If you’ve suddenly or even gradually noticed your dishwasher has started leaving a white powdery residue on your dishes, fear not there are answers as to why.  Luckily you won’t need to go out and purchase a new dishwasher either.  This unsightly residue is caused by mineral deposits that are present in hard water, and although these white mineral deposits are unsightly, they are not stained or unsanitary.  In 2010, phosphates were removed from dishwashing detergents.  These phosphates acted as a cleaning agent and helped remove that ugly white film.  This lead to more people experiencing white film on their dishes.  Since no one wants to eat off dishes with an unpleasant film all over them, we’ve provided a 3 step process to keep your dishes free from this aggravating white residue and retain that sparkling clean shine when they come out of the dishwasher. 

1.  Remove Mineral Deposits from Your Dishwasher. 

 The most simple and economical way to do this is to simply remove those pesky mineral deposits with common household vinegar.  This is done in two steps: 

1.  Start your dishwasher, making sure it is completely empty and no detergent has been added.  

2.  Once the basin of your dishwasher has filled up with water, stop the cycle. Open the door and add two cups of vinegar. Turn the dishwasher back on, and let it complete the cycle.  Repeat this 2 step process until the dishwasher is sparkling clean. 

The acid in the vinegar will work over, break down, and remove those mineral deposits caused by hard water.  Your dishes should come out sparkling the next time you run them through a cycle. 

2.  Dishwasher Additives 

Now that your dishwasher is clean, you will want to make sure the hard water will not create further mineral deposits and buildup.  To do this, you will need to add two steps to your dishwashing routine. 

1.  Add a rinse aid like Jet Dry when you start your dishwasher, most dishwashers are equipped with a special “Jet Dry” dispenser on the door of the appliance.  The rinse aid will help to prevent that pesky white residue from forming on your dishes during the final rinse cycle. 

2.  In addition to using the Jet Dry, you should also use an acidic additive as well.  One of the best products out there is “Lemi Shine,” which made from natural citrus oils that keep the hard water from causing mineral deposits to form on the inside of your dishwasher and onto your dishes.   

3.  Dishwasher Detergents 

Use a pure liquid dishwasher detergent when you run your dishwasher.  This way the water doesn’t have to break down and dissolve the powder or gel pack first.  There are many options out there, but Cascade gel has great results in preventing the white residue build-up.