Dishwasher Not Cleaning The Top Rack? – 7 Reasons & Solutions

As far as it is about the ease of dishwashers, they also need proper maintenance and attention. Sometimes, you have to face trouble when your dishwasher is not cleaning the top rack. But why this happens? So, there could be a major reason for obstruction that prevents the proper pressure of water.

When your dishwasher’s top rack won’t get enough water supply, it won’t wash the dishes accurately. Then you will have to wash them again and the results won’t be the same again. To work accurately, your dishwasher must get the proper pressure of water.

Let’s get into the detail of dishwasher issues and troubleshoot.

Why is my dishwasher not cleaning the Top Rack

Why is my dishwasher not cleaning the Top Rack?

The most common reason for your dishwasher not cleaning the plates in the upper rack is that it isn’t getting an adequate flow of water. High-pressure nozzles are used by the sprayer arm to spin and shower water upwards.

The spray won’t reach the highest rack if it isn’t receiving the proper amount of water under the correct pressure. So, you will have to solve this issue by determining different factors.

Now let’s examine the various reasons why your dishwasher’s water level is insufficient.

1. Improper Water Pressure

If your dishwasher isn’t washing the top rack, there is a high possibility that your water level is insufficient in the dishwasher. There needs enough water flow for the water to push up through the top and bottom spray arms.

If your water pressure will be poor, water and detergents will not be capable of dispersing. Furthermore, the water that emerges from the upper sprayer arm will be much weaker than it should be. In this way, it won’t clean the dishes that are located on the top rack.

What are the major reasons for insufficient water pressure?

Below are two possible causes of less water pressure in the dishwasher:

  • If there will be too many machines in your home utilizing the water at the same time, there will be reduced water pressure.
  • If a fillet is too filled and needs maintenance, there is a knot in the dishwashing hose, or there is a problem with your drain pipe, the water pressure will be decreased.

2. Obstructed Spray Arm

You must look for blockages if your dishwasher won’t wash the top rack. The sprayer arm’s ability to rotate can be impeded by tall objects in the top rack. It means tall items can be problematic when you will place them on the top rack. Due to this, the dishes and plates on the upper rack won’t be wet by the flow of water from the sprayer arm.

You must ensure the top spray arm can easily rotate if you fill the dishwasher with tall objects. If it is obstructed, you must remove the tall object or clean it by hand.

3. Broken Seal of Sprayer Arm

The spray arm gasket on your dishwasher is used to prevent water from dripping out. But if it cracks, you will have to change it because it will cause water leakage. 

Water will just flow out of the sprayer arm and out from the plates on your top rack if your gasket breaks. The spraying arm gaskets on the majority of dishwashers are very simple to work with and affordable to fix. So, if there is any issue with the spray arm seal or gasket, you can easily change it without breaking the budget.

How to repair the Damaged Spray Arm Seal?

Below are some easy steps to follow to repair the damaged spray arm seal:

  • First of all, you will have to remove the dishwasher’s cable.
  • Then you will take out the top rack.
  • You will then locate the sprayer arm’s connecting arm.
  • It is necessary to remove the two mounting bolts holding the cover in position.
  • With the aid of a flat-head wrench, you can detach the connecting arm.
  • After that, you will wipe down the sprayer arm actuator with a wet towel.
  • You will have to replace the old gasket, then compress it on the connection arm.
  • Now refasten it to the top using the two included bolts.
  • In the end, you will put the top dish rack back in its position.

4. Dirty Dishwasher

The dishwasher’s dirtiness is the ultimate reason why it is not washing the top rack. The filtration and sprayers can damage if you haven’t washed the dishwasher for many days. Thus, it could result in several issues with your dishwasher.

At least, your dishwasher has to be cleaned and repaired once every month to avoid all types of issues. This includes clearing it out, replacing or washing the filters, and checking to see if any obstructions might be posing a problem.

You can ensure that your filters will last longer and function properly for the duration of their use in your household. You can do this by performing routine maintenance.

Moreover, for your added ease, cleaners are available for purchase in the market. They will aid in removing any build-up that can be problematic in your dishwasher.

5. Faulty Water Inlet Valve

You can put all of your dishes in your dishwasher and they will come out clean only if it has the required parts and features. You must check the functionality of all the required parts and pieces of the dishwasher. If they are not complete, there could be no water with inconsistent pressure or no water at all. This will not allow the dishwasher to wash the dishes.

The upper rack of the dishwasher holds the sprayers. There must be a significant amount of water flow for it to work. The water inflow faucet supplies the dishwasher with all of the water it needs.

You should examine the hose pipe for breakage before changing or repairing the water inlet faucet. You will have to repair the hose as soon as you find a leakage or damaged part. If the issue is still there, you must contact the manufacturer to get more information. 

