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Dishwasher detergent not rinsing off?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
We have a portable dishwasher (looks like a regular built in, only we move it over to the sink.) Lately, much of our dishes are covered with a white film, what looks like detergent residue. Dh thought it was the all-natural detergent I was using so got Palmolive and used that. But it's not the detergent, Palmolive doesn't rinse clean either. And it doesn't matter if it's gel or powder. We tried turning the hot water heater up and water's now really hot but it's still not rinsing.

Any suggestions? I tried an all-natural rinse aide, but that didn't do much (I can't use that Jet Dry, I can taste it on the dishes!)
post #2 of 11
My brother used to do appliance repair a looong time ago. But I remember him saying that when that happens, to run an empty load, with a cup of bleach in it. It's supposed to dissolve whatever might be clogging the pipes or whatever.
post #3 of 11
hey, last year i was having this same problem with our dishwasher. its a GE. i called them a few times, finally got a repairman out who told me that i was using way too much detergent. i told him i was doing as the manual suggested, filling both openings with the dishwasher soap. he said that the instructions tell you to use way too much, and to only use 1/4th that amount. he also said, if you are using those concentrated tablets, cut them in half. best thing to use is powder, and just a few tablespoons is more than enuff.

since then, i have significantly reduced the amount of detergent, and my dishes are sparkly and clean, and my soap lasts alot longer too. so it's a win-win.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
It's not the amount of detergent - I couldn't get the cup to close, so just filled that up a bit, didn't put any in the extra area - still had the layer of film on everything.

I told dh about the suggestion of doing a cycle with just bleach and he said "You know, maybe we just switched detergents too many times and it got all mucked up." Maybe. So I got out the bottle of Seventh Generation bleach alternative (mainly hydrogen peroxide) and am running the dishwasher empty with just that. We'll see how that goes.
post #5 of 11
If the bleach doesn't work, try running it with a cup of white vinegar in it.
post #6 of 11
my dishwasher says to never put bleach in it, in the manual..
you can get some kind of citric acid stuff meant for dishwashers tho,
we had the same problem with our brand new dishwasher.. and the reasoning was the water was too hard, so we every load we put in natural dishwasher soap and a cup of vinegar, that worked great.
Then we got a water softener and we havent had a problem since.
hth
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Okay, I ran the dishwasher empty with a cup of the Seventh Generation bleach stuff. Then I ran the dishwasher with some of the Trader Joe's stuff, using less than I'd usually use. Funky film. So I did just a rinse cycle but added a cup of vinegar. There's still a film. It seems to be mainly on the plastic kids plates (which I'd love to toss, but dd tosses plates off the table when she's done.) But also the glass cups. I'd think it was a top rack thing, like the water isn't reaching it or something, but stuff on the bottom rack isn't rinsing clean either. I also noticed along the bottom of the bottom rack, there's some pink film, looks like build-up of some sort.

Any other options or ideas? This is getting annoying!
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
I think we found a solution - or answers.

Talking to our neighbor, apparently we have very limey water here. She has this Jet Dry dishwasher cleaner that she uses to clear away all the built-up lime residue in her dishwasher - that's what the white stuff is! She gave me a bottle to try and as soon as the dishwasher is done running, I'll empty it and use the Jet Dry stuff (and then maybe rinse it again.)

Meanwhile, I told her about the using vinegar in the wash cycle trick (because it did seem to help even though there was still some film.) So she's going to try that.
post #9 of 11
It's the water by the sound of it. We get it here too, very hard water here. There are stains in the sinks and toilets no matter how often I clean them and we get the film from the dishwasher too. I started using detergent with jet dry in it/rinse aid and that does help.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well, the Jet Dry dishwasher cleaner worked - I ran a rinse cycle after using it to rinse the dishwasher clean of it, but after running it twice, it still smells like that stuff. The good news, almost all the limey residue is off the dishes (there was a fork, but all the sippy cups were finally clean!)

I really don't want to use Jet Dry as a rinse aid itself. I tried it once (got a free sample) and I swear I could taste it on my plates and glasses. ugh. I have an all natural one I picked up at Whole Foods, let's see if that works well now that I've gotten the gook out.
post #11 of 11

@tanjarine What water softener do you use?

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