So you've filled your dishwasher as usual, added the usual doses of dishwasher products and started your machine. However, when you come back, your washing up is dirty, your plates still have white or brown marks on them, the remains of your meal from the night before and your glasses are streaky. We'll tell you just why your dishwasher isn't working properly and why it's not washing properly or at all.
THE POSSIBLE CAUSES FOR THIS FAULT:
Before you do anything to your appliance, make sure you disconnect it from the power supply.
There is a risk of electric shock.
If you have loaded your dishwasher badly, so that the plates are squeezed in right next to each other and the plates are touching the glasses and so on, you will definitely find bits still stuck to them. We advise you to follow the manufacturer's instructions for how to use your dishwasher properly. The instructions should tell you in the first few pages of the manual how to load the plates and everything else into your dishwasher properly.
Silver cutlery should never be mixed with other cutlery. If you wash it all at the same time when it isn't the same material, your silverware will turn black and it could also have greyish marks on it. We advise you to wash it separately or to put all your silverware into a special container for silverware.
Cutlery is made of stainless steel but for knives to be able to cut when you use them, the cutting edge is never covered in stainless steel and can therefore oxidise. When this occurs through the effects of electrolysis, it can contaminate other cutlery. You may potentially experience the same issue with the rivets that hold on the cutlery handles or the handles of pans. We advise you to try and work out which piece is rusty, and once you have, to remove it.
There are several dishwasher programmes available. To get the desired result, be careful about which programme you use. If you use a fast or eco programme for example, they won't reach a very high temperature. If you have more stubborn stains, this might cause an issue with the quality of the wash. We advise you to select programmes of at least 1.30 hours and over 55° if you have greasy washing up.
Some marks and objects ought to be avoided when loading your dishwasher. Traces of lipstick and mustard will dry and won't disappear even after a high temperature wash. Take care when putting ash trays in your dishwasher; we would advise you rinse them thoroughly with water first. If they still have any ash in them, it is likely to scratch a lot of your washing up because it is abrasive.
Dishwasher filters prevent impurities from circulating around during a wash. If these filters are dirty or obstructed, the water won't circulate properly and will carry impurities around which will then stick to your washing up. We advise you to clean the filter after each wash and finer filters at least once a week. If the filters are too worn out they won't work properly even with cleaning, and you should replace them.
Spray arms spray out water while spinning. If they are obstructed or cracked, the pressure will drop and your washing up cannot be washed properly.
The detergent you use has a major effect on the wash quality of your dishwasher. You should avoid using gel-type products because they leave white traces on the back of the door and on the dishwasher. All-in-one products have been specially designed to work only with specific programmes. We advise you to opt for tablets or traditional powder instead. If you can, try not to use lower quality products. You should also be careful when using environmentally friendly detergents as they can also cause issues with the wash quality.
Rinse aid is used to rinse off water and detritus and also helps to dry your washing up. If you don't add any rinse aid, your dishwasher is likely to not dry things as well and you may end up with dirt encrusted on your washing up. We advise you to use the same brand of rinse aid as detergent.
Salt is for cleaning the resin during the regeneration cycle. If you don't add any salt, the resin will get saturated with limescale and you will get white marks on all your washing up as well as on the walls of your dishwasher.
Please note that 3-in-1 tablets do not replace salt.
The detergent dispenser is used to release or circulate products at a given time in a cycle. If the dispenser is faulty, the product or products will not get released at the right time. It can even happen that these products do not get released at all.
If your water supply is too soft (water hardness of between 0 et 15°Th), it will turn acid and ruin your glasses and cutlery. Detergents and rinse aid will turn to foam and you will get whitish detergent marks on your washing up. We advise you to turn down the settings of your water softener to the minimum. Consult your dishwasher's instruction manual for this.
The heating element heats up the water in your dishwasher. If this is defective, the water won't heat up and you will have issues with the wash quality such as getting a white pasty substance and detritus stuck to your washing up. If, when you open the door at the end of the cycle, the appliance doesn't give off any heat, there's a strong chance that the heating element is faulty. You can test the heating element using a multimeter set to ohmmeter mode. Unplug the connectors from the heating element and put both of the tester's contacts on the terminals. The heating element is located behind the access cover on the underside of your dishwasher. We advise you to use gloves because the edges can be sharp. If the heating element doesn't show continuity, you will need to replace it. You can either replace it yourself or call on the services of a manufacturer-certified technician.
Your dishwasher's temperature sensor checks the water temperature. If the sensor is defective, it won't heat up properly or may not heat up at all. If this is the case, you will get a bad wash quality. If the sensor is faulty, it must be replaced.
The water softener softens the water in your system with the help of resin. If it is clogged up with limescale because you forgot to add the salt, add salt so that the resin regenerates (you need to wait several cycles for it to work again) or if you made a mistake and put detergent in it instead of salt, you will have to replace the softener. Please note that you should never put detergent in the salt container, because it will cause irreversible damage to the softener.
The water distributor supplies the salt for cleaning the resin and filling the inside of your dishwasher. If it is clogged up with limescale, it will no longer allow the resin to clean and will create white marks on your washing up.
The softener's solenoid valve allows your appliance to regenerate the resin that supplies your dishwasher with soft water. If it is faulty, the dishwasher salt will not get used up any more and will create white marks on your washing up.
The wash pump (also called the cycling pump) supplies water under pressure to the spray arms. If it is partially clogged by dirt, it will no longer be able to spin properly and your washing up won't be properly washed.
The spray arm inverter is used to vary the water pressure in certain dishwashers, either for the top or bottom spray arm. If the spray arm inverter is defective, your appliance will only wash the top half or the bottom half of the load in the dishwasher.