24 answers

White Residue from Dishwasher

Lately, my dishwasher has started leaving a very filmy white coating on the dishes, glasses & silverware. The rinse aid is full and I have not switched detergents or anything like that. I always use a liquid detergent. Does anyone know why this is happening and/or what to do about it? The dishwasher is not that old (maybe 5-7 years old) and I'm not sure if it is headed south or if there is something I need to do. Thanks!

OK--WHERE is the "food trap"????

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Featured Answers

Hi,
I have had the same problem. I looked on the PAWC website-- it says that the water for southern Allegheny and Washington Counties has increased contaminants lately, not harmful, but can lead to hard water buildup. How about that!
Here's a link:

http://www.amwater.com/alerts/alert10405.html

A.

1 mom found this helpful

D.,

The same thing happened to me recently and I was advised that I was using too much detergent in the dishwasher. Also, I ran 1 cup white vinegar through the cycle (in empty dishwasher) and it did help. So maybe if you try the vinegar, then cut back on the amount of detergent you're using, it might help.
Good luck,
E. B

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I'm kind of guessing that you aren't getting th esoap out of system, and that it's probably built up over the years. Try running it with no soap, and no dishes inside, and use TANG where you would normally fill it with soap. the acidity in it cleans hard water stains, and it just might help clean out the tubing that is apparently not so clean. ??

I've never used a rinse aid, so I can't speak to that. Our dishwasher is 9 years old, and runs the same as it did when it was new. We do get hard water stains periodically, however, and that's how the water treatment people said to take care of it. :-)

1 mom found this helpful

Weird, me too. I read through your responses and see many other "me too's" I wonder if everyone is in the South Hills?
I thought it was bc I recently switched to a cheap liquid I found at Aldi's. Prior to that I have been using the Cascade and Electrasol drop ins and never had a problem.
What the heck is going on?

1 mom found this helpful

do you add salt to your water? i know when i need to add salt i get that

1 mom found this helpful

I believe it means that you have hard water. I had the same issue and i called my repair man bc i had just started to put all of my daughters bottle and the accessories in the dishwasher and was worried about the residue and was hand washing everything. The guy that does all my appliance repair sells a dishwasher shock in his store that worked liked a charm. I can give you his information if you'd like. Oh and our dishwasher is about 10 years old. He said that there was no reason to replace it and i appreciated his honesty.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi D.,
I haven't had time to read the other responses, so sorry if this is a repeat. It sounds like hard water build up. If you have a water softner it is definately out of salt. If you do not have a water softner, then the hard water deposits build up inside the dishwasher, which in turn is leaving that film on your dishes. Before we got our water softner we were told to run a few cycles of CLR thru our dishwasher to remove some of the lime build up.
Good luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful

sometimes the dishwasher needs to be cleaned without anything in it. i think that i saw something on the market that you can buy that cleans your dishwasher. i would try that. sometimes just like your coffee maker,the dishwasher will get build up in it.

1 mom found this helpful

I am getting that too with my dishwasher, so I will be interested to hear the replies you get.

1 mom found this helpful

D.,

It is quite possible you have hard water. This means that you have minerals or other materials in your water that may be depositing on your dishes. Call Culligan or another company that makes water softners in your area. They will likely come out for free and check your water. Be aware that they will likely want to sell you a softner. We have had a Kinetico softner for about 12 years now. Our water was three times harder than it should be. Our neighbors have had to replace appliances or piping because they build up with residue and it's hard to clean them.

It's worth a check...

1 mom found this helpful

It is recommended that you run the dishwasher free of dishes with a cup of vinegar. Apparently, this dissolves the soap build up.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi,
I have had the same problem. I looked on the PAWC website-- it says that the water for southern Allegheny and Washington Counties has increased contaminants lately, not harmful, but can lead to hard water buildup. How about that!
Here's a link:

http://www.amwater.com/alerts/alert10405.html

A.

