8 answers

Dishwashing Powder Leaves Residue on Dishes - Help!

When we got a new dishwasher, the guy who came to install it said we should use Cascade powdered dishwashing detergent -- specifically one tablespoon in each reservoir. I don't measure it but I do eyeball it and don't put too much in which he said was bad. I also use Jet Dry rinse agent. Anyway, lots of times the dishes come out with little bits of the powder stuck to them. I have tried pouring vinegar into the machine before a wash and it helps a little but not completely. It's driving me crazy -- if my dishes don't come out clean it defeats the purpose of having a dishwasher because I end up hand washing the affected dishes.

So does anyone have any suggestions? Your help is greatly appreciated :)

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the advice, everyone. I try to be eco-friendly but the guy who installed the machine said to specifically use the Cascade powder so I had switched to that. Anyway, it's just not working for me. I had a half-full bottle of the Trader Joe's dishwasher liquid in the house so I ran it this time with that and they came out clean. Sometimes they don't with that either.

The dishwasher guy also did say not to wash them by hand before washing, just like some of you said, since the soap needs something to grab onto. Sometimes that works for me and sometimes it doesn't! Guess I'll just have to try experimenting.

I didn't know about all the chemicals and formaldehyde in dishwasher products, yuck, thanks for alerting me to that.

But so far so good and thanks to all of you for the suggestions!

Featured Answers

I love Cascade powder & have never had that problem. I don't use a rinsing agent. I would maybe try it without the Jet Dry & see what happens.

More Answers

I love Cascade powder & have never had that problem. I don't use a rinsing agent. I would maybe try it without the Jet Dry & see what happens.


We ran into this issue with our new diswsasher as well. I switched the the liquid detergent and cut the amount suggested by the soap manufacturer to about 1/2. Always use the hot wash option only on the wash and turn off the dry cycle and this has solved our problem. I now use the dishwashing detergent from Trader Joes, as it does not leave any harmful residue on our dishes. (I foudn out the other other comercial detergents and drying agents contain formaldehyde(sp?) I only use plant based or vinegar based on dishes now.
Hope this helps.

This is going to sound really weird but it works.

I grew up in the age where my parents made us rinse every morsel of food off the dish before placing it in the dishwasher. No crumb or spill was to remain. The habit followed me into adulthood until my dishwasher stopped working correctly and cleaning my dishes, leaving residue everywhere.

Put your dishes in the dishwasher with only the slightest bit of rinsing beforehand. The soap needs something to 'grab on to' (i.e. the food bits) or it will either build up on your dishes or clog the drain.

We paid a repairman $100 to come out and unclog our drain and tell us to 'quit washing the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher'. Lesson learned and the dishwasher instantly began working properly again. Who knew?!?

The dishwasher guy who came to my house suggest I use the tabs (Electrasol) - nice because less messy AND here's the key - DON'T use the dispenser - just throw the tab in the bottom of the dishwasher. The dispenser is time released he said and better it should get out sooner. I've had this Maytag dishwasher.. well going on 6 years and no issues with residue. I do use Jet Dry as well in the rinse dispenser.

Good luck!

I went through that also. I use the cascade liquid now.

I had the same problem so I switched to the Cascade 2 in 1 action pacs.

If you have hard water you are better off using liquid. Also the M. that wrote about rinsing the dishes is right, don't do it, the soap needs something to cling to.

Hi there, I love those Cascade packs - the ones with Dawn liquid and Cascade powder in one pack. They get my dishes the cleanest out of any form of dishwasher soap, and I have not had an issue with residue on the dishes. In fact, they are squeaky clean!

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