Your dishwasher has the one purpose to take dirty dishes and clean them. When it is working properly, the appliance is pretty good at it too. Certainly, there will be times where it struggles, like removing items like baked-on cheese. However, if you have done a load of dishes can found every single dish still dirty, but the cycle ran, here is what to look out for.
The Water Was Too Cold
In order to clean efficiently, a dishwasher requires the use of hot water. In all models, a heating elements takes the water – either hot or cold – pumped into the dishwasher and heats it to an appropriate temperature. If that heating element or the thermostat that controls it is faulty, your dishes will be washed in cold water and will be less effective at removing most particles.
The water heater for the house is most responsible to ensure the correct temperature arrives at your dishwasher as the heater inside can only heat up water by a few degrees before the dishwasher starts its cycle.
In order to effectively clean and rinse dishes, the wash water needs to drained away. If the drain is clogged, the wash water may just be flung back up as a rinse, placing food particles back on your dishes. Typically if this is the case, you will see water or particles on the bottom of the dishwasher tub.
Low Water Pressure
If you have noticed low water pressure in other faucets or your shower, it is likely affecting your dishwasher. In some cases, it may just dramatically extend the time it takes to fill before the wash cycle runs. In other cases, the dishwasher may not get enough water to effectively wash.
The Dishwasher is Too Packed
If you really wedged your dishes in, the good news is that there is likely nothing broken in your appliance. You simply need to remove a few dishes and split them into two loads. This can be an issue if there is a lot of items blocking the sprayer on the bottom so water doesn’t get to the top.