Why Is My Samsung Dishwasher Not Cleaning? Reasons and Fixes

There are many reasons why your Samsung dishwasher isn’t cleaning. Like any other branded dishwasher, Samsung dishwashers are also prone to sometimes having faulty or damaged parts that make it tough to clean dishes as effectively as they’re meant to.

Dishwasher aside, there are also common technical issues in some Samsung home appliances that are not starting due to technical issues. With the necessary correct information on fixing these appliances, certain problems are addressed to a detail.

The good news is that these issues are quite fixable, too.

Lucky for you, we have a list of all the reasons possible why your Samsung dishwasher isn’t cleaning. Together with that and a list of all fixes, you should be all set.

Key Takeaways:

  • Poor water temperature is often the reason why your Samsung dishwasher does not clean properly
  • Installing a new inlet valve is a quick and easy fix to your dishwasher not cleaning
  • A factory reset may do wonders if you are not sure what the issue with your dishwasher is

Samsung Dishwashers

Samsung is a South Korean multinational electronics company that manufactures a wide range of consumer and industrial electronic devices, including home appliances. Some examples of Samsung home appliances include dryers, washing machines, ovens, refrigerators, and dishwashers. Samsung’s home appliances are known for their innovative features, such as smart technology integration and energy efficiency.

How Efficient Are Samsung Dishwashers

Samsung dishwashers are known for their energy efficiency. Most of their models have Energy Star ratings, which means they meet or exceed energy efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE). These ratings are based on the dishwasher’s performance in terms of energy consumption and water usage.

Samsung dishwashers also have features that can help to save energy, such as:

  • Adjustable water temperature
  • Water flow rate
  • Delay-start options
  • Auto-release door

The specific energy efficiency of a Samsung dishwasher model would vary based on the features of each individual model. It would be best to look at the energy guide or consult with the dealer/manufacturer or check the product page of the specific model you are interested in.

Samsung Dishwasher Isn’t Cleaning: Is This Common?

Generally, those times that a dishwasher isn’t cleaning (such as your Samsung dishwasher) properly is not uncommon in many households all over the world. But, it sure is a technical issue that brings undesirable results caused by many factors.

Some of these common causes include:

  • Blocked spray arms
  • Unkempt filters
  • Eventual buildup of tiny food particles and debris

Dishes that are loaded improperly or using the wrong type of detergent/cleaning soap or solution can also contribute to your Samsung dishwasher not cleaning dishes properly.

If this has been the case for you, it is recommended to check these potential causes and address them as soon as possible. If the problem persists, it may be necessary to call for professional service.

7 Reasons Why Samsung Dishwasher Is Not Cleaning Properly

There are multiple reasons for your dishwasher not acting as it’s supposed to. Here is a list of all the reasons this could be happening.

1. Water Supply Problem

When troubleshooting for the Samsung dishwasher, the first thing you should look for is a water supply problem. There are different ways you can find out if there is a water supply problem you should be made aware of. Here’s a list.

  1. Low Water Temperature: If your home heater isn’t set to the recommended 120 degrees fahrenheit, make sure you adjust it to that immediately. This will ensure optimal performance
  2. Insufficient Water Pressure: If the water pressure is low, it can automatically be categorized into a water supply problem. This will require professional attention and care.
  3. Reduced Water Supply: Lack of water in the dishwasher can be associated with a faulty inlet valve. This type of valve expands and constricts to let water in and out of the dishwasher. If it is damaged, it will need to be replaced.

2. Issue with Usage

If you are not loading your dishwasher right or if the settings are off, there may be an issue with the Samsung dishwasher not cleaning the bottom rack, for example. If you read the user manual, it will likely have suggestions on how to place the dishes in a certain way for optimal performance by the dishwasher.

