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Dishwasher Not Cleaning Dishes

I have a 5 year old Kenmore dishwasher that is not cleaning well anymore. There was always a problem with whatever was in the corners of the top rack, but now a lot of things are not getting clean. The holes don't appear to be plugged, the detergent is fresh, the water is hot, I have run vinegar through it. I have even rinsed the dishes even though I'm not supposed to have to do that, but the dishes don't come out clean. Any solutions?


Laura from Gillespie, IL


Dishwasher Not Cleaning Dishes

I have a dishwasher in our 58 year old house that is at least 8 years old because that's how long we've been living here. You've probably tried this already, but I heard that running the hot water from your sink does the trick. I tried it and it really works for me. My husband always teases me, but I practically wash the dishes before I put them in the dishwasher!

My sister has a dishwasher that has old, dirty dishes in it. Someone on this site recommended bleach. I don't know if this would be a good idea, but I'm going to tell my sister about it. What about a product called CLR? I live in Houston, TX and they sell it at Walmart, Walgreens Drug Store, grocery stores, etc. This is supposed to remove all hard water stains and build up in record time. Maybe you have build up that needs more than vinegar.

There is also a recipe on this site for home made dishwasher solution. I haven't tried it though. Good luck! Maybe "Santa" will bring you a new dishwasher for Christmas!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.


By metroplex

Dishwasher Not Cleaning Dishes

I had the same problem and a dish washer repairman told me it was hard water buildup. He had me put vinegar in a bowl on the bottom of the dishwasher and run it through several times. I also put some coffee maker cleaner in it. I turned it off at one point and let it soak in it. We have hard well water and it causes a lot of problems, even with a water softener. Food would be chopped up and thrown all over everything, especially up in the corners of the dishwasher.
Do you have white film left on things and on the bottom of the drain? That is hard water build up.


I haven't had any problems since running the vinegar through and getting a new water softener. (12/13/2007)

By raa

Dishwasher Not Cleaning Dishes

I had a clogged drain line one time that kept backing the water into the dishwasher, another time it was where the filter in the bottom of the dishwasher needed cleaning out. Just take the screws out, pull the plastic filter out and clean. Hope this helps. (12/13/2007)

By Crystal

Dishwasher Not Cleaning Dishes

I have two thoughts on this. The first is to look for filters and drains to clean. Also check out the jets, as sometimes these can be clogged farther back than you can see with a quick inspection. You can likely remove them and take a good look. Secondly, you may want to switch detergents. Perhaps the quality of the water you are using has changed, or you have changed detergents. You have to find the right detergent for the kind of water you are using, especially if you don't have a water softener. (12/13/2007)

By louel53

Dishwasher Not Cleaning Dishes

Did this dishwasher clean the dishes well before? Did you have a different dishwasher previously? What kind of water do you have? I have a Sears dishwasher that is about 4 yrs old and it cleans quite well, but we have a water softener.

Sorry I don't have any other ideas. Hope you can figure it out. (12/13/2007)

By Debbie52

Dishwasher Not Cleaning Dishes

We even bought a new dishwasher because our old one wouldn't get them clean. Our new one was the same. The tech that came out said the lines were clear, I just needed to run the tap water until it got hot because the dishwasher was slow to heat up. In other words, the water wasn't hot enough. (12/14/2007)

By Sharon

Dishwasher Not Cleaning Dishes

This is something that has happened to me before. If you wash anything that has paper on it, small pieces will peel off and get stuck in the little holes where the water comes out. In my old one, I would sit with a tweezers and pull out the little scraps of paper. I am more careful with this one, it is new. However, one time a piece of paper was stuck under something and I didn't see it. Good luck, it can be really frustrating! (12/16/2007)

Dishwasher Not Cleaning Dishes

There's a lot of information on this topic over here under: "How do I clean the inside of a dishwasher?" (01/06/2010)

By Calliegal

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