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Thread: Dishwasher white stuff - driving us nuts!!

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Dishwasher white stuff - driving us nuts!!

    From time to time, with no way of predicting when, we've been getting this white crust on our dishes from the dishwasher. Looks like scale to me; can be removed by vigorous scrubbing, but dissolves easily with vinegar. This has happened intermittently with three different detergent brands...

    [attachment=0:34iil6n2]DSCN1339.JPG[/attachment:34iil6n2]

    Is there some trick to stopping this It's quite a pain. Thanks!
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    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: Dishwasher white stuff - driving us nuts!!

    I doubt it is the detergent you're using. I suspect that you have hard water.

    If you have hard water and a water softener, I would investigate the softener's functionality. Maybe you're running the washer during a regen cycle.

    Scott
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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Dishwasher white stuff - driving us nuts!!

    We do have hard water (TA & CH of about 230); no softener.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: Dishwasher white stuff - driving us nuts!!

    Well you just need to be doing all the dishes by hand then! Ok I knew that wouldn't work!

    The fact that Vinegar will dissolve it readily tells me it's hard water stains. Looks like it might be time for a softener.

    The good news about that is that you can use it to refill your pool from evaporation & splashout and not add hardness.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Dishwasher white stuff - driving us nuts!!

    MITS,

    From your description, it sounds like it happens suddenly. My hard water deposits are a slow accumulation on glassware that may take a few months before it really starts to accumulate. Is that glassware in the pic or metal?

    That doesn't look at all like what I get and I get no deposits whatsoever on metalware.

    If it's occuring suddenly, I would suspect a malfunction in the rinse cycle of the dishwasher.
    Dave S.
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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Dishwasher white stuff - driving us nuts!!

    Thanks all!
    Dave, it is sudden and intermittent, and deposits the scale on everything (metal, plastic, glass) equally. Probably 19 of 20 cycles things will be fine, then out of the blue everything will come out splattered with white. I really don't relish the idea of installing a softener.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: Dishwasher white stuff - driving us nuts!!

    Do you use the drier cycle when the wash cycles are done? Which soap do you use? When my former dishwasher was malfunctioning sometimes it would leave a layer of soap on the dishes and if it ran through the drier cycle it would bake that stuff on!
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    Re: Dishwasher white stuff - driving us nuts!!

    Yeah, that sounds like a dishwasher malfunction. In fact, the deposits look more like dishwashing detergent caked on rather than calcium deposits. I am not a dishwasher guy
    Dave S.
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    Re: Dishwasher white stuff - driving us nuts!!

    MITS, I get the same thing and I have been blaming the dishwasher soap. This all started for me after switching to a gel soap instead of powder. I hope we both get it figured out because it is a royal PITA...
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: Dishwasher white stuff - driving us nuts!!

    Also...using a rise aid may help as well, maybe it occurs when the rinse aid is low?
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: Dishwasher white stuff - driving us nuts!!

    Rinse aid?

    Since I don't know what that is, it probably means it's low....
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: Dishwasher white stuff - driving us nuts!!

    Which dishwasher do you have? Do you have a "heat dry" function? If so, try leaving the "heat dry" option off for 30 washes or so.
    Its seems more like a malfuction than hard water to me.
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    Re: Dishwasher white stuff - driving us nuts!!

    Shane, it's a whirlpool gold; don't know anything beyond that. We never use the heated dry, or any other of those special things.

    I'll have to ask DW about the rinse aid, or rinse cycle(s). She's the boss of such things; I try to keep my distance from dirty dishes....
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: Dishwasher white stuff - driving us nuts!!

    http://www.finishdishwashing.com/rinse- ... agents.php

    FYI...just an example of the brand we use...most dishwashers have either a separate compartment or container that feeds it over 20 or so rinse cycles...we have hard water too and notice the film if we run the washer without it.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: Dishwasher white stuff - driving us nuts!!

    Also, if you read the instructions it will say that you must leave some food on the dished for the dishwasher soap to attack. Otherwise it etches your dishes. Still can't convince my husband of that one, "Please, don't wash the dishes so clean before you put them in the dishwasher." You do need to remove eggs and oatmeal and rice, which all get harder with hot water, and peanut butter. But most everything else can stay.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Dishwasher white stuff - driving us nuts!!

    My water is not exceptionally hard but hard enough. With just the two of us we only need to run it every few days. When I do a rinse/hold I frequently use some vinegar in the water and then do another clear water rinse. This accomplishes two things; keeps calcium scale down on the internals of the dishwasher, and keeps it from getting smelly for the couple or three days the just rinsed dishes sit in there. Our dishwasher was new last year and uses very little water.

    I, also, alternate, between two different detergents every other time. For some reason it seems to get them cleaner. We only have a four gallon tank to feed our dishwasher so I, also, use the heated water function, but not the heated dry. I once used the sani rinse (almost boiling water) and it deformed some microwavable plastic containers.

    Rinse Aid is great.

    gg=alice
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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Dishwasher white stuff - driving us nuts!!

    OK; problem appears to be alleviated. We'll be using a rinse aid from now on, and managed to get all the scale off the dishes by running the dishwasher through a normal cycle with a cup filled with vinegar sitting upright in the bottom rack (found that tip in the owner's manual ). It worked perfectly.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: Dishwasher white stuff - driving us nuts!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Melt In The Sun
    OK; problem appears to be alleviated. We'll be using a rinse aid from now on, and managed to get all the scale off the dishes by running the dishwasher through a normal cycle with a cup filled with vinegar sitting upright in the bottom rack (found that tip in the owner's manual ). It worked perfectly.
    Great. Good ole white vinegar comes through again. Around my place white vinegar is almost as important as duct tape.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Dishwasher white stuff - driving us nuts!!

    Gosh I'm glad you solved this because we started having it suddenly about a 4-5 months ago. I ended up tossing our fancy plastic bowls , but couldn't bring myself to get rid of the pans! WIsh I'd held onto the bowls now that I know how to get the stuff off.

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    Re: Dishwasher white stuff - driving us nuts!!

    Quote Originally Posted by anonapersona
    Also, if you read the instructions it will say that you must leave some food on the dished for the dishwasher soap to attack. Otherwise it etches your dishes. Still can't convince my husband of that one, "Please, don't wash the dishes so clean before you put them in the dishwasher." You do need to remove eggs and oatmeal and rice, which all get harder with hot water, and peanut butter. But most everything else can stay.
    This is what we were told too Anona, that the detergent is designed to breakdown the food and when there is no food (cuz dishses were rinsed, it leaves a residue on the dishes...
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