3. Stuck on Food

If you’re prone to pre-rinsing your dishes before you put them into the dishwasher, you may notice food being stuck onto the dishes even after you’ve run a cycle. This is because, while bigger items like bones should be removed, the dishwasher relies on the grease left over by the food in order to clean the dishes effectively.

If the dishes are pre-rinsed, the grease will have been washed away leaving the dishwasher with food particles and debris stuck on the dishes and inside the dishwasher, as well. The dishwasher having clogged parts will mean the water won’t drain properly, leaving food particles stuck to the dishes post-cycle.

4. Spray Arm Malfunction

The spray arms inside a dishwasher have spray armholes that spray the dishes with water mid-cycle. If the spray armhole is clogged or the spray arm is damaged, water won’t be able to flow and this will mean the dishes will stay dirty.

This will likely be a cause for the dishwasher not cleaning dishes properly. If the spray arm is horribly damaged, it will require a replacement.

5. Detergent Issue

This is one of the most common reasons for Samsung dishwashers not cleaning properly. Here are different ways detergent issues may come up.

  1. Too Much Detergent: Will leave behind spots and residual mess
  2. Too Little Detergent: Won’t be able to successfully remove all stains properly.
  3. Wrong Kind: Only use the detergent recommended by the user manual, avoid dish soap of any kind
  4. Dispenser Malfunction: If the dispenser isn’t opening up and letting out detergent properly, chances are your dishes won’t be washed efficiently

why samsung dishwasher not cleaning

6. Faulty Filter Assembly

Much like the spray armholes, if the filters of the dishwasher are clogged up or damaged, they will most definitely cause trouble for you. This will mean that the dishes will not clean properly as debris and food particles will be clogging the filter.

If the filter is damaged, with holes and cracks, it will need to be replaced by a professional.

7. Failed Circulation Pump

This pump has a motor that, as the name suggests, pumps water to complete your cycles. It pushes the water toward the wash arms that, then, spray your dishes with water alongside the detergent. These circulation pumps may fail in two ways.

  1. Mechanically: Clogging with food bits and foreign objects
  2. Electrically: Burning of the motor, short-circuiting

This will mean the wash arms will not receive the water they need in order to clean the dishes, leaving them half-cleaned or completely dirty.

7 Fixes For Samsung Dishwasher Is Not Cleaning Properly

While we have sat here and highlighted the reasons why the Samsung dishwasher isn’t cleaning properly, we know better than to leave you with no fixes to the issues. To find these, read ahead.

Fix #1: Install New Inlet Valve

Unfortunately, a faulty inlet valve cannot be fixed. It will simply need to be replaced. To do so, you need to follow the next few steps.

  1. Locate Valve (underneath the dishwasher, behind the toe panel)
  2. Remove Water and Electrical Connections
  3. Unthread Screws Holding Valve in PlaceInstall New Valve by Working Backwards (screw into place and then connect the electrical and water connections to the new replacement valve)

Fix #2: Clean Clogged Filter

Luckily, a clogged filter does not require a replacement. All you need to do is follow these steps.

  1. Remove Bottom Rack
  2. Access Filter
  3. Wash Thoroughly in the Kitchen Sink (with water and dish soap)
  4. Once Clean, Reinstall

Fix #3: Replace Faulty Pump

This is another fix that is relatively easy to do. So much so that you may do this at home by yourself! All you need to do is follow these steps.

  1. Prepare Pieces of Cloth (to catch excess water when removing the pump)
  2. Remove the Pump’s Electrical Connector
  3. Take Pump Out
  4. Secure New Pump in Place
  5. Reconnect Electric Harness

Fix #4: Damaged Upper/Center Wash Arm

If the wash arm is clogged or cracked, water won’t be able to properly get to the dishes in order to clean them effectively. This will mean that the Samsung dishwasher won’t clean dishes in the top rack effectively.

In order to fix a clogged wash arm, all you need to do is use a toothpick. However, if the wash arm is cracked or damaged, replacing it is the only solution. You may purchase a new wash arm and click it in place of the old one with your hands.

