking these steps:

1) Be sure hot water entering the dishwasher is no hotter than 140 degrees F. Don’t use extra-hot settings such as “Power Scrub,” and use the “Energy Saver” dry cycle.

2) Adjust the detergent amount.

3) Don’t pre-rinse your dishes before loading them in the dishwasher. Food particles on the dishes actually help the detergent and drying agents clean better.

A common cause of poor washing results is improper loading—dishes that block or impede the spray arm(s) or prevent the soap dispenser from opening. On the other hand, if your dishwasher has chronic problems with good washing, the problem may not be your dishwasher. A good first step is vary the amount of dishwasher detergent you're using and try switching brands.

Other possibilities: Your home’s water pressure may be too low, your water may be too hard, or the water temperature may not be hot enough.

In order for your dishwasher to fill to the appropriate level, water pressure should be from 20–120 pounds per square inch. If you suspect that your water pressure may be low, turn off all faucets or other users of water (such as washing machines and sprinklers) and then put a half-gallon jug under the kitchen faucet. Turn on the hot water full-blast. If the jug doesn’t fill within 14 seconds, your water pressure may be too low for proper dishwasher operation. Call your city water utility to discuss your options, or avoid drawing water elsewhere in the house or yard during dishwasher cycles.

The right amount of detergent to use depends on how large your load of dishes is and how hard your water is. Hardness is measured in grains of minerals—the more grains per gallon you have, the more detergent you’ll need. If your water has 12 grains or more of hardness, fill both dishwasher soap cups completely with detergent. If that doesn’t work, consider installing a water softener. (For more information, see the article Water Softener Systems.

To check water temperature, hold a meat thermometer under the hot water faucet for two minutes; if it doesn’t register a minimum of 140 degrees F., turn up the temperature dial on your hot water heater. (However, if you have a newer dishwasher that heats the water internally, it isn’t necessary to turn up your hot water heater.)

If your dishwasher has worked fine in the past but suddenly your dishes aren’t clean after the dishwasher completes all cycles, listen to the spray arm(s) spinning inside during the wash cycle. If spinning poorly, wait for the machine to cool down, remove the spray arm(s) by unscrewing the hubcap(s), lifting the arm(s) off, and then cleaning out the spray holes in the spray arm(s) with a stiff piece of wire.

Aug 05, 2010 | GE 24 in. GSD1000G Built-in Dishwasher

1 Answer

Soap left in dispenser after wash cycle


Probably blocked spray arms is the cause of the unit not cleaning the dishes properly and also not removing all the detergent from the dispenser. Remove each spray arm (there are 3 in total) and check and clean all the holes as this is where the water sprays out from to clean the dishes and glasses. When they are blocked you get poor wash results.
Also make sure you are only using about 2 teaspoons of detergent. you may just be using too much.

Jan 25, 2010 | Kenmore Dishwashers

2 Answers

Poor Cleaning and getting worse


A common cause of poor washing is improper loading—dishes block or impede the spray arms or prevent the soap dispenser from opening. On the other hand, if your dishwasher has chronic problems with washing, the problem may not be your dishwasher. Your home's water pressure may be too low, the water may be too hard, you may not be using the right amount of detergent, or the water temperature may not be hot enough

Apr 29, 2009 | Kenmore 24 in. 15932 Built-in Dishwasher

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