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dacor dishwasher not getting dishes clean

Why Is My Dacor Dishwasher Not Getting Dishes Clean?

Is your Dacor dishwasher leaving food particles or white residue on your dishes after running a cycle? Don’t worry, this can be a common problem, even for high-end models. The good news is that a Dacor dishwasher not getting dishes clean can usually be diagnosed and fixed quickly by following a few simple tips.

Dacor Dishwasher Not Getting Dishes Clean?
Here’s What to Check…

White spots and stuck-on food residue are often caused by improper use or lack of maintenance. In some cases, the problem may not even be with your dishwasher. Start by making sure that the water supply is working as it should.

Water Supply Issues

Your dishwasher needs to have a steady flow of hot water in order to function and clean properly. You’ll need to make sure that it’s getting what it needs to leave dishes sparkling like new.

Temperature Too Low
The water coming into your dishwasher needs to reach at least 120°F in order to remove stubborn bits of food. Try running your kitchen sink as hot as it can go, then pour some in a glass and test it with a thermometer. If it’s not hot enough, try gradually turning up your home’s water heater.

Hard Water
A Dacor dishwasher leaving white residue on dishes may be due to hard water. Try adding some white vinegar in a bowl on the top rack to act as an additional rinse aid. If that doesn’t work, try adding rinse aid to your dishwasher which should aid in reducing white spots on clean dishes. If all else fails, you may need to add a home water softener.

Not Getting Enough Water
Test your water supply by running a cycle, then open the door when you hear the dishwasher stop filling. If the wash basin is not full, you may have a defective inlet valve which should be replaced by a professional.

dacor dishwasher leaves dishes dirty
Photo Credit: Thrifty and Chic


Improper Use

Not following the manufacturer’s guidelines is the most common cause of a Dacor dishwasher not getting dishes clean. Here’s what you may be doing wrong.

Detergent and Rinse Aid
Using the wrong type or incorrect amount of detergent can result in poor cleaning performance. In fact, using too much dish soap over time can even cause dishwasher leaking issues that can do real damage to your kitchen floor.

To solve both issues, we recommend using Finish detergent tablets. They provide the perfect amount of soap along with great cleaning results in one convenient package.

If your dishes are dull and covered in film, you may benefit from a rinse aid. Rinse aids use non-ionic surfactants to prevent condensation, which encourages fast drying, while polymers leave the dishes shining. Only ¼ of Americans use rinse aid, but rinse aid could resolve many of the most common dishwasher complaints including spotting and leftover food particles.

Use the Right Cycle
Your Dacor dishwasher offers several useful cycle options that can be selected from the control panel. If you’re washing heavily-soiled plates, pots or pans, make sure to choose the Heavy cycle setting.

Loading Dishes Correctly
Be sure not to jam as many dishes as you can into a single load. Evenly space cups and bowls on the top rack facing down at an angle toward the spray arm. Utilize the rack adjusters if needed to make more room on top or bottom.

Space large dishes and larger cookware evenly on the bottom rack, also facing down toward the lower spray arm. Spoons and forks should be facing up in the silverware rack, while sharper utensils should always face down. Most importantly, make sure that nothing is blocking either spray arm from spinning freely.

dacor dishwasher not cleaning

Detergent and Pre-Rinsing

As we all know, water and oil do not mix. So while water is effective at cleaning most substances, oil-based substances are particularly resistant to water-based cleaning. Soap or detergent acts as an emulsifier, which enables the oil-based substance to mix with the water.

Detergents have several active chemicals:

  • Alkalies regulate pH levels which encourage food particles to swell and become removed more easily.
  • Builders regulate water hardness to prevent limescale buildup.
  • Enzymes, similar to those found in the digestive process, are used to break down starch and protein into water-soluble particles.
  • Bleach may be included to oxidize certain hard soils like coffee stains.

These active chemicals are why pre-rising your dirty dishes is no longer necessary. In fact, modern detergents work better when there’s some leftover food on your dishes. Just be sure to scrape off any large food chunks before loading so as to not clog your filter, and you’re good to go!

Choosing a Detergent

The Finish brand gel and powder options offer the basic properties necessary in a detergent: breaking down hard food and removing grease (as well as a bleach additive to fight stains). However, customers often find these options messy and prefer to use “monodose” options requiring a single tab rather than an individual measurement.

Traditionally, all detergents came in powder form. Stored under the kitchen sink, these powders would absorb moisture and clump. Typically, the user would then break these clumps and continue to use the detergent. However, moisture activates the cleaning agent, so once it was exposed to water, the detergent was essentially just a weak filler material. As a result, people complained that powder produced poor results, even leaving detergent on the dishes.

For this reason, many users prefer to use gel-based detergents and are very skeptical of the efficacy of powder-based detergents. Yet, as a liquid, gel can only contain either enzymes or bleach, not both, as bleach will kill enzymes.

dishwasher gel

Finish gel products are among the few that favors enzymes over bleach. Finish All-in-1 Gel Pacs introduces pre-soakers to break down tough food particles and a rinse aid to reduce spotting, but removes the bleach additive. We strongly encourage gel users to switch to monodose powder-based options, as these are protected from ambient moisture and use both enzymes and bleach.

Dishwaher not cleaning well

Finish All-in-1 Powerball
Tabs are a powder-based brick individually packaged to prevent moisture exposure. The red Powerball in the center is filled with enzymes that release under low heat at the beginning of the wash cycle to give a tough cleaning. The white area is primarily bleach-based and activates toward the end of the wash cycle. A rinse aid is included.

improve dishwasher cleaning

Finish Quantum Max has no wrapper, but instead uses a water-soluble protective coating to divide an enzyme-based gel, bleach-based powder, and Powerball. The coating will break down in the wash and produce additional surfactants to help with the drying cycle. This product also uses additional polymers to neutralize the corrosion that causes permanent clouding on glass.

Dishwasher Is Dirty

When your dishwasher has experienced a visible build-up of limescale, it is a good idea to run an empty load with dishwasher cleaner. Stainless steel tub dishwashers are particularly noticeable when buildup has occurred, but you should always monitor the spray arms and drainage for mineral buildup, as this may affect overall dishwasher performance. 

Finish Dishwasher Cleaner uses a citric acid base which is very effective on cutting buildup and eliminating odors. Learn more about dishwasher cleaning here.

Glass Etching

If your glassware is coming out especially cloudy, the problem could be due to glass etching. Unlike cloudiness from hard water that can be removed with a mild acid like vinegar, cloudiness from etching cannot be removed or reversed. 

The most common causes of glass etching include:

  • Soft water
  • Water temperature too high
  • Using the wrong detergent
  • Using too much detergent

If you find that your glassware is getting etched in the dishwasher, start by checking the hot water temperature which should be 140°F for the best cleaning performance. Also, try using less detergent and/or switching to a phosphate-free soft water detergent.

Part Failures

If you’ve followed these tips but still have a Dacor dishwasher not getting dishes clean, don’t waste time and water hand washing dishes. You may just have a faulty part on your hands. The usual suspects include clogged or broken spray arms, clogged inlet valves, or even faulty detergent dispensers.

While it’s possible for a handy DIYer to fix these problems themselves, we recommend professional service for all high-end dishwasher repairs. Give Cody’s Appliance Repair a call today for the area’s fastest, most dependable Dacor service and repair in Boise.

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