Making Your Dishwasher Run Like New

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard people complain, “My dishwasher doesn’t work like it used to,” or “my dishes don’t always come out clean.”


Many times the problem is something you, or your husband can fix.

When is the last time you really looked in your dishwasher?

Spray Arms

First, take a look at the spray arms in your dishwasher. Are the holes clogged? Those spray arms send out high pressure water to clean your dishes. If the holes are clogged, it won’t function as well.


If they are clogged, refer to your manufacturer instructions on how to remove the arms. Usually, the top just requires a ratchet. The bottom one usually twists off counter clockwise, but every model differs. Sometimes there is a screw. This is a good husband project, but if you are inclined to take things apart yourself (as I like to do from time to time), it really isn’t that difficult.

Once they are removed, rinse the holes, clean with a pipe cleaner if stubborn clogs remain. Make sure water runs freely through the holes. Now, reassemble.


Next, check any removable filters. You want to keep those clean, otherwise you are cycling grit in the dishwasher.

Dishwasher filter


Wipe down the seals of your dishwasher. I never even noticed this grossness. A good sponge and cleaner should do the trick. (I used 409.) This won’t affect the way the dishwasher works, but it might as well be done while you are in there.

The Trick

Take a glass and fill it with 8 oz of Apple cider vinegar. Sprinkle (heavily) the inside of your dishwasher with baking soda or washing soda. (You should always keep baking soda and washing soda on hand. See my must have cleaning supply list.) Place your filter parts on the top shelf. Make sure there are no other dishes. Run the dishwasher on the hottest, longest cycle.

When finished, reassemble your filters, and go back to a dishwasher that actually cleans your dishes.

Final Tips

May I also suggest not buying bargain detergent. Ladies, this is not something to skimp on. The bargain brand is usually not as good as breaking up grime. I recommend Finish or Cascade.

Also, a drying agent is always a good way to keep your dishes from spotting. If you don’t want to spend the money on that, vinegar works just as well. Dont worry, it wont smell vinegar-y. It releases such a small amount.

If this doesn’t work, please find a professional. That means something is wrong.

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