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Examples of film over the inside of a dishwasher


White spots or an overall white film is left on the interior of the dishwasher after the dishwasher wash cycle is completed. In particular, in the case of limescale, the element in white and may show signs of calcium build up on it.

The film is not readily soluble in water but will dissolve quickly when wiped with an acidic solution such as vinegar.

Parts of the inside of the machine are white, often accompanied by a "rainbow" effect and rubbing with vinegar does not affect it.

This is a problem that is not caused by a fault on your dishwasher

Usually the result of:

  • Limescale filming if the film can be removed with vinegar
  • Deposition of silica if the "white" film is permanent and there is iridesence.
  • Failure to add dishwasher salt to the salt container in the dishwasher

Cause & Prevention


Usually white film and filming is found to be calcium carbonate deposits caused by hard water. This can be attributed to poor water softening within the dishwasher because of a failure to use the dishwasher salt system correctly or by the salt setting not correctly adjusted for the water hardness level. Please note that in hard water areas salt can still be required even when using "all-in-one" tablet type detergents.

Detergents with high levels of disilicate can produce a white film which is impossible to remove. In such instances, silica in the wash solution chemically bonds to the inner surface of the dishwasher. This film is harmless.


Limescale films can be removed by using a small amount of citric acid (ca 40g) whch you can get at most chemists, to the dishwasher soap dispenser and washing with the dishwasher empty.

Alternatively clean using commercial dishwasher cleaners, such as this one available in our store on a fairly regular basis to ensure optimum performance from your dishwasher. If there is already a white film then we would recommend using dishwasher descaler to remove the deposits and, where you are in a hard water area this may be required once a year or so.


I hard water areas ensure that there is dishwasher salt in the salt container, even when using "all-in-one" tablets or detergent.

Check that the salt setting is correct in relation to your water hardness.

Use a good and correct phosphate containing detergent, we recommend 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.

David Parkinson
We live in a soft water area in Lancashire. We have had our Bosch dishwasher for 5 years and suddenly it has started to have a white film all over the inside of the washer, both on metal and plastic components.Same Finish liquid is used. Previously we have not used salt (I know we should) as it did not seem to need it, but adding salt has not effect.We even used one of the special cleaning bottles, which is meant to spring clean the DW and on previous occasions this has left the washer in immaculate condition. But this time there was no effect on the white film.We have also niticed the DW makes more noise than before, could this be a clue.Surprisingly the dishes look clean and do not seem to have a film. What's going on??

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