6. Poor Detergent Quality

Your dishes can not be thoroughly cleaned if you utilize inferior quality pods/detergent or if the pods are expired. Also, some dishwashing detergents might make your plates look scratchy. So, before doing any repair other than cleansing the dishwasher, you just need to go to the store to get a high-quality dishwashing tablet. They are specifically designed for your specific brand of dishwasher.

7. Improper Loading of Dishes

The guidebook for the majority of dishwashers includes a suggested loading method. You might need to modify that if you review it and find that you are loading differently.

A dishwasher’s water and circulation can be blocked by incorrect loading. Due to this, the water jets and arm motion can also be affected. For instance, if the top is covered with flat plates, water cannot capable of cleaning the bottom of the plates.

Besides all, the major problems typically rely on how your dishwasher is designed to load in most instances.

How can I make my dishwasher clean the top rack accurately?

How can I make my dishwasher clean the top rack accurately

If your dishwasher is not cleaning the top rack accurately, you must consider a lot of factors. Below I am going to describe a few of them. Let’s have a look at them:

1. Clean your dishwasher

If you will properly clean your dishwasher, it will ensure that your water is running through the dishwasher efficiently. In this case, scaling or hardening case be your major concern.

For this, you can utilize vinegar or a decalcification solution on your dishwasher. The filters and outlets should be thoroughly cleaned. You can use the cleaning cycle on the dishwasher and put vinegar or another decalcifying solution in the detergent drain. In this way, this method will make your dishwasher work properly.

2. Clean the Sprayer Arm and Seal

Usually, the sprayer arm and seals of the dishwasher are inexpensive and simple to fix. By immersing them in vinegar and washing them with that, you can cleanse them accurately.

If the seal or sprayer arm has been broken, you will have to replace them as well. For instance, a spraying arm that is broken would never wash the dishes accurately.

3. Check the Temperature Settings

It will be good if you will set the temperature of your dishwasher between 120 and 150 degrees to clean dishes. It is because most dishwashers work best between this temperature setting. 

Your dishwasher won’t be heated enough to remove oils and fats from plates if it is colder. On the other hand, if the temperature will be higher, the heat can lead the motors to overheat and switch off.

4. Utilize Good-Quality Detergents

Dishwasher pods or detergent can have a significant impact on how well it washes the dishes. If your current detergent brand isn’t performing so well and leaving the dishes uncleaned, you must prefer the other brand that can do well. If you are going to buy new dishwashing detergent, you must choose one that will better suit your dishwasher brand.

5. Follow the Proper Loading Instructions

Many dishwashers require the correct loading of the dishes to clean effectively. For best cleaning performance, you must prefer the accurate loading pattern that is given in your dishwasher’s handbook.

The instructions include never restricting the supply of water, always maintaining the spraying arm clear, and trying to fill your dishwasher enough rather than overdoing it.

It’s always preferable to operate a dishwasher with less liquid. It is because the majority of current dishwashers only require 3-5 gallons every cycle.

6. Wash Air Reservoirs

In some dishwashers, wash air reservoirs help to refill the tank in the door. Your dishwasher will become less effective at washing dishes if it goes out of the way. You should take care to see if the rinsing aid tank indicator is on and to keep the tank filled at all times.

Also Read: How much does a Dishwasher Weigh?

What to do if my Bosch Dishwasher is not Cleaning the top rack?

Properly filling the top rack is the major step in washing it. In comparison to other dishwashers, a Bosch dishwasher’s washing arm is situated right above the top shelf. You must push the top rack backward, wash it, and fill it to wash it.

You will have to repair the water inlet filtration if the upper shelf is operating properly but the top plates are not getting clean. The filtration system will have to be changed if water is spilling out of the dishwasher and into the top of the plates.


The upper rack of the dishwasher is mounted using the top rack bars. By twisting metal hooks at the tip of the rails, the upper rack rails’ tip cover can be pried away. The rails will still be within the dishwasher as the rack pulls out at that point.

In the majority of dishwashers, the top rack can normally be removed. If you wish to clean huge stock containers or tall objects like bouquets or trays, detaching the top rack is a smart alternative. But continually twisting the rail ends will cause them to shatter and replace.

You can reduce time and resources by cleaning a few plates rather than a heavy load in the top rack as opposed to the bottom. It is the best option to wash the top rack in the dishwasher.


If your dishwasher is not cleaning the top rack, there could be multiple reasons that you need to determine. I have made this easy for you by providing all the possible reasons and solutions. You must adhere to all the instructions that I have explained above.

Thus, the most common reason is the obstruction in your dishwasher. The obstruction will not allow the water pressure to adequately reach the top racks. In this way, the dishes cannot be washed properly.

You can share your opinion in the comment section!

Mery kitchen aims

Mery Webber

Mery Webber, the founder of Kitchen Aims, is a passionate home cook with extensive experience in the kitchen appliance industry. Through her blog, she aims to share her knowledge and help readers create the perfect kitchen.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *