What is This White Stuff on My Dishes?

Posted: February 5, 2016

Guest Post by Kieffer’s Appliances

Lately, we’ve been getting calls from customers telling us that their dishwasher is broken. Now it certainly could be broken or need a service call. Dishwashers, like any machine, can break down. The first question that we always ask is, “What seems to be the problem?” The answer is usually, “My dishes aren’t being cleaned and there is a white film covering them”.

It’s Not Your Fault

Because of government regulations, phosphates were removed from laundry detergent years ago and now dishwasher detergent is following suit (circa July 2010). Phosphates were used for two reasons. One, they created more “suds” which the consumer assumed meant better cleaning. The truth is that the amount of bubbles a detergent creates has no bearing on its cleaning power. The second reason is that phosphates help to soften the water which aids in the drying/rinsing process thus preventing spots from appearing on your dishes.

The Solution

1. Remove any dishes from the dishwasher.

2. Take two cups of white vinegar and throw that right into the tub. Don’t worry about trying to fill the detergent compartment with the vinegar.

3. Run the dishwasher through a normal cycle.

Depending on what types of dishes were already in your dishwasher, feel free to leave them in. Vinegar is a fantastic, natural cleaning agent and will help to remove the film from your dishes and the interior of the dishwasher. If you don’t want to leave your dishes in with the vinegar, I’m sorry, but you’ll have to hand-wash the film off.

Another solution is to purchase a product called “Dishwasher Magic”. It’s a highly concentrated citric acid solution that will eat the white film off of the interior of the dishwasher. We would NOT advise leaving your dishes in when using this product. It’s available at most grocery stores for about four bucks.

Moving Forward

Now that you’ve cleaned the interior of the dishwasher, it’s time to change how you use your dishwasher. Use LESS detergent. Today’s dishwashers use so little water (sometimes only four gallons) that they don’t need as much soap as you’ve been using. Check to make sure your rinse aid reservoir is filled. If you haven’t been using a rinse aid like Jet Dry, then go out and buy some. It’s absolutely critical that you use a rinse aid. Many dishwashers today give you the ability to select how much rinse aid will be dispensed during the cycle. You can turn the settings all the way up in your dishwasher to dispense the maximum amount.



Kieffer’s Appliances

To visit Kieffer’s, please contact Patrese Gelfant



Showroom by Appointment 267-340-5774

785 Sumneytown Pike

Lansdale, PA  19446


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