How to Troubleshoot a Frigidaire Dishwasher That Won't Get Dishes Clean

by Renee Miller

Frigidaire manufactures dishwashers in a range of styles and with a variety of features. No matter what model you own, your Frigidaire dishwasher should clean your dishes. If your dishes aren’t getting clean, the problem is often not related to the dishwasher itself. By troubleshooting a few common issues -- such as loading and water issues -- you can isolate the cause of your soiled dishes and resolve it.

1. Cycles and Loading

If there are food soils left on your dishes, check the cycle selected and how you've loaded the dishwasher. Choose a cycle with a longer wash time and start the dishwasher again. If this doesn’t remove the bits of food, ensure you’ve loaded the dishwasher so that the water from the spray arm isn’t blocked. Avoid nesting bowls and cups inside each other, and arrange items so the soiled side faces downward and nothing protrudes through the bottom of the lower rack.

2. Check Water Temperature and Pressure

Frigidaire dishwashers require a water pressure of 20 to 120 psi (pounds per square inch) and a minimum water temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Running the shower or washing machine while running the dishwasher may reduce water pressure. If this is not the cause, contact a plumber to determine if you need to increase your home’s water pressure. If the water coming from your hot water faucet is less than 120 degrees Fahrenheit, set your water heater slightly higher to increase the temperature.

3. Stains and Deposits

If your tea and coffee cups are not coming clean, the issue may not be with the dishwasher. Tea and coffee can leave stains that your dishwasher can’t remove, so these must be washed by hand. However, if all of your dishes have a yellow or brown film, there may be iron deposits in your water. Contact a plumber to inspect your plumbing system. The plumber may need to install a filter on the water supply line to correct the problem. If this is not the issue, ensure your aluminum utensils aren’t touching your other items when loading the dishwasher. Aluminum utensils can leave gray or black marks on your dishes when they rub against them.

4. Cloudiness and Spots

Cloudy or spotted glassware is typically caused by using the wrong amount of detergent or forgetting to add a rinse aid, but extremely hard water can also cause problems. This can be resolved by installing a water softener. If you know your water isn’t hard, cloudiness and spotting can also occur if the water temperature is too low. Check your water heater setting to ensure the incoming water temperature is at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit. To remove cloudiness and spots, load the items back into the dishwasher and select the "NORMAL" wash cycle. Do not add detergent. Allow the dishwasher to run until it starts the second water fill, which typically takes about 10 minutes, and then open the door and pour 2 cups of white vinegar into the bottom of dishwasher. Close the door and press "START" to allow the cycle to finish.

5. Look For Clogs

If troubleshooting doesn’t resolve the problem, unload the Frigidaire dishwasher and inspect the filter, inlet valve, drain opening and spray arm. If a chunk of food or a broken dish is clogging or blocking any of these elements, the dishwasher cannot clean properly. Turn off the power to the dishwasher before attempting to remove any debris or clogs. Wash your spray arm with a soft scrub brush to remove food particles and remove any obvious debris in the tub. If this doesn’t resolve the problem, contact a certified technician to inspect and repair the dishwasher.