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Trimline
Premium
join:2004-10-24
Windermere, FL
Reviews:
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1 edit

1 recommendation

[Appliances] Sharing My 99.95 Dishwasher Lesson

The 3 year old Bosch dishwasher started acting up. There was a white film on the inside walls and suddenly, the sprayer arms stopped.

The first thing I did was clean out the removable filter basket. Underneath, I found 1 piece of glass and 2 chicken bones. These seemed pretty large to by-pass the basket, but I thought I had found my problem. These items were probably blocking the water flow. Turned on the machine, and no go, the arms did not spin. Water flowed freely from the bottom arm, but not the top. Neither arms were spinning.

I Googled for the symptoms and found plenty of articles about a bad pump or impeller motor. Sigh. I called service.

Willis, the technician showed up and promptly removed the basket. It was clean. He then removed another part and said the motor blades were fine. He too became perplexed. Finally, he removed both the upper and lower arms. There was the problem. Clogged tubes. He then cleaned the arm tubes by rinsing and using a "poker" to unclog the really bad areas. Here is what I learned from the service call:

1. Never use more than 1 tbl of dishwasher soap.
2. Never use liquid detergent - it will clog and seal.
3. Only use Finish detergent as it contains an active enzyme.
4. If you can, use a dishwasher detergent that contains phosphates, found only online.
5. When starting a cycle, place the detergent capsule in the silverware basket, not the soap drawer.
6. Every month, run a short cycle, 4 - 5 minutes after starting, dump 2 cups of vinegar in to the machine.

To finally clear the machine, I had to run at least 15 short cycles to clear all soap residue. About 4 minutes in to each cycle, I would open the door and check for soap bubbles. If they were there, I ran another cycle until all bubbles where no longer visible.

Try it yourself, run a short cycle with nothing in your machine and see if you have a lot of soap bubbles. If you do, you have soap build up.

Cheers.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
We use Cascade. Never no problems and never no film. Don't use the Pods either.


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
reply to Trimline
Did he explain why to use the silverware basket instead of the manufacturers intended dispenser/drawer?


tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:6
reply to Trimline
Do you have softened water? I`ve seen issues where softened water will not rinse away the soap like "harder" water, can cause an issue like what you're seeing. Might want to scale back your softener

-j
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)


dcurrey
Premium
join:2004-06-29
Reviews:
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reply to Trimline
I use Finish Dishwasher cleaner »www.finishdishwashing.com/produc···cleaner/ monthly.

Really seems to help. When we purchased new house dishwasher was 10 years old no water softener and had massive hard water deposits and stains.

Using the Finish cleaner dishwasher is still going year later and looks almost new.


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
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reply to Trimline
I've had dishwasher problems for years. It started when 'they' banned phosphate detergent.
After much reading, I tried Finish Powerball tabs, and had pretty good luck with them.
My wife brought home some generic 'pods' from the dollar store (Dollar General, I believe). They work even better than the Finish tabs.
All the other name brands I've tried in the interim (powders and tabs, never liquids) have been crap.
Last year a relative passed away and I found several boxes of old 'phosphate' dish washing detergent. Our dishes hadn't been that clean in years. I was sad when we ran out. I'm thoroughly convinced this is the problem.

My dishwasher does still require a good 'manual' cleaning from time to time to degrease it. This was never necessary "pre-ban".
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.

TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel
I had the same white film problem when detergents went phosphate-free. I was using Cascade brand which used to be fine but after going phosphate-free it always left a white film over everything.

Tried several alternatives and eventually found out the Finish tabs worked the best out of everything I tried. Still not as good as the old phosphate detergents but at least it didn't leave any white film behind.

Thankfully the dishwasher never clogged up during the short amount of time we had the white film problem.

As for putting the detergent tab outside of the manufacturer's intended dispenser, that depends on the dishwasher. Some have a short pre-rinse cycle before the main wash cycle and you'll just end up losing most of the detergent before the wash cycle.


Trimline
Premium
join:2004-10-24
Windermere, FL
Reviews:
·ObiVoice
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1 edit
reply to nunya
To all searching for phosphate detergent, you can find on Amazon (my surprise) or here - »www.restockit.com/cascade-automa···%29.html (this is like a 5 year supply as you buy the case).

Edit: I bought the Cascade with phosphates, and it truly does get your dishes spotless. Expensive though, but so is a service call...


