Last January, we bought a new Kitchen Aid dishwasher, which cost about
$550. There were bargain brands for $300 but we decided to get a
better one this time. I installed it myself, as I have all the
dishwashers we've bought over the last 15 years.
It worked perfectly all year. We went on a ski vacation during the
week before Christmas and were gone for five days, during which time
the dishwasher was not used. When we got back, it started leaving
specks of dirt or food or whatever on some of the dishes. This
condition seems to be getting worse. I can't see why a week of
inactivity would cause this but this is the only time we were away for
an extended period of time and the problem started when we returned.
The user's manual suggests scraping the dishes before putting them
into the dishwasher and loading properly when this happens. We do both
and are doing nothing different than we were doing all year.
Before calling a repairman, I suggested that my wife run a cycle with
no dishes in in to clear out the lines, then to run a small load to
see what happens. She's doing that today. Any other suggestions as to
what might be causing this?
Sounds like the symptoms mine has when the strainer is clogged.
Sitting might have let a bit of label or crud dry, blocking the
See how hard it is to get to the pump & check the screen and the
Use some vinegar on the empty load.
On my Whirlpool it is about a 1 hour job to get to the
screen/impeller/pump area, clean & re-assemble. It uses torx srews,
and there is one piece that needs to come out at just the right
angle--- but the dishwasher doesn't need to be pulled & it is a
fairly easy job.
I have had this happen a couple times on my 3 year old KitchenAid
too. Don't know why either.
Twice I've removed the lower spray arm, stainless strainer, and other
components to get to the
sump. There was definitely grease and gunk there, which I cleaned
out. However, it looked like
it had been slowly accumulating over time, was stuck on well, and I
had a hard time figuring out
how it could account for small bits of food, not grease, suddenly
showing up on dishes. In any case
after screwing around a bit, running some more washes, it went back to
Suggest you do the same. Remove the lower spray arm and the large
stainless sheet that covers
most of the bottom. Clean out everything. Make sure all the holes
in the lower and upper spray arm
are open and both move freely. They have a special dishwasher
cleaner, which appears to be mostly
citric acid, that you can buy at supermarkets, appliance shops, etc.
Get that and run it.
I've also gone to using extra heat cycle once a week to try to loosen
up or prevent grease from accumulating.
Oh, and also look under the lower door seal are from inside. Found
lots of disgusting crap there that had
been there for a long time. In short, doubt there is a problem that
needs a service call.
Sounds like it is not draining properly. Like many washing appliances
it has no way to detect when the water has drained, it just runs the
pump long enough to be completely sure that all the water got pumped
out. If there is any impedement to the drain line it won't drain
completely. It does have a float that prevents it from overfilling.
So when it adds water it will not add too much even if the old water
is still in it. So your dishes get washed and rinsed with "used"
A couple of months ago, a number of states outlawed the use of phosphates in
dishwasher detergent. Phosphates in detergents act as both a cleaner as well as
holding particles in suspension.
P&G, the largest manufacturer, decided that they would reformulate their
dishwasher detergents in all states as they didn't want the cost of managing
different formulations of the same brand and the other manufacturers followed
As stocks are drawn down and people buy new detergent, they are discovering how
crappy non-phosphate detergents work. Without phosphates, you get the results
That was last July they did that and you are correct. The best way is
to add the phosphate back in by adding a cup of TSP (from the deck
cleaner aisle at the big box store) to a new box of detergent. Also,
adding a cup of distilled white vinegar to each load works wonders also.
One other thing, 140 degree water is essential to clean dishes. Most
people THINK they're saving money or being safer or some other dumbass
shit like that by turning down the water heater, but i can assure you,
if you have a service call, the first thing the guy is gonna check is
the water temp. If it's below 140, he's done.
remove the "not" from my address to email
On 1/3/2011 11:49 AM, email@example.com wrote:
Most have a heated water option. And you are right, distance will make
a difference. My DW is about 4.5 feet from a Point of use 10 gallon WH
that feeds the DW and clothes washer. And it IS a hot mo fo.
remove the "not" from my address to email
Yep. Can't wait until they outlaw TSP. Or try to.
A couple of comments - this is definitely a case where more is not better. Use
too much TSP and you will damage any metal things (like silverware, utensiles or
bowls) or even the dishwasher itself.
Dishwasher detergent is one of those things sold by weight and used by volume.
The amount of TSP mentioned above is about right for one of the 85oz boxes of
dry detergent. Costco sized (125 oz) boxes use about a cup and a quarter. Adjust
for smaller boxes in proportion. Make sure you blend well. Pouring a cup of TSP
into the detergent box and shaking a couple of times won't cut it.
If you use the liquid detergents (why?), you'll have to add a teaspoon of TSP in
the dishwasher detergent cup. Also - be sure you get straight dry TSP. There are
lots of cleaners with TSP in the title that contain other substances.
Thank you all for your comments and help. My wife put a quart of
vinegar in the dishwasher and ran a cycle with no detergent or dishes.
Then she ran a light load of dirty dishes and pans and there was no
residue. We plan to pick up some official dishwasher cleaner (which
I've never heard of before) as some here mentioned and run a cleansing
wash every few months.
off topic slightly but i think this should be mentioned!
we have hard water, and our dishwasher wasn't doing a very good job
someone suggested "lemi-shine", you add it to the soap container, i do
other load, 1/2 the container, the other 1/2 normal detergent.
wow, dishwasher looks brand new inside and dishes are cleaner than
ever! love it.
Walmart sells it..
Surprise, surprise. I stopped by the local big box store to pick up a few more
boxes of TriSodium Phosphate (TSP). Right next to the real TSP were green boxes
of "Phosphate Free" TSP. Setting aside how stupid that is, you just know the
next step will be to ban the sale of real TSP. Stock up now, folks.
Sounds like the 'green' muriatic acid my Lowes carries. It is 1/2
strength and twice the price. Otherwise-- it is the same stuff in a
green colored container. Read the labels and the directions are
exactly the same-- except they say to use twice as much product.
So it is actually 4x the cost--- but it is good for the environment. .
. or is it?
This DW thing is sure to hurt the environment more than the regulated
amounts of phosphates that used to be in the detergent. As we all
come up with creative ways to achieve the same effect- but with
overkill amounts of TSP & [my choice] a bit of acid once a week as a
DW wash, we're wasting energy & polluting more than the old style
We had problems with our dw due to detergent residue - ours was that it
caused foaming that then caused leaks around door. Solved, on advice of
serviceman, by pouring a quart of white vinegar into dw and running it
through a cycle. No dishes in this cycle. Worked fine. Something in
the mechanics of the dw caused the foam to keep it from draining
properly - don't know anything about the mechanism but the solution was
a simple one and the serviceman didn't try to sell us another dw. There
has been a lot of news - mainly in Florida? - about new formulations of
dw detergent causing cloudy residue on glassware. I don't use my dw any
If you installed this yourself, why not remove the hose connection (under
the sink) run a cycle making certain the drain is connected to a lower
drain source, (outside), (basement) etc.
This should allow all foreign material in the drain lines to exit...just a
This is becoming a common problem. It's probably due to hard water
deposits. They are occurring because many state governments recently
passed laws that changed the ingredients in dishwasher detergents.
Phosphate is now outlawed and it was the chemical that removes the hard
water deposits. I created a product to solve this problem. It's a powder
you add to each wash cycle. You use 1-2 tablespoons and a just a little
of your normal detergent. So your cost per wash does not increase. The
product is all natural, contains no phosphates, and it works great. Your
dishes (and your filter) will be as clean as new. See my website at
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