Why Is My Samsung Dishwasher Not Cleaning The Dishes Properly?

Why Is My Samsung Dishwasher Not Cleaning The Dishes Properly?
Table of Contents

Broaden your understanding of dishwasher repairs with insightful resources like
15 Common Samsung Dishwasher Issues and How to Resolve Them
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Samsung Dishwasher Leaking? 8 Common Causes & Repairs

1. Obstructed Spray Arms

If your Samsung dishwasher isn’t cleaning dishes properly, obstructed spray arms might be the culprit. Here’s how to address it:

  • Remove the lower and upper racks to access the spray arms.
  • Inspect each arm for debris like food particles or mineral deposits.
  • Clean the nozzles and holes with a soft toothbrush or toothpick.
  • Ensure no large items obstruct the spray arms’ rotation during operation.

2. Inadequate Water Supply

Inadequate water supply can hinder your Samsung dishwasher’s cleaning performance, leaving dishes dirty and cloudy. Here are the key points to address this issue:

  • Check for a clogged or partially blocked inlet valve, which can restrict water flow into the dishwasher.
  • Clean or replace the inlet valve using recommended tools for dishwasher troubleshooting.
  • Inspect and potentially replace the malfunctioning float switch, which monitors water level and controls inflow.
  • Ensure the knockout plug in a newly installed garbage disposal unit is removed to prevent drainage issues.

Addressing water supply problems and practicing proper maintenance can enhance your Samsung dishwasher’s efficiency for sparkling-clean dishes.

3. Dirty or Blocked Filters

One common reason for a Samsung dishwasher not cleaning dishes effectively is dirty or blocked filters. Here’s what to do:

  • Locate the filters inside your dishwasher; refer to the appliance manual for their placement.
  • Remove the filters as per the manufacturer’s instructions and inspect them for dirt or blockages.
  • If dirty, rinse the filters under running water and gently scrub with a soft brush to remove residue.
  • Avoid using harsh cleansers to prevent damage.
  • If filters are damaged or worn out, replace them with genuine Samsung dishwasher filters for optimal performance.

4. Incorrect Loading of Dishes

Improper loading of dishes can severely impact the performance of your Samsung dishwasher. To ensure efficient cleaning:

  • Avoid overcrowding the dishwasher, as this can obstruct spray arms and hinder water circulation.
  • Follow manufacturer’s guidelines on load capacity and spacing between items to allow adequate water flow.
  • Position items correctly to ensure water reaches all surfaces; angle large pots and pans for optimal water flow.
  • Don’t nest bowls or plates too closely together; maintain spacing to promote proper water penetration.
  • Angle utensils downward to ensure thorough cleaning of concave surfaces.
  • Secure fragile glassware on the top rack with ample space between each piece to prevent breakage.
  • Proper loading not only improves cleaning but also protects delicate items from damage.

5. Faulty Detergent Dispenser

Effective cleaning in a Samsung dishwasher relies on a properly functioning detergent dispenser. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Issue Identification: A faulty detergent dispenser can lead to poor cleaning performance by failing to release detergent at the right time during the wash cycle, resulting in residue on dishes.

DIY Repair Steps:

  • Check for debris obstructing the dispenser door mechanism and clean it thoroughly using a mild dish soap solution and a soft brush.
  • Ensure filters are not clogged, as this can restrict water flow and affect detergent release. Regularly inspect and clean filters according to the dishwasher manual’s instructions.

Importance of Maintenance:

  • Addressing faulty detergent dispensers and cleaning filters regularly helps maintain optimal performance.
  • These simple maintenance tasks are crucial for improving overall dishwasher performance and preventing common issues related to detergent dispensing.

6. Hard Water Buildup

Hard water buildup can hinder a Samsung dishwasher’s cleaning efficiency due to mineral deposits on various parts. Here’s how to address it:

  • Regularly clean the spray arms to remove mineral deposits and debris.
  • Use a thin wire or toothpick to clear blockages in the spray arm holes.
  • Remove hard water deposits from other components by soaking them in a mixture of white vinegar and warm water.
  • Scrub away remaining deposits with a soft brush or sponge.
  • Consider preventative measures like using appropriate detergent or installing a water softener system.

Understanding and addressing common dishwasher issues like hard water buildup ensures optimal performance and longevity of your Samsung dishwasher.

7. Worn-out Spray Arm Bearings

When troubleshooting cleaning issues with your Samsung dishwasher, worn-out spray arm bearings could be to blame. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Symptoms: Look out for signs like uneven water distribution, residue on dishes, erratic arm movement, or complete immobilization.
  • Inspection: Check the spray arms for visible wear or damage on their bearings.
  • Repair: If bearings are worn or loose, replace them with new ones made for your Samsung model.
  • Maintenance: Regularly inspect and clean all dishwasher components to ensure optimal performance.

