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Cloudy dishes? Get the dish on your dishwasher
Category: Experimenting

If you’ve ever unloaded the dishwasher only to discover dirty or cloudy dishes just as guests ring your doorbell, we understand your frustration. Especially since you think you’ve done everything right. Scraped the dishes clean before putting them in the dishwasher? Check! Added the detergent? Check! Added a rinse agent for good measure? Check! So why are your dishes coming out of the dishwasher dirty or cloudy? Below our home economists have provided some useful tips and suggestions that may help you identify your problem and how you might be able to solve it.

  • Cloudy residue on glasses – There’s a few reasons why this happens, the first being the age of your glassware. If your glassware is on the older side it may have accumulated mineral deposits over time causing the glassware to become permanently etched. You can do a simple test to check if your glassware is etched by placing a glass in a bowl of white vinegar for 30-60 minutes. If the part of the glass that was submerged in the vinegar is clear, then you will be able to soak your glasses in vinegar to remove the mineral deposits. If the submerged part of the glass still appears cloudy, your glassware is permanently etched and will always appear cloudy. Your glassware may also appear cloudy because you are rinsing it too well before placing it in the dishwasher. When dishes are too well rinsed, the dishwasher has nothing to break down and it will begin to cause wear and tear on your glassware and other items.

  • Food particles on dishes – Run a cycle to check if water is entering the dishwasher. Be sure to clean your filter regularly if your unit has one, or use a dishwasher cleaner about once a month, this will help the unit perform at its best.

  • Cleaning your dishwasher – Just like any other appliance, your dishwasher also requires TLC. Refer to your appliance manual for regular maintenance and be mindful of what your particular model requires.

  • Dirty or tarnished silverware – Ensure that you are not overcrowding your cutlery basket and that you are not mixing stainless steel and silver together. Remember, not all silverware should go in the dishwasher.

  • Loading your dishwasher the right way – Make sure that you are not overloading your dishwasher. If your load arm is blocked by large items, water will not circulate to the top rack of the unit. Load your dishes carefully and position your dishes in such a way that water can run off freely. 

  • Detergent – Be sure to read the directions on the product, ensuring that you are not using too much or too little detergent. Pairing your detergent with a rinse-agent will also help to remove any residue and help your dishes sparkle!

If you have tried all the above options and are still experiencing problems with cloudy, dirty or tarnished dishes, we recommend contacting a certified service technician for guidance, or contact us​ and speak to one of our home economists. 


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Last updated on January 21, 2019