Troubleshooting Your Noisy Dishwasher: A Guide to Common Sounds and Solutions

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Mark Jardine
February 29, 2024
Home appliances
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Is the once soothing ambiance of your kitchen now disrupted by peculiar noises emanating from your dishwasher? Fret not, as you're not alone in encountering this predicament. Many homeowners face the unsettling issue of a noisy dishwasher and wonder if it's a simple fix or a sign for replacement.
In this blog, we unravel the mystery behind various dishwasher sounds and provide effective solutions to restore serenity to your kitchen space. Discover how to decipher and address those clatters and hums with our comprehensive guide.

Understanding Normal Dishwasher Sounds

Before delving into troubleshooting, it's essential to distinguish between customary operational sounds and unusual noises. The dishwasher's gentle hum, the rhythmic swish of water, and the subtle click during cycle shifts compose the typical dishwasher symphony. Becoming acquainted with these commonplace sounds equips you to detect deviations. This awareness aids in promptly identifying anomalies and potential issues, enabling you to address concerns before they escalate.

Investigating Unusual Noises

  • High-Pitched Whining
Among the disconcerting dishwasher sounds, the high-pitched whine stands out. This auditory anomaly might signal an underlying issue with either the water inlet valve or the motor. Begin by examining the valve for potential debris blockage. Should the noise persist, it could be an indicator to seek professional assistance. A technician's expertise can delve into the motor's functioning and determine the necessary course of action.
  • Rattling or Banging
When you find yourself surrounded by rattling or banging sounds, the culprit often lies in improperly secured dishes within the racks. Unstable silverware, bowls, or glasses can create a dissonant chorus during the washing cycle. Ensuring everything is accurately positioned before initiating the dishwasher can prevent this cacophony and maintain a serene kitchen soundscape.
  • Gurgling or Gurgle-Hum
A distinctive gurgling or gurgle-hum emanating from your dishwasher might point to an obstructed drain path. Accumulated food particles and debris hinder water drainage, resulting in sluggish water movement and peculiar sounds. Regularly tending to the cleanliness of the drain path is a straightforward preventive measure to mitigate this issue and sustain smooth operation.
  • Grinding or Growling
Grinding or growling sounds, often disconcerting, usually trace back to rigid food particles or foreign objects lodged in the pump or spray arm. These components, crucial to efficient dishwasher performance, can experience disruptions from debris. Through diligent inspection and removal of any impediments, you can potentially resolve this issue. However, if the problem persists, a damaged component might necessitate replacement to restore the appliance's harmony.

DIY Fixes for Common Noises

  • Checking for Loose Items
Amidst the disconcerting dishwasher noises, a seemingly simple culprit could be loose items within the appliance. Before succumbing to panic, ensure that no cutlery, dishes, or utensils are adrift. Surprisingly, even a solitary fork in motion can orchestrate an alarming cacophony. By securing items before each cycle, you'll not only restore peace to your kitchen but also extend the lifespan of your dishwasher.
  • Cleaning the Spray Arm
When peculiar noises abound, a clogged spray arm might be to blame. This vital component ensures even water distribution during cycles. Over time, debris or mineral buildup can impede its functioning, resulting in erratic sounds. To remedy this, delicately remove the spray arm and meticulously cleanse it of any accumulations. This simple maintenance step promotes optimal performance and hushes unwarranted clatters.
  • Inspecting the Pump and Motor
In your pursuit of tranquility, it's prudent to inspect the dishwasher's pump and motor for hindrances or damage. The presence of debris can manifest as grinding or whining noises. By meticulously clearing these components, you not only eliminate the source of discomfort but potentially avert larger issues. This proactive approach saves both your appliance and your peace of mind.
  • Clearing the Drain Path
Gurgling sounds often signify a clogged drain path, where residual food particles and debris amass over time. As water struggles to find its course, peculiar noises ensue. Routine cleaning of the drain path is a straightforward measure to prevent such disturbances. By upholding the cleanliness of this passage, you ensure smooth water flow and a harmonious kitchen soundscape.
  • Tightening Loose Screws
Among the cacophony of dishwasher noises, rattling often points to loose screws or mounting brackets. These seemingly innocuous components, when destabilized, orchestrate a symphony of their own. Regularly check and tighten any loose elements to curtail these disruptions. This straightforward task not only restores tranquility but also safeguards your appliance's structural integrity.

