over 100,000 user reviews and research-intensive expert opinions.

Home /  Appliance Maintenance / Fixing Common Dishwasher Problems: A Step-by-Step Guide
last_updated_date Last updated: September 11th, 2023

A Guide to Common Dishwasher Problems and How to Fix Them


The convenience of having a dishwasher in one’s home is undeniable. It automatically sterilizes used cutlery so homeowners may focus on other duties. However, they can also be a source of frustration when things don’t go as planned. Common dishwasher issues include poor cleaning performance, water leakage, and excessive noise.

In this article, we will discuss the causes of these problems and how to address them best. By understanding the underlying causes of dishwasher problems, you can take steps to ensure that you get the most out of your appliance and enjoy a hassle-free experience.

A Guide to Common Dishwasher Problems and How to Fix Them

Understanding the dishwasher problems and solutions

Dishwashers are an essential appliance in the modern kitchen. But, like any other machine, they can develop problems over time. Understanding the common dishwasher problems and their solutions is vital to running your dishwasher smoothly. Let us know and understand some common problems of dishwashers.


Dishwasher Not Cleaning Properly

Overcrowding, clogged spray arms, and a dirty or clogged filter are some of the most common causes. Overcrowding can prevent water and detergent from reaching all the dishes, while clogged spray arms can prevent water and detergent from being distributed evenly throughout the dishwasher.

A dirty or clogged filter can also prevent the dishwasher from cleaning dishes properly, as it’s responsible for catching food particles and debris during the wash cycle. Using the wrong type or amount of detergent can also contribute to poor cleaning performance.

Dishwasher Leaking Water

Dishwasher leaks are common and can pose a safety hazard, mainly if the leaked water is not promptly cleaned up. The risk of slipping and falling is a serious concern that should not be overlooked.

Check the dishwasher door and gasket to start troubleshooting. Cracked or damaged door gaskets should be replaced. Clean the gasket carefully, paying attention to inaccessible recesses if there are no breaks.

Leaks usually result from a damaged float switch if the door works. The dishwasher may leak if its float valve fails. Test the switch after making sure nothing is obstructing it. You can do that by using a multimeter.

Dishwasher Not Draining

One of the most common dishwasher issues is when it fails to drain properly, which can result in water overflowing from the appliance. If this happens, it’s essential to address the problem promptly.

If your dishwasher stops mid-cycle, start a fresh cycle to help clear any blockages. Ensure the garbage disposal works correctly, as the dishwasher and disposal share a drain receptacle that can become blocked.

Double-check the drain plug after installing a garbage disposal. Debris-clogged drains are another possibility of not draining. If so, thoroughly clean and disinfect.

Dishwasher Making Strange Noises

There are many possible causes of unusual dishwashing noises. Ensure that nothing is blocking the dishwasher’s filters or the spray arm. If the noise continues, there might be an issue with the motor or pump. It is essential to consult a professional for help in these situations.

Dishwasher Not Starting

Check that the dishwasher is plugged in and that no circuit breakers have tripped before continuing. Additionally, confirm that the door is securely secured and closed. If the dishwasher doesn’t start, the control panel or the motor may malfunction.

Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes

First, use a suitable detergent and rinse aid if your dishwasher isn’t drying dishes properly. Additionally, confirm that the heating element in the dishwasher is operating correctly. If following these instructions doesn’t resolve the issue, there might be a problem with the thermostat or drying fan.

Dishwasher Not Dispensing Detergent

Check whether the dispenser is obstructed or clogged if your dishwasher is not dispensing detergent. Additionally, ensure the detergent you’re using is suitable for your dishwasher and that you’re using the right amount of it.

If the issue still exists, there might be anything wrong with the dispenser mechanism. It is essential to consult a professional for help in these situations.

Dishwasher Leaving Spots On Dishes

Dishes from the dishwasher have spots: If this is the case, hard water or using too much detergent may be to blame. Use a rinse aid or reduce the detergent you use, if necessary.

Additionally, ensure you’re loading the dishwasher not and adequately overcrowding it. If the problem persists, there may be an issue with the dishwasher’s filtration system.

Dishwasher Door Not Closing Properly

If your dishwasher door is not closing correctly, ensure nothing obstructs the door or the latch. Additionally, ensure the dishwasher is level and the door hinges correctly. If the problem persists, there may be an issue with the latch or the door hinges.

Dishwasher Overfilling

A broken water inlet valve or a clogged float switch may be responsible for your dishwasher overfilling. Check to make sure that the dishwasher is at level and that the float switch is not obstructed. If the problem persists, there may be an issue with the water inlet valve or the dishwasher’s control board.

Dishwasher Has A Bad Smell

A very common reason for a dishwasher stinking is because of the food accumulation in the filter or filtration system. You can use the dishwasher with a specific cleaning solution with no dishes inside. It will help to clean the appliance itself. You may also use white vinegar to clean your dishwasher if you want a more affordable alternative to this remedy.

