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Example of residue left from a dishwasher not cleaning properly


Particles of matter, often looking like grit or sand or may look as if the soil has not been properly removed. There may be re-deposition where foods are deposited on items that did not originally have dirt on them.

This is not normally a fault with your dishwasher and no service or repair will resolve the problem, check fully before calling service

However, if there is a problem with the dishwasher spray arms, heating element or the recirculation or wash motor but, if that is the case it is normally very obvious and we strongly suggest that you follow the advice below before requesting a service call.

This problem can also be associated with dirt or grit on dishes and is pretty much the same issue in most cases.

Usually Caused By:

  • Short wash cycle used
  • Too low water temperature
  • Insufficient detergent
  • Old or badly stored detergent
  • Food residue in the filters (dirty filters)
  • Poor quality detergent
  • Incorrect loading
  • Connecting the dishwasher to a hot supply
  • Adding items to the dishwasher during the wash
  • Blocked spray arm
  • Spray arm obstructed

Cause And Prevention


Normally this is the result of food particles being redeposited on the items during the main wash and subsequently not being removed because the water spray does not reach the soiled areas.

Using cycles that are too short or cool as well as not using the correct detergent, poor quality detergent or old detergent can cause this to happen.

It is important if this problem occurs, to check that the spray arms of your dishwasher are clear, clean and can rotate freely. It may also be an indication of a problem with the main recirculation pump in some manner. Also a "not heating" fault with your dishwasher can cause this to occur.

If the filters are not clear and clean the likelihood of this problem is greatly increased.

Connecting the dishwasher to a hot supply is extremely likely to shorten the program cycle which will cause the enzyme in the detergent to decompose too early and will result in poor wash results.


Rewash the affected items after eliminating the cause as above.


Always follow the manufacturers recommended dosage taking into account the water hardness.

Ensure that the spray arms are clean and that no objects are obstructing them, that they freely rotate.

Ensure that the dishwasher filters are clear.

Place tall glasses halfway between the front and back of the dishwasher basket as this exposes them to the best spray pattern.

Ensure that the dishwasher is connected to a water supply that will not exceed about 40˚C although we strongly recommend that, for best results, that your dishwasher is connected only to a cold water feed unless the dishwasher is clearly marked as suitable for use on a hot supply.


  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.

Bonnie Leeming
Stained goods
My dishwasher is leaving a residue on all the wash. The main problem is the stainless steel items - I have taken a photograph but unsure how to upload it.
Hi Bonnie,

Most staining is explained in this section, we have not come across any that is not given here.

However if you need to send an image you can email it to admin@ukwhitego or you can use the forums and upload it with a post there.

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