When to Seek Professional Help

While many dishwasher noises can be resolved through DIY approaches, certain issues necessitate the expertise of a professional technician.
  • Motor Issues
If your dishwasher's motor consistently emits loud and intrusive noises, it's advisable to enlist the aid of a skilled technician. These consistent and disruptive sounds often indicate an underlying problem that requires specialized knowledge to diagnose accurately. By involving a professional, you ensure a comprehensive assessment of the motor's condition and targeted solutions to restore your dishwasher's tranquility.
  • Damaged Bearings
Growling or grinding noises are often symptomatic of worn-out bearings within the dishwasher. These essential components play a pivotal role in ensuring smooth operation. Attempting to address this issue without the necessary expertise can lead to further complications. Instead, entrust the diagnosis and replacement of damaged bearings to a technician. Their proficiency ensures a precise diagnosis and the installation of appropriate replacements, restoring your appliance's functionality.
  • Water Inlet Valve Problems
Suspecting a malfunctioning water inlet valve demands professional attention. This crucial component regulates water flow into the dishwasher, and any irregularities can disrupt the appliance's performance. A professional technician possesses the knowledge and tools to accurately assess the valve's functionality. They can determine whether a replacement is required to resolve the issue effectively. By engaging a professional, you safeguard against potential complications arising from incorrect diagnoses or inadequate solutions.

Who Should I Call for Professional Appliance Repair?

Dealing with a noisy dishwasher? Let us help! Home Alliance offers expert appliance services, covering dishwashers, refrigerators, dryers, and stoves. Our certified and licensed technicians are well-trained to deliver affordable and top-quality repairs. Don't tolerate disruptive sounds in your home – contact us today. We're here to restore peace and functionality to your appliances.

Preventing Future Noises

To preemptively address the possibility of unusual sounds emanating from your dishwasher, it's crucial to adopt the following strategies:
  • Regular Maintenance
Consistent upkeep plays a pivotal role in maintaining your dishwasher's seamless operation. Engage in routine maintenance practices such as cleaning filters and inspecting for any debris accumulation. This proactive approach prevents potential blockages, ensuring the smooth flow of water and mitigating the likelihood of unexpected noises.
  • Proper Loading Techniques
Strategic loading of dishes is essential to prevent items from shifting or coming into contact with each other during cycles. When dishes are loaded haphazardly, they can collide or interfere with the rotating spray arms, generating unwanted clatters. Adhering to proper loading techniques safeguards against such disturbances.
  • Using Quality Detergent
Opt for high-quality dishwasher detergents that possess effective cleaning properties. Subpar detergents can leave behind residue on dishes, interior surfaces, and even crucial components like filters and spray arms. Residue buildup could potentially lead to irregularities in the dishwasher's operation, manifesting as unusual noises during cycles.
  • Using Quality Detergent
Employ top-tier dishwasher detergents renowned for effective cleaning prowess. Substandard detergents might leave residue on dishes, surfaces, and internal components, potentially causing irregular functioning and generating atypical sounds. High-quality detergents ensure thorough cleaning, curtailing the likelihood of noise-inducing residue buildup.


A noisy dishwasher can disrupt the peace and functionality of your kitchen, but it doesn't have to be a permanent issue. By understanding the different types of noises and their potential causes, you can confidently diagnose and address the problem. Remember to perform regular maintenance and adopt best practices to prevent future disturbances during your dishwasher's cycles.


  • Why is my dishwasher making a high-pitched whining noise?
A high-pitched whining noise could indicate an issue with the water inlet valve or the motor. Check for debris blocking the valve, and if the noise persists, seek professional help.
  • What should I do if I hear a grinding sound during the wash cycle?
Grinding sounds might result from hard food particles or foreign objects in the pump or spray arm. Inspect and clean these components, and if the noise continues, consider contacting a technician.
  • Can loose silverware really make my dishwasher noisy?
Yes, loose silverware and improperly loaded dishes can create rattling and banging noises during the wash cycle. Ensure everything is secure before starting the dishwasher.
  • Is it necessary to use a specific dishwasher detergent?
Using a high-quality dishwasher detergent can help prevent residue buildup and reduce the likelihood of unusual noises during cycles.

When should I call a professional for dishwasher noise issues?

If you've tried DIY fixes and the noise persists, it's time to seek professional assistance. Particularly for motor issues, damaged bearings, or water inlet valve problems, a technician's expertise is crucial.