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Plastic turning orange or pink in a dishwasher


Plastic tableware and plastic parts, notably basket wheels and the cutlery basket, become an orange or pink colour even when they have not stored or touched coloured food.

This problem is not and, cannot be caused, by a fault on your dishwasher and a service engineer will not be able to resolve this issue

Please refer to the notes below to avoid the problem.

Usually the result of:

  • Washing dishes that have contained tomato based foods or other foods containing carotenoid pigments
  • The presence of fatty or oily foods will increase the risk of cartenoid staining
  • Whilst not visually appealing cartenoid staining is completely harmless

Cause & Prevention


Cartenoid, usually red, pigments are dissolved in any oil which is present and this is suspended in the wash water. The oil, including the cartenoid, is then absorbed by the plastic surfaces.

Cartenoids are commonly found in foodstuffs such as tomatoes, baked beans, tinned spaghetti as well as being used in food colouring for curries and, within that, turmeric also contains cartenoids.


The pink/orange discolouration will not be removed by bleaching the items as the plastic has actually absorbed the discolouration.

Where possible you can stand the items in direct sunlight where the UV radiation will eventually bleach the items, but this will take some time.


Wherever possible rinse any dishes that may contain such items (and similar) as those mentioned above before placing them in the dishwasher.

Alternatively, do not place plastic items in the dishwasher whilst washing plates etc. that may have such colouring on them although the basket wheels and cutlery basket will still discolour if they are affected.

Many better quality dishwashers do not suffer from this problem.


  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.

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