Undissolved detergent remains in the soap dispenser, the bottom of the dishwasher or is found in the sump.
Although in rare circumstances this can be caused by a couple of notable faults on your dishwasher such as the dishwasher not heating correctly or a fault with the main recirculation pump or motor as well as the maintenance below, it will generally be caused by one of the obvious symptoms below that you should check before calling in an engineer to repair your dishwasher.
Usually the result of:
- Overdosing the detergent
- Old or caked detergent
- Using too cool or short wash program
- Using dishwasher tablets in a small (4 place setting) dishwasher
- Detergent in a wet dispenser cup
- Spray arms blocked or jammed in your dishwasher
- Poor quality detergent
Cause & Prevention
Basically the detergent for one of the reasons above has failed to dissolve completely as shown above. It is very common to find partially dissolved tablets and this is normally due to using washes in your dishwasher that are too short or cool for the tablets to dissolve correctly.
Most tablets (with the exception of Fairy Active Burst that we recommend) are unsuitable for short and/or cool washes as they need the program length and heat to dissolve correctly.
This makes most tablets unsuitable for use on "ECO" cycles. Overdosing powder detergent can also produce this problem. Tablets will normally contain too much detergent for small 4 place setting dishwashers. We would advise the use of powder for these machines although we have used Fairy Active Bursts successfully in small dishwashers.
Powder, placed into a wet dispenser, may cake and not flow into the dishwasher as intended. Please ensure that the spray arms are clear and rotate freely. A common problem is "dishwasher fresheners", an item too tall in the bottom basket or a fallen item blocking the dishwasher spray arm from rotating correctly once the door is closed or, an item in the dishwasher blocks the arm/s.
Perform another wash in your dishwasher with no detergent to dissolve the remaining detergent.
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.
Use the correct detergent and correct dose.
When using dishwasher tablets, especially Finish products, make sure that you use at least a 50˚C cycle minimum.
Check spray arms are clear and operating, not blocked.
Make sure, if using powder, that it is free flowing (not "lumpy") and that the dispenser cup is dry.
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.