1 mom found this helpful

The food trap is usually going to be toward the bottom of the draining area. The residue is going to be from the dish washing liquid. You'll want to buy something to clean the unit. The holes on the water bars may be clogged, check those, since there's not enough water being used to rinse it. If you use too much liquid that can cause problems too. But you can buy one of those bottles to clean the machine. Just pull the tab, set it upside down in the silverware tray and turn it on as directed on the bottle. Easy and helps! I know the one brand I was using changed formulas and caused this problem. I was using a lilac scent and that was bad and switched to the lemon scent and that was better, but the brand changing formulas was not good. So now I buy a more expensive brand just to avoid the residue BS.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

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1 mom found this helpful

My parents have pretty hard water and my Mother ran some vinegar through her dishwasher to clean things out and it helped a lot. Also, make sure your food trap is clean. I doubt it is causing your problems, but cannot be helping either.

1 mom found this helpful

I haven't read thru all the replies, so my apologies if these have been mentioned: check food trap, try a cycle with vinegar, look into water softeners, start using half the detergent you would normally use (since its the hot water that really cleans and not the soap - I read this in Clean House Clean Planet and it really works).

1 mom found this helpful

I had this problem when I had a lot of Lime in the water. They say using vinegar in the rinse aid will help counter act the lime. When I started seeing the white residue it was because it had accumulated over the years - I had to soak all dishes in CLR - then ran it through the dishwasher a couple times.

1 mom found this helpful

Vinegar is always great for freshening things up and removing soap residue in appliances. Maybe try using distilled vinegar instead of dishwasher soap through an empty load and see if that helps at all.

1 mom found this helpful

Chances are you have hard water. There is a dishwasher additive called LemiShine sold by Walmart in the dish detergents section and it works wonders. It is made for hard water. I use it once or twice a week.

1 mom found this helpful

It's probably a build-up of Calcium and minerals from your water. See if you can find something called Glass Magic. It comes in a small green box. The dishwasher repair man recommended using it in every load and ever since that white film has disappeared. Not every grocery store has it, though, so you might need to do an Internet search. I get mine at my local Shop n Bag. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

D.,

The same thing happened to me recently and I was advised that I was using too much detergent in the dishwasher. Also, I ran 1 cup white vinegar through the cycle (in empty dishwasher) and it did help. So maybe if you try the vinegar, then cut back on the amount of detergent you're using, it might help.
Good luck,
E. B

1 mom found this helpful

I have started having the same problem with my dishwasher in the last few weeks. I don't know how old ours is. We moved into our house 2 years ago and it was from the previous owner. I'll be interested to see what kind of responses you get.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm not certain, but I can tell you what happened to us. Our water softener was not working and we didn't realize it. Hard water will leave a white deposit. IT WILL ALSO RUIN APPLIANCES!! It ruined our very new and nice dish washer and our hot water heater. so, if you don't have one get one, and if you do have one and it appears to be working, have it checked out. Ours was using salt, but not softening our water.
Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I live in the South Hills and have also noticed the same thing in the past few weeks. We've also had trouble with fluctuating water pressure.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi D., if you live in an area with hard water that sounds like what it is. I have the same problem. I use a product called glass magic. You can find it in the same area that you purchase the dishwasher detergent. It has returned my glasses to shiny again! Good Luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

I have been dealing with this, too, since moving into our home 2+ years ago. I thought it was the dishwasher, but I now believe it is the hard water. I thoroughly cleaned out the dishwasher, using vinegar. Ran an empty load with vinegar and hand rinsed my filmy dishes with vinegar. The vinegar takes the film off. Once all that was done, it seemed to work ok. I started using only Cascade powder and filling both receptacles (wash and prewash). I also do an empty wash with vinegar monthly. The dishes were fine for about 5-6 months. Now it is happening again, so I plan on doing the process again. It is a pain, but something I guess I have to deal with (without softening the water).

Good luck.

Jen K.

1 mom found this helpful

I am having the same issue with my dishwasher (only 2 years old), I think due to soy milk. I added 1/2 cup vinegar - just threw it in the bottom- before I ran the dishes, and it got most of it off in one run. Maybe there are new sediments in the water??

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