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5 Tips to Fix a Dishwasher That Isn't Cleaning

Merv's Service Secrets: How to Fix a Dishwasher

It’s so disappointing to open your dishwasher only to find dishes that are still dirty and glasses covered with a milky film. Worse yet, people wince at the thought of shutting down their entire kitchen to make repairs. Luckily, it’s not necessary to put your life on hold or return to the stone ages of hand washing in order to have clean silverware and plates. Use my 5 quick steps to bring your dishwasher back to life again and you’ll be glad you did.

The Wrong Detergent

Believe it or not the the wrong detergent can really wreak havoc on your dishwasher. You can see the results of detergent residue in this dishwasher repair video . Also be sure to check your owner’s manual for correct settings can affect the performance of your dishwasher.

Clean Your Dishwasher’s Interior Parts

When we took apart the interior of our dishwasher to make our award-winning video, it became obvious that the vast majority of the parts were filters. There’s a fine filter, a coarse filter, a sump filter, a sump basket cover screen. See a pattern? All these components work together to help strain out pieces of food, glass, and other debris. These can inhibit your machine from draining properly and can even cause sludge to be sprayed back onto yours dishes. Yes, folks, you heard right. Your dishwasher works on RECYCLED water. It washes, rinses, recycles and resprays your dishes over and over again. That’s why it’s important to clean your dishwasher on a regular basis. In most cases, a simple wipe down of the dishwasher interior is enough to remove excess residue and leftover food.

Remove and Unclog Your Spray Arms

Remember, the magic ingredient to clean dishes is WATER FLOW. And you can’t have waterflow if your spray arms are clogged. Dishwasher spray arms are easier to remove than you might think. And it’s important to take them out once in a while because they can lose their effectiveness if you have hard water or a lot of soap scum buildup. This usually results in poor cleaning. Removing your spray arms and removing lodged debris with a tooth pick or running a stiff pipe cleaner through the holes is a good way to clear buildup.

Check your Float Valve

Your float valve controls the appropriate water levels inside your dishwasher and it works in conjunction with inlet valve controls. If there’s not enough water, it can’t remove stuck-on gunk, but too much water is just as much of a problem because it may trap and spread debris. If you don’t know what you’re doing, DIY repairs can result in major messes with water all over your kitchen floor. But a basic cleaning and performance check is relatively easy. Be sure to check out our full video here: HOW TO FIX ANY DISHWASHER

Leaking? Not Filling or Draining?

A dishwasher that isn’t filling or draining properly, or one that has developed a leak may give you reason to call a professional. But bear in mind, some of these problems can be fixed if you are a handy do-it-yourselfer like yours truly. Before attempting such repair, however, always read your owner’s manual for safety precautions related to your specific dishwasher and be sure to disconnect the power as well as the water supply before attempting any complicated repairs. Do your research and consult with professionals before trying anything that could get your hurt.

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