Your dishwasher is arguably one of the most useful and time-saving appliances that you have in your kitchen.  It can clean your dishes and make them hygienic. It is important because you don’t want to transfer harmful bacteria through your dishes. But, if your dishwasher doesn’t clean dishes all of a sudden, how will your kitchen look like?

It will look like a heap of dirty dishes, and a rancid smell will be coming out of them. Now if you are a busy person, you need this appliance up and running so that you can perform your kitchen chores fast. So, when you find out your dishwasher won’t clean your dishes, you’ll likely want to solve the problem, right?

You can indeed call a professional who will inspect what’s wrong with the machine, and demand a hefty fee for their work. On the other hand, you can also check the appliance yourself and repair it with some simple guidelines.  But, for that, you have to know why is your dishwasher not working, so let’s get on with it.


Why Is My Dishwasher Not Cleaning?

In order to help you narrow down the issue with your dishwasher, here are three of the most common reasons why your dishwasher might not be working as it should.

1. A Broken Flow Meter

A Broken Flow Meter

A flow meter is a device that ensures the flow of liquid within a tank is working properly. On larger scales, devices like ultrasonic flow meters can be used to help calculate the precise volume flow of a liquid within a tank. When it comes to your dishwasher, a broken flow meter can cause the appliance to not start at all. It can also cause water leakage during the washing cycle.

Whatever the case might be, you will find your dishwasher doesn’t clean dishes properly, and that will be an added trouble in your kitchen chores. The flow meter is usually built in the bottom of the machine. It contains a wheel that starts spinning when the water comes. You can find a little read-switch on the circuit board that will count how much water is coming. So, either the switch can be problematic, or the filter is dirty, and that’s why your dishwasher won’t clean.

Steps To Fix It

  1. Firstly, use a screwdriver to push the circuit board, and check if the read-switch is working or not.
  2. You can put a magnet close to the read switch to see if the switch is working. If it does, then your filter may be dirty, and if it doesn’t that means you have to buy a new switch.
  3. If your read-switch works fine, the problem lies with your filter. You have to take the filter out, and clean it properly.
  4. If you find the filter has some heavy dirt particles stuck, you can soak it in hot water, keep it for several minutes, and then clean it with a soft brush. 

2. Clogged Spray Arms

Clogged Spray Arms

If you have been taking dishes out of your dishwasher only to find that they are spotted with dirt and debris, the issue might be as simple as clogged spray arms. The spray arms are the fan-like mechanisms underneath or above the racks that rotate around during a washing cycle. If they are clogged with debris, they will spoil the jet flow, and that will restrict the water from coming.

Thankfully, you can easily unclip and clean the spray arms yourself. If you find that one is actually damaged or cracked, you should be able to replace them on your own as well, as long as you order the proper replacements for your old ones.

Steps To Fix It

  1. Firstly, you need to inspect the spray arm of the dishwasher. Just check if it can move freely without any obstruction or not.
  2. If your glasses come out cloudy, that means your spray arm has a hard water buildup issue. In that case, you have to use a hard water detergent to clean the spray arm.
  3. You can also use a whole house water softening system to wash your clean spray arm.
  4. Scrub the dishwasher with a soft brush, and use dish soap on it. You can also use toothpicks to dislodge the clogs, and then rinse them under hot water.

3. Blocked Drain Pump

Blocked Drain Pump

If you open your dishwasher only to flood your kitchen floor with dirty water, that’s another reason why your dishwasher won’t clean. But, in this case, you can simply try to run the dishwasher because it may contain the water from the previous cleaning cycle. So, if you choose to run it again, it may solve your problem.

But, the problem may not be that simple also. Over time, the drain pump in the appliance can become blocked and clogged with food particles and debris. If you have a blocked drain pump, your dishwasher won’t clean the dishes no matter how many times you turn the switch on, and off. So, let’s find out how to fix it.

Steps To Fix It

  1. Firstly, just check if your drain pump is moving clearly, or not.
  2. If it doesn’t move properly, you can install a new garbage disposer, and keep the drain plug in place.
  3. Connect the dishwasher hose properly to the new disposer so that it can move freely.
  4. If you don’t want to go through all these hassles, you can simply update your drain pump by purchasing a new one.


The dishwasher not cleaning problem is common in many households. So, we thought why not include a few more questions regarding this topic so that you people get a better guideline.  Let’s take a look:

1: What Is The Most Common Problem With A Dishwasher?

Ans: If you see your dishwasher doesn’t clean the dishes well all of a sudden, most probably, your inlet water valve is defective. When your inlet water valve is malfunctioning, it will not pull water into the machine while cleaning. So, it’s better to appoint a professional to take a look at the inlet water valve.

2: How Do You Know If Your Dishwasher Is Dying?

Ans: If you see find the dishes are not hot when you take them out of the appliance, it may suggest your dishwasher is dying. There are other signs as well. The water may not drain at the bottom properly, it can catch rust from inside out, it over-fills, or under-fills, and it doesn’t clean your dishes.

3: How Do I Manke My Dishwasher Work Better?

Ans: You can use the right detergent, and make sure your rinse aid reservoir is full to make it work better. You should not rinse your dishes before you load them, and run hot water in the sink before turning the appliance on. You may also clean your dishwasher with vinegar to keep it dirt-free and make it work better.


We have given you three common reasons why your dishwasher doesn’t clean the dishes properly. You can clean apply these solutions, and get rid of your ‘dishwasher not cleaning’ problem. You can also contact a professional, who will monitor the system, and help you resolve the issue. So, if you found this article helpful, please let us known in the comment section.

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Ariana Smith is a passionate writer and loves to write on technology, lifestyle, finance, business, and cover all the trending topics. she completed her education at Stanford University and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Now, she is a valuable contributor to Online Marketing Tools, Smart Business Daily, And Emblem Wealth, RSL Online.

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