Why Your KitchenAid Dishwasher Isn’t Cleaning Properly: Solutions Revealed

Ever wondered why your KitchenAid dishwasher isn’t quite getting the job done? Picture this: you load up the dishwasher, run a cycle, and still find bits of food clinging stubbornly to your plates. Frustrating, right? Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this kitchen conundrum.

Check the Spray Arms

When your KitchenAid dishwasher isn’t cleaning as it should, a common culprit could be clogged spray arms. Here’s what you can do:

  • Inspect the Spray Arms: Look for any obstructions like food particles or debris blocking the spray holes.
  • Clean the Spray Arms: Use a toothpick or a small brush to clear any blockages in the holes.
  • Ensure Proper Rotation: Verify that the spray arms can spin freely to distribute water effectively.

By regularly checking and cleaning the spray arms, you can help ensure your dishwasher’s optimal performance.

Inspect the Filter

When your KitchenAid dishwasher isn’t cleaning dishes properly, a clogged filter could be the culprit. The filter traps food particles and debris during wash cycles to prevent them from redepositing on dishes. Here’s how you can inspect the filter to ensure it’s not hindering your dishwasher’s performance:

  • Locate the Filter: The filter in your KitchenAid dishwasher is typically found at the bottom of the appliance. It may be removable for easy access.
  • Check for Debris: Remove the filter and inspect it for any food particles or residue that could be obstructing water flow. You can rinse it with warm, soapy water to clean it thoroughly.
  • Inspect the Housing: While the filter is out, take a moment to look into the filter housing. Ensure there’s no debris or gunk buildup that might impede water circulation.
  • Reassemble Properly: After you’ve cleaned the filter and housing, make sure you reassemble everything correctly. A properly fitted filter is crucial for optimal dishwasher performance.

Click here to preview your posts with PRO themes ››

Regularly inspecting and cleaning the filter will help your KitchenAid dishwasher maintain its cleaning efficiency, ensuring sparkling dishes after every wash cycle.

Examine the Water Inlet Valve

Is your KitchenAid dishwasher not cleaning dishes properly? One crucial component to check is the water inlet valve. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Locate the water inlet valve: It is typically found behind the dishwasher’s lower access panel.
  • Inspect for blockages: Debris or mineral buildup can clog the valve, leading to reduced water flow.
  • Check the solenoid: Ensure the solenoid is functioning correctly to open and close the valve as needed during the wash cycle.
  • Clean or replace the valve: If you spot any blockages or the valve is faulty, cleaning or replacing it can improve water intake and the dishwasher’s overall performance.

Don’t overlook the water inlet valve when troubleshooting why your KitchenAid dishwasher is not cleaning well. Taking a few moments to examine this component can make a significant difference in your dishwasher’s efficiency.

Verify the Detergent Usage

When your KitchenAid dishwasher is not cleaning your dishes properly, one critical aspect to consider is how you use detergent. Here’s how to ensure you are getting the most out of your dishwasher detergent:

  • Use the right detergent: Check if you’re using a high-quality dishwasher detergent suitable for your machine.
  • Avoid overloading detergent: Using too much detergent can lead to residue buildup on your dishes.
  • Proper detergent storage: Keep your detergent in a cool, dry place to maintain its effectiveness.
  • Check detergent expiration: Expired detergent may not clean as effectively, so make sure yours is not past its prime.
  • Use rinse aid: Adding rinse aid helps to achieve better cleaning results and prevents spotting on dishes.
  • Adjust detergent amount: Depending on your load size and food residue, you might need to adjust the amount of detergent for optimal cleaning.
  • Run hot water first: To ensure the detergent dissolves properly, start a hot water cycle before running your dishwasher.
  • Consult the manual: Refer to your KitchenAid dishwasher manual for specific detergent recommendations and usage guidelines.

Click here to preview your posts with PRO themes ››

By verifying and optimizing your detergent usage, you can enhance the cleaning performance of your KitchenAid dishwasher.

Run Maintenance Cycle

Ensuring your KitchenAid dishwasher runs smoothly is crucial for optimal cleaning performance. One effective way to address issues with cleaning results is to run routine maintenance cycles. Here’s how:

  • Clear the Filter: Remove any debris or food particles from the filter to maintain water flow.
  • Check Spray Arm: Inspect the spray arm for clogs and ensure it can rotate freely.
  • Use Cleaner: Periodically run a cleaning cycle with a dishwasher cleaner to remove buildup.

By incorporating these maintenance tasks into your routine, you can keep your KitchenAid dishwasher in top condition for consistently clean dishes.


Now you know the key steps to enhance your KitchenAid dishwasher’s cleaning performance. By being mindful of detergent usage and running regular maintenance cycles, you can keep your dishwasher running smoothly and ensure sparkling clean dishes every time. Remember to clear the filter, check the spray arm, and use a cleaner periodically to maintain optimal performance. With these simple steps incorporated into your routine, you’ll enjoy the efficiency and effectiveness of your KitchenAid dishwasher for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I improve the cleaning performance of my KitchenAid dishwasher?

To improve cleaning performance, focus on detergent usage. Use the right amount of detergent based on load size and soil level. Additionally, run maintenance cycles regularly to ensure optimal performance.

Why is it important to maintain my KitchenAid dishwasher?

Maintaining your dishwasher is essential to ensure it runs smoothly and delivers consistently clean dishes. Tasks such as clearing the filter, checking the spray arm for blockages, and using a dishwasher cleaner periodically can help prevent issues and prolong the life of your appliance.

Charlie Thomson is Appliance Mastery's expert on laundry appliances. With a degree in mechanical engineering and over 8 years of experience in the appliance repair industry, Charlie is a go-to resource for homeowners who want to tackle common issues with their washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers.

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend