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I'm ready to pitch my dishwasher!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
2 years ago we bought a Kenmore dishwasher (on sale, yay). At first it was awesome, but after about 9 months of use it started to leave a white film on all the dishes. Tried different detergents and after awhile chalked it up to our hard water (we rinsed and wiped them after).

We just got a water softener about a month ago and it's wonderful. It's totally cleaned off the white residue that was on the inside of the dishwasher and the dishes were never looking better. Until now. Now, they just aren't washing! I've washed the same plates 3 times in 2 days and they STILL have stuff on them, actually more than was on them when I put them in. I use the detergent tabs and they are disolving fully, I bought Jet Dry hoping that would help and it didn't and I had just cleaned the inside of it a week ago cause of food getting in the glasses.

DH thinks that maybe there is stuff caught in the drain that is washing back up in the rinse. Could this be it? The dishes aren't as wet as they used to be (we don't use a drying cycle), could there be a build-up of hard water that's breaking up and clogging the water jets (we were having this problem with the washer)? Needless to say, I'm baffled and frustrated and want this fixed cause I really hate washing dishes by hand. :
post #2 of 17
Mine was doing the same thing! It's 2 years old and we have hard water. I tried running vinegar thru it to help w/ the hard water but it didn't seem to hlep. I found some stuff next to the jet dry that was for cleaning the dishwasher. You run it w/ no dishes in it, it smells like oranges, and it cleaned out all the oils and hardwater build up. I cannot believe the difference! I think some of my jets were kind of clogged up b/c of build up.
I also started using Lemishine for keeping the glasses clear (Jet dry, too).
post #3 of 17
You might experiment with using less detergent (I use half the rec. amount) and turn off the heated dry. For some reason, this helps us.

Also, here's an awesome tip for removing buildup. Set a big glass measuring cup (or a glass) full of distilled vinegar on the bottom rack of the machine--cup and all. Don't dump it in. Run the cycle with all your glass and plastic--it removes the film. You may want to test it on a piece of your flatware before running a cycle with that--I think it worked fine on mine, but I believe it can damage some sets.
post #4 of 17
we have very hard water and our dishwasher also makes the dishes dirtier. We're in an apartment so we can't add a softener. I've tried so many different things (Jet Dry, Lemishine, the cleaning stuff, etc). I also think that I've loosen up all the crud and it just can't drain it out.
I just wash dishes by hand now.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm hoping DH can get a chance to take apart the sprayers and see if they are clogged or something. I've even thought of running a cycle of CLR through it cause I did notice today (as I was removing the dirty dishes from it to wash them by hand) that there seems to be a lot of white scaly stuff on the sprayers (even though the residue on the sides of the washer is gone).

It seemed so odd to me because the only places it's depositing food is on the dishes and the door. There is no food on the sides or the bottom, so I think it must be draining properly.

I'll look into the dishwasher cleaner tomorrow when I get groceries. I'd prefer that to the CLR.
post #6 of 17
Our dishwasher would clean the dishes, but it left a yucky film on all the silverware and spots all over the glasses. Also, the heating coils at the bottom of the dishwasher were covered in a white crusty film from the hard water. I tried all different kinds of detergents, vinegar, Jet Dry, etc but I ended up trying a product called "Glass Magic". It's not natural (I'm not even exactly sure what's in it), but we have very hard water and it's the only thing I found that works in our case. It can be found it in dish detergent aisle at most large grocery stores.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
It seemed so odd to me because the only places it's depositing food is on the dishes and the door. There is no food on the sides or the bottom, so I think it must be draining properly.
Our Kenmore does the SAME thing and I have yet to figure out how to fix it. There isn't any sort of contraption to clean or anything either. I've checked the manual and it doesn't say anything. Ours has a garbage disposal thingie too. And I don't even put food covered dishes in it... so I am flustered. :

We don't have excessively hard water. We have used all types of detergents and I've tried baking soda, vinegar, you name it.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Bleh, maybe it's a Kenmore thing. We bought this model cause it was on sale and was no interest for a year on Sears card, so we could pay in equal installments.

I dunno if it has a garbage disposal in it or not, but we don't put anything that is heavily covered in food in it anyway. If it weren't for the fact that the food is on the door and dishes only, I'd think the drain was plugged or something. I even JUST wiped the whole thing out last week cause we were having food on stuff on the top rack (but the bottom rack was clean) and there was food on the door. You'd think that'd make it better, not worse!! :
post #9 of 17
Check under the float. We had a similar problem which was helped when I cleaned a disgusting amount of slime from under the float. Ours didn't come off, so I had to stick my hand under it and pull it out- way gross, but effective.

