open dishwasher with clean dishes at home kitchen

Dishwasher Not Getting Those Dishes Clean? Here’s Why

It’s frustrating and disappointing when you come to terms with the fact that your once spectacular dishwasher is no longer getting your dishes as clean as it used to. Your first instinct might be to call for appliance repair in San Francisco, but wait! There are some things you can do that may solve the issue without professional help.

The point of a dishwasher, of course, is to get those dishes cleaner than you could by hand, and free up time for you to do other things. When you pull dishes out of the machine that aren’t clean, it defeats that purpose, because you then have to spend time scrubbing those dishes anyway! What’s the deal? Why is your dishwasher no longer outperforming your own washing capabilities? Following are some things to check that may provide a solution when your dishwasher is performing at less than acceptable standards:

  1. Water supply lines can and do carry incredibly small amounts of sediment and deposits like calcium and lime that can gradually collect everywhere and anywhere the water flows – including spray nozzles, supply lines, and spinner arm sprayers of your dishwasher. Dishwasher detergent contributes to this as well. Eventually, these water supply lines can get clogged, and even jammed up completely. Test to make sure water is still getting through to your dishes by placing an empty cup on the top rack and one on the bottom, right side up. If the cups fill with water after the cycle ends, move on to the next test. If not, you may need to unclog the calcium and lime deposits that have collected. Dishwasher cleaner or even vinegar are a couple things that can do this when you run a few cycles with these added to the machine in place of soap.


  1. Check to see if there is water pooling at the bottom of your dishwasher after it’s completed a cycle. You shouldn’t ever have a pool of water there when it’s not running. If you do, check the filter, if your machine has one. Scoop out any debris that may have collected at the bottom, and check the drain hose for clogs as well.


  1. The propellers, or spray arms, of your dishwasher are extremely important because they are responsible for delivering water to all of the dishes within. Sometimes, the handle of a large pan can be sticking up, blocking the path of the spray arm and preventing it from spinning. Without the ability to spin, water won’t reach 90% of your dishes. Manually give the spray arms a spin to make sure rotation is fluid, and check to make sure there are no handles or anything else obstructing their path.


  1. Speaking of spray arms, check the water outlet holes for clogs. You can stick a toothpick in each of the holes to clear them. Check the soap dispenser, too, to make sure that it closes firmly and opens with ease. Detergent can’t be released or dispensed properly if the door has trouble opening.


  1. Load your dishwasher Don’t nest the dishes, and be sure to mix up and spread out the silverware. There is a proper way to load these machines in order to make sure water reaches all of them – if water can’t reach them, they won’t get clean. Don’t put 10 spoons all facing the same way into the same basket compartment – get some knives and forks in there, and make sure every piece is exposed so that water can reach it all.


If none of these solutions work to improve the performance of your dishwasher, another problem is likely to be causing your trouble. You can always call Absolute Appliances Repair for appliance repair in San Francisco – we serve the entire Bay Area, including San Rafael, Mill Valley, Novato, Larkspur, and other areas in Marin County. We can get your appliances of all makes and models back to working order or help you replace them.  Contact us today!