Dishwasher Won't Clean

Our dishwasher leaves dirt on the dishes. Per the troubleshooting section in the manual, I've narrowed the problem down to paper from labels in the pump or spray arms. The lower spray arm was clogged a bit so I cleaned it, but it's still not cleaning properly.
Taking the pump apart for cleaning out looks like a major project. Does anyone have any tricks for cleaning a pump without disassembly? Something like using washing soda or corn starch instead of detergent and running it through a full cycle without dishes? It sounds unlikely but I thought I'd ask; I've gotten a lot of labor-saving advice on this group over the years.
Thanks,
Paul
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wrote:

You can get dishwasher cleaner but doubt it will remove paper.
I have used a sink plunger to unblock main pumps before now. Just place in the sump and pump up and down.
sPoNiX
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in
pump
How do you clean the spray arms? Mine are impossible to take apart, but I see stuff (popcorn shells, small plastic, etc) trying to come out the little holes all the time (I pull it out using tweezers, but would love to take the arms right apart to clean them properly. It's a Maytag DW2. Thanks for any help.

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I use tweezers, needles, a fork, etc., to dislodge the big stuff, then I put it under the faucet to flush it out backwards.
Paul
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What do you mean by "dirt"? Grit, food particles, undisolved derergent, film, etc.??

There are not usually any "tricks" but if you post the dishwasher's brand name and model number, someone may be able to tell you how to access it.
You can find tips for locating the model and serial number tag on your appliances in the 'Repair Parts' section of my site linked below.
Dan O. - Appliance411.com http://ng.Appliance411.com/?ref411=+dishwasher
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Food particles.

I have the exploded parts diagram for the machine, so I could take it apart if I had to; I'm just not sure I want to get involved with something that complicated. It looks like one of those jobs where I'd be running back and forth to the parts store. Maybe it would be more efficient to let a professional handle it.

Good site, Dan. I've got it bookmarked for future reference.
Paul
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in
pump
How do you clean the spray arms? Mine are impossible to take apart, but I see stuff (popcorn shells, small plastic, etc) trying to come out the little holes all the time (I pull it out using tweezers, but would love to take the arms right apart to clean them properly. It's a Maytag DW2. Thanks for any help.

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I can't speak to your particlar model and what exactly to do about it, but back when I was growing up, we all thought my mom was crazy when it came to her dishwasher (a Sears model, I think, which she and my dad bought new in 1970), but she insisted on us actually washing the dishes in the sink before putting them all in the dishwasher. And I'll be damned, but that thing is still cranking just fine and dandy today without having had a single clog or any other problem major or minor in almost 40 years.
Was she silly? You be the judge. But then again, you're the one with old noodles and popcorn kernel husks gumming up your appliance.
Just a thought there for future reference.
AJS

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The same way you did, by picking out the pieces that show through the holes. Then I put it under the sink and flush it out backwards, running the water through the little holes.
Paul
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You can not usually take the spray arms "apart" a side from removing them from their mounting. If you can't pluck the stuff out of the holes you can often push it back in and flush it towards the large center hole (once it is removed of the dishwasher). You may also be able to use a 'bottle brush" a bit in the holes to clean somewhat. You can also sometimes bang the arm on a firm surface to loosen up stuck debris inside.
If they're too badly plugged or you just can't clean them thoroughly enough, see how much they'll cost to just replace.

JFYI "DW2" means nothing. If you want any specific information about your dishwasher, post its "model number". You can find tips for locating the model number tag on your appliances in the 'Repair Parts' section of my site linked below.
Dan O. - Appliance411.com http://ng.Appliance411.com/?ref411=Mayatg+dishwasher
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All modern dishwashers have filters or grinders so the arms cannot get plugged. May be time to replace the dishwasher. Also use powdered detergent and not the liquids or gels if you want good cleaning. Make sure it includes enzymes. Walmart is supposed to be a best buy according to Consumer Reports.
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The Dishwasher's less than 2 years old. Just wish it was easier to take apart so I could clean the filters etc.

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