After working all day and cooking dinner when you get home, you don’t want to spend the extra time and energy washing your dishes by hand. So, you fill up your dishwasher, add detergent, and start it on a normal wash cycle. When you go to empty it the next day, you see that your dishes still are not clean. There are a number of possible reasons for a dishwasher not cleaning dishes. Depending on the problem, the solution may be simple to solve on your own, or it may require the help of an appliance repair technician. Here are the most common causes of a dishwasher not cleaning dishes and their solutions.

1. Too Much Debris on Dishes

Your dishwasher may not be able to effectively clean your dishes if they have too much food debris on them. Instead of putting dishes in the dishwasher when they are still covered in dried-on food and grime, try pre-rinsing the dishes first to remove some of the food debris. You may even need to soak heavily soiled dishes in warm water with some dish soap for a bit to loosen and remove excess debris. This is a good place to start if your dishwasher is not cleaning dishes properly.

2. Water Is Not Hot Enough

If the temperature of the water going into your dishwasher is too low, your dishwasher may not be able to thoroughly clean your dishes. Test the temperature of your water by running it in the sink. Fill up a glass with hot water and measure the temperature with a thermometer. The water temperature should be between 120 degrees Fahrenheit and 150 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is lower than this, adjust your water heater. If the problem with your dishwasher not cleaning dishes is from water not being hot enough, this is an easy solution to get your dishwasher cleaning properly again.

3. Using the Wrong Dish Detergent

The type of dish detergent you should use in your dishwasher is largely dependent on whether you have hard or soft water running through your home. Different detergents work and react differently in the two types of water. If you have hard water and use a detergent that does not react well with it, you will likely notice that your glasses and mugs do not seem clean when they come out of the dishwasher. Find out which type of water you have, then start using a dish detergent that is made to work with that type of water. This could be an easy fix for your dishwasher not cleaning dishes effectively.

4. Not Enough Water in Dishwasher

Sometimes the problem with a dishwasher not cleaning dishes stems not from the type or temperature of water but from how much of it your dishwasher gets. This is a very common issue. Your dishwasher needs a certain amount of water to be able to effectively clean dishes. It’s easy to figure out if your dishwasher is getting enough water—just start a wash cycle and open the door once you hear it stop filling with water. If the dishwasher is getting enough water, the water will reach the heating coil. If not, the issue could be the float valve. Make sure the float valve is operating freely, and check to see if the inlet valve is clogged. If this doesn’t solve the problem, you may need a professional appliance repair technician’s help.

5. Failing Inlet Valve

If your dishwasher is not cleaning dishes, the problem could be that your inlet valve is starting to fail. When an inlet valve fails, it will make a hammering noise. If you hear this noise coming from your dishwasher, you should immediately replace the inlet valve. You can purchase a new inlet valve and replace it yourself, or you can get an appliance repair technician to replace it for you. Replacing the inlet valve can quickly solve the problem of your dishwasher not cleaning dishes properly.

6. Damaged Inlet Valve

Even if your inlet valve is not failing, it may still become damaged or clogged with food debris. If your inlet valve looks or sounds damaged, you should either replace it yourself or get the help of an appliance repair professional. To prevent your inlet valve from getting damaged in the future, you should avoid putting dishes in your dishwasher that are covered in large food debris. Give your dishes a quick rinse before loading them into the dishwasher so that only small food debris will make its way into your machine.

Dishwasher Repair in Maryville, TN

If your dishwasher is not cleaning dishes, try the above solutions to see if they solve the problem. If they don’t work, you will need dishwasher repair services from a professional. Real Time Appliance Repairs is an appliance repair company in Maryville, TN, that can repair all makes and models of dishwashers and other appliances. When your dishwasher won’t clean dishes like it’s supposed to, let us help you bring your machine back to proper working order. We know how annoying it is when a dishwasher isn’t working, which is why we offer quick and dependable service at your convenience. Give us a call at 865-233-5606 or fill out our online contact form to schedule our expert appliance repair services. You can also stop by our shop to pick up an inlet valve or other parts you need if you want to fix your appliance yourself.