My new dishwasher doesn't clean

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mbres60
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My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by mbres60 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:06 am

End of May bought a brand new Kenmore Elite dishwasher that was on sale. It is real quiet which is nice but we are finding it doesn't clean the bowls :( We use Corelle bowls for our cereal every morning and for salads so the top rack gets a whole line up of bowls. We wash the dishes every 4-5 days. Our powdered Cascade detergent, which worked well with our old dishwasher, doesn't do the job. Not sure if it is the dishwasher or the detergent. The new dishwasher came with two samples of Finish Quantum "tablets". When we used them the dishes were cleaner (maybe one or two bowls at most were dirty) instead of almost all of them.

My old dishwasher was a GE Triton and was 13-14 years old. Cleaned great (did a kitchen remodel and almond appliances wouldn't look good with our brand new stainless steel microwave we added over the stove). Powdered Cascade worked great. I have read that since the beginning of 2012 new dishwashers are set to a different standard in that they use much less water. Therefore it takes much longer to wash the dishes. I found a blog online where someone posted before 2012 that they noticed a huge difference when they finished their last box of detergent that had phosphates compared to their new box without it. However I apparently have been using detergent without phosphates in my old dishwasher with no harm.

Any thoughts and experiences people can share? Is it my powdered detergent or the dishwasher? (fyi - my sister bought me a box at a much better price than Costco of the Finish Ultra "tablets" but she won't be visiting me for another two weeks.

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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by tomd37 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:30 am

We have found the Finish Powerball tablets to be better than the Cascade powder in our current Bosch dishwasher and previous GE dishwasher. We don't use the Finish Quantum Powerball. Are you leaving some food on the dishes to react with the enzymes? Are you stacking the bowls such that the water is not reaching them properly? Stacking bowls on our upper rack sometimes prevents good washing action. How many spray arms are there and where are they located in your new machine? Could that be in change from the previous machine?
Tom D.

strafe
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by strafe » Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:38 am

This is the problem with buying an energy saver dishwasher. You end up using more water & energy because everything needs to be rewashed or because you're forced to pre-rinse in the sink more thoroughly.

The EPA restrictions apply to the normal mode. Use the "heavy duty," overnight, or sensor modes instead if you want clean dishes.

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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by bottlecap » Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:45 am

strafe wrote:This is the problem with buying an energy saver dishwasher. You end up using more water & energy because everything needs to be rewashed or because you're forced to pre-rinse in the sink more thoroughly.

The EPA restrictions apply to the normal mode. Use the "heavy duty," overnight, or sensor modes instead if you want clean dishes.
I suspect that this is the problem. My mom bought a Kenmore a year or two ago and has the same problem. We wind up washing the dishes in the sink and then loading them into the dishwasher. She does this anyway, but it drives me nuts.

JT

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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by nordsteve » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:53 am

1. Are you using rinse agent?
2. Is input temperature of water to dishwasher set to spec?

Long runs on heavy duty cycle with lots of soap, combined with prerinsing, will cause etching of glassware.

We have a modern Kitchenaid dishwasher that we half fill with soap, and do not rinse dishes, and it works fine. We do scrub pots and pans before putting them in, but ordinary dishware, including oatmeal breakfast bowls, get put in right from the table.

jimhend1
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by jimhend1 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:55 am

REad the detergent ingredients. If it does not have phosphate, it isn't any good ([OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]). Go online and find commercial grade cascade powder with phosphates.

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mbres60
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by mbres60 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:13 pm

stevep001 wrote:1. Are you using rinse agent?
2. Is input temperature of water to dishwasher set to spec?

Long runs on heavy duty cycle with lots of soap, combined with prerinsing, will cause etching of glassware.

We have a modern Kitchenaid dishwasher that we half fill with soap, and do not rinse dishes, and it works fine. We do scrub pots and pans before putting them in, but ordinary dishware, including oatmeal breakfast bowls, get put in right from the table.
Yes, we are using rinse agent.
What do you mean is input temperature of water to dishwasher set to spec?

All I know is powder worked in our last dishwasher but apparently is lousy in this one. Phosphates should not matter because it worked fine in the old dishwasher.

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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by EHoops » Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:46 pm

We just purchased a new Frigidaire dishwasher and had the same reaction after our first wash/cycle with dishes. The key is that you have to use a rinsing agent so our old detergent must be used in combination with something else (for now we're doing this and we'll look for a product that is all-in-one once we've used all of our 'old' detergent). So, we use the Finish product with our 'old' detergent and the fact that it has a 'rinsing agent' solved it for us. Dishes were perfectly clean and the dried after using rinsing agent...whereas they were not clean and there was a lot of condensation previously.

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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by Northster » Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:09 pm

We had endless problems with the powders but have found the Target brand dishwashing gel to be just great.

