Tips, please, for underperforming dishwasher

In the past 2-3 cycles, my dishwasher has done an underwhelming job of cleaning things, and I'd appreciate some tips on trying to improve it, based on:
1. It's a simple Maytag model from around 1991.
2. It's generally always worked fine.
3. All of a sudden, both halves of the dispenser cup have had a hard rock of undissolved detergent (Cascade powder, same stuff we've always used, and it's not a brand new box either) caked into them at the end of a cycle. The undissolved stuff occupies maybe a third of the cup, and yes, I dig it out before running more dishes through.
4. I found that maybe four of the holes on the dishwasher's arm (out of around 20 holes total) were clogged. I pulled a three-inch-long strip of cellophane from one hole, semi-unplugged a second hole using a fork tine, and will go after the other ones with tweezers unless someone can offer a better tip.
5. I am running the dishwashwer right now with an empty load, and nothing in it but a lot of vinegar.
Any other tips or suggestions?
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Old, but for a good brand, not out of the question to run properly.

It is not getting enough water and possibly not hot enough water.

Check for more plugs. A couple of reasons for the lack of water circulation: plugged holes or the pump is not pumping properly. Be sure the drain systems to the pump is not clogged, (screen in the sump) the arms are not clogged, and that pump is actually pumping.
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Is a screen clogged, If you have hard water something stronger like CLR might help
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Throw it away and buy a new one. For as low as $300 you can buy one that will wash the dishes much better AND save you money on energy costs....
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trader-of-some-jacks wrote:

drywell's 4" drain pipe that was clogged solidly for about 3 feet with the same caked dry detergent. I had a hard time breaking out pieces of the cake with a screw driver. We use the liquid stuff now. You might try taking off those arms and clean them out. They are probably only held on with a screw or clip. The junk will come out easier through the larger center hole.
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It sounds to me like you were using too much detergent with the powder.
Bob
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I think I'm all set now.
I pulled several obstructions from the holes in the arms. Yes, arms. I'd never noticed one at the top of the dishwasher. That one had a LOT of obstructions.
After running a load with vinegar, I ran the hot water in the kitchen, then ran the dishwasher again with a tiny amount of Cascade. A glass that had caked on orange juice pulp - even after two prior washings - came sparkling clean.
Yeah, my dishwasher may be on its last legs, but for now, it's still standing!
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Glad to hear it is running OK. And thanks for letting us know. Few people ever bother reporting results after getting help from the people here.
Maytag is a good brand. You may get another 10 years out of it.
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Look nto CLR or something better than Vinegar, good to hear it works. Maintenance cures alot of problems
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On Sat, 06 Nov 2004 14:47:51 GMT, trader-of-some-jacks

Check and make sure the drain hose is not clogged.
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