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what's wrong with the dishwasher?

L Jun 14, 2006 10:06 PM

recently my past few loads- when finished the items (glasses, tupperware, etc...) have soap residue in them & I need to rinse by hand. I've never had this happen before. I use liquid Cascade. any thoughts as to what could be wrong?

  1. w
    Wayne Keyser Jun 14, 2006 10:15 PM

    I'd guess a water-flow problem - a clogged filter or hose - that prevents adequate rinsing (they're probably not getting all that clean either).

    Repairman time.

    1. y
      yayadave Jun 14, 2006 11:23 PM

      You might be able to clean the filter yourself. Or find someone who is handy. It's usually right where the incoming line attaches to the washer. Check your manual or find your model on line and look for the repair or operating manual. You don't have to remove the machine from where it is installed. You just have to take off the botton cover on the front. And turn off the water, of course.

      1. g
        Gayle Jun 15, 2006 12:52 AM

        Also, consider switching to a powder. I had a repairman tell me that a powder is easier on the machine. I can't recall the reasoning, but it made perfect sense at the time. Same for the washing machine.

        I've had two other friends tell me that they were told the same thing by repairmen.

        Link: http://www.geggieblog.blogspot.com

        3 Replies
        1. re: Gayle
          pamd Jun 15, 2006 07:48 AM

          thanks everyone- so a repair is more appropriate than a new one I guess? I have a terrific plumber!

          I actually was thinking about using powder because I do remember hearing that once. It was my 1st idea, but I know that can't be all since I've always used liquid and not had a problem before.

          1. re: pamd
            Darren Jun 15, 2006 09:30 AM

            Interesting advice about powder. I switch to liquid dishwashing detergent because I noticed that with powder many of my glasses ended up with a "fishy" smell.

            1. re: pamd
              Eldon Kreider Jun 15, 2006 12:54 PM

              Plumbing and diswasher repairs require different skills. You almost certainly need an appliance repair person, not a plumber.

              One other thing you can check in addition to the filter, which is the prime suspect. Sometimes stuff gets caught in a sprayer hole or two in a rotar arm. Pepper and tomato seeds sometimes get through our dishwasher's filter but get stuck in an arm. Usually they can be pulled out or broken up with tweezers.

          2. s
            sivyaleah Jun 15, 2006 09:16 AM

            Also, does your dishwasher have one of those other small areas near where you put in the detergent, which you add that other liquid to, the one which keeps glasses from getting filmy looking? It's a blue liquid, comes in a small bottle - I forget the name of it.

            I've found that whenever this starts going low, my glasses start not looking as clean and start developing spots. Unfortunately there is no good way to know when it needs refilling, so I just put some in monthly just in case.


            1. p
              pilotgirl210 Jun 15, 2006 11:21 AM

              Try adding *JetDry* to your machine. Your glassware and flatware will sparkle.

              4 Replies
              1. re: pilotgirl210
                PayOrPlay Jun 15, 2006 04:41 PM

                I agree--before calling the repairman, try the JetDry first. We have a good, but aging, dishwasher and the JetDry really seems to make a difference.

                Like the OP we use liquid Cascade, baking-soda version. Lately I find I am having noticeably better results by using the full (two-wash) cycle instead of rinsing and using the light (one-wash) cycle as my mother thriftily trained me to do.

                Before this thread I never heard that powder is easier on the machine than liquid--I will have to check this theory out.

                1. re: pilotgirl210
                  toodie jane Jun 24, 2006 05:18 PM

                  what IS jet dry? I've never used it because of concerns about residue from it on my dishes. (ick)

                  I too have the residue problems of the OP. Reduces me to tears when I've had a rough day, only to come home to a dishwasher full of dirty 'clean' dishes.

                  yaya dave, can looking at the owner's manual really give me the info I need to clean out the clogged whats-it?

                  1. re: toodie jane
                    The Ranger Jun 24, 2006 07:30 PM


                    Smart & Final has both liquid that you add to the dishwasher reservoir (usually in the door near the soap dispenser) and solid rack tablets for awesome prices.

                    I've used Jet Dry since it first came out and love the product. I notice the fishy smell returns to the taller glassware when I let it run low or completely out so I've become proactive when adding it nowadays.

                    1. re: toodie jane
                      yayadave Jun 26, 2006 03:25 AM

                      Check the section about the water inlet valve. It has a screen filter that you remove and rinse (back flush) and put back. It doesn't even require any new parts. If you are not getting enough water in the washer, this is the first place to look.
                      There are also filter screens inside the machines that filter the water as it cycles through. They can get clogged and are owner serviceable.
                      And others have mentioned, sometimes the holes in the washer arms can get clogged, too. They've covered that.
                      Sometimes I'm so didactic I can't stand myself.
                      But I hope this helps.
                      Huh! I just hope it gets through our new Chowhound.

                  2. The Ranger Jun 24, 2006 07:33 PM

                    Check your manual. It's one of those around-the-home repairs that can easily be done without bringing in a tradesman.

                    You might check the rinse spouts in the rotor arms (easily removed.) Use a toothpick or broom straw to clear any stuck debris. For soap or calcium deposits, Kaboom! works the charm.

                    If the filter is clogged, as previously suggested, this can be done by you without any real effort or worry.

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