A dishwasher is supposed to make cleaning dishes a breeze, but it can quickly become frustrating if you own a Whirlpool dishwasher that’s not cleaning properly. From dirty dishes to cloudy glassware, a poorly functioning dishwasher can leave you a mess to wash by hand.
Luckily, there are a couple of simple and effective ways to fix your Whirlpool dishwasher and clean it like new.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the eight most common causes of a Whirlpool dishwasher that fails to clean dishes and provide you with detailed instructions on how to fix them.
So, let’s get started and get your dishwasher back to its optimal performance!
Why is your Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Cleaning?
Here are a few reasons why your Whirlpool dishwasher could not be working correcting:
1. Clogged Spray Arms
The spray arms in a Whirlpool dishwasher spray water and detergent throughout a wash cycle.
If the spray arms get blocked with dirt or minerals from hard water, they may be unable to spray water properly. As a result, dishes may not be adequately cleaned.
2. Malfunctioning Pump and Motor Assembly
A Whirlpool dishwasher’s pump and motor assembly are responsible for circulating water throughout the dishwasher.
If this assembly malfunctions or fails, the dishwasher may be unable to spray water effectively. This can cause dishes to come out dirty or not washed at all.
3. Blocked Dishwasher Inlet Valve
The water inlet valve controls the water that flows into the dishwasher.
So when the inlet valve becomes blocked or clogged with debris, it prevents the free or proper flow of water into the dishwasher.
4. Dirty Dishwasher Filter
The filter in a Whirlpool dishwasher is responsible for trapping food particles and other debris during a wash cycle.
If the filter becomes dirty or clogged, water may not be able to flow through the dishwasher effectively. This can cause dishes to come out dirty or not washed at all.
5. Improper Loading of Dishes
How you load your dishes in a Whirlpool dishwasher can affect how well they are cleaned.
If dishes are loaded too close together, they may not be able to get proper water and detergent coverage.
If dishes are loaded in a way that blocks the spray arms, they may be unable to spray water effectively.
6. Hard Water
Water is said to have become hard when it contains very high levels of minerals like magnesium and calcium.
These minerals can build up in a Whirlpool dishwasher over time, causing clogs in the spray arms and other parts. As a result, dishes may not be adequately cleaned.
7. Faulty Detergent
Certain types of detergents are specifically designed for certain dishwashers.
This means that using the wrong detergent for cleaning can cause the dishwasher to malfunction. And if you use much or too little detergent for cleaning, it can also result in poorly cleaned dishes.
Using a detergent designed for dishwashers can prevent suds from building up and prevent water from circulating properly.
Also, using much detergent can cause residue and excess suds to build up on the dishes, while using too little can produce poorly cleaned dishes.
How to Fix Whirlpool Dishwasher Not Cleaning?
If your Whirlpool dishwasher no longer cleans your dishes properly, there are several steps you can take to resolve the problem immediately.
Here are some solutions to common whirlpool dishwasher problems:
1. Clean the Spray Arms
Remove the spray arms, then clean them thoroughly to remove any clogs or debris obstructing the water flow.
Use a toothbrush, or you can also use a small brush to clean the nozzles and holes in the spray arms. Rinse them with water and reattach them to the dishwasher.
2. Check the Dishwasher Filter
A clogged dishwasher filter can reduce water flow and result in poor cleaning.
Remove the filter and clean it with warm water and soap. Rinse it thoroughly and reinsert it back into the dishwasher.
3. Inspect the Dishwasher Detergent
If the detergent is appropriately dispensed, it can result in good cleaning. Ensure that you are using the right type and amount of detergent for your dishwasher model.
Also, check that debris or residue does not block the detergent dispenser.
4. Check the Water Temperature
Ensure the water temperature is hot enough to dissolve the detergent and remove food particles from dishes.
For Whirlpool dishwashers, the ideal water temperature falls between 120°F and 140°F.
