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Why Is My LG Dishwasher Not Cleaning Dishes Well?

LG dishwasher not cleaning

Don’t let poor dishwasher performance leave you hand-washing every dish at the sink. Why is my LG dishwasher not cleaning dishes well? The interior, spray arms, and filter may need a cleaning. Use these LG dishwasher troubleshooting tips to pinpoint the right DIY solution for cleaner dishes.

LG Dishwasher Not Cleaning Dishes? Check These 4 Common Causes.

While part malfunctions could be possible, usually a simple change to your use and care can fix an LG dishwasher not cleaning dishes. From loading best practices to detergent use, here’s what you can do when your LG dishwasher leaves dishes dirty.

1. Dirty Dishes Not Loaded Properly

Improper loading is one of the most common causes for an LG dishwasher not cleaning dishes sufficiently. Overcrowding or using the racks incorrectly prevents water and detergent from reaching every item. Is your LG dishwasher not cleaning top rack items sufficiently? A protruding object may be blocking the spray arm, leaving bowls and glassware dirty.

Use these dishwasher loading tips to improve performance:

  • Avoid overloading: Make sure there’s adequate space between each item so that air, water, and detergent can circulate.
  • Place larger items correctly in the bottom rack: Load tall items, like platters and trays, around the perimeter to avoid blocking the spray arms.
  • Position glassware properly in the top rack: Secure glassware between the tines so items don’t move during washing and hang below the rack. 
  • Check the spray arms: Before starting a wash cycle, rotate the spray arms by hand to make sure they can move freely without obstructions.

2. Dishwasher Needs to Be Cleaned

Without regular cleanings, food particles, mold and mildew can quickly accumulate in the dishwasher’s warm, moist environment. These remnants can cause spray arm or filter obstructions that leave dishes dirty. Most dishwasher cleaning tips recommend monthly cleanings to remove lingering food particles and keep mold and mildew at bay.


Here’s how to clean LG dishwasher filter, spray arms, and tub:


  • Remove the filter by turning it counterclockwise.
  • Rinse both the main and mesh filters separately under running water, scrubbing them gently with a soft sponge.
  • Replace the mesh filter and turn the main filter clockwise to secure it in place.

Spray arms:

  • Remove the upper and lower spray arms.
  • Rinse both under running water. Use a non-abrasive sponge to scrub away mold or mildew.
  • Use a toothpick or straightened paper clip to unclog spray armholes.
  • Replace both arms.


  • Pour 7-10oz of white vinegar in a bowl and place it in the upper rack of the empty dishwasher.
  • Run the “Auto” cycle to completion with hot water and no detergent.
  • Repeat with a second “Auto” cycle.

3. Dishwasher Detergent Issue

While detergent is key for getting dishes clean, improper usage or dispenser malfunctions can leave them dirty.


Assess your detergent usage with these tips:

  • Add the right amounts: Too little detergent will leave dishes dirty while your LG dishwasher leaves residue on dishes if too much is used. Refer to the detergent package instructions to determine the right amount for your wash load.
  • Use a high-quality detergent: Try using a detergent that contains a degreaser and pre-treatment for cleaner dishes. Always store detergent in a cool, dry place and use it within three months of purchase for best results.
  • Check the dispenser: Make sure the dispenser is opening completely so that detergent can adequately dispense at the right time. If the dispenser is broken, it requires replacement.

4. Water Supply Problem

If you still find your LG dishwasher not cleaning dishes well, a water supply problem could be to blame. Without adequate and consistent access to hot water, the dishwasher won’t clean sufficiently.

Here’s how to check the dishwasher’s water supply:

  • Confirm water pressure: The dishwasher’s water inlet valve requires 20-120 PSI of pressure to open and close, providing the dishwasher with water from your home supply. Without adequate pressure, the valve may not open enough to allow for sufficient water to the dishwasher. If the pressure in your kitchen sink is also low, you may need to have your home’s water pressure professionally assessed.
  • Check the water inlet valve: If the valve has adequate pressure but still doesn’t open, the dishwasher won’t have access to water. A faulty water inlet valve must be replaced by a professional dishwasher repair service.
  • Inspect the spray arms: An LG dishwasher not spraying water may have a cracked or clogged spray arm. If the spray arm shows visible damage or has a blockage that can’t be removed, it must be replaced.
  • Assess water temperature: For best results, the dishwasher’s water temperature should be at or around 120℉. Try running the hot water in the kitchen sink before starting a wash cycle so it’s more readily available. If the water temperature is still too low, it may need to be adjusted via your home’s water heater.

The team at Lake Appliance Repair can help if your LG dishwasher still isn’t cleaning as it should. Schedule your expert service today!


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