Need Help with White Buildup from Dishwasher.

Updated on November 23, 2009
L.O. asks from Terre Haute, IN
20 answers

Ok my diswasher is driving me crazy! Everytime I do a load of dishes I have a white film on all of my dishes I am guessing it's build up. I have tried EVERYTHING to get rid of this and nothing works. I have used bleach, limeaway, clr, and even 2 bottles of dishwaher cleaner for lime and build up that I go from walmart and nothing has helped.
I know my dishwasher is on the older side ( 8 or 9 yrs old ) but I really can't afford to buy a new on right now and any advise would be appreciated. I work nights 12 hour shifts and really don't want to do dishes by hand if I can avoid it since I don't have much free time as it is with my son. Thanks in advance.

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W.B.

answers from Cincinnati on

For several months now I have been using a product I too found at Walmart - Lemmi Shine. (I have not looked for it anywhere else yet.) I found it next to the dishwasher detergents. I use it every time I run the dishwasher. The first time I ran the dishwasher empty. Then I use it in my closing detergent cup and regular dishwasher powder in the open cup. It took a couple of washes and now my dishes are coming out cleaner.

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J.F.

answers from Columbus on

I had the same issue - we were using generic dishwasher detergent. Now I buy Cascade complete and don't have any problems. After reading some of the feedback -I'm going to look into my water softner as well. good luck- I know it drove me crazy. having to re-wash/wipe clean dishes.

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W.B.

answers from Cincinnati on

For several months now I have been using a product I too found at Walmart - Lemmi Shine. (I have not looked for it anywhere else yet.) I found it next to the dishwasher detergents. I use it every time I run the dishwasher. The first time I ran the dishwasher empty. Then I use it in my closing detergent cup and regular dishwasher powder in the open cup. It took a couple of washes and now my dishes are coming out cleaner.

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K.C.

answers from Mansfield on

I have the same thing happen because we have a lot of iron in our water. (It's well water). The only thing I have found that works is called Lemi Shine. You can find it at WalMart in the aisle where you would find dishwasher detergent, etc. Hope this helps. Good luck to you!

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K.R.

answers from Youngstown on

Hi L.,
I recently went through a similar thing. My dishwasher was depositing this nasty white crusty stuff all over my dishes, I felt like they were coming out dirtier than they went in!
My husband said it was because I was using the cheap dishwasher detergent and so in an effort to prove him wrong I bought the most expensive dish detergent I could find... well I didn't prove him wrong!
I got the Electrosol Quantum (sp) They are little grey blue packets with a red ball in the middle. They are one of the ones that you just put the whole little packet in and let it do its thing. I noticed a difference after the first use and now my dishes are nice and clean.
Hopefully this helps, I think there is a coupon on the Electrosol website for it- its worth a try!

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D.K.

answers from Indianapolis on

Try VINEGAR! It's FABULOUS for taking off the lime deposits!!!

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K.P.

answers from Fort Wayne on

Hi L. I found that when I used the powder dish washing soap I got the white powder and I figured that i was using to much soap so now I use the tabs and have no problem.

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J.F.

answers from Columbus on

I had the same issue - we were using generic dishwasher detergent. Now I buy Cascade complete and don't have any problems. After reading some of the feedback -I'm going to look into my water softner as well. good luck- I know it drove me crazy. having to re-wash/wipe clean dishes.

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J.B.

answers from Dayton on

I have well water and rent a water softner.....my dishes only do this when the softner is out of salt. Without the water softner I am constantly (daily) scrubbing the toilet bowls and the bathtub, the softner makes cleaning sooooo much easier. I also use the cascade complete tablets. Hope this helps!!! Happy Thanksgiving!

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C.B.

answers from Cleveland on

I agree with the others that you could be using too much detergent. Another thing to check is your hot water. Did you adjust the temp on your hot water tank lately? If the water isn't hot enough in the dishwasher, it can also cause the soap to leave a residue.

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D.T.

answers from Indianapolis on

Use about half the detergent the bottle says to use. And don't rely on the little cup thingy in the door of the dishwasher - they are all different sizes and different detergents need different amounts to work well. Your cup thingy might be way too big for the type of detergent you are using.

Also make sure the dishes are actually dirty! So many people pre-wash their dishes and then the detergent (usually too much) has nothing to 'attack' but the dishes themselves. If you feel the need to pre-wash make sure you use very little detergent. Our dishwasher is about 15 years old and we never pre-wash. We scrape chunks of food into the garbage and then put in dishwasher. Even if they sit half a day they still get clean.

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J.D.

answers from Indianapolis on

Hi L., When we moved into our home about 3 years ago we started having this problem as well. The service man said it's because of hard water. He suggested that we use Glass Magic and it has definitely helped. I also put vinegar in the dishwasher as well. I hope this helps.

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B.B.

answers from Cleveland on

I hope you let us know what ends up working!

If you choose to add some liquid dish soap, please don't use too much! My brother did that once and bubbles came out of the dishwasher all over the kitchen floor! That's potent stuff.

S.D.

answers from Indianapolis on

I don't know a TH, but Indy is known for it's hard water and that leaves a film on everything:( You can get an "in-line" water filter for $10-20 from the hardware store. It filters the water on the way to certain things. They are mostly used for things like drinking water from the kitchen sink or the water that goes to the ice-maker in the freezer. But I think you can get one that handles hot water to the dish washer. Then you just change the filters every once in a while. WAY cheaper than a water softener or a new washer:)

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S.C.

answers from Fort Wayne on

Could it be that you're using too much detergent? I would cut back on the amount of detergent you are using. It could be that your dishwasher is rinsing as effectively as it used to. It doesn't sound, to me, like an issue with lime, since that usually builds up on the inside of the dishwasher. I'm not sure though...

A.H.

answers from Canton on

We had the same problem. We started buying the Cascade complete with Bleach. It's expensive but works really well.

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B.W.

answers from Dayton on

i had the same problem. it was my hard water. i just got a water purification system a week ago and the dishes look brand new.
good luck.

M.B.

answers from Columbus on

Hi L.,
I put about one cup of white vinegar in the empty dishwasher while on the wash cycle. It sounds like maybe it's your water though and not your dishwasher? I've had the problem in the past while living in apartments and had to resort to hand washing...yuck!

Good luck!

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C.B.

answers from Columbus on

Check your water softener. We just had this happen and it was driving me crazy... then we realized we were out of salt. Filled in and now everything is fine again!

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L.G.

answers from Terre Haute on

I had the same problem when my husband bought the wrong dishwasher tabs. Switching back to the Electrosol Finish brand tabs fixed it for me.

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K.A.

answers from Indianapolis on

Probably not what yoy want to hear, but a water softener also got rid of this problem for us.
We tried about every kind of detergent out there.
On the plus side, with a water softener, you can also use less product (dish and clothes washing, and also in the shower). The soap doesn't have to fight with the minerals in the water to work. Our skin also feels cleaner after showers.

We bought ours, but I know that they can also be rented pretty reasonably.
Hope you find something!! It was definitely an annoying issue.

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B.C.

answers from Fort Wayne on

Try to add a little bit of regular dish soap to your load of dishes. I use powder detergent plus I add liguid dawn when I wash my cycle, my dishes come out nice and clean and clear. Just put it in the little tray for extra cleaning.

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