So if the water falls below the temperature range, adjust your water heater to meet the ideal temperature.
5. Clean the Dishwasher Interior
A dirty dishwasher can also contribute to poor cleaning.
Remove debris or food particles from the dishwasher interior and clean it thoroughly with warm water and soap.
6. Check the Water Supply
Ensure that your dishwasher receives enough water and the pressure is adequate.
If your Whirlpool dishwasher water pressure is low, call a plumber to help resolve the problem.
7. Check the Wash Cycle
Ensure that you are using the right wash cycle for your dishes. Heavily soiled dishes may require a longer wash cycle or a more intensive wash setting.
By following these steps, you can fix most issues that cause a Whirlpool dishwasher not to clean properly.
However, if you continue to experience poor cleaning every time you use your Whirlpool dishwasher, it’s high time you call a technician to help you check and resolve the problem.
How do I run diagnostics on my Whirlpool dishwasher?
Running diagnostics on your Whirlpool dishwasher is a simple process that can help you identify any issues with your appliance.
To run diagnostics on your dishwasher, do the following:
Please turn off your Whirlpool dishwasher: Before checking anything or running any diagnostics on your dishwasher or any other electrical appliance, the first thing you should do is, turn off your dishwasher and unplug it from the power source.
Enter the diagnostic mode: Press and hold the “Heated Dry” button for 5 seconds, then release it. Press the “Normal” button once and wait for the dishwasher to enter diagnostic mode.
Check for error codes: The diagnostic mode will display any error codes detected by your dishwasher. Refer to your owner’s manual to interpret the error codes and determine the issue.
Test the dishwasher components: The diagnostic mode allows you to test each component of your dishwasher, such as the pump motor, water inlet valve, and heater. Follow the instructions displayed on the control panel to perform these tests.
Exit the diagnostic mode: Once you have completed the tests, press the “Cancel” button to exit the diagnostic mode.
Running diagnostics on your Whirlpool dishwasher can help you pinpoint the cause of any problems with your appliance. If you cannot identify or fix the issue personally, seeking professional assistance is recommended.
How do I reset my Whirlpool dishwasher diagnostic mode?
To reset the diagnostic mode on your Whirlpool dishwasher, you can follow these steps:
Press the following sequence of buttons on your dishwasher’s control panel: “Heated Dry,” “Normal Wash,” “Heated Dry,” “Normal Wash.” This will enter the diagnostic mode.
Once in diagnostic mode, you can navigate the different test cycles by pressing the “Start” button. A number on the display identifies each test cycle.
To exit the diagnostic mode, press the “Cancel” button or wait for the dishwasher to exit after 240 seconds of inactivity.
It’s important to note that resetting the diagnostic mode will not necessarily fix any underlying issues with your dishwasher. It clears any error codes or test cycles that may have been triggered.
Hence, if you are experiencing problems with your dishwasher that a reset can’t solve, it’s best to reference the user manual or contact a professional for assistance.
How do you run a clean cycle on a Whirlpool dishwasher?
To run a clean cycle on a Whirlpool dishwasher, follow these steps:
Clear the dishwasher: Remove all dishes, utensils, and other items from the dishwasher.
Add cleaning agent: Place a dishwasher cleaner tablet, or about 1 cup of white vinegar, in the bottom. You can also use a dishwasher cleaning solution designed explicitly for Whirlpool dishwashers.
Run the clean cycle: Close the dishwasher door and select the “Clean” cycle on the control panel. Select the longest and hottest cycle available if your dishwasher doesn’t have a “Clean” cycle. Press “Start” to begin the cycle.
Wipe down the dishwasher: After the clean cycle, open the dishwasher and wipe down the interior with a damp cloth. This will help remove any remaining residue.
Run a rinse cycle: Once you’ve wiped down the interior, run a rinse cycle to remove any remaining cleaning solution or vinegar.
Following these steps, you can comfortably run a clean cycle on your Whirlpool dishwasher and keep it functioning at its best.