Ok, I'm not proud to tell you about my dishwasher issues but I love you guys and just in case this helps anyone with the same troubles, it will be worth it. I noticed my dishes were not getting as clean as they use to but I tend to over load it most of the time so I cut back a bit on piling it in there and my problems still continued, and got worse. There were little tiny pieces of food almost like cornmeal stuck on the insides and sometimes the outsides of everything on the top rack.(By the way, do you know how to properly load a dishwasher so everything gets cleaned as it should?)
I mentioned it to the man of the house a few times but he gave me no response, or help (which is what I was looking for) about what to do. I started thinking we would be calling in a repair man or buying a new dishwasher soon. Then I remembered about cleaning the filter on my vac, another post for another day, and how that one thing fixed my vacuum cleaner so that six years later I'm still using it.
So, with the dishwasher empty I removed the lower rack and took a look at the bottom of my dishwasher. I noticed that while the insides are stainless steel there was a lot of white mineral build up in there that should not be there. I use vinegar instead of a rinse agent so this surprised me. Most people will tell you that at this point you should have your dishwasher unplugged and I totally agree with them! I started fiddling around with some of the removable plastic parts in the bottom and sure enough I found a filter. I suggest you photo everything you remove or take apart so you can remember how it goes back together. Also be very careful as there can be tiny pieces of broken glass that you didn't know were there. Go carefully here.
Ahem....were was I..... oh, well I found the filter and OH MY GOSH! Look at it! It was so clogged with mineral deposits hard as rocks that water was not penetrated it at all. Bingo, I had found the problem. I was quit pleased with myself at this point and poured a bowlful of white vinegar to soak the filter in before I began to scrub and scrub.....well it turned into an all day process. I would scrub then soak, wait then repeat. I gave up at one point and got online to order a new one but I couldn't find a new one to order so I returned to the soaking, scrubbing routine. I used a butter knife to scrape it and that helped. I was worried I would break the thing then be in real trouble!
After I had it as clean as I could get it, I put it back together (this is were some pics would have been handy) then cleaned out the holes in the spray arms (the things that spin around) while I was at it. Do you do this on occasion? You should, again beware of small pieces of glass stuck in there and I suggest you do not use your fingers for this job. How about cleaning around the outside edges were the rubber gasket meets the sides? All of this should be cleaned on occasion. Rather than give you a whole long tutorial on how to clean and maintain your dishwasher since I AM NOT an expert but a home maker, I have included a couple of links for you that tell you how.
My dishwasher is back to working like it did when it was brand new, didn't cost me a dime, did it my self too! Woo Hoo! You may find your dishwashers manual online if you have a model # and brand. A manual may help you with finding and cleaning your dish washers filter and other routine maintenance to keep it working at it's best.
How to clean and maintain your dishwasher links below.