How to Fix Amana Dishwasher that’s Not Cleaning

Your Amana dishwasher could spring up with different issues over its lifespan, but they all have one ultimate symptom: the dishwasher not cleaning dishes. If the appliance kept doing your dishes as it should, you probably wouldn’t have noticed a fault, but how do you fix an Amana dishwasher that’s not cleaning?

Before trying to fix your Amana dishwasher that’s not cleaning your dishes properly, you should know why the problem’s there first. Once you identify the cause of the issue, you can tackle it easily, returning your useful kitchen appliance to its regular functionality.

At this point, it’s almost certain that you have no idea why your Amana dishwasher isn’t cleaning the dishes properly or at all. However, you don’t have to, as I’ll take you through the reasons before showing you how to fix a dishwasher that won’t clean the dishes.

Why is My Dishwasher Running but Not Cleaning?

If your Amana dishwasher isn’t running, you’ll be somewhat at rest since you know it’s not cleaning because it’s not running. However, it becomes a bit problematic if the dishwasher does run like it’s working when it’s not doing your dishes.

If your dishwasher is running but not cleaning your dishes, the most likely problem is that it’s dirty. Over time, the dishwasher accumulates dirt from successive washing cycles, making it too grubby to remove dirt from your dishes.

When that happens, you can fix it by cleaning your dishwasher with the affresh Dishwasher Cleaner. However, that’s only helpful if the problem is a dirty dishwasher, as there are a couple of other reasons why your dishes may come out dirty from the appliance.

If you’re getting black or gray marks on your dishes, it’s usually the result of aluminum items rubbing against them. You can remove that with an abrasive cleaner, while ensuring you don’t load silverware too closely together to avoid the reoccurrence of the same issue.

However, brown stains on your dishes indicate high iron content in the water you supply to the dishwasher. While you can remove them by washing dishes with the affresh Dishwasher Cleaner instead of a detergent, you may want to consider installing an iron removal unit if the issue persists.

How Do You Fix a Dishwasher that Won’t Clean the Dishes?

Before moving on with this section, it’s crucial to clarify the difference between a dishwasher that won’t clean the dishes and one running but not cleaning the dishes. While the latter refers to the device working but not well, the former is not working at all.

The preceding section has explained some reasons why a dishwasher could be running and not cleaning the dishes. If your Amana dishwasher isn’t running, however, you’ll find this section a lot more helpful.

Without more ado, here’s how to fix a dishwasher that won’t clean the dishes, segmented by the potential issues.

  1. Incorrect wash cycle

Since the dishwasher is a machine, you must input the correct soil level to help it do its job properly. If you have barely dirty dishes, selecting the Normal wash cycle should be enough to leave them sparkling, but the Heavy cycle might be required for dirtier dishes.

When you choose an incorrect wash cycle, however, the dishwasher will go ahead and wash the dishes according to your instructions, even if they’re not going to be as clean as they should be. If your dishwasher is working but not cleaning your dishes properly, the fact that you selected an incorrect wash cycle could be the problem.

As you may have guessed already, fixing this problem is pretty easy: simply select the correct wash cycle when next you’re doing your dishes. You can change your wash cycle by opening the door and turning the doorknob clockwise until it aligns with the wash cycle you prefer.

If unsure, you can simply use the Auto setting on the dishwasher. That way, it automatically detects the level of soil and adjusts to the correct wash cycle, which is pretty convenient if you ask me.

  1. Faulty detergent dispenser (or insufficient detergent)

Just as you need detergent to do your dishes by hand, your Amana dishwasher also needs it to wash them. With detergent being a crucial part of the dishwashing cycle, it’s only understandable that not having enough detergent essentially breaks your dishwasher’s functionality.

You should note that the problem of insufficient detergent isn’t always because you’re not supplying your dishwasher with enough soap, although that may also be the case. However, a faulty detergent dispenser is the most common cause of the issue. If you continue to experience the fault after using enough detergent, it’s time to take a look at your soap dispenser.

The problem could be a simple obstruction or jam that you can fix yourself, but it might also be a more complex mechanical fault. If it’s the latter, you should consider seeking the help of an expert to help you out with the repair, or if necessary, replacement.

  1. Insufficient water supply

While detergent is crucial to the functionality of Amana dishwashers, it’s not nearly as important as a steady and sufficient supply of water. From diluting the detergent to the right consistency to getting soil off your plate, the Amana dishwasher uses water somehow in every step of its mechanical dishwashing journey.

With that said, it’s easy to imagine how much of an impact it would make to cut off the water supply from the dishwasher. More often than not, the primary reason why most Amana dishwashers stop working properly is that they don’t get as much water as they’d need, and it’s usually an easy fix.

Before calling a plumber, you should examine the hose supplying water to the dishwasher for any bents or kinks. If the water supply is indeed the problem, you should find at least one instance of a problem with the water supply system, which you can proceed to fix yourself or by using the services of a plumber.

How Do You Reset an Amana Dishwasher?

If your Amana dishwasher isn’t working at all, it’s usually a fault with the control panel itself, which you can fix with a reset if you’re lucky. However, you may have to repair or replace the motherboard if the reset doesn’t work, which costs a lot.

You may have noticed that your dishwasher doesn’t have a dedicated reset button, but it’s still pretty easy to reset an Amana dishwasher. Once you disconnect it from a power source for one minute and reconnect it, the control panel resets and your dishwasher should start working properly again.

To do that, you can unplug it from the outlet for a minute before plugging it back in. However, if your dishwasher is hardwired to a power supply, you can use the circuit breaker to disconnect it from the power source.

If the reset doesn’t work, it may be time to consult a technician for professional service. You should note that the service can get pretty expensive, especially if you have to replace the control unit, which I hope you don’t.

How Do I Deep Clean My Amana Dishwasher?

If you’ve been following this article from the start, you should know a dirty dishwasher is one of the root causes of a malfunctioning dishwasher is dirt. When your Amana dishwasher or some of its components get dirty, the dirt rubs off the appliance, making it impossible for your dishwasher to work properly.

You can clean your Amana dishwasher using either vinegar or the affresh Dishwasher Cleaner. While the dishwasher’s surface won’t require a lot more than occasional wipes with a cleaning cloth, a vinegar treatment may be necessary now and then for Amana dishwashers.

To clean the appliance, put two cups of white vinegar (or dishwasher cleaner) in a glass or measuring cup on the bottom rack of the dishwasher. Then, let the dishwasher undergo a complete washing cycle using the air-dry option.

That way, the vinegar should mix with the wash water, cleaning the interior of the Amana dishwasher in the process. Also, you should notice your dishes coming out cleaner from the dishwasher once it undergoes this deep cleaning exercise.

While vinegar cleans your dishwasher and helps it clean your dishes better, you should also note that it’s an acid. Acids don’t work too well with some of the internal components of the Amana dishwasher and can potentially be damaging to the appliance. To minimize the effects of vinegar on the dishwasher, you should limit deep cleaning to once a month, which is usually sufficient.


Since there are several reasons why your Amana dishwasher may not be cleaning, you should also expect different fixes when it stops working. From resetting the control unit to deep cleaning the dishwasher, there are many things you can do to fix your dishwasher.

Of course, there’s the last resort, which is inviting a technician from Amana to check out your dishwasher. Repairs and replacements can cost a fair bit, but in most cases, you don’t have a choice, do you?

Leave a Comment