Why Are My Dishes Still Dirty After Dishwasher Washing?

You have all the essentials for dishwashing. The larger dish drying rack having all your cups and cutleries in place. It’s one of those huge two tier dish racks that also has a silicone drying mat holding the whole thing nice and clean for next use.

But one morning, the dishwasher decided to disappoint you as dishes come out still dirty. It’s frustrating as you try again but nothing helps. Why are my dishes still dirty after dishwasher washing them! Why is that even happening! And what could be the possible solution to this scene?

Why Are My Dishes Still Dirty After Dishwasher Handling Them – The Possible Reasons.

To figure out how to fix a dishwasher not cleaning as it should, you first need to have a clue of what’s messing things up. So, I’ll sectionize everything based on the reasons and try to suggest a solution to follow. Hope That Helps!

Is It an Old Dishwasher You’re Dealing With?

If you have one of those old models that have a manual filter in it, then there’s a good chance of food debris getting trapped. And that can cause the filter to get horribly clogged. This can lead to making the machine recirculate dirty water. And so, you’ll end up having dishes coming out with stuck-on food as well as a weird smell.

Now, due to being used very frequently and probably for quite a few years, it’s obvious that the thing won’t work as before for becoming almost worn out. So, in this case, you may want to try buying a new one, if budget isn’t a huge problem.

Or at least you’ll need to get deeper with the inner workings. And that would require someone professional to come and visit the machine. You might be able to avoid a replacement but changing a few parts and spending for some major repairs are still there.

The Cycle Setting Not Done Correctly.

I know short cycles on the dishwasher are the more preferable and most used ones. Because it saves energy and water. However, keep in mind that the short cycles would work just fine for dishes that are not too dirty. And if that is what mostly your case, then there’s nothing to worry about.

But then again, if you are constantly putting inside very dirty dishes that undoubtedly need some thorough cleaning, don’t go with the short cycles. This could be it! You simply are not choosing the complete washing option.

You want to scrape off any extra food or debris out from the dishes. And then rinse them nice under your sink’s hot water tap. After that put them inside the dishwasher as usual.

You Probably Go with The Wrong Choice of Detergent. 

There’s no doubt that the dishwasher’s mechanism is responsible for cleaning dishes nicely. However, detergent also has a role. And anything that is not enough for getting rid of the foods and residue, is a big no.

The best thing to never mess up with this part is simply looking in machine’s instruction manual. There should be some recommendations going on for detergent. With what products the machine is supposed to work best.

Also keep in mind, the hard water factor. If that’s what you have then definitely you need to invest in proper water softeners. Sometimes getting an additive also works just fine. It’s a great way to boost the ability to clean as well as filminess reduction.

Only Scrape & Avoid Rinsing If.

This is something some of us might have noticed but never really thought about. And it’s that leaving more food on dishes actually helps the dishwasher to work better. If you are someone who rinses with water before putting it inside dishwasher and still finds dishes coming out dirty, change the rule.

Only scrape the dishes so that large particles are out and then put them inside dishwasher. Now the detergent enzyme would have some time to engage with food particles. And then they would get activated by water inside the dishwasher.

That would allow them to break down into smaller particles again and again. Making it easier for the machine to break down and wash them away properly.

From Time to Time, Clean The Spray Arms. 

The responsibility of delivering water to dishes is upon machine’s lower and upper spray arm. And if these are suffering from some sort of clogs, then it would disturb the water delivering process. Hence the dishes won’t be cleaned properly.

You need to remove these arms and clear them out before putting them back in place. Make sure you first turn the electrical line to machine off. Turn the breaker off basically. And then remove the lower rack of your dishwasher and let it sit somewhere aside for now.

Depending on your model. The spray arms’ removal mechanism will be different. So, you better check the manual provided and then remove them. Once the spray arms are free to work with, get a flexible wire tool and thread it inside holes. And this will help you clean any debris as well as deposits easily.

Once you are done, get them in place and you can use the machine as regular. Make sure you change the spray arms if too worn out.

Water Temperature Can Also Be a Cause. 

The hot water wash cycle of the dishwasher is great for efficiently getting all dirt out from dishes. And this basically works with hot water that gets supplied from your home’s water heater, so it’s already pretty hot.

Then inside the dishwasher, temperature reaches another 30-degree Fahrenheit in most cases. So, it should be around 120 degrees Fahrenheit before the water gets in contact with dishwasher. However, this mechanism getting hindered can cause the dishes to come out still dirty.

You can simply use a glass candy thermometer for checking if this is the problem. To do so, first, check the kitchen faucet water that enters your dishwasher by simply pouring it into a glass and place thermometer inside.

If this confirms that the temperature is not right, you need to adjust it with water heater.  You may also need to check if the lines for cold and hot water in your kitchen are hooked properly.

Wrap Up

Yet asking why are my dishes still dirty after dishwasher cleaning it? Hopefully not. Try all of these and find out which one is causing the issue. However, if these are not the reasons behind your dishwasher misbehaving, don’t wait in bringing home a professional. Let them check everything and find out what’s the main cause. If you are lucky, that would only charge you some repair cost and nothing serious. However, if things are pretty bad, it can lead to major replacement costs and even buying a whole new dishwasher. Hope That’s Not the Case!

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