8. Low Water Temperature

Low water temperature can significantly impact the cleaning performance of a Samsung dishwasher. Here’s how to address this issue:

  • Ensure the dishwasher receives hot water around 120°F (49°C) for optimal cleaning.
  • Check for adequate hot water supply and ensure the dishwasher’s inlet valve is fully open.
  • Address any issues with the home’s hot water system, such as a malfunctioning heater or plumbing problems.
  • Clean or descale the heating element and internal components if hard water deposits are present.
  • Follow recommended maintenance practices outlined in Samsung’s guidelines, including regular filter cleaning and proper loading techniques.
  • Use recommended tools for troubleshooting and maintenance to prevent obstructions that hinder efficient water circulation.

By addressing these factors, you can maximize your Samsung dishwasher’s efficiency and cleaning performance.

9. Malfunctioning Pump or Motor

When dealing with poor cleaning performance in your Samsung dishwasher, issues with the pump or motor could be the culprit:

Pump Clogs: Debris or food particles can accumulate over time, clogging the pump inlet and outlet, reducing water flow and cleaning effectiveness.

  • Inspect pump inlet and outlet for visible obstructions.
  • Use appropriate tools to carefully remove debris.
  • Consider using dishwasher cleaning solutions to dissolve stubborn deposits.

Motor Wear: A worn-out motor may fail to rotate the spray arms adequately, leading to inefficient cleaning.

  • Check the dishwasher manual or DIY guides for instructions on motor replacement.
  • Maintain regular dishwasher maintenance to prevent motor issues.

Promptly addressing these issues and maintaining proper care can troubleshoot and prevent poor cleaning performance. Seek professional assistance if needed to ensure your dishwasher operates efficiently.

10. Expired or Old Detergent

Expired or old detergent can cause issues with a Samsung dishwasher’s cleaning performance. Here’s how to address it:

  • Check the expiration date of your detergent regularly and replace it if needed.
  • Store detergent in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and moisture to maintain its effectiveness.
  • If the dishwasher isn’t dispensing detergent properly, it could indicate a malfunctioning dispenser. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for troubleshooting or seek professional repair.

To prevent future problems:

  • Purchase detergents from reputable brands designed for dishwashers, like Samsung Appliance Care.
  • Store a limited amount of detergent to use before it expires.
  • Clean the dishwasher’s dispenser compartment regularly to remove residue buildup.

By following these tips and using fresh, effective detergents, you can ensure optimal cleaning performance from your Samsung dishwasher.

How To Prevent a Samsung Dishwasher From Not Cleaning

To ensure your Samsung dishwasher consistently delivers clean dishes, follow these maintenance tips:

  • Proper loading: Avoid overloading racks to allow for optimal water circulation and spray arm movement. Place larger items at the back and sides.
  • Check spray arms: Ensure there are no obstructions hindering their rotation. Refer to the manual or seek professional assistance if needed.
  • Maintain water supply: Regularly inspect for kinks or clogs in the water supply line. Clean the inlet valve screen to prevent water flow issues.
  • Clean filters: Regularly inspect and clean both the coarse and fine filters to prevent clogging. Rinse off food particles before reinstalling.
  • Address other factors: Consider hard water deposits or low water temperature and take appropriate measures to address them.

By following these steps, you can prevent common cleaning issues and maintain your Samsung dishwasher’s performance over time.


When faced with a Samsung dishwasher that is not cleaning the dishes properly, it is important to consider various factors that may contribute to this issue. Starting with the spray arms, ensure that they are not obstructed by any debris or food particles.

By addressing potential causes such as obstructions in spray arms or filters, malfunctioning detergent dispensers, improper loading techniques, or even hard water buildup, users can enhance their dishwasher’s cleaning capabilities and prevent future problems. With these troubleshooting tips and proper care, you can trust that your Samsung dishwasher will once again provide sparkling clean dishes, leaving you with a sense of satisfaction and efficiency in your kitchen routine.


How can I address spray arm issues in my Samsung dishwasher?

Ensure the spray arms are not obstructed by debris. Clean them and check for any clogs that may affect water flow, impacting cleaning performance.

What should I do if my Samsung dishwasher has low water temperature?

Verify that the water heater is set to an adequate temperature for optimal dishwasher performance. Low water temperature can compromise cleaning efficiency.

Why is proper loading of dishes important for a Samsung dishwasher?

Incorrectly loaded dishes can obstruct water spray and hinder cleaning. Follow the dishwasher’s loading guidelines to ensure efficient water circulation for thorough cleaning.

How can I prevent hard water buildup in my Samsung dishwasher?

Use a water softener or descaler regularly to minimize hard water deposits in the dishwasher, which can affect the efficiency of the cleaning process.

What steps can I take if the detergent dispenser in my Samsung dishwasher is faulty?

Check for any blockages or damage in the detergent dispenser. Using a fresh and suitable detergent also ensures optimal cleaning results.

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