Dishwasher Poor Wash Performance

If there is food or detergent residue left on your dishes, there are a few things you can do to resolve this issue.

Installation

  • Make sure the dishwasher is connected to the hot water line and not to cold.  
  • Is the dishwasher level from side to side and front to back? Improper leveling can lead to a number of cleaning issues, including affecting how well it can drain the dirty water from the tub.  
  • A drain hose installed over 72"H will not drain well and can affect wash performance.  


Incoming Water

  • Check the water temperature. Proper water temperature is essential to achieve optimum results from your dishwasher and the detergent. Hot water is needed to dissolve and activate the detergent so that it can loosen and remove common food soils. The hot water heater should be set to deliver at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit water to the dishwasher.  
    • To check the water temperature, run the hot water at the kitchen sink and measure the temperature of the running water with a candy or meat thermometer. Adjust the temperature of the water heater accordingly.  
  • To be sure that the dishwasher is filling with the hottest possible water, run the hot water faucet at the kitchen sink prior to operating the dishwasher.  
  • Avoid running the dishwasher during or immediately after hot water is being used for other activities, like filling a bathtub, etc.  
  • Check the water pressure. The water pressure to the dishwasher should be 20 - 120 PSI (3/8" O.D. copper water line or 1/2" O.D. plastic water line).  


Cycle Selection

  • Check the wash cycle selection. Select the appropriate cycle for the dish load. Selecting a short or light wash cycle may save water and energy, but may not provide proper wash action for a heavily soiled load. If food remains on the dishware after the cycle, a longer cycle may be required.  
  • Use the added heat options to increase water temperature inside of the dishwasher. For example, use "Hot Start", "Added Heat", "Wash Heat Boost" or similar options if your dishwasher is equipped with these features.  
  • On models with Single Rack wash or Wash Zones (Upper & Lower wash), make sure this feature is not selected.  Dishwasher Wash Zones


Detergent / Rinse Aid

  • For optimal wash performance, we recommend using a high rated detergent, such as Finish® Quantum® Powerball®, and a rinse agent.  
  • Do not use liquid dish detergents that are not made for automatic dishwashers. See: Using the Right Detergent 
  • Check the amount of detergent and the water hardness. For more information: Dishwasher Detergent Use and Water Hardness
  • View a short video about calibrating water hardness:

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Food Debris

  • Excessive amounts of food may clog the dishwasher filters and reduce wash performance. If any jets (holes) within the wash arms are blocked, use a small object such as a paper clip or tweezers to loosen and remove the debris.  Be careful not to damage the jets in any way as that will affect wash performance.  
  • On models with a removable ultra-fine and fine filter, take out the filters and clean them. These filters should be cleaned once a month to ensure optimum wash performance. Dishwasher - How to Clean Fine and Ultra Filters
  • To prevent food debris from entering the dishwasher, scrape dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. 


Loading

  • Proper loading will ensure optimal wash performance. For more information, visit: Dishwasher Loading Tips
  • Consult your Owner's Manual for proper loading for your model. Download a copy of the Owner's Manual
  • For general tips, view a short video about proper loading:

White Film:


Cleaning Fine Filter:


If the above suggestions do not correct the situation, service will be required. For service, please schedule an appointment with GE Appliances Factory Service.