How to Clean Dishwasher Spray Arms

If your dishwasher isn’t cleaning as well as it used to, the problem might be caused by clogged holes in the spray arms.

To unclog dishwasher spray armholes:

  1. Remove the spray arms from the dishwasher.
  2. Use a piece of wire, such as coat hanger wire, the same diameter as the holes to clean out the holes in the spray arms.
  3. Put the arms back on the dishwasher and spin them to make sure they turn easily.
  4. In extreme cases, soak the spray arms in warm water and vinegar to dissolve mineral deposits.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Joe Truini: If your dishwasher’s not cleaning your dishes as well as it used to, you might be able to solve the problem with a length of wire. This I cut from a clothes hanger, and you can use it to clear out the spray arm.

You notice the bottom of the dishwasher has a spray arm that has holes that shoot out water. And they often get plugged up with food or hard water deposits—mineral deposits.

So to clean it, you can use the wire to poke out the holes. And you do it while it’s in place, but it’s easier to disconnect the spray arm and pull it out. Most dishwashers have a simple locking knob on the bottom.

Then you use the wire to clear out the hole. Poke the wire all the way to the bottom. Make sure you clear out any food deposits or any other obstructions.

Now, if it’s really plugged up, you also take it and soak it in a tub of warm water with a little bit of vinegar. That’ll help dissolve any deposits that are in there.

Now, once it’s clear, you just put it back in place, lock it on to make sure it’s locked good and securely. And this is really important, once it’s on place, spin it. Make sure that it spins freely. If not, you’re going to have another problem.

And once you clean that one, then clean the other spray arm at the top, and your dishwasher will be working as good as new.