Last Updated on May 18, 2015 by Appliance Repair Assistant
My older dishwasher leaves all kinds of bits of food, grit, film, and residue on my plates, dishes, and cups. I have run the dishwasher empty with a simple cleaner and this did nothing. It sounds rough when running a wash cycle. What could be wrong? Sometimes it is also combined with a white residue. I’ve cleaned the filter by hand. Can you give me some DIY tips and tricks to make this problem get resolved?
Reason why your dishwasher is leaving food particles and residue on dishes:
1. Clogged drain hose.
2. Clogged drain pump.
3. Bent drain hose.
4. Water not hot.
5. Not enough water.
6. Dishes loaded unevenly.
7. Wrong type of detergent/rinse aid.
Your drain hose may be clogged therefore causing the food particles to NOT get drained out. The drain hose is under the sink. Open the cabinet next to the dishwasher and you will see a drain hose coming from the dishwasher. Many times it goes to the garbage disposer. Detach the hose with a bowl or bucket under it as water may spill out. Clean out the drain hose to be sure water flows freely through it. You may find small objects blocking it such as popcorn kernels, beans, pieces of glass, paper, and other items.
If the dishwasher drain hose is not plugged up, then clean the dishwasher. Start by removing the racks. Take off the spray arms and be sure they are not plugged up. At the bottom of the dishwasher, remove the drain cover, You can then scoop out the gunk by hand or use a shop vac and suck out any gunk that may be at the bottom. Reassemble the dishwasher and run the washer on its longest cycle, completely empty, and on a HOT water setting. When the dishwasher is about 50% into the wash cycle, pour in a cup of bleach. Instead of using bleach you can use vinegar and baking soda which is more natural and non toxic. After adding a cleaning agent, shut the door and let the dishwasher finish its cycle. If your dishwasher is older, you may have to do this a few times with the vacuum hose in the drain sump.
Another method is to completely disassemble the bottom portion of the dishwasher and clean everything by hand in a sink full of hot soapy water. There is usually a pump filter at the bottom of the dishwasher. This catches all the gunk that is too big to go through the pump to be pumped out. Clean this out and if you suspect the problem is still going to occur, then remove the bottom parts of the dishwasher. Here is a way to take apart the bottom of a dishwasher to clean it out to be like new again.
How to clean a dishwasher naturally
If you know of any other reasons that would cause food particles to be left on dishes and plates in a dishwasher, please leave a comment below.