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Amana dishwasher not cleaning well? Try this.

My Amana dishwasher stopped washing dishes well. If you Amana or other related make (Whirlpool, Kenmore, Maytag) isn’t cleaning well, maybe this will help.

First, a disclaimer. Every dishwasher is a little different. My Amana is the cheapest model I could find in 2018. Other dishwashers made by Whirlpool (including Whirlpool, Amana, Maytag, and Kenmore brands) will be similar, but probably not identical.

Cleaning Amana dishwasher filters

Amana dishwasher not cleaning

If your Amana dishwasher isn’t cleaning, the cylindrical filter in the center of this photo is probably the culprit. Twist the filter counterclockwise and it lifts out for cleaning.

My dishwasher has two filters in the bottom. Both of them had become fouled, but one was worse than the other. The cylindrical filter locks in. Turning it counterclockwise unlocks it so you can release it and lift it out. Then you can remove the other filter as well. It just lifts out.

While you’re in there, make sure there’s nothing stuck in the drain. It’s pretty small, but sometimes bits of plastic or tea bags end up where they shouldn’t.

Back to the filters. These become fouled with grease and water deposits over time. Mine was completely fouled with grease. I didn’t take a photo, because nobody wants to look at that.

The flat plastic filter lifts out. Rinsing it in the sink with a sprayer was enough to clean it up.

The cylinder needed more work. I squirted some dish detergent into it, sprayed a little water on it, and let it sit for a few minutes. Then scrub it gently. It a couple of rounds of scrubbing and rinsing to dissolve the grease and clear it. If dish detergent won’t clear it, soak it in some vinegar or CLR to remove the mineral deposits.

Cleaning these filters allows the dishwasher to drain better, and also increases water flow. Increased water flow helps the dishwasher to work better.

Preventative maintenance if your Amana dishwasher isn’t cleaning well

Amana dishwasher not cleaning properly

Clean the filter periodically with dish detergent and your kitchen sink’s sprayer. Adding vinegar to your rinse cycle can help it stay clean longer.

Taking filters out and cleaning them periodically is good preventative maintenance. How often? More than once every two years, if you’re me. But it really depends how much you use it. We typically do a couple of loads a day.

To give yourself more time, pour some vinegar into the rinse agent reservoir. The vinegar will help slow down buildup from both grease and mineral deposits and will probably help get the dishes cleaner too. You don’t have to use it every time, but it helps. The reservoir is intended for commercial rinse agents, but the active ingredient in those is vinegar, so you can just use vinegar instead and save some money.

The design on this Amana may cause trouble washing dishes but it also prevents a bigger problem. If the grease is collecting on the filter, it’s not collecting in my pipes. I’d rather take out the filter and degrease it every 6-12 months than deal with a clog in my pipes.

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