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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by chw » Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:43 pm

mbres60 wrote:End of May bought a brand new Kenmore Elite dishwasher that was on sale. It is real quiet which is nice but we are finding it doesn't clean the bowls :( We use Corelle bowls for our cereal every morning and for salads so the top rack gets a whole line up of bowls. We wash the dishes every 4-5 days. Our powdered Cascade detergent, which worked well with our old dishwasher, doesn't do the job. Not sure if it is the dishwasher or the detergent. The new dishwasher came with two samples of Finish Quantum "tablets". When we used them the dishes were cleaner (maybe one or two bowls at most were dirty) instead of almost all of them.

My old dishwasher was a GE Triton and was 13-14 years old. Cleaned great (did a kitchen remodel and almond appliances wouldn't look good with our brand new stainless steel microwave we added over the stove). Powdered Cascade worked great. I have read that since the beginning of 2012 new dishwashers are set to a different standard in that they use much less water. Therefore it takes much longer to wash the dishes. I found a blog online where someone posted before 2012 that they noticed a huge difference when they finished their last box of detergent that had phosphates compared to their new box without it. However I apparently have been using detergent without phosphates in my old dishwasher with no harm.

Any thoughts and experiences people can share? Is it my powdered detergent or the dishwasher? (fyi - my sister bought me a box at a much better price than Costco of the Finish Ultra "tablets" but she won't be visiting me for another two weeks.
We bought this exact model 14 years ago and haven't been happy with it since day one. Main complaint is cloudy film on glasses that builds up over time. Sears claims its because we have hard water, though we had no trouble with the basic Maytag we had previous. I would try and return this dishwasher if you can. We've just kinda lived with ours the last 14 years, but will probably replace in near future .

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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:45 pm

The fact that the detergent worked well in the prior dishwasher is a rather strong indication that the design of the current dishwasher is playing a large factor. You said when you used the sample detergent, there were still dirty bowls, just fewer dirty bowls. This reinforces the idea that it's more the new dishwasher than the detergent used.

Have you looked at the spray bar for the top rack to see where the jets are? It is most likely in a different configuration than the old dishwasher. You probably need to change the way you load dishes into the top rack to fit the new jet pattern. For example, the cereal bowls may need to be loaded such that the full surface of the bowl faces a jet, instead of being stacked against one another.

Also make sure that nothing in the lower rack is preventing the upper spray bar from turning (just give it a push after loading the lower rack and make sure it can spin freely). It's also possible, given that this is a new dishwasher, that the upper spray bar is not working properly, although I'm not quite sure how one could go about diagnosing that since the lower spray bar will still get the upper rack wet.

Ricola
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by Ricola » Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:57 pm

Be sure the dishwasher drain line is clear. Remember it drains into the garbage disposal. Also check the inside bottom of the dishwasher to be sure noting is obstructing the drainage, i.e., loose parts, paper, plastic, food, etc. We have Whirlpool and it works great with Cascade or Walmart equivalent powder.

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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by EagertoLearnMore » Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:53 pm

Have you tried OXI dishwasher booster? You put it in the rinse container instead of the rinsing agent. I found that using the Finish powerballs (as others have mentioned) with the OXI booster works better than using the Finish powerballs with the rinse agent. It does a superior job of cleaning glasses.

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mbres60
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by mbres60 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 4:14 pm

We did try putting the cereal bowls in the opposite direction than we usually do. No difference. The bowls stand on edge and line up against each other.... just like the picture in the manual says to do. We usually fill up all the slots (front to back) with the bowls. We wash by hand any pots, pans, or casserole dishes so the dishwasher is strictly dishes, glasses and silverware. Nothing on the bottom would block the water going to the top. The upper spray bar seems to move perfectly fine. This was a $1299 dishwasher (although I bet it is always on sale for something less) that we paid $799. According to Sears' website it is new since this past February. In about 4 days when we use it again I will try some Finish powerball tablets. I'll buy a small box at the store til I get my 90 count large one my sister is bringing me in 2 weeks.

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Dishwashers

Post by Taylor Larimore » Sun Jul 14, 2013 4:43 pm

mbres60:

I am our "clean-up" person and have been doing our dishes in a dishwasher for more than 60 years. Our first dishwasher, purchased in 1950, was manufactured by General Electric and on wheels. It was necessary to roll it to the sink and then connect its hoses to a connection on the faucet.

In August 2011 we purchased a Sears Kenmore, Ultra Wash Dishwasher recommended by Consumer Reports. In February 2012 the Panel Control began to malfunction and Sears replaced it under the manufacturer's warranty. We have had no trouble since and are satisfied with its cleaning ability.

I carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions. I tried using a rinse agent but I found it unnecessary. I don't see how a rinse agent improves cleaning.

I think it is important to use the hottest water possible. It takes a long time for hot water to reach our kitchen. Accordingly, I run the hot water tap into the sink until it runs hot--not until then do I start the dishwasher.

Consider rinsing or soaking your cereal bowls full of water in the sink. The starch in cereals gets cement-like if allowed to dry out.

I have not found the best detergent but they all seem to work for me.

I hope our experience will be of help to you.

Best wishes.
Taylor
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:05 pm

mbres60 wrote:We did try putting the cereal bowls in the opposite direction than we usually do. No difference. The bowls stand on edge and line up against each other.... just like the picture in the manual says to do. We usually fill up all the slots (front to back) with the bowls. We wash by hand any pots, pans, or casserole dishes so the dishwasher is strictly dishes, glasses and silverware. Nothing on the bottom would block the water going to the top. The upper spray bar seems to move perfectly fine. This was a $1299 dishwasher (although I bet it is always on sale for something less) that we paid $799. According to Sears' website it is new since this past February. In about 4 days when we use it again I will try some Finish powerball tablets. I'll buy a small box at the store til I get my 90 count large one my sister is bringing me in 2 weeks.
Don't look at the diagram in the manual. Those rarely are altered by model and are instead just stock recommendations on how to load dishes. The thing I've discovered over the years is the standard method of loading bowls, where the lip of the bowl faces the front or back of the dishwasher, rarely exposes enough of the bowl to the jets to get them clean, particularly with the newer models. I rotate the bowls by 90 degrees so that the lip faces the sides of the dishwasher. I also angle them downwards slightly instead of leaving them straight up and down. This exposes more of the bowl to the jets and gets it a lot cleaner.

My normal layout (from middle to outer row in the upper rack) is a row of mugs or glasses in the middle, then a row of bowls, then either a row mugs/glasses or another row of bowls. I only occasionally get a dirty bowl, usually from stuck-on oatmeal because I didn't give a quick 5 second rinse of the bowl after using it that morning. The downside of this method is you can't pack in too many bowls, but then again, if you pack in too many bowls using the standard method, that means you're not leaving enough space for the spray jets to reach the bowls anyways.

Some people like to cram stuff into the dishwasher thinking this saves on the number of times it is run. But the dishwasher can't wash what the spray jets can't reach. If you can't see the dish surface when looking up from underneath the top rack, odds are that the water can't reach it either. Steam can only clean so much.

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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by Carl53 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:13 pm

Our current dishwasher is a Kenmore Ultra 665 purchased almost 9 years ago. After reading some of the comments, I feel rather lucky. Early on the company came out and replaced a electrical part on a recall, not that it had failed for us. The dishes are nearly always clean despite us almost never rinsing off any food scraps. My wife does insist that my raisin bran flakes remains are rinsed out as their residue seems to glue on. I've dropped the supply water temperature to 120F as the heater in the unit leaves the dishes hot if it is opened at the end of the cycle. We choose to not have the unit use heat to dry the dishes but set it to air dry. That said often plastic items are not dry and need to be placed in the dish strainer to finish drying. As others have noted it runs a long time, and that would be my only complaint.

BTW we use Cascade powder and sometimes the liquid. The amount of soap we use is way less than what the holders will accept. We have found that if you fill them, particularly with the powder, you may get soap residue. My spouse says that we occasionally add a rinse agent (I run it a lot but never have). One last comment is that we seldom use it to wash pans as my spouse prefers to not do it that way.

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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:20 pm

I have a Frigidaire Professional series energy saver model - no problems with it cleaning dishes, though I do rinse by habit before placing them in there. I use liquid Finish detergent and it does have a rinse agent. Never have had an issue with dishes coming out unclean or with caked on dried food still on it.
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by FrugalInvestor » Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:22 pm

We bought a Whirlpool from Sears last year that didn't clean well or dry well no matter what we tried. Fortunately Sears has a good return policy on appliances so we simply returned it and purchased a GE more like what we had before. It works great! We use the Cascade powder detergent and liquid rinsing agent (forget name).

