What To Do When Your Whirlpool Dishwasher Is Not Cleaning

By Cory White
What To Do When Your Whirlpool Dishwasher Is Not Cleaning

Your dishwasher has refused to do the one thing you bought it for. It refuses to clean the dishes, and you begin to lament how expensive it is to purchase another one.  Do not fret. A dishwasher not cleaning is one of the everyday situations that happen, and we’ve got you covered. A whirlpool dishwasher that does not clean is often a pointer to some underlying issues.  We’ve highlighted a couple of things to look out for when your Whirlpool dishwasher does not clean. We’ve also provided easy solutions to these issues

Why won’t the Whirlpool dishwasher clean?

As mentioned in the introduction, your Whirlpool dishwasher not cleaning is often a pointer to some things that might be wrong with it.

Sometimes, it could be that your dishwasher is not getting enough water supply to clean the dishes. 

Your dishwasher not cleaning could also mean that a specific part is clogged with food particles or other items. It could also be from a broken part of the dishwasher. 

Whatever the issue is, there are easy fixes to solve the problem and get your dishwasher to start working correctly again. 

Door problems

Sometimes, your Whirlpool dishwasher is not cleaning your dishes because the door is not correctly closed. 

The dishwasher has been programmed not to start with the door open to avoid kitchen hazards and accidents. Open and close the door to solve this problem.

It could be that something inside the dishwasher prevents the door from closing correctly. Check that your racks are perfectly arranged. Also, do not overload the racks with dishes. 

It could also be a problem with the door latch; you can order a replacement for a faulty latch. 

Faulty Water Inlet Valve

A faulty water inlet valve is another reason why your dishwasher doesn’t clean your dishes. Water gets into the dishwasher through the water inlet valve. When there is a problem with the valve, there is no supply of water to the dishwasher..

 A faulty water inlet valve may sometimes produce strange noises as the dishwasher runs. 

The valve can either be clogged or spoiled. While attempting to inspect it, be sure to halt the power and water supply to the dishwasher.

Also, if the inlet valve is spoiled, it’s best to order a replacement rather than attempt to repair it. 

Malfunctioning Wash Arm

The wash arms have holes that release the correct water pressure into the dishwasher. When these holes get clogged, the dishwasher cannot properly wash the dishes. 

When your Whirlpool dishwasher does not clean your dishes properly, inspect all the wash arms for any clog. The wash arms can get clogged easily from food particles. 

However, there is still no need to pre-rinse your dishes before washing. Just make sure to clear out the big particles and non-food items. 

You can also clean the wash arms monthly with vinegar for easy maintenance. 

Broken Wash Arm

A broken wash arm is another reason why your Whirlpool dishwasher may not clean your dishes.

If your dishes are not arranged correctly, they can fall during a cycle and hurt other parts of your dishwasher. 

You can order a replacement for a broken wash arm. To access the wash arms, you need to take out the bottom dish rack.

Rotate the wash arm in its opposite directions to remove it. Replace it with a new one and install it by rotating it.

After installation, ensure that the arms move freely to ensure that the dishwasher works correctly. 

Impeller Problem

The impeller could also be another reason why your dishwasher is not cleaning your dishes correctly. 

The impeller is controlled by the motor and pump assembly. It supplies enough pressure for the wash arms to provide enough water to the dishwasher. However, if the impeller is faulty, it has to be replaced. 

Sometimes, you may only need to purchase the impeller alone. Other models require you to purchase it along with the pump and motor assembly. Hence, while ordering a replacement, be sure to input the correct model number of your dishwasher. 

Defective Circulation Pump

A defective pump prevents the circulation of water from cleaning your dishes. The circulation pump is connected to the impeller and the motor. 

Before inspecting the circulation pump, halt the power supply to the dishwasher. Remove the dishwasher from the kitchen cabinet and open the lower access panel. 

Find the motor and separate it from the pump. Unscrew and remove the screws or hoses connected to the pump and bring it out. 

Check if electricity runs through the pump using a multimeter. 

If this process is a bit complex, it’s okay to reach out to an experienced technician for help. 

Tools Needed

To follow through with these steps, you need some tools.

You need a multimeter or any device that checks if electricity is passing through a particular part of the dishwasher. 

You also need pliers and screwdrivers to unscrew and screw some dishwasher parts. 

You can use cleaning tools such as vinegar, toothbrushes, soft sponges, and others for issues that require basic cleaning. 

Sometimes, the fix might require you to order new replacements for faulty parts. Ensure you indicate your model number at any point in making a new purchase for the dishwasher. 

Some tips

We run into many problems with our dishwashers because we do not maintain them well. The secret to a long-lasting dishwasher is regular maintenance.

Periodically inspect the part of your appliance for debris. Clean your wash arms monthly. Wash the filter with some warm and soapy water regularly. 

Look out for any damaged parts and order replacements for these parts, if need be. 

Also, when carrying out any of these inspections or troubleshooting, halt the water and power supply to the dishwasher. 

Please pay attention to strange noises coming from the dishwasher when in use, as these may be pointers that something is wrong with it. 

Seeking professional help

It’s okay if you feel stuck or overwhelmed by these DIYs. Not all of us are huge fans of DIY procedures, and that’s fine. You can always reach out to any experienced technician to help you out. 

Take note of your model number if more information is needed about the dishwasher. 

You can also go through your user manual for more specific troubleshooting information. 

Reach out to a professional in your local area or request support from your dishwasher’s manufacturer. You might get some help for little or no cost at all. 


Your dishwasher not cleaning your dishes can be such a headache for anyone. That’s the sole reason you purchased it, and now, it has refused to perform its essential functions. 

This troubleshooting guide helps you figure out what might be wrong with your Whirlpool dishwasher and why it is not cleaning. 

The problem may be with your circulation pump, the wash arms, or other parts. It also provides you with easy fixes to solve the problem, together with some maintenance tips. 

Try out any of these steps, and be sure to reach out to an experienced technician for more professional assistance.

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