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smudges on dishes from a dishwasher?

Last post 01-13-2012 11:51 AM by babs. 13 replies.
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  • 01-12-2012 7:07 AM

    smudges on dishes from a dishwasher?

    We haven't changed the kitchen cabinets (or lack of) yet, and there is a VERY old Maytag dishwasher installed. It was my joy after 20 yrs of handwashing to finally have an automatic...although old and decrepit. But it is leaving smuginess on my dishes. Some come out ok, others look well...cloudy. We thought it needed rinse solution, but it has absolutely no spot to put a rinse aid. I remember when I was little my mom used to use these little Jet-Dry basket that hung in the dishwasher....apparantly they don't exist anymore.

    Dh and i have no experience/knowledge whatsoever with automatic dishwashers. I have a newer although used model to put in its place when we replace the cabinets. I'd like to know how to use it properly do not to get cloudy or smudgy dishes.

    Michelle in Northern Michigan

    "Those who would surrender liberty for security deserve neither" - Ben Franklin

  • 01-12-2012 11:08 AM In reply to

    Re: smudges on dishes from a dishwasher?

    does it need a cleaning?  or add vinegar?   I am always leary of the rinse aids ..why have a chemical left on your dishes.

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Hobbies and Crafts
  • 01-12-2012 1:06 PM In reply to

    Re: smudges on dishes from a dishwasher?

    I would check the holes in the spray arms to make sure none are plugged up.  Do you notice whether the film is all over, or more on the dishes placed on the top or bottom rack?  That may give a clue also. Make sure nothing on the bottom rack is sticking up too high and preventing the spray arm for the top rack from turning around completely; I've had that happen before.

    My dishwasher isn't very old, but isn't all that great either.  The only detergent I can use where I don't get any residue is the Finish gelpacs.

    Carol
    western NC
  • 01-12-2012 2:42 PM In reply to

    Re: smudges on dishes from a dishwasher?

    I'll check the spray arm. i don't have very big loads at a time. Some things turn out clean and others have smudges.

    I've been using liquid palmolive ecoplus detergent for automatic dishwashers.

    Michelle in Northern Michigan

    "Those who would surrender liberty for security deserve neither" - Ben Franklin

  • 01-12-2012 3:19 PM In reply to

    Re: smudges on dishes from a dishwasher?

    How hard is your water?

    Some detergents, I've found, just leave residues (spots) on my dishes. Our water is so hard, it's technically "off the scale". We've really had to experiment with different detergent brands to see what would work for us. None of the liquids or powders seemed to work, whether they were store brand or name brand (which was disappointing, since those are often cheaper). Tablet formulas seem to work the best for us, especially if they have a rinse agent like Jet-Dry built in.

    I've only found one environmentally friendly one that seemed to work for us -- Ecover dishwasher tablets. I know Method makes a tablet version, but I haven't tried it.

    There's another dishwasher additive that I read about not to long ago (on the Pioneer Woman website? I think?) that's supposed to be amazing for getting your dishes clean and shiny when you have hard water, but I haven't been able to try it yet. It's called Lemishine. It's a powdered citrus based formula that you add to the detergent cup along with the detergent. It is also supposed to help keep mineral deposits from ruining your dishwasher. The only reason why I haven't used it yet is because I haven't found it around here!

    Mama to a teen and a preschooler KINDERGARTENER!! -- oh, the fun! Also co-parenting 3 other awesome kids. :)
  • 01-12-2012 8:05 PM In reply to

    • Walt34
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on 12-17-2007
    • WV eastern panhandle
    • Posts 1,399

    Re: smudges on dishes from a dishwasher?

    Hard water was my first thought too. When we moved to WV that was our first encounter with hard water, one that we addressed with a water softener, which made a dramatic difference not only with the mineral film on dishes but everything else we washed as well. The dishes, especially glassware, were getting so dingy with mineral deposits that even we did not want to use them even though we knew they were clean.

    While I realize that a water softener is not the solution for everyone - some have issues with the salt that is used, not to mention that it is yet another appliance to buy, install, and maintain - the benefits are worth it to us.

    For your newer dishwasher you may be able to find the owner's manual online at the manufacturer's web site. More and more I'm finding that to be the case and it can be a useful read.

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Money Management
  • 01-12-2012 8:09 PM In reply to

    Re: smudges on dishes from a dishwasher?

    Hello. This is my first post although I have been reading the stretcher for some time. As to your dishwasher, I am sure that you know the hardness of your water supply can make a big difference in the outcome of your dishes. I have found a product called Lemon Shine that has worked well for me. My softener was on the fritz for awhile and I hated the white scum on them. I had used this product four years ago when I moved here and found no one had bothered to put salt in the softener. Lemon Shine cleaned the scum out of the inside and now I use it all the time. I buy it at Walmart. I also got the rinse aid. Looking forward to posting on here. I am a widow and live with my two cats in central Ohio. I keep busy in my small yard and I weave baskets. I love all things Christmas.
  • 01-12-2012 10:36 PM In reply to

    Re: smudges on dishes from a dishwasher?

    Cinnamonhuskies:

    I'll check the spray arm. i don't have very big loads at a time. Some things turn out clean and others have smudges.

    I've been using liquid palmolive ecoplus detergent for automatic dishwashers.

     

    I've never had very good luck using liquid dishwasher detergent instead of powder.  Given the age of your dishwasher, it was built at at time when powdered dishwasher detergent was the norm - the liquid doesn't dissolve as well, at least not for me, which sounds weird, I know.  You might try running a full cycle empty with vinegar to help clean the spray arm; you might also consider soaking down the spray arm with CLR (Calcium, Lime, Rust remover) to remove any build-up - vinegar is good, but this stuff will take off  nearly any build-up - make sure you wear gloves and open a window if you use it.  It works great for cleaning lime build-up on shower heads, too.

     

  • 01-13-2012 11:31 AM In reply to

    Re: smudges on dishes from a dishwasher?

    PUt a pack of lemonaide Kool Aid  and run it.  I add vinegar and baking soda once a month. If it gets smelly, then I add vinegar more often. I have noticed a difference with different detergents in mine. Babs
    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Prayer Circle
  • 01-13-2012 11:33 AM In reply to

    Re: smudges on dishes from a dishwasher?

    Yes, very hard water. (I just had a 'duh!' moment LOL) The inside of the dishwasher has some hard water stains.

     We have been planning on buying a water softener thru dh's workplace but too many other things in the house have received our attention (and money). I have filters on the faucets for now. We had a water test done so we know what kind of softener and how much it'll be.

    I bought some Finish tablets to try today. Thanks for the help!

    Michelle in Northern Michigan

    "Those who would surrender liberty for security deserve neither" - Ben Franklin

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