Residue on my dishes. Suggestions?

This has been a problem for a couple of weeks. Our dishes have been coming out of the dishwasher with a very fine white powdery residue, and it’s kinda icky, especially on drinking glasses where it’s very visable. We suspect we have hard water, but a water softener isn’t in the budget right now.

Any suggestions on dealing with the dishes? We’re using a detergent with Jet Dry, and it’s doing dick-all for the problem. If there’s anything else out there that I could add to the wash, I’d love to hear about it. Y’know, besides “just wash them by hand”, which, having traded dish duty for laundry and lawnmowing with my husband, I’d prefer to keep as a last resort.

I had the same problem and started using less detergent. There are 2 little cup things that hold the detergent, in my dishwasher. I put about a tsp. in each.

Are you using liquid detergent? If not, the problem may not be hard water but rather your heating coil in the dishwasher might not be getting hot enough to disolve the powder detergent. (Thus causing the residue.)

Also, try using a rinse aid (like jet dry) if you aren’t already.

Sounds like a hard water problem to me. I always know when our water softener needs salt added to it because the dishes start coming out of the dishwasher looking cloudy. You say a water softener isn’t in the budget. Totally understandable. We couldn’t afford to buy one ourselves either. We rent ours for about $17 a month. The other bonus to renting one is that they come to service it on a regular basis and when something on it breaks, we do not have to pay to fix it.

Believe it or not, your dishwasher detergent may be old and that could cause this problem. Try a fresh box. Refilling the rinse aid may help, too. I found some brands of detergent work better for me than others, as we have very hard water. The best brand for my particular situation is the Dollar General Store brand, which is kind of odd, but there it is. You also might consider cleaning the dishwasher by running a cycle with a special citric acid-based cleaner or Bar Keeper’s Friend. I’ve never tried it but I have seen it recommended.

To get rid of the residue, put the dishwasher on a rinse-only cycle and add about a 1/2 cup to a cup of vinegar to the water. I stop the cycle after a minute or two, let it set for a few minutes and then restart the machine and let it finish the cycle.

I hope this helps.

I’ve got the same problem. Put Jet Dry in your machine. My glasses instantly came out beautifully clean after I did this. It really works. Also, I use the dishwasher cleaner stuff about three times a year to get all the evil funk out of my machine.

It is hard water.

If you can’t afford one ( And I know how expensive they are as our 12 year old one just died on us a few weeks ago and we dropped close to $1000 for a better quality one than the previous didn’t-know-dick-about-softeners model that we had.) you can also toss in in the rinse cycle a cup or so of vineager.

The other option is hand washing.

Every so often tossing in a thing of TANG to run on empty helps clear things out. ( I heard this from the AM radio ‘Appliance Guy’ call in show. The citric acid in Tang ( barkeepers friend is an awesome product as well.) clears out the mineral deposits.

When you get a water softener make sure you use the recommended salt. That makes a difference.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

It’s not exactly old, and not exactly new. We bought the house a few months ago, and the disshwasher came with it, but it had never been hooked up. We had it hooked up as part of the deal when we bought the place.

I’ll try the vinagar ( Jet Dry has been tried, and doesn’t seem to help), and in the long term probably rent a water softener. After all, the water that leaves white stuff all over the dishes is the same water we get all over us in the shower, and a full body vianagar rinse doesn’t sound like fun.