What to do if your dishwasher isn't cleaning properly

There are few reason why your dishwasher isn’t cleaning things properly. 

We go through them all here to help you get your dishes sparkling again.

It isn't loaded properly

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The most common reason that things come out dirty is that they’ve not been loaded properly. If you put too many dishes in or pack them too closely, water and detergent can’t reach them, so dirt and food won’t been washed away.

When you load the dishwasher, make sure there’s plenty of space between plates and dishes, and that cups and pans aren’t stacked on top of each other. 

We've got a full guide to loading your dishwasher here.

Rinse aid has run out

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Rinse aid makes sure that that water and dirt slide off your plates and cutlery during the final rinse off. 

Without it, grease can cling to plates and stop them from coming out as clean as they should be. 

Some machines give you a warning light when you need more - others require you to check the level yourself. If you aren't sure where it is, check the user manual (it won't be hard to get to). 

Dishwasher salt has run out

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What is dishwasher salt? It's an additive that helps to 'soften' the water used during your washing cycle. Without it, limescale can build up in the filter and affect how clean your plates end up. If you live in a hard water area (like most of southern England), it's important to make sure you've not run out. 

Your washer might have a warning light when you're running low. If not, check the level yourself. The reservoir can usually be found behind a panel at the bottom of machine (near the filter). If it's low, just top it up and see the benefits after your next wash cycle.

Water isn't hot enough

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Most dishwasher dishwashers use the hot water feed from your boiler. If it's not getting hot enough, increase the water temperature of your boiler - you're aiming for at least 60°C. 

You can check how hot it's getting by putting a thermometer on one of the racks. Check it halfway through your cycle to get an accurate reading.

Wrong program setting

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Check the program you've chosen - if you use the same one every time it might not be suitable for your usual load. 

When washing pans and larger items, it's important to choose a more aggressive program to make sure they're getting the cleaning power they need.

It needs cleaning

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A dirty dishwasher can't wash as well as a clean one. If the inside is starting to smell or you haven't rinsed the filter out for a while, give it a clean. 

We have a full how-to guide here.

Hopefully we've helped you get your dishwasher back to its best. 

If not, or there's anything you want to speak to us about, you can find out how to contact us here.

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