Trimline
Premium
join:2004-10-24
Windermere, FL
Reviews:
·ObiVoice
·Bright House
·Callcentric
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reply to tp0d
said by tp0d:

Do you have softened water? I`ve seen issues where softened water will not rinse away the soap like "harder" water, can cause an issue like what you're seeing. Might want to scale back your softener

-j

No soft water here. It's hard, and full of chlorine. If you pour a bath, it will trim your nose hairs...


Trimline
Premium
join:2004-10-24
Windermere, FL
Reviews:
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reply to Lurch77
said by Lurch77:

Did he explain why to use the silverware basket instead of the manufacturers intended dispenser/drawer?

He said that many times the gel caps get stuck in the dispenser. I don't use them, but I'm sure he's seen everything.


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

1 edit
reply to Trimline
said by Trimline:

said by tp0d:

Do you have softened water? I`ve seen issues where softened water will not rinse away the soap like "harder" water, can cause an issue like what you're seeing. Might want to scale back your softener

-j

No soft water here. It's hard,

This is the reason for the arms to not spin - nothing else. Run vinegar thru - I would say at least 2 times a month - to prevent build up.
This is my thread on the subject:
»Dish washer arms not spinning

Getting a water softener will help immensely with the buildup.

Our arms were about half filled - spent a good 3-4 hours cleaning and soaking ours. Still sounded like a maraca when put back together but cleaned 100% better.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to Trimline
I have a number of rent houses and began having this problem a few years ago. The simple solution was to advise the renters not to use the economy setting. It seems that the main problem is the water just not being hot enough. Haven't had another problem since.

To remove the film and excess detergent inside the dishwasher use a citric cleaner. No phosphates needed.

»www.amazon.com/Harold-Import-Com···+cleaner


Trimline
Premium
join:2004-10-24
Windermere, FL
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Funny you should talk about that cleaner. The service guy mentioned this too - »www.amazon.com/Shine-Dishwater-D···mi+shine

I think it's available at Walmart/Target, etc. for a lot cheaper. Looks basically like the same stuff. He said it could clean the chrome off a bumper, so make sure nothing else is in there... LOL

iknow_t

join:2012-05-03
reply to Trimline
said by Trimline:

To all searching for phosphate detergent, you can find on Amazon (my surprise) or here - »www.restockit.com/cascade-automa···%29.html (this is like a 5 year supply as you buy the case).

Edit: I bought the Cascade with phosphates, and it truly does get your dishes spotless. Expensive though, but so is a service call...

why not just add some Trisodium phosphate to regular detergent?? it's a lot cheaper that way..


sivran
Seamonkey's back
Premium
join:2003-09-15
Irving, TX
kudos:1
reply to Trimline
Wow. For ~20 years we used the dishwasher in our house without even thinkin about this stuff. We bought the cheap stuff for dishwasher soap too--store brand stuff. Never had a problem.

Now we've moved into a new house, and I see this thread and wonder if maybe I should have a little more consideration for the new dishwasher. After all, the new one wasn't made in the 80s, and "they don't make 'em like they used to" fully applies to large appliances... Hmmm...
--
Oh, Opera, what have you done?


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
If you have a water softener then there is little to do. We break most of the 'rules' and don't have any issues other than hard water which the softener fixed.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain

iknow_t

join:2012-05-03
reply to sivran
said by sivran:

Wow. For ~20 years we used the dishwasher in our house without even thinkin about this stuff. We bought the cheap stuff for dishwasher soap too--store brand stuff. Never had a problem.

Now we've moved into a new house, and I see this thread and wonder if maybe I should have a little more consideration for the new dishwasher. After all, the new one wasn't made in the 80s, and "they don't make 'em like they used to" fully applies to large appliances... Hmmm...

the fact is, "they don't make the cheap one's like they used to" you CAN buy appliances that last many years, BUT, you'll pay much more for them..


Booost

@optonline.net
reply to nunya
Buy detergent with phosphates from Restockit. A case of 6 will last a couple years. Problem solved.