You may want to return the dishwasher and try another brand. It's only worth messing around with so long when the problem is probably not yours anyway.
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by mike143 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:23 pm

Make sure it is not user error. I had to show my wife how to make sure both the arms could spin. She would load it with something that would keep the arms from spinning. Older dishwasher most likely had towers newer ones have arms below the top rack, which can be easily blocked from spinning. I have a lower end Whirlpool and it does an excellent job, only a few year old: http://www.lowes.com/pd_377813-46-WDF31 ... s_dollar|1 Had a buddy over for dinner and he offered to load dishwasher, he literally loaded it like a 5 year old, just threw the stuff in. He said it work on his and to my surprise it work perfectly fine. We use Finish Powerball, bought on sale, 200 in a box, will last a year or more.
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by mbres60 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:21 pm

mike143 wrote:Make sure it is not user error. I had to show my wife how to make sure both the arms could spin. She would load it with something that would keep the arms from spinning. Older dishwasher most likely had towers newer ones have arms below the top rack, which can be easily blocked from spinning. I have a lower end Whirlpool and it does an excellent job, only a few year old: http://www.lowes.com/pd_377813-46-WDF31 ... s_dollar|1 Had a buddy over for dinner and he offered to load dishwasher, he literally loaded it like a 5 year old, just threw the stuff in. He said it work on his and to my surprise it work perfectly fine. We use Finish Powerball, bought on sale, 200 in a box, will last a year or more.
We only load our dishes, silverware and glasses so nothing that would stop the arm from spinning. Where do you find the Finish Powerball that has 200 in a box? Between Bj's and Costco one has 90 and the other has 110.
Carl53 wrote:
BTW we use Cascade powder and sometimes the liquid. The amount of soap we use is way less than what the holders will accept. We have found that if you fill them, particularly with the powder, you may get soap residue. My spouse says that we occasionally add a rinse agent (I run it a lot but never have). One last comment is that we seldom use it to wash pans as my spouse prefers to not do it that way.
We will have to try not filling up the dispenser with so much detergent. Maybe that is the issue. My dh said he put less in. Next time we did dishes I asked him to show me and it was the same amount I used so to me it wasn't "less". At dinner tonight he told me that the dried on stuff was also on the outside of the bowls. We really think it is not cereal but detergent.

Taylor - thank you for your experiences. This new dishwasher was also rated no 1 in Consumer Reports. We will try less detergent and see if that works before buying some Finish Powerball detergent.

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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by MathWizard » Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:43 pm

bill1958 wrote:
mbres60 wrote:End of May bought a brand new Kenmore Elite dishwasher that was on sale. It is real quiet which is nice but we are finding it doesn't clean the bowls :( We use Corelle bowls for our cereal every morning and for salads so the top rack gets a whole line up of bowls. We wash the dishes every 4-5 days. Our powdered Cascade detergent, which worked well with our old dishwasher, doesn't do the job. Not sure if it is the dishwasher or the detergent. The new dishwasher came with two samples of Finish Quantum "tablets". When we used them the dishes were cleaner (maybe one or two bowls at most were dirty) instead of almost all of them.

My old dishwasher was a GE Triton and was 13-14 years old. Cleaned great (did a kitchen remodel and almond appliances wouldn't look good with our brand new stainless steel microwave we added over the stove). Powdered Cascade worked great. I have read that since the beginning of 2012 new dishwashers are set to a different standard in that they use much less water. Therefore it takes much longer to wash the dishes. I found a blog online where someone posted before 2012 that they noticed a huge difference when they finished their last box of detergent that had phosphates compared to their new box without it. However I apparently have been using detergent without phosphates in my old dishwasher with no harm.

We use Cascade also in a Whirpool.
For cloudy glasses, we now add a small amount of white vinegar. Now the glasses come out clear.
I make oatmeal in the microwave and I must scrub that out or it will stay stuck on. Similarly
with egg yolk.
Otherwise, all comes out clean.


Any thoughts and experiences people can share? Is it my powdered detergent or the dishwasher? (fyi - my sister bought me a box at a much better price than Costco of the Finish Ultra "tablets" but she won't be visiting me for another two weeks.
We bought this exact model 14 years ago and haven't been happy with it since day one. Main complaint is cloudy film on glasses that builds up over time. Sears claims its because we have hard water, though we had no trouble with the basic Maytag we had previous. I would try and return this dishwasher if you can. We've just kinda lived with ours the last 14 years, but will probably replace in near future .

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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:58 pm

mbres60 wrote:We will have to try not filling up the dispenser with so much detergent. Maybe that is the issue. My dh said he put less in. Next time we did dishes I asked him to show me and it was the same amount I used so to me it wasn't "less". At dinner tonight he told me that the dried on stuff was also on the outside of the bowls. We really think it is not cereal but detergent.
Soap residue is a whole different issue than food residue. Make sure there are no large items like a large bowl between the bottom spray bar and the soap dispenser. If your model has the silverware rack in the front, also make sure there are no large utensils (like serving spoons) or other silverware pointing towards the dispenser, as they might prevent the soap dispenser door from opening correctly. With powdered detergent in particular, blocking the dispenser door from opening or blocking water flow to the dispenser area can keep the dispenser from emptying completely during the wash cycle. That means there's still soap in the dispenser during the rinse cycle, which sort of defeats the purpose of a rinse cycle.

