Why is My Dishwasher Leaving a Dirty Gritty Residue?

My dishwasher is leaving residue that looks like dirt (gritty, etc.) all over the dishes and especially the top of the door. Any suggestions as to why it's doing this?

By Leah from Garland, TX

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Some dishwashers have a filter that needs to be cleaned out. One of mine had a filter on the sink that had to be unscrewed and cleaned. My newest dishwasher says I don't have to rinse dishes first but if I don't I get that dirty grit also. Maybe try rinsing like I do if you're not already.

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I suspect that there is a filter that needs cleaning or that the spray arms are plugged with gunk. Try running an empty load with about a cup of vinegar in the rinse. Wouldn't hurt to add some to the wash cycle too. Some people like to run the dishwasher with a package of Tang (because it would have acetic acid) so you could try that instead of the vinegar, if you wanted. I have never tried it, but there is no reason it shouldn't help.

For some reason the food materials are not pumping out of your dishwasher with the water. Either there is a clogged filter, a clogged spray arm, or some large buildup of crud in the inside.

You could try changing your detergent as well. Perhaps that brand of detergent doesn't work well in that type of water.

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We had to take ours apart, removing the bottom arm, filters, etc. when this happened a month ago. The area where the water enters the pump to go to the top spinner arm was plugged with chunks of food. We cleaned a lot of slime off all parts that could be removed, reassembled, and now all is well...for the moment.

BTW, the sales person said this model was supposed to grind up food! But it seems to need a clean-out every few months. Needless to say, the kids are now under orders to LOOK at what they are placing in the dishwasher and scrape into the trash if necessary.

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Home and Garden Cleaning DishesApril 30, 2010
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