Dishwasher Stops During Mid Cycle

There can be several factors that can cause a dishwasher to stop mid-cycle. Overheating, clogged filters, failing door latches, power outages, or a defective control board are a few of the frequent causes. It is advised to refer to the user manual for troubleshooting instructions or call a qualified technician if your dishwasher stops mid-cycle.

How To Avoid Similar Issues In The Future


Keeping your dishwasher in good condition is essential to avoid common problems. You can ensure your dishwasher runs smoothly and efficiently with simple tips and tricks. Here are some tips to help you maintain your dishwasher and avoid common problems such as clogging, leaking, or poor cleaning performance.

  • Proper Maintenance:

    Make sure to clean your dishwasher regularly and remove any debris that might be stuck in the filters or spray arms. Also, inspect and clean the dishwasher’s interior and exterior surfaces, including the door seal.

  • Use Appropriate Detergent:s

    Use the appropriate detergent for your dishwasher, and ensure it is added correctly. Using too much detergent can cause build-up and clog the dishwasher.

  • Load the Dishwasher Properly:

    Properly load the dishwasher, ensure not to overload it, and place dishes and utensils in their designated compartments. Make sure nothing is blocking the spray arms, which could prevent the dishwasher from cleaning effectively.

  • Run Hot Water Before Running the Dishwasher:

    Run hot water in your sink before starting your dishwasher to ensure the dishwasher starts with hot water.

  • Regularly Inspect the Dishwasher:

    Inspect your dishwasher for any signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or leaks, and have them repaired as soon as possible.

By following the above maintenance tips, you can run your dishwasher smoothly.

The Benefits Of Having A Home Warranty


A home warranty shields homeowners from the financial burden of sudden and expensive repairs. A home warranty can act as a safety net if a homeowner does not have an emergency fund or has no expertise in doing the repairs on his own. Their house’s appliances and systems are protected against the effects of everyday wear and tear by a home warranty.

On average, Dishwasher repairs cost $160 to $300. If the dishwasher needs major repairs, is out of warranty, or is hard to fix, it may cost $600 or more. In most cases, regular maintenance and repair costs will be covered by a good warranty, lowering the cost of ownership.

Therefore, depending on the contract terms, a home warranty will typically cover the cost of repairs or replacement if a covered dishwasher breaks down. This can save homeowners a lot of money because fixing a dishwasher can be expensive, especially if it involves replacing essential parts like the motor or heating element.


Understanding common dishwasher problems and their solutions is essential for several reasons. First, it can save you money on repairs or a replacement by identifying and fixing simple issues before they become more serious.

Second, it can ensure that your dishwasher works efficiently, saving you money on your energy bill. And third, it can help you avoid the frustration of a malfunctioning dishwasher, which can disrupt your daily routine and lead to additional stress.



What Are The Disadvantages Of Having A Dishwasher?


One disadvantage of having a dishwasher is that it can be expensive to purchase and install. Additionally, dishwashers can use water and energy, increasing utility bills. Some people also find dishwashers only sometimes clean dishes and hand washing, which can be noisy during operation.


What Utensils Cannot Be Washed In A Dishwasher?


Sharp knives, cast iron pans, delicate glassware, and wooden items should be removed from the dishwasher. In the dishwasher, these items could get damaged or ruined.


How Much Electricity Do Dishwashers Consume?


The amount of electricity a dishwasher consumes depends on several factors, such as the size and model of the dishwasher, as well as the energy efficiency rating. A dishwasher, on average, consumes between 1200 and 2400 watts per cycle.


Does The Dishwasher Remove Bacteria?


Yes, dishwashers can remove bacteria from dishes. The high temperatures and strong dishwasher detergents can effectively kill bacteria and disinfect dishes.


What Detergent To Use In A Dishwasher?


It is crucial to use a detergent made especially for dishwashers. Regular dish soap might make the dishwasher sud up excessively and harm it. Find detergents with the words “dishwasher detergent” or “automatic dishwasher detergent” on the label.


Dishwasher Or Hand Wash, Which Is Better?


Personal taste will play a role here. Dishwashers are typically more practical and can save time, but some people value the control and satisfaction that hand-washing dishes provides.


Is A Dishwasher Expensive?


Dishwashers can vary in price depending on the model and features. Basic models can be relatively affordable, while high-end models with advanced features can be expensive.


What Is A Dishwasher Made Of?


Dishwashers are usually composed of plastic or stainless steel. The dishwasher’s exterior can be composed of either plastic or stainless steel, while the interior is lined with one of these materials. Typically, a dishwasher’s internal parts are constructed of plastic or metal.

Top home warranty Companies

related articles