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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by nisiprius » Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:08 pm

mbres60 wrote:End of May bought a brand new Kenmore Elite dishwasher that was on sale. It is real quiet which is nice but we are finding it doesn't clean the bowls :( We use Corelle bowls for our cereal every morning and for salads so the top rack gets a whole line up of bowls. We wash the dishes every 4-5 days. Our powdered Cascade detergent, which worked well with our old dishwasher, doesn't do the job. Not sure if it is the dishwasher or the detergent. The new dishwasher came with two samples of Finish Quantum "tablets". When we used them the dishes were cleaner (maybe one or two bowls at most were dirty) instead of almost all of them.
Our eight-year old modern dishwasher doesn't clean anywhere near as well as the old water-wasting model that preceded it. It's a pain. No great answers. The old model obviously used a ton of water and blasted the dirt off the dishes in a way the new one can't match. (On the other hand, the new model is gloriously quiet).

1) If the new dishwasher says to prerinse, do it. If it doesn't say to prerinse, try it.

2) In our current dishwasher, my wife discovered that it's desperately important to rinse anything grainy like rice off the plate first because, for whatever reasons, they end up getting stuck in and blocking the holes in the rotor.

3) Very obviously the manufacturers are cheating to get their water-saving numbers by using "normal" settings that don't clean, knowing perfectly well that you will end up using stronger settings that clean better and use more water.

4) If your dishwasher has a prewash option (sprays plain water for a while before adding the detergent; it gives the stuff on the dishes time to soften). It helps.

5) YES, experiment with detergents. The washer is doing less mechanical work and depends more on the chemicals. It does matter. We seem to have had the best luck with the colorful little pouch-thingies you mustn't touch with wet fingers. What are they called? Cascade With Dawn Action Pacs. Point is, don't start out being frugal, find a detergent that works first and then experiment with variations.

6) I always fight with my wife about this. She is very skilled at packing things, can always get more luggage into the car trunk, and she is very skilled in getting the maximum number of things into the washer. She will refuse to run the washer until it is FULL, because it is wasteful not to. With the old washer, it always cleaned well no matter how full you loaded it, or how you loaded it. As long as it was inside the dishwasher, it got clean. The new one... well, it definitely does better when it's maybe 3/4 full than when it's absolutely full. In theory I should probably get out the old instruction book and follow their instructions on the art and science of what to load where.

7) Oh, right--as one poster said--yes, it's possible to block the arms from rotating. In my case, it was one of those big thin plastic roll-up cutting boards that did it. When you do that, you don't end up with poorly cleaned dishes, you end up with outright dirty dishes--it looks as if you didn't even run the washer.
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by Jeff7 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:11 pm

I've got a cheap Amana dishwasher, though it's got a separate sprayer for the top rack, which is nice. It also had some issues cleaning.

Cascade Complete gel did the trick pretty well. Some things still won't come off, like baked-on food residue, which even scoring has a tough time removing.


nisiprius wrote:
mbres60 wrote:End of May bought a brand new Kenmore Elite dishwasher that was on sale. It is real quiet which is nice but we are finding it doesn't clean the bowls :( We use Corelle bowls for our cereal every morning and for salads so the top rack gets a whole line up of bowls. We wash the dishes every 4-5 days. Our powdered Cascade detergent, which worked well with our old dishwasher, doesn't do the job. Not sure if it is the dishwasher or the detergent. The new dishwasher came with two samples of Finish Quantum "tablets". When we used them the dishes were cleaner (maybe one or two bowls at most were dirty) instead of almost all of them.
Our eight-year old modern dishwasher doesn't clean anywhere near as well as the old water-wasting model that preceded it. It's a pain. No great answers. The old model obviously used a ton of water and blasted the dirt off the dishes in a way the new one can't match. (On the other hand, the new model is gloriously quiet).
...
I had a similar experience. The dishwasher my parents had only used a single sprayer wand, which of course had to blast through the dishes on the bottom rack and still have adequate power to reach the top rack. Everything in there had to be arranged very carefully and securely, or else it'd clatter constantly during washing, and it was not at all quiet either. Gurgling, churning, wooshing...and there's usually still be some clanking noise too.
Mine: Very quiet, and even fairly light plastic dishes hardly move around after washing.
Last edited by Jeff7 on Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mbres60
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by mbres60 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:19 pm

Nisiprius wrote:
Our eight-year old modern dishwasher doesn't clean anywhere near as well as the old water-wasting model that preceded it. It's a pain. No great answers. The old model obviously used a ton of water and blasted the dirt off the dishes in a way the new one can't match. (On the other hand, the new model is gloriously quiet).
Same with my new one. Really quiet which is great because our family room with the tv is right next to the kitchen.