DannyZ
Gentoo Fanboy
Premium
join:2003-01-29
Erie, PA
Cascade with phosphates can be purchased at restaurant supply houses such as GFS. No need to pay shipping for most people


shinjuru
Premium,Mod
join:2000-10-29
West Coast
Reviews:
·SureWest Internet
I want to really stay on topic, but isn't there any alternatives to using products with phosphates? It's been a huge problem for treatment plants, lakes, and waterways. I can completely relate to the current dishwasher cleaners not being very good, but surely recommending the use of phosphates is counter-productive.
--
Data - Game-Tech - Nor*Cal

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
Reread my earlier post

iknow_t

join:2012-05-03
reply to shinjuru
said by shinjuru:

I want to really stay on topic, but isn't there any alternatives to using products with phosphates? It's been a huge problem for treatment plants, lakes, and waterways. I can completely relate to the current dishwasher cleaners not being very good, but surely recommending the use of phosphates is counter-productive.

hard water leaves a film, and calcium and other deposits, this is why you get spots on dishes and glasses and over time can clog the jets in the arms. using a water softener is one step.


Booost

@optonline.net

2 recommendations

reply to shinjuru
Residential dishwashers were never a real problem regarding phosphates. Just a scapegoat. The big source is agriculture. Also given that restaurants can still use phosphates should give you a clue that it's nothing to lose sleep over.

MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4
reply to Trimline
My Miele dishwasher has a salt reservoir in the bottom of it. I pour a box of salt crystals into the reservoir about once every 6 months and it softens the water used in the dishwasher. I use either Cascade gel or Finish powerball tabs as the detergent, and Finish rinse aid as the cleansers. I also use a bottle of Finish dishwasher cleaner about 2x per year.. Never had any issues in 4 years of use.


dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO
reply to Trimline
I have one of those dishwashers with the built in detergent dispensers (you pour the whole bottle in)... I learned the hard way not to switch from enzyme (cascade complete for example) to bleach based (cascade with bleach for example)... when they touch they turn into a white gel that hardens when it drys out.

Talk about a mess...

tl;dr: be careful if/when you switch from enzyme based to bleach based dishwashing detergent

iknow_t

join:2012-05-03
reply to MaynardKrebs
said by MaynardKrebs:

My Miele dishwasher has a salt reservoir in the bottom of it. I pour a box of salt crystals into the reservoir about once every 6 months and it softens the water used in the dishwasher. I use either Cascade gel or Finish powerball tabs as the detergent, and Finish rinse aid as the cleansers. I also use a bottle of Finish dishwasher cleaner about 2x per year.. Never had any issues in 4 years of use.

to soften the water requires salt and a catalyst. salt by itself will break the soap bubbles so it gets washed off easier.


cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
reply to Lurch77
said by Lurch77:

Did he explain why to use the silverware basket instead of the manufacturers intended dispenser/drawer?

Our cheap Maytag dishwasher doesn't not like the pods. The pods will break open and release their contents, but portions of whatever the pods are made of will not completely dissolve away. They remain and just gum up the dispenser latch mechanism.

I'm presuming this is just a "design flaw" with how water is directed around the tub. Our previous Bosch dish washer that had the dispenser at a different location didn't have the same issue. Putting the pod in the basket likely just allows it to fully dissolve over the course of the wash cycle.

MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4
reply to iknow_t
said by iknow_t:

said by MaynardKrebs:

My Miele dishwasher has a salt reservoir in the bottom of it. I pour a box of salt crystals into the reservoir about once every 6 months and it softens the water used in the dishwasher. I use either Cascade gel or Finish powerball tabs as the detergent, and Finish rinse aid as the cleansers. I also use a bottle of Finish dishwasher cleaner about 2x per year.. Never had any issues in 4 years of use.

to soften the water requires salt and a catalyst. salt by itself will break the soap bubbles so it gets washed off easier.

Miele recommends Finish detergent. Maybe there's a catalyst in that? IANACM - I am not a Chemistry major

pandora
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Outland
kudos:2
Reviews:
·ooma
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reply to Trimline
We have 2 Bosh dishwashers, the older unit has twice produced E:15, which indicates a clogged drain. As the sink it's connected to doesn't clog, I'm uncertain if this is a plumbing problem or an indication the drain motor is slowly failing. Time will tell. Tipping the unit, or waiting for the overflow area to dry solved our problem.

Overall the Bosh units are nice. Our older Bosh was purchased prior to phosphates being phased out. I'm uncertain if the newer unit is better designed to work with phosphate free detergent.
--
Congress could mess up a one piece jigsaw puzzle.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to Trimline
I clean the garbage disposal of the dishwasher every 3 to 6 months, depending on whether the in-laws are living with us or not (They clean by hand before I have a chance to load up the dishywashy).

It clogs up pretty quickly and makes a huge impact on the performance.

I wonder... can you use TSP in a dishywashy? Here in Canuckia, you can still buy the real deal TSP, not the fake TSP.