Amana Dishwasher not Cleaning dishes? (7 Possible Fixes)

Over time, even the most reliable dishwashers can begin to experience issues with their performance. If your Amana dishwasher isn’t cleaning like it once did, don’t worry!

You can take plenty of steps to troubleshoot and repair the problem! Here are a few tips on what you should check when your Amana dishwasher isn’t cleaning properly.

Reasons your Amana dishwasher not cleaning dishes.

why isn't my amana dishwasher not cleaning dishes

Below are some common reasons why your dishwasher isn’t cleaning your dishes properly.

  • There could be food or grease build-up on the spray arm nozzles, causing them to be less effective in spraying water and detergent onto the dishes.
  • The dishwasher’s filters could be clogged with food particles, grease, or other debris, preventing the water and detergent from reaching the dishes.
  • The dishwasher’s water supply could be insufficient, causing the water to be too weak to clean the dishes effectively.
  • The dishwasher’s detergent dispenser could be clogged, preventing the detergent from reaching the dishes.
  • The dishwasher’s washing cycle could be set for a shorter duration, preventing the dishes from being adequately cleaned.

How to fix if Amana dishwasher not cleaning dishes?

In short: To troubleshoot if you are having trouble getting your dishes clean in the Amana dishwasher, first, make sure that nothing is blocking the dishwasher’s spray arm. Next, check the dishwasher’s filters and clean them if they are dirty. Also, check the dishwasher’s manual to see whether you use the correct rinse aid!

Please look at the table below for a better understanding of this problem and its possible solutions.

Reasons Solutions
Dirty filter Clean it
Faulty inlet valve Replace it
Insufficient water supply Fill water tank
Clogged spray arm nozzles Unclog the nozzles
Wrong washing setting Choose the right cycle duration

Step 1: Clean the interior first.

dishwasher doesn't clean dishes

Generally, gunk and goo buildup caused by tiny bits of food, grease, and soap scum can clog your dishwasher’s interior, which can cause a different problem, like a water draining issue. As mentioned, if your dishwasher can’t drain water properly, your dishes will remain unclean and dirty.

So the first step is to clean the inside of your dishwasher. Pour 3 cups of white vinegar in the bottom and run an entire wash cycle. The vinegar will remove debris from the spray arm’s holes and dissolve minor mineral buildup. Additionally, it will clean up any remaining grease from the interior walls, making the dishes cleaner and smelling better.

Step 2: Check if you are using poor-quality detergent.

dish not cleaning in dishwasher

Next, check whether you use a good quality detergent to wash your dishes because poor quality detergent—or too much detergent is another potential reason your dishwasher is not cleaning dishes.

You can try using Finish Quantum Max Powerball (available from Amazon). Which has an excellent track record, and Amazon buyers give it a hearty 4.4 stars for cleaning power.

Don’t forget to use a rinse agent, which helps your dishes dry faster, preventing spots from forming.

Step 3: Increase the water temperature

increase dishwasher water temperature

Hot water is crucial for dissolving food particles. Some dishwashers automatically heat water to the ideal temperature. But if yours doesn’t have this feature, increase the water temperature on your water heater.

To properly clean dishes, your dishwasher’s water must be at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, you can also turn on the kitchen sink for a minute before running the dishwasher to help ensure hot water flows into the machine from the very start of the wash cycle.

Step 4: Properly load your dishes

dishwasher having issue in cleaning dishes

Are you putting too many dishes in your dishwasher? Have you tilted dishes correctly? Perhaps they are touching one another or falling over and filling up with water!

If you don’t load your dishwasher correctly, light plastic cups or glassware may move around and turn over, filling with wash water. If you’re unsure how to load it correctly, consult the user manual (you may find it online if you lost it), and always spin the spray arm lightly before starting a cycle to ensure it isn’t bumping into anything.

Related: 5 steps to do if your Amana dishwasher isn’t drying dishes!

Step 5: Check and unclog the spray arm

spray arm is clogged with debris

The dishwasher has a rotating arm that sprays water through tiny holes called jets to clean your dishes. The water is forced through the holes in the arm by the pressure of the water pump. It rotates during the wash cycle to ensure that all dishes are evenly washed.

If holes in the spray arm are heavily clogged, the water pressure suffers, resulting in lousy cleaning. To clean Amana dishwasher’s spray arm, follow the below steps:

  • First, detach the spray arm (check the manual to find out if it snaps off or requires you to remove a screw), then scrub it with a soft brush and dish soap.
  • Use a toothpick to unclog the holes.
  • Run hot water over the spray arm.

Spin the spray arms and ensure that they are rotating smoothly. If you see something in the way, remove it and try again.

Step 6: Check and clean the filter

clean dishwasher filter

The filter can become clogged with food particles, grease, and soap scum. This can cause the dishwasher not to drain properly and can also lead to bad smells as it continues to recirculate dirty water.

To clean it first, locate the filter and remove it from the machine (you may have to twist off the cap first). Once removed, rinse it under hot running water, and if you see gunk and grime stuck to the filter, let it sit in soapy hot water for a few minutes or overnight in vinegar. Finally, scrub it with an old toothbrush, rinse it, and reinstall it.

Step 7: Check and replace the Inlet valve.

dishwasher not washing dishes

Suppose none of the troubleshooting steps mentioned above doesn’t work, and your Amana dishwasher is not cleaning your dishes correctly. In that case, the inlet valve, which brings water into the dishwasher, could fail. You will hear a hammering noise during the wash cycle if that’s the fact.

Many homeowners choose to call a technician at this point, but if you prefer to do it yourself, consult your owner’s manual. It may also provide instructions on replacing the old valve and list the replacement valve you need to order.

Bonus Video: Amana dishwasher isn’t cleaning dishes (fix)


1. how often should you clean your Amana dishwasher filter?

The answer may surprise you – most experts recommend cleaning your dishwasher filter at least once every two months (It will depend on your wash cycle and how frequently you wash).

Some filters can be cleaned simply by rinsing them with water, while others may need to be replaced entirely. Be sure to check your owner’s manual to see what type of filter you have and how to clean it properly.

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