Thanks nisiprius for some of your thoughts. You are right about rice. I always "wash" the spoon I used for the rice before putting it into the dishwasher because all the starch on it didn't come off. I also think you are right about the manufacturers "cheating" to get their water saving numbers. I'll have to check to see if we have a prewash however the normal cycle is 2 hours long. I hate to make it even longer. We don't leave the dishwasher on unless we around just in case of any water issues.

I want to also thank everyone who has responded. I appreciate your ideas.

nordsteve
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by nordsteve » Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:24 am

Here's how rinse agent is important.

By "rinse agent", I'm meaning the liquid stored in a reservoir that's usually in the door, not some special tablet.

During the rinsing cycle of the dishwasher, there is still food suspended in the rinse water. The rinse agent lowers the surface tension of the water in the rinse cycle, reducing the chance that food particles stick to your dishes. It also causes water to sheet off of your dishes, reducing hard water marks on dishes.

I can tell when the rinse agent reservoir is empty on my washer, because glassware starts coming out of the dishwasher with small particles of food attached.

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mbres60
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by mbres60 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:53 am

stevep001 wrote:Here's how rinse agent is important.

By "rinse agent", I'm meaning the liquid stored in a reservoir that's usually in the door, not some special tablet.

During the rinsing cycle of the dishwasher, there is still food suspended in the rinse water. The rinse agent lowers the surface tension of the water in the rinse cycle, reducing the chance that food particles stick to your dishes. It also causes water to sheet off of your dishes, reducing hard water marks on dishes.

I can tell when the rinse agent reservoir is empty on my washer, because glassware starts coming out of the dishwasher with small particles of food attached.
Thanks for that explanation. I always thought it was just to make glasses sparkly clean. I do use jet dry for my rinse agent.

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mbres60
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by mbres60 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:58 am

I just looked to make sure we had plenty of rinse agent (I knew we would and we do) but I also then noticed that where we put the detergent it says soft water and then has a line above it and then says hard water. Clearly you put 2x as much detergent for hard water. I don't know what we have so we will check today with the water dept. Maybe that is the issue!

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mike143
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by mike143 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:06 am

mbres60 wrote: Where do you find the Finish Powerball that has 200 in a box? Between Bj's and Costco one has 90 and the other has 110.
Looks like they don't offer it anymore: http://reviews.costco.com/2070/11679498 ... eviews.htm
Nothing is free, someone pays...You can't spend your way to financial freedom.

Randomize
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by Randomize » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:28 am

OP,

As was mentioned earlier, you may want to check that the input temperature is hot enough. Many dishwashers have their own water heater but others do not. Some need you to enable it by selecting a "Hot Start" option. Check your owners manual as the name they call it may vary. If your dishwasher doesn't have a water heater, you'll need to turn your home water heater up to at least 140 degrees.

I had this same problem with an old rental. After moving in, I'd immediately turned the water heater down to 120 to save energy and then spent 9 months cursing the dishwasher before turning it back up. Apparently the extra heat is needed to cut through grease.

Good luck!

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mbres60
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by mbres60 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:53 am

Thanks Randomize. I can do that.

I checked w/the water dept and was told we had medium hard water so definitely a little less powder as we had been filling it to hard w/o realizing it. We won't need to run it for about 3 more days so we'll find out then.

Carl53
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by Carl53 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:17 pm

mbres60 wrote:Thanks Randomize. I can do that.

I checked w/the water dept and was told we had medium hard water so definitely a little less powder as we had been filling it to hard w/o realizing it. We won't need to run it for about 3 more days so we'll find out then.

Good point about the water hardness. We have a Kinetico water softener which may be why we seem to get by with so little cascade and still generally get good results.

Easy Rhino
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by Easy Rhino » Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:28 pm

what about putting cereal bowls in the bottom rack instead?

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by FrugalInvestor » Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:47 pm

Carl53 wrote:
mbres60 wrote:Thanks Randomize. I can do that.

I checked w/the water dept and was told we had medium hard water so definitely a little less powder as we had been filling it to hard w/o realizing it. We won't need to run it for about 3 more days so we'll find out then.

Good point about the water hardness. We have a Kinetico water softener which may be why we seem to get by with so little cascade and still generally get good results.
With the dishwasher we purchased last year we received some water hardness testing strips. Based on hardness of our water the instructions gave recommendations for the amount of detergent to use. We were using far too much detergent - we were filling the reservoir but only needed a third to half that much. Our dishes still come out clean and our glasses now have no haze.

I'm sure the strips are available for purchase but I don't know where.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

madbrain
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by madbrain » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:01 pm

FrugalInvestor wrote:
Carl53 wrote:
mbres60 wrote:Thanks Randomize. I can do that.

