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Iridescence is the rainbow effect seen on glasses when they are held up to light. The various colours may be mainly brown, blue or cover a range of the spectrum.

This issue is not due to a fault on your dishwasher and service will be unable to resolve it for you

Please refer to the information below for a full explanation on how to deal with and avoid this problem with your dishwasher. 

Usually the result of:

  • Detergent with a high level of disilicate
  • Very soft water
  • Long cycles at high temperature

Cause & Prevention


Iridescence is due to a slight unevenness of the glass surface. This causes different wavelengths of light to be reflected in different directions giving a rainbow effect.

The unevenness is usually caused by either slight attack of the glass surface by detergent solutions or by deposition of silica (glass) from detergent solutions with a high disilicate content.

Long wash cycles at high temperature increase the risk of iridescence.


Iridescence is permanent and there is no way to restore the glass to it's original condition.


Ensure that the water is not too soft. Check with your local water authority that the water is suitable.

Do not add salt to the machine if the tap water is water is soft or very soft.

When possible wash glasses in low temperature, quick washes.

Use a quality detergent which is low in disilicate, such as Fairy Active Burst.


  How You Can Get Help With Dishwasher Problems

To offer support in helping people to determine the cause of dishwasher problems please use the dishwasher support forum.

It’s fast, free, easy and normally someone will pick up on the post that can assist you often with a few experts chipping in if needed. Just register if you don’t have an account, we don’t mail you, send you spam or any of that stuff.

Post up your question and give images if you possibly can and the guys in the forums will do the rest for you and try to identify the problem you have.

Cost you nothing, might save you some embarrassment or worse, a charge for a service visit that wasn’t needed.

  Photographs Of Damage

If you can post photographs of the damage or problem you are having this can be really helpful in allowing the dishwasher technicians to see what the problem is.

The guys have the knowledge to assist with most problems but the more information you give them, the better they can help you.

Dishwasher detergent
What is considered a high disilicate content?

Rainbow effect of glass
What level of water softness, and what water temperature do you recommend to avoid this happening?
Harmful to health?
Hi! Is this rainbow effect harmful To our health? I noticed it\'s leaving the same rainbow residue on cheese grater and other items. I thought it was from melting plastic in my dishwasher but now I think it\'s from cheap glasses. It couldn\'t be from plastic also could it?

Hi Ashley,

No it is not harmful, just discolouration.

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