Having cleaning issues with your dishwasher? Let’s see what’s going on – and how to fix it.

Dishwasher odors

If you’re noticing food odors in your dishwasher, check for food soils stuck on the bottom of the tub and in hard-to-reach places. Then run a cycle with affresh® Dishwasher Cleaner or 2 cups of white vinegar. For a vinegar rinse, put vinegar in an upright glass on the bottom rack, then run a normal cycle with the dry option turned off.

The smell could also be coming from the garbage disposal, if the dishwasher drain is connected to it. Run the disposal to clean out any debris. Then clean the dishwasher and disposal with affresh®.

Glass in dishwasher Glass in dishwasher
Silverware loaded in Amana® dishwasher Silverware loaded in Amana® dishwasher
Close up on water spraying inside a dishwasher Close up on water spraying inside a dishwasher

Dishes not getting clean

Black or gray marks
These marks are created when aluminum items rub against other dishes. Make sure silverware is loaded so it does not touch other dishes. Throw-away aluminum items should not be loaded into the dishwasher at all but hand washed instead. Aluminum marks can be removed with a mild abrasive cleaner.

Brown stains
These are likely the result of water with a high level of iron. You can remove these stains from a fresh load of dishes by re-washing them with affreshaffresh® dishwasher cleaner in the covered section of the detergent dispenser instead of detergent. Follow with a normal wash cycle with detergent.

If the brown stains are a constant issue, you may want to consider the installation of an iron removal unit.

Bottom interior of Amana® dishwasher

White spotting and/or film
If you’re seeing this on your dishes, here are a few things to consider:

  • Are you using a rinse aid? Refer to the Rinse Aid subsection of our post Dishwashers Troubleshooting: Why Your Dishes Aren’t Drying to learn about its benefits here.
  • Are you using the highest temperature wash option? This option raises the main wash temperature to improve cleaning for tough loads.
  • Are you using the heated dry option? This option will give the best drying performance.
  • What kind of detergent are you using? Pre-measured dishwasher detergent tablets and pacs have been proven better than powder, liquid or gel detergents when it comes to reducing filming on dishes.
  • Does your dishwasher need cleaning? Refer to the “Dishwasher odors” section.

If the white film won’t come off, it could be because of how the etching of the glassware interacts with your water. Hard water, water high in minerals, or low water pressure can cause this to happen.

Detergent and rinse aid dispenser issues
Detergent remains in the dispenser
Is it caked in the dispenser? Older detergent will clump when exposed to air and might not dissolve well. Store detergent in a tightly closed container in a cool dry place to keep it fresh for as long as possible.

If it’s not caked in, but still remains in the dispenser, the upper rack may need to be moved up higher. Sometimes the upper rack can block the detergent dispenser from opening completely.

Rinse aid dripping from the dispenser
Make sure the rinse aid cap is completely closed and in the lock position. Then check to see if the “O-Ring” is properly seated in the corresponding groove of the Rinse Aid Cap. If the “O-Ring” is missing, cut, or crimped, you’ll need a replacement. You can find one here.

Close up on dishwasher control console

Still Having Issues?

You may need a professional repair. Or, if your dishwasher is more than 10 years old, it might be time for a replacement. Amana has great dishwashers at a great value – check out the latest.