I checked w/the water dept and was told we had medium hard water so definitely a little less powder as we had been filling it to hard w/o realizing it. We won't need to run it for about 3 more days so we'll find out then.

Good point about the water hardness. We have a Kinetico water softener which may be why we seem to get by with so little cascade and still generally get good results.
With the dishwasher we purchased last year we received some water hardness testing strips. Based on hardness of our water the instructions gave recommendations for the amount of detergent to use. We were using far too much detergent - we were filling the reservoir but only needed a third to half that much. Our dishes still come out clean and our glasses now have no haze.

I'm sure the strips are available for purchase but I don't know where.
Home depot or other home improvement stores sell testing strips.

Some higher-end dishwashers like the Miele I have, and some top-of-the-line Bosch also have their own built-in water softener. You have to fill them with salt periodically. This is standard on dishwashers in Europe, but not in the US for some reason.

If I were the OP, I would check the water temperature at the water heater too. This was previously suggested.

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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by sai » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:18 pm

tomd37 wrote:We have found the Finish Powerball tablets to be better than the Cascade powder
Thanks, that solved the problem for me. :D

Stonebr
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by Stonebr » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:26 pm

You people obviously don't understand the purpose of these modern appliances. The dishwasher is not designed to wash dishes, it's designed to save energy, save water, and improve the balance sheet of the manufacturer.

The only way to actually clean dishes here in the iworld is by hand.
"have more than thou showest, | speak less than thou knowest" -- The Fool in King Lear

madbrain
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by madbrain » Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:12 pm

Stonebr wrote:You people obviously don't understand the purpose of these modern appliances. The dishwasher is not designed to wash dishes, it's designed to save energy, save water, and improve the balance sheet of the manufacturer.

The only way to actually clean dishes here in the iworld is by hand.
You bought the wrong dishwasher, IMO. We use our Miele DW for everything and things are always clean.

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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by Leemiller » Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:19 pm

madbrain wrote:
FrugalInvestor wrote:
Carl53 wrote:
mbres60 wrote:Thanks Randomize. I can do that.

I checked w/the water dept and was told we had medium hard water so definitely a little less powder as we had been filling it to hard w/o realizing it. We won't need to run it for about 3 more days so we'll find out then.

Good point about the water hardness. We have a Kinetico water softener which may be why we seem to get by with so little cascade and still generally get good results.
With the dishwasher we purchased last year we received some water hardness testing strips. Based on hardness of our water the instructions gave recommendations for the amount of detergent to use. We were using far too much detergent - we were filling the reservoir but only needed a third to half that much. Our dishes still come out clean and our glasses now have no haze.

I'm sure the strips are available for purchase but I don't know where.
Home depot or other home improvement stores sell testing strips.

Some higher-end dishwashers like the Miele I have, and some top-of-the-line Bosch also have their own built-in water softener. You have to fill them with salt periodically. This is standard on dishwashers in Europe, but not in the US for some reason.

If I were the OP, I would check the water temperature at the water heater too. This was previously suggested.
We purchased a Miele and I like that it has this option. So far we've been very happy with it. I'd check the return policy OP before I'd keep tinkering with detergent.

Stonebr
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by Stonebr » Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:50 pm

madbrain wrote:
Stonebr wrote:You people obviously don't understand the purpose of these modern appliances. The dishwasher is not designed to wash dishes, it's designed to save energy, save water, and improve the balance sheet of the manufacturer.

The only way to actually clean dishes here in the iworld is by hand.
You bought the wrong dishwasher, IMO. We use our Miele DW for everything and things are always clean.
It's a sad day in America when you have to pay a minimum $1000 to a German company to get your cereal bowl clean.
"have more than thou showest, | speak less than thou knowest" -- The Fool in King Lear

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segfault
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by segfault » Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:51 pm

I bought a new Bosch dishwasher a couple years back. It cleaned very well, but I added Lemi-shine to the detergent. Also, it had a filter which had to be cleaned out regularly. And, my plastic items got a white residue on them.

Now that I have moved and am renting a house with a low-end dishwasher, I have found that using detergent with phosphates helps get them cleaner and removes the white residue. I am currently experimenting with adding trisodium polyphosphate to store-bought dishwasher detergent--I feel like Walter White! But I haven't used it enough to come to a conclusion as to its effectiveness.

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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by madbrain » Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:59 pm

Stonebr wrote:
madbrain wrote:
Stonebr wrote:You people obviously don't understand the purpose of these modern appliances. The dishwasher is not designed to wash dishes, it's designed to save energy, save water, and improve the balance sheet of the manufacturer.

