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Maytag Dishwasher Not Cleaning

I’ve been using my Maytag dishwasher for a while, and it’s started not cleaning some of the dishes properly. I decided to get to the bottom of it, and figure out how to get it to clean properly and what can be causing the issue. So, I did a bunch of research and thought I’d share the ways to fix ways in which a dishwasher won’t clean properly, and here’s what I found.

As a general rule, you should clean your dishwasher thoroughly. This will solve issues with food remnants remaining on dishes after cleaning. For white hard water marks on dishes there are specialty detergents that will stop it from occurring.

Putting cups in dishwasher

But, for other types of discoloration such as orange, or black marks there are a few reasons why it can occur. So, below I will explain exactly how to clean your Maytag dishwasher, as well as the solutions based on the different colored residues that can occur on your dishes.

Maytag Dishwasher Not Cleaning Dishes Well

Putting plates in dishwasher

The main advantage of a dishwasher is that you don’t need to clean or dry the dishes after it runs a cycle. Although a Maytag dishwasher will generally work very well, there are some key things that will stop it from cleaning dishes well. Here’s what they are.

Generally, the water can be hard and you need to use a special detergent that will reduce the hardness of the water. Othertimes, a piece of crockery can block the detergent flap from opening. There are various issues that can cause it that I’ll cover below.

I compiled a list of the top things that are recommended to solve the issue when your Maytag dishwasher is not cleaning dishes well. It’s based on people’s responses to a question on a Reddit thread. Here’s a table that shows the recommended solution, as well as what percentage of people that responded recommended them:

Suggested Solution

Percentage of total responses

Clean the dishwasher

20.00%

Clean the drain

6.67%

Something blocking the spray arms

16.67%

Try a different detergent

6.67%

Put a cup of vinegar in the bottom of dishwasher

10.00%

Use a detergent designed for hard water

10.00%

Don’t pre wash dishes using detergent

3.33%

Use liquid soap rather than powder

6.67%

Heating element broken so water is cold

3.33%

Something blocking the detergent door from opening

10.00%

Run the sink tap on hot before starting dishwasher

6.67%

Some of these are recommended by Maytag whereas others aren’t. As you can see form the responses the most common suggested way to fix it are:

  • Clean the dishwasher
  • Ensure nothing is blocking the spray arms from spinning

Here are the steps recommended by Maytag to get a Maytag dishwasher to clean properly, as well as, the top recommendations for others.

1. Clean the dishwasher using a specially design tablets by Affresh®

Maytag recommends cleaning your dishwasher using tablets designed by Affresh®. These will thoroughly clean your dishwasher. This can help clear the water supply lines, and any blockages in the spray arms.

It’s also recommended to use them once a month. Here’s a video that shows what they are and how they work:

2. Check the water pressure it should be 20-120 psi

If the water pressure is too low, it won’t be able to spray the dishes well enough. Maytag says that the water pressure for your home should be 20-120 psi. In my research I found that homes in the USA need to have this water pressure to meet building standards.

But, due to a leak, or plumbing issue you may not have adequate water pressure. To check if it does you can run this quick test:

  • Open the faucet that’s the closest to your dishwasher all the way.
  • Place a 1-quart (1 liter) container under the faucet. Or, 4 regular sized cups.
  • It should take no less than about 9 seconds to fill 4 standard sized cups of a 1 quart container.
  • If it takes longer than that then you may need a booster pump to get the water pressure required.
  • If it’s only 1 second or so over it should be fine. But, any more than that and it indicates the water pressure is too low.

3. Properly stack the dishwasher to avoid blocking the key components

The detergent door and spinning arms need to be able to open during the wash cycle. It’s common a cutting board can be placed near the front of the racks and block the detergent door from opening.

Also, parts of crockery can stick up or down and not allow the spinning arms to pass. They will be stuck in one position and not clean the entire contents of your dishwasher.

Additionally, the way stack dishes can cause water to pool and food remnants can be suspended in the water. Then as it dries they will be on the surface of your dishes. Place bowls facing downwards.

The shape of certain dishes can mean it’s impossible for the dishwasher to completely dry them because water will pool no matter how stack. For these unique dishes, you should wash them by hand.

4. Use the highest temperature setting your dishwasher has

Older Maytag dishwashers can only have one temperature setting. But, newer ones have a few different temperature settings. When it’s not cleaning properly, turn it up to the highest temperature setting.

5. Use liquid detergent instead of powdered detergent

Many people have reported that using liquid detergent leaves less residue than powdered detergent in some cases. Maytag also recommends to only use dishwasher detergent rather than regular household dishwashing detergent. Definitely worth a try.

6. Solving black marks – don’t stack aluminium against other things

Black marks can occur from aluminium crockery or utensils sitting against other dishes and utensils in your dishwasher during the wash cycle. Don’t stack them against anything else during the wash cycle. If it continues to be an issue, wash them by hand.

7. Use detergent designed for hard water – will eliminate white residue

Various dishwashing detergent brands make a hard water detergent. If you get white residue it’s generally caused by your water supply being hard. Use one of these dishwasher detergents instead of regular dishwasher detergent.

8. Put a cup of vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher to clean it

Before beginning the wash cycle pour a cup of vinegar of any type in the bottom of your dishwasher. During the cycle it will circulate around your dishwasher and clean it, as well as, as the pipes where the water exits the dishwasher.

Maytag recommends this, and many people reported this to work well. You only need to do it once or a few times to get the results.

On top of these suggestions, it’s helpful to try those mentioned by others if it’s still not working correctly. And if you try all of these solutions and it’s still not working then it’s best to have a repair technician take a look at it.

Maytag Dishwasher Not Cleaning Bottom Rack

Woman closing the dishwasher

In certain cases the dishes in the top rack can be cleaned, but the bottom rack doesn’t get cleaned or isn’t cleaned very well. To solve this issue, here’s what you should do.

Ensure the bottom spray arm isn’t obstructed by a utensil. Cleaning your dishwasher using Affresh® can also solve this issue and is recommended by Maytag. On top of that, you should check you have the right water pressure, and your dishwasher is on the highest temperature setting.

There can be a range of issues that are causing it, so it’s best to try all of the suggested solutions. I’ve provided step by step instructions at the top of this article. Do each of them to solve this issue.

Ignore any steps that aren’t relevant. For example, if you don’t get white residue, or black residue on your dishes.

Maytag Dishwasher Not Cleaning Top Rack

Arranging the plates in dishwasher

The top rack is where cups, bowls, and large utensils generally go. The bottom rack can clean satisfactorily but the top rack can not clean at all. For this issue you here’s how to get the top rack to clean properly.

It is caused by the spray arm being obstructed, the dishwasher being dirty, the water temperature being too low, or the water pressure being too low. A Maytag dishwasher should be cleaned monthly using affresh® tablets. Ensure nothing is blocking the spray arm from spinning.

For the water pressure, and temperature as well as, other recommended steps to take can be found at the top of this article. Where I explain step by step how to apply each of the fixes.

They are all easy and straightforward. So run through each of them to see if it solves the issue. And if none of them work, then it’s best to get a repair technician to repair it for you.