Troubleshooting a KitchenAid Dishwasher That Isn't Cleaning

Pulling dirty dishes out of a dishwasher after the cleaning cycle is supposedly finished is frustrating, but don't call in for repairs just yet. The problem with your KitchenAid dishwasher might be as simple as a clogged filter or too many dishes loaded in the appliance. Before you shell out money for professional repairs, look for basic problems that can prevent your KitchenAid dishwasher from getting those dishes sparkling clean.

Simple issues may prevent a dishwasher from doing its job.
  1. Check that the dishwasher is not overloaded. Dishes that are pressed against each other may prevent water spray from reaching all surfaces of each dish for cleaning. If the dishes are packed in tightly, remove several until there is space between each dish.
  2. Remove and clean the filter located on the bottom of the dishwasher. Twist the filter assembly counterclockwise and lift it straight up to remove it. Rinse the filter assembly under running water until it looks clean and then return it to your dishwasher.
  3. Fill the detergent dispenser with automatic dishwasher detergent to the top marked line. This is the amount of detergent recommended for homes with hard water; if you use less, your dishes might not get clean.
  4. Set the dishwasher to the heavy duty cycle. If your dishes are heavily soiled, the normal wash cycle might not be enough to get them completely clean.
  5. Use a rinse aid if your dishes appear to have a chalky white coating on them. Your KitchenAid dishwasher has a dispenser specifically designed for use with a rinse aid. Locate the round dispenser and turn the cap counterclockwise to remove it from the inside dishwasher door. Fill the dispenser and return the cap. This rinse aid will last several washes before you need to refill it.

Things You Will Need

  • Running water
  • Automatic dishwasher detergent
  • Rinse aid


  • Scrape excess food from your dishes before you load your dishwasher. Bits of food could clog the filter and prevent the appliance from thoroughly washing your dishes.

About the Author

Kittie McCoy has been a freelance writer since 2008. She is also a part-time personal trainer and licensed entertainer in Las Vegas. She enjoys sharing her love of physical fitness and experience in the entertainment industry via her writing.

Photo Credits

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