The only way to actually clean dishes here in the iworld is by hand.
You bought the wrong dishwasher, IMO. We use our Miele DW for everything and things are always clean.
It's a sad day in America when you have to pay a minimum $1000 to a German company to get your cereal bowl clean.
I'm sure I could have gotten a very decent dishwasher for $600 that could get the dishes clean. I doubt it would have been manufactured in the US, though.

But it wouldn't have been as quiet. It wouldn't have come with the built-in water softener. It wouldn't have had 3 racks when most DWs only have 2. And it might not last as long - though only time will tell. My Miele is going on 5 years without problems so far. That is longer than any dishwasher I previously owned .

ThisTimeItsDifferent
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by ThisTimeItsDifferent » Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:54 pm

jimhend1 wrote:REad the detergent ingredients. If it does not have phosphate, it isn't any good ([OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]). Go online and find commercial grade cascade powder with phosphates.
Or add a spoonful of TSP tri sodium phosphate to the detergent.

donall
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by donall » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:14 pm

Yes, we had the same problem with a new dishwasher two years ago. We ended up using half the amount of detergent. Periodically we throw in a 1/2 cup of vinegar.

westie
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by westie » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:17 pm

Every 4 or 5 uses I add 2 oz of white vinegar to the cycle. Seems to help keep the glassware fresh.

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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by wfrobinette » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:09 am

mbres60 wrote:End of May bought a brand new Kenmore Elite dishwasher that was on sale. It is real quiet which is nice but we are finding it doesn't clean the bowls :( We use Corelle bowls for our cereal every morning and for salads so the top rack gets a whole line up of bowls. We wash the dishes every 4-5 days. Our powdered Cascade detergent, which worked well with our old dishwasher, doesn't do the job. Not sure if it is the dishwasher or the detergent. The new dishwasher came with two samples of Finish Quantum "tablets". When we used them the dishes were cleaner (maybe one or two bowls at most were dirty) instead of almost all of them.

My old dishwasher was a GE Triton and was 13-14 years old. Cleaned great (did a kitchen remodel and almond appliances wouldn't look good with our brand new stainless steel microwave we added over the stove). Powdered Cascade worked great. I have read that since the beginning of 2012 new dishwashers are set to a different standard in that they use much less water. Therefore it takes much longer to wash the dishes. I found a blog online where someone posted before 2012 that they noticed a huge difference when they finished their last box of detergent that had phosphates compared to their new box without it. However I apparently have been using detergent without phosphates in my old dishwasher with no harm.

Any thoughts and experiences people can share? Is it my powdered detergent or the dishwasher? (fyi - my sister bought me a box at a much better price than Costco of the Finish Ultra "tablets" but she won't be visiting me for another two weeks.
Rinse the cereal bowls free of of food prior to loading in dishwasher. I scrape all food off plates and bowls and then do a quick cursory rinse to remove any left over food particles and dishes come out clean every time. Most of our bowls and plates go on the bottom rack. I leave the top rack for cups, glasses and anything else that is plastic.

As others have mentioned try the heavy duty cycle and/or the hi temp wash.

I've had a Kenmore elite, GE(current), whirlpool and Bosch in my various homes. If I ever have to buy a new dishwasher it will certainly be a Bosch.

takeshi
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by takeshi » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:09 am

strafe wrote:This is the problem with buying an energy saver dishwasher.
Really depends on the specific dishwasher. Our Miele is Energy Star certified and does an excellent job using its normal wash cycle. That said, it's MSRP (not what we paid) is probably very pricey for most. Bosch can be a good alternative if it fits one's budget.
Stonebr wrote:It's a sad day in America when you have to pay a minimum $1000 to a German company to get your cereal bowl clean.
A lot of products seem to have been trending to cheaper price points and performance just isn't there when manufacturers have to cut corners. Something has to give in order to allow for lower pricing. There are certainly alternatives to buying expensive German machines but they're going to involve manual labor and/or chemicals that were removed from dishwashing detergents due to the impact of flushing them down the drain.

Additionally, my comment that Miele works for me and the above comment indicating that Miele is the only correct choice do not preclude the existence of effective options at lower price points.
Last edited by takeshi on Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:52 am, edited 2 times in total.

dad2000
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by dad2000 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:33 am

I had 5 year old mid-range dishwashers in my kitchen, but they were absolutely awful at cleaning, and were that way almost from day one. I also know many others who have had similar issues with most of the common brands Whirlpool, Maytag, Kenmore, Amana, Kitchenaid, Samsung, LG, etc. Most of these are made by just a couple of manufacturers.

All I was left with in my price range (under $700) was Bosch. I picked up a couple Bosches for about $600 each and installed them myself. Thus far they do a great job on the normal cycle, and are quiet to boot.

jtdavid
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Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Post by jtdavid » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:56 am

+1 on Finish tabs and Bosch units. We have two midrange Bosch's that are quiet and clean well.

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