Most of us are used to loading the dishwasher, starting a wash cycle, and retrieving clean dishes when it’s done. But what should you do if your Maytag dishwasher leaves dishes dirty? Try checking the water temperature to make sure it’s hot enough for effective cleaning. Learn the most common reasons for a Maytag dishwasher not cleaning dishes to solve the problem and improve performance.
Troubleshooting Tips For a Maytag Dishwasher Not Cleaning Dishes
A Maytag dishwasher not cleaning dishes doesn’t always mean that it needs a repair. In fact, performance issues often have a DIY fix. Use these Maytag dishwasher troubleshooting tips to find the right solution for cleaner dishes.
#1. Dishwasher is Overcrowded
Overcrowding and improper loading are two of the most common reasons for a Maytag dishwasher not cleaning dishes properly. You’ll find the dishwasher leaves dishes wet or dirty if overloading leaves no space for water, detergent, and air to flow. Prevent overcrowding by leaving space between each item and avoiding overlapping.
Try these additional loading tips for better dishwasher performance:
- Don’t block the spray arms: Items that are too tall or hang below the racks can block the spray arm’s rotation, restricting water to other areas. Before starting a wash cycle, rotate the spray arms by hand to make sure they can move freely.
- Load dishes properly: The bottom rack is for dishes and servingware. Always load one dish per slot for adequate air and water flow and place taller items along the perimeter so they don’t block spray arms.
- Position concave items upside down: Cups, bowls and glasses should be upside down and at an angle in the top rack. Doing so improves draining and access to water and detergent.
#2. Water Temperature is Too Low
To effectively clean dishes and activate detergent a dishwasher requires a water temperature of at least 120℉. If the water temperature is below 120℉, you may notice the dishwasher leaving residue or food particles behind.
To test your water temperature, run the hot water in the kitchen sink for two minutes before filling a glass. If a thermometer shows that it’s lower than 120℉, the temperature on your home’s hot water heater may need to be increased. In general, running the hot water in the kitchen sink before starting a wash cycle can ensure that it’s flowing to the dishwasher.
#3. Dishwasher Maintenance Required
If your Maytag dishwasher leaves food particles on dishes it may be in need of some maintenance. Regular tub, filter, and spray arm cleanings can improve performance, decrease odor and prevent part malfunctions.
Here’s how to clean the tub, filter and spray arms and eliminate bad dishwasher odors:
- Tub: Dissolve buildup by pouring 3 cups of white vinegar in the base of the empty dishwasher and running its longest wash cycle.
- Filter: Remove both the upper and lower filter and run both under running water. Brush stubborn stains gently with a soft brush.
Spray arms: Take out both spray arms and run them under water to remove dirt and residue. Unclog blockages in spray armholes with a toothpick or straight pin.
#4. Broken Dishwasher Detergent Dispenser
A broken detergent dispenser could also be responsible for dirty dishes. If the dispenser doesn’t open completely or at all, the detergent won’t expel at the proper time. Check the dispenser for blockages that can prevent detergent from being expelled, wiping any clogs away with a paper towel. If the dispenser appears broken, it requires replacement.
The amount and quality of your detergent also play a role in the cleanliness of your dishes. Using too little leaves items dirty, while you may find your Maytag dishwasher leaving white residue behind if you use too much. Always refer to the package instructions when adding detergent and measure it accurately. Using the highest quality detergent, with built-in rinse aid and/or water softeners (if necessary) can also improve performance.
#5. Not Using Rinse Aid
If your dishes are left cloudy or have water spots after a wash cycle, you may need to add rinse aid to your routine, especially if you have hard water. Without rinse aid, water sits on the dishes, which causes mineral deposits to be left behind when the water evaporates. Rinse aid reduces the surface tension of the water, therefore allowing the water to slide off the dishes.
Not only does rinse aid prevent water spots, but it also helps dissolve particles that could build up and clog your dishwasher. Rinse aid is a great way to help your dishes dry faster and protect them from etching.
#6. Insufficient Water Supply
Without a consistent and adequate water supply, your dishwasher won’t be able to clean dishes sufficiently. A broken spray arm can prevent water from exiting spray armholes, restricting water access. If the spray arms have cracks or holes, they should be replaced.
A broken water inlet valve can also result in a Maytag dishwasher not cleaning dishes due to a restricted water supply. This valve opens and closes, as needed, to provide the dishwasher with water from your home’s supply. If the valve is stuck in the closed position or doesn’t fully open, the dishwasher won’t receive enough water. If the water inlet valve is damaged or shows no continuity with multimeter testing, it must be replaced.
When you need Maytag dishwasher repair services, Caesar’s Appliance Service can help. Call or schedule your expert repair online today!