Fix #5: Adjust Water Temperature

One of the reasons your dishwasher might have issues with cleaning dishes properly is that the temperature might be too low. As advised by almost all

experts and user manuals, you must ensure the dishwasher is at the recommended 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

To do this, you may run hot water in your sink for about a minute. This will automatically give your dishwasher access to hot water immediately.

samsung dishwasher not cleaning fixes and reasons
Fix #6: Unloaded Bottom Rack

Chances are, if your Samsung dishwasher isn’t cleaning the bottom rack properly, the trouble might be that the bottom rack of the dishwasher is overloaded. To figure out how to load your bottom rack properly, all you need to do is look at the user manual.

The general rule of thumb, however, is to leave space between each item, angling them slightly so that the sprays from the wash arms reach them properly and cleans them all the way to the inside.

Fix #7: Reset Dishwasher

If all else fails, you might want to try the ‘turning it off and then on again’ trick. It may sound cliche, but it works! All you need to do is follow these steps.

  1. Unplug Dishwasher from Power Source
  2. Leave for 5 Minutes (to discharge any residual power)
  3. Restart and Use as Needed


How do I fix my Samsung dishwasher when it’s not cleaning?

One of the most common causes for the dishwasher not cleaning properly is a clogged filter. Check the filter for small food particles and debris. If found, clean immediately and resume use. If the filter is damaged, buy a replacement and install it in place of the damaged filter.

What causes a dishwasher to not get dishes clean?

This could be due to many reasons. Some things to consider are the age of the appliance, the status of the filters, the water supply, and how the dishwasher is loaded. If all of these do not seem to be the cause of your dishwasher’s cleaning issue, ensure to go through the list given above and find the culprit!

How do I fix my dishwasher that isn’t cleaning well?

One of the first things you should do is clean the interior of the machine. This is easier to do than most other remedies. All you need is 3 cups of vinegar. You will need to pour these into the bottom of the dishwasher and run a full cycle as you would with dishes present inside the appliance.

This will help remove food particles, debris, and gunk from inside the dishwasher and clean the grease buildup from the interior walls of the machine. This should help unclog the delicate internal parts of the dishwasher as well such as the spray arms, filters, and valves.

Why does my Samsung dishwasher take so long to wash??

There are a few potential reasons why your Samsung dishwasher may be taking longer than normal to wash dishes:

  • The dishwasher may be dirty or clogged. Over time, food particles, soap scum, and other debris can build up inside the dishwasher, reducing its efficiency.
  • Its filters may need to be cleaned or replaced. Dishwasher filters remove food particles from the water before it is reused, but if they become clogged, they can slow down the washing process.
  • Your Samsung dishwasher’s spray arms may be blocked. The spray arms are responsible for distributing water and detergent throughout the dishwasher, so if they are blocked, the dishes may not be getting cleaned properly.
  • Or, it may be overloaded. Overloading the dishwasher can make it difficult for the water and detergent to reach all of the dishes, which can slow down the washing process.
  • You could be using the wrong cycle. Some dishwasher cycles are designed to be more thorough, while others are faster. Choose the appropriate cycle for the load and soil level on the dishes.
  • Incorrect detergent or over-use of detergent. Using too much detergent can cause excessive suds, which can slow down the washing process and make it difficult for the dishwasher to clean the dishes properly.
  • Low water pressure or poor water flow. Reduced water pressure or poor water flow can make it difficult for the dishwasher to get the water it needs to function properly, slowing down the washing process.

It’s recommended checking these things before requesting service, as they are common issues that can be easily resolved by users.



  • Keith Rowland

    Keith Rowland is a seasoned electrician who enjoys fixing faults in home appliances and electronics. Being someone who loves writing, he shares on this blog, DIY tips on how to fix various devices within a few minutes. When he's not fixing stuff or writing a new blog post, he's playing with his two cute girls and their mom.