I also scraped away the mineral deposits on the heating coil and poked away the ones clogging the sprayer with a knife.
post #10 of 17
For those who are getting a new dishwasher, I highly recommend the Whirlpool Gold with the flatware drawer in the door (that is the best invention ever). It gets the dishes clean, but you are right, there is white film. I will have to try the methods you suggest. I just love however putting dishes that have dried food on them, and the dishes then coming out clean (with the soak and scour option). That has made my life so much easier.
Anyway, I did about 6 hours of research before I bought my dishwasher (I am a librarian) and there is quite a difference in brands - especially in the amount of energy used. Maytags are the worst, energy-wise.
post #11 of 17
I LOVE my Whirlpool too! My mom has an OLD one w/ the silverware in the door & I didn't realize how much I loved that feature till I got my first house & didn't have it. When the dishwasher was recalled so I "had" to get a new one, that was a definate requirement And I've been happy w/ it overall as well (so much so that when we moved, I brought it w/ me LOL).
post #12 of 17
I have heard that a bottle of lemon juice concentrate can clean out a dishwasher. Also, Sears has always been good to us about appliances. I would call them up and tell them that the dishwasher is crap and see what they can do to help fix it. They let us exchange a refrigerator after we used it for almost 2 months because we didn't like the color!!! I couldn't believe it.

I have one of those stupid ones that hooks up to the sink!!!! Arrrgggghhhh....I HATE it. I guess it works ok, though. I keep warning DH that it may be out in the yard one day when he gets home. It might "fall off" the porch some day

Lissa...we are looking at installing a new one. Do you remember anything about Kitchenaids from your research? Thanks for the tip about whirpool!
post #13 of 17
For food re-deposited on dishes, check:

1) the sprayers, as another poster mentioned they can get plugged
2) the filter (located at the bottom) If the filter gets a hole in it, the dishwasher will actually spray food bits all over your dishes... making them dirtier! A DIY project if you have the correct screwdriver.
post #14 of 17
Our dishwasher was doing the same thing. This may sound weird but we took the door apart on the dishwasher, we just took all the screws off in the inside of the door. I was ashamed at what I saw! It look like someone threw up a chicken in there or something! It was absolutely disgusting! Since we cleaned that all out we haven't had a problem!

Hope I've helped some!
post #15 of 17
We have a GE dishwasher and I am having a similar prob. Ours gets the dishes clean, its just the white chalky residue and we have hard water too. I used baking soda a couple of weeks ago as I ran out of detergent and was in a pinch...now its been disasterous. I've done 10 loads and the white film is just terrible. I'm not sure if the baking soda exacerbated the problem--it does appear so. I tried doing research via the web and everything said if you have hard water, use baking soda...well it didn't work for me! We can't afford a water softner until next spring when our tax refund comes in so we are trying to decide what to do. I'll try the vinegar in a glass tip, the cleaner, and the glass magic and see what I find.

Oh, we almost got whirlpool because I loved their patent on the refrigerator water filters/ice maker features. However, I feel in love with a GE oven and my DH insisted we match appliances (if I had it to do over I would have argued and got my whirlpool fridge and dishwasher). So--Kitchenaid was bought out by whirlpool. They are the same company. You can usually get the features of a kitchenaid in a whirlpool model for less money! Do look into this unless kitchenaid is just offering a good rebate/sale. However, if you buy a kitchenaid, you are buying a whirlpool so you are safe. Whirlpool also does much of the Kenmore elite (the higher end brand of Kenmore) appliances too.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lissa N View Post
For those who are getting a new dishwasher, I highly recommend the Whirlpool Gold with the flatware drawer in the door (that is the best invention ever). It gets the dishes clean, but you are right, there is white film. I will have to try the methods you suggest. I just love however putting dishes that have dried food on them, and the dishes then coming out clean (with the soak and scour option). That has made my life so much easier.
Anyway, I did about 6 hours of research before I bought my dishwasher (I am a librarian) and there is quite a difference in brands - especially in the amount of energy used. Maytags are the worst, energy-wise.

I hate to say this, but my Whirlpool Gold is a total piece of junk. One year and one month after the warranty expired, something happened and the soap no longer dispensed. We began using tablet dishwasher detergent because we could toss it in. It worked fine until this past summer. This is when it started leaking. Our household appliance repair guy took it apart, and couldn't find the cause. My dh took it apart and coulnd't find where or why it leaked. It now leaks up to 5 cups of water if it is run. I don't use it anymore, I just leave it in place because a new car is a bigger priority than the dishwasher at this time. We have had the stupid thing for four years. My grandmother's dishwasher lasted nearly 25 years. It was big, noisy, and used a lot of water, but boy did it clean dishes!

I might just buy the cheapest dishwasher I can find. We spent nearly $460 on that hunk of junk. I won't do that again
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
I got some of the JetDry dishwasher cleaner and it made a huge difference in the scaley residue that was on the sprayers and the heating element. It also ate up the food that was still stuck to the door. I did 2 doses because there was still some residue after the first. it even loosened up residue that was in the sprayers (we didn't realize that there was residue in the sprayers, only wondered. After the first dose there was a big hunk of it in one of the sprayer holes on the top sprayer)

So far, so good! My dishes are clean, there's no food on the door and no residue on the dishwasher! I'm quite happy so hope it'll keep working. Though I did discover that my dishes stayed done up better when I was washing them by hand and it wasn't so bad after all.
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