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Poor cleaning in a dishwasher where the dishes are not properly cleaned


Residual food is left attached to the surface of cookware as seen in the examples shown above. These residues will be sticking to the surfaces rather than being baked on.

Please note that this can occur on crockery, pots, pans, utensils, in fact, just about any item.

This problem can be caused by some faults with your dishwasher but please check all the issues outlined below before assuming that there is a problem as, 90%+ the issue is caused by one of the reasons below.

Usually The Result Of:

  • Old or badly stored detergent
  • Redeposition of food due to dirty filters
  • Insufficient washing, too short or too cool a program selected
  • Poor quality detergent
  • Items not correctly stacked or placed in the dishwasher
  • Dishwasher spray arm/s obstructed or not clear
  • Fault with main recirculation motor or capacitor

Cause And Prevention


Where food is left on the items but is not baked onto pans or dishes it indicates poor cleaning performance in the dishwasher.

As above this is most often due to a user controllable problem such as, too cool or short a cycle used, poor quality detergent, blocked spray arm/s, obstructed spray arm/s or poor loading of the dishwasher etc.

The use of poor or an old detergent in your dishwasher will contribute to this issue considerably. We recommend the use of Fairy Active Bursts for performance.

There is the possibility that the recirculation pump is not pumping correctly meaning that the correct pressure of spray is not being delivered. This can be attributed to a blockage (something in the impeller housing normally), a faulty motor or a fault motor capacitor.


Rewash the item after checking the causes as detailed above. If the problem persists then you may require an engineer to repair the machine. With stubborn residues or stains it may be necessary to hand wash and use a pan scrub.


When washing heavily soiled items like this it is essential that you use the correct program. For the most part this will be the most severe cycle available, the longest and hottest program along with the use of a quality detergent.

Be mindful of the loading pattern for your dishwasher or overloading it, making sure that the water can reach all the items.

Make sure that the spray arms are clean, clear and free from any obstruction so that they can rotate freely.

Ensure that the filters are clear.

Remember that your dishwasher is not a waste disposal unit and heavily soiled plates etc. are not recommended to be placed in the dishwasher without being scraped or rinsed first.


  How You Can Get Help With Dishwasher Problems

To offer support in helping people to determine the cause of dishwasher problems please use the dishwasher support forum.

It’s fast, free, easy and normally someone will pick up on the post that can assist you often with a few experts chipping in if needed. Just register if you don’t have an account, we don’t mail you, send you spam or any of that stuff.

Post up your question and give images if you possibly can and the guys in the forums will do the rest for you and try to identify the problem you have.

Cost you nothing, might save you some embarrassment or worse, a charge for a service visit that wasn’t needed.

  Photographs Of Damage

If you can post photographs of the damage or problem you are having this can be really helpful in allowing the dishwasher technicians to see what the problem is.

The guys have the knowledge to assist with most problems but the more information you give them, the better they can help you.

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