What should I expect from my fancy new dishwasher?

A few months back we upgraded to a high-end Electrolux dishwasher, excited at the prospect of squeaky-clean dishes with little or no pre-washing required.

Alas, that’s not what I’m experiencing. At first I’d just toss dishes into the dishwasher with hardly a dash of pre-washing, only to find distinct traces of residue on various glasses and bowls. We installed a new water softener in the house, but the issue persisted.

I eventually reached the conclusion that the “no pre-washing” rule only applies if you plan on washing immediately; often it’s every other day that we end up running it. So I took to pre-washing dishes as I’d done in the past, but even now I need to check my dishes, and 1-3 items per load still end up with dried food bits on them. Very frustrating!

Is this what I should expect on a high-end dishwasher like this? Again, our water is soft, and we’re following the recommended amount of detergent (even exceeding it).

I have a Miele dishwasher.
I almost never pre-wash any dishes. We may go two or three days between running the machine.
In the 4 years or so we have had it, I can count on my fingers the number of dishes that did not come clean.

I’ve always prewashed by default.

Then I saw a deal on GMA (weekend) that said don’t bother. They even went on to demonstrate. I was amazed but still skeptical.

So I put it to the test myself. The most challenging item I thought I put in the washer were the removable grill plates to my Foreman grill.

As instructed from the show, I had set my DW to “Pots and Pans”, basically the longest wash possible.

I was amazed again at how clean everything came out. Including the grill plates which had burnt on grime from two or three days ago.

The only thing I can trounleshoot for the OP is:

Did you have your DW set to “Hot Start”?

Did you have it set to “Pots and Pans”?

Did your hot water heater have hot water in it? In other words, you didn’t just take a long hot shower or do a couple of loads of laundry then try to start the DW; did you?

I have a high-end version of a common brand, and we never have to pre-wash, even when we wait a few days. It’s also dead quiet compared to low-end versions. At times there are things that I can’t get clean manually, that come out spotless by running through the dishwasher.

Our non-high-end dishwasher gets everything clean, no matter how much stuck-on food we leave on the dishes. I used to rinse the dishes before putting them in, but someone told me that it wasn’t necessary and I stopped. If your dishwasher isn’t cleaning the dishes something is wrong, whether it’s a high-end dishwasher or not.

It could be the soap you use, the water, or the way you load the machine. Have you read the operator’s manual?

Sounds like you get the same performance that we get out of our $300 dishwasher. It was a consumer reports “best Buy.”

Then I looked at the actual report, and on cleaning dishes it only ranked “fair.” This was when I started to realize what a bunch of assholes the people at Consumer Reports are. If I use anything but the high end Cascade detergent, and LOTS of it, the dishes do not get clean. If I use another brand, I have to use 2x as much detergent to get the dishes clean.

Thanks for responses so far. I do have hot water, and I’ve got the Hi-Temp Wash option selected (heats water to 140F/60C). I’m just about out of detergent so I’ll pay attention to what kind I buy, and see if that makes a difference.

I posted the OP after finding one glass with schmutz on it. Then I went back and finished unloading, and there were like three more dishes like that. So yeah, I think I’m not crazy.

On a more technical level, any idea what would cause a dishwasher to work “good, but not great” like it’s doing?

I have a Kenmore Elite washer and I don’t have to pre wash. I usually rinse the dishes when I put them in the sink to remove hug chunks of food but if they have something stuck to them when they go in the wash, it doesn’t matter. I do this more to avoid having food with stuff stuck to it which is a pet peave of mine. I sue it for pots and pans as well and those may have dried on gunk that didn’t come out when rinsed. Those come out clean. I also put in the removable grill

We use it to clean baby bottles and I’ve only had one bottle ever come out dirty. That particular bottle had something kind of oily stuck to it that I had to clean off by hand with a scrub brush.

I’ve got a 20-something Kenmore that I’ve had to rewash something less than 10 times in.

  1. Loading is critical.
  2. Make sure nothing is interfering with the spray arm, if it has one.
  3. Umm. Hi Opal. 1 and 2 have been the source of all the problems I’ve ever had.

Now if I can just convince my new wife to learn these…

I have a Maytag (not especially high-end, and portable, rather than a built-in), and extremely hard water. Detergent is the only thing that’s made a difference. The Cascade Complete works great, but the Cascade w/ baking soda doesn’t. The Electrasol packs worked fine, but the powder didn’t.

If the detergent works, even lasagna pans come out clean the first time. And I’m lazy and rarely pre-rinse. And I have my 3 little boys load the dishwasher, so I’m sure it’s not loaded properly.

I NEVER pre-wash unless it’s something particularly ornery (and then I give it to the dog to lick first.) No problems.

This is a long shot, but I’ll tell you a problem I had. My water pressure was low, and enough water wasn’t getting into the dishwasher.

It seems the dishwasher doesn’t measure the amount of water entering, it just takes in water for so many minutes. I experimented by opening the door halfway through filling and manually adding large amounts of hot water. Suddenly, the dishwasher worked properly.

I couldn’t do that all the time so I tried different detergents until I found one that helped. I can’t remember the name, but it was the tablet with a little round ball in it. I still had some dishes getting not-quite-clean, but not as many.

We got a new dishwasher in January, a Bosch with a stainless steel interior. I was talking with my wife today, and she had to switch detergents because it was giving the silverware and inside of the dishwasher a purple hue. She’s switched to capsules of Finish (formerly Electrolux) Powerball (the ball is Jet Dry). It also maybe calls itself Quantum (the packaging is confusing).

When I mentioned that you were getting “schmutz” on your glasses, she said it sounds like a bad installation. I installed ours myself, and the one tricky thing was that the discharge hose was six feet long, and you couldn’t cut it shorter, because both ends were molded into a particular shape. I had about an extra two feet to deal with, and had to mount a bracket under the sink to get the hose to always run downhill, rather than have a large dip that would collect water. Something to check.

Also, the problem Postariti had could also be caused by the shut-off for the dishwasher not being opened all the way, even if you have good water pressure. I did that when installing a faucet once.