People invest in a dishwasher to simplify their daily lives. Generally, the idea is that you load it with dirty dishes, which later come out perfectly clean. So, if your LG dishwasher leaves stains, residue, or grease on your kitchenware, it’s not doing its job.
Your LG dishwasher fails to clean the dishes if there’s a faulty water inlet valve, problematic wash arms, or a failed circulation pump. These problems will prevent the dishwasher from getting the water it needs to clean your dishes correctly. Besides, a dirty filter full of food bits can also cause clean dishes to get dirty again before the cycle ends.
Don’t worry about having to go back to hand washing your dishes. This guide will walk you through the likely causes behind this problem and how you can correct them yourself.
Why Is My LG Dishwasher Not Cleaning Dishes?
If your kitchenware comes out of your LG dishwasher less than perfectly clean, here are the reasons why that’s happening and what you can do to correct them:
Faulty Water Inlet Valve
About this: One of the most critical components of your LG dishwasher is the water inlet valve. That machine part is connected directly to your household’s water supply and is an electrically-controlled mechanical water valve.
It’ll open when you start a new cycle to let water flow into the dishwasher’s compartment. Once there’s enough water, the valve will shut to prevent the machine from overflowing.
What’s happening: A common reason an LG dishwasher will stop cleaning dishes is a fault in the water inlet valve. Remember: the valve must be able to open and close when necessary and at the right moments.
A faulty water inlet valve can get stuck in any position between being completely open or closed.
In this case, what’s happening is that the valve fails to open completely. As a result, it can’t let enough water into the machine.
Without enough clean water, the dishwasher’s spray arms can’t spray away all the food bits and grease on each plate inside. Even the detergent you’re using won’t work if the water inlet valve doesn’t let enough water in to dilute it to the correct levels.
How to correct it: Firstly, you have to take the water inlet valve out so you can inspect it closely. Then, suppose a foreign object or a dirt buildup prevents it from opening and closing correctly. In that case, you can clean them away and solve the problem.
Unfortunately, if the valve is malfunctioning, you must purchase a replacement part.
Connect with an Appliance Repair Tech
Click here to use the chatbox to speak with one of our technicians.
No in-home service calls. No appointments.
Clogged or Damaged Wash Arms
About this: When you look inside your LG dishwasher, you’ll find at least two spinning wash arms. Typically, there’s one in the middle and another at the bottom.
These wash arms do the bulk of the cleaning inside the dishwasher. That’s because several holes or jets along each wash arm spray water toward your plates, cups, and other kitchenware in the machine.
Doing that ensures that the high-pressure water jets can hit all the food debris and stains on your kitchenware from multiple angles, leaving them clean by the end of the cycle.
What’s happening: Another reason your LG dishwasher isn’t cleaning the dishes inside is that there’s something wrong with the wash arms.
The holes on those arms are likely clogged with food debris and other impurities from the water, or the arms are damaged as a whole.
Clogs and damage can prevent the wash arms from spraying your dishes clean, leaving them dirty when you pull them out later.
How to correct it: Firstly, remember that the wash arms in your LG dishwasher are removable. So you’ll want to take them out so you can inspect them closely for clogs and damage.
Clogs are pretty straightforward to clean. You can use a toothpick to remove debris from each hole so water can spray out normally.
However, any cracks or breaks will cause the wash arm to leak and reduce the water pressure. So, you must replace it with a new wash arm.
About this: Modern dishwashers are designed to be efficient, especially when using water. After taking in clean water through the inlet valve (discussed earlier), the machine will recycle that water one or more times throughout the washing cycle.
Of course, that water needs to be cleaned before it can be used to wash your kitchenware. That’s why there’s a filter at the bottom of the dishwasher compartment. This filter catches food debris and other impurities before that water is recycled and sprayed onto your plates.
What’s happening: Naturally, the filter in your LG dishwasher will get dirty with extended use. If it’s not cleaned regularly, some of the impurities in the water will get through the filter and eventually get sprayed back onto your kitchenware.
That’s enough to leave your dishes dirty at the end of the cycle.
How to correct it: You can solve this problem within minutes just by removing the filter from the bottom of the dishwasher and cleaning it.
Then, you can prevent this problem from ever happening again by washing that filter at least once every 6 months.
Faulty Circulation Pump
About this: Earlier, you read how your LG dishwasher sprays water from its wash arms to clean your dishes. The component responsible for making that happen is called the circulation pump.
As you can tell by the name, that pump circulates water to the spray arms at a high-enough pressure to remove stains and food bits from your dishes.
What’s happening: This circulation pump can also be another reason your LG dishwasher isn’t cleaning your dishes. That will typically occur because the pump has experienced an electrical fault like a short circuit or internal damage from a power surge.
Besides that, the circulation pump could have also worn itself out. But, of course, that’s only a likely cause if your dishwasher has been in use for many years.
Whatever the cause, a faulty or failed circulation pump will prevent the spray arms from cleaning your dishes.
How to correct it: Unfortunately, the circulation pump is a perfect example of a component that’s not repairable or serviceable.
So, if you can confirm that the pump is to blame, you’ll have to put a new pump in its place.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
You’ll probably have a few more questions as you troubleshoot your LG dishwasher. So here are some questions and answers to help you through the process:
Why Is My Dishwasher Leaving A Film On My Dishes?
Finding a thin film on your dishes or glassware after a dishwashing cycle typically means those items weren’t washed correctly. For example, the dishwasher failed to remove all the grease and stains from the dishes, or the water was too cold for washing.
How Do You Clean A Dishwasher Filter?
You can clean the LG dishwasher filter by removing it from the unit and emptying any trapped food bits into the trash. Then, you should wash the filter in your sink with regular dishwashing soap to remove any grime and odors stuck on the filter.
Do Dishwashers Rinse With Clean Water?
Yes, a dishwasher starts off by rinsing with clean water. However, it will also filter and recycle that same water to continue the cleaning cycle.
What Is The Best Way To Clean And Deodorize A Dishwasher?
You can remove odors from your dishwasher by running a cycle using dishwasher detergent. Be sure to keep the machine empty during that cycle and open the door afterwards, so all the moisture inside is dried thoroughly.
Why Does My Dishwasher Have A Bad Odor?
Your dishwasher has a foul odor because of trapped food particles and grease inside the compartment. The longer those things stay in the machine, the worse the odor will become.