Grit And Sand On Dishes
It is a very, very common problem and you'll soon understand why this is when I tell you that the dishwasher cannot make grit, sand or dirt of any kind. Sorry but it just can't.
What it can do is not clean the dishes properly and, after drying at the high temperatures at which dishwashers do, then you get dried on dirt particles. This can happen for a number of reasons but in the main it will mean that you have to carry out some maintenance yourself, like clean the dishwasher. You can find out a lot more about that from this article.
But here we are going to show you, in extreme close-up what the grit sticking to your dishes actually is and, it's not nice.
Plastics & Dishwasher Loading
What you see in the picture above is a close-up photo of a child's plastic bowl from IKEA whcih was placed incorrectly on the top shelf of a Fisher & Paykel Dishdrawer with other dishes beneath. What has happened is that, because the spray couldn't reach the bowl correctly the food residues haven't been removed correctly and you can clearly see it forming that "grit" or "sand" type of appearance, it's not that at all, it's just burnt food.
There is more to this story though as plastic isn't a good conductor of heat so this isn't actually too bad, if this were a ceramic plate the effect could be much worse, but we'll show you that below.
Plastics have another downside when washed in a dishwasher in that they also seem to hold onto the water better, an effect only made worse by the use of multi-function tablets.
This is the bowl in full view below.
This is why loading and load patterns for a dishwasher are important as, if you do it wrong, then you'll get poor results, just like this.
Of course some dishwashers are better than others but, funnily enough, manufacturers aren't exactly falling over themselves to offer some up for testing, especially real world testing.
There are also some faults that can cause such issues, in fact almost any described here, but please, please read this article and also this article BEFORE you call an engineer in as we really hate to have to charge our customers for things like this that you can solve yourself easily.
If You See Grit Or Sand In A Dishwasher
Take your pick as what you want to call it but, in essence, this is tiny particles of burnt, dried out food. It can be thrown up onto dishes or cutlery from the filter, get ejected from the spray arm, be pulled up off the door seal (few people clean that) or it could have come from another dish. In the end it really doesn't matter, it's what it is that's important and reading the sister article to this one from the above link will explain what to do.
But here's the "grit" in close-up on a ceramic plate
You can also very, very often see this in the inside of cups or mugs that are washed in your dishwasher as that's where water swirls and this stuff gets deposited. So we get the reported fault that there's grit or sand in the bottom of the cups or mugs. If you're reading this article you now know what it is.
Another close-up view:
Now lets look at another area of the same plate, but zoom out a little:
Now you see a larger chunk of what would appear to be the perennial favourite for this type of fault, the good old Weetabix.
Let's zoom out some more and see:
You can clearly see now that the dirt is indeed food residues that have been through the dry cycle as we obviously picked a good example to show this deliberately. However, the fact remains that these sorts of deposits are always and, we do mean ALWAYS, food residues.
It is entirely possible that these are due to a fault if the dishwasher isn't pumping correctly or draining properly, but check all the obvious things first as it may well save you either time or an embarrassing moment.