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Dishwasher Leaves Food Stuck on Plates

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After I wash dishes in the dishwasher there is always pieces of food on my dishes. How do I fix this?

Jennifer from Tempe, AZ

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Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Louise B. [4]11/27/2008

Of course you don't have stuck on food if you rinse the dishes before putting them in, but then you might just as well wash them by hand.

I never rinse mine -- never -- and a good dishwasher doesn't need it done. You may need to try different detergents. Different brands work better in different types of water. You should not overload your dishwasher. It makes a difference HOW you load as well. The dishes should be exposed to the spraying surfaces. You may have some clogged jets -- run a load with a cup of vinegar in the wash cycle, and again in the rinse. See if that helps. You should have only a few dishes in when you do this, but it doesn't have to be totally empty. I had one dishwsher that only had jets in the bottom. Dishes on the top rack were never properly cleaned, because jets never really reached them. It was a frustrating machine. You should get a high end machine with jets on the bottom and in the middle -- the more jets the better, I think. Check out the machine. You may also have some drain traps that have cruddy bits in them that can be cleaned out, and that may solve your problem.

By Holly [350]11/23/2008

You have the same problem I did. Had the repairman over and he told me to:

1) scrape dishes (just to get off big chunks)
2) MONTHLY, use Jet Dry dishwasher cleaner. The cleaner also comes in 2 other brands, and all are sold next to each other in the grocery store by the dishwasher detergent.

You will be amazed!

What I do is every time I purchase 2 bottles, I use one and write the date on the other bottle with a permanent marker. That way, I can look at the spare bottle and see when the last dishwasher cleaning took place.

The other suggestion is that you may have a defective dishwasher if it is brand new and doing this. However, the dishwasher cleaner is wonderful and may simply be all that is needed.
The repair man told me all dishwashers require this treatment. Some more frequently than other, but figure on it being used monthly at the minimum.

By dstm (Guest Post)11/23/2008

Dishwasher repair man told me once the biggest reason for dishwashers breaking was because people did not rinse the dishes before loading the dihwasher. Plus, you don't have the Nasty smell if you only use every couple of days.

By (Guest Post)11/21/2008

Dish washer detergent makes a world of difference. Do not use the store brand or the cheaper stuff. You will be amazed at the difference. I put a burnt on, stuck and dried on casserole dish in with cascade plus and it comes out perfect. I have a top of the line washer, but my son has a cheap model that apartment buildings put in and he is the king of 'dried on, left for a week' food! He swears by the electrosol (now finish) with the power ball. He says it takes everything off. If you make sure you run the washer with a full load, it is more economical. I would never wash dishes by hand to save a few pennies. Dishwashers also sterilize your dishes! Also,I have found, do not rinse dishes beforehand, dishwasher detergents need the food enzymes to activate the agents in the detergent.

By Marylin D. (Guest Post)11/21/2008

It's important to use your dishwasher to kill germs that linger on the dishes. One family I know always has colds and the dishwasher sits there never being used. I wouldn't wash dishes by hand for that very reason. I have an almost new Maytag and even though the sales person said I wouldn't need to rinse my dishes before hand, I do anyway.

By Dana (Guest Post)11/21/2008

I always rinse my dishes off too and have never had a problem. The little drain in the back can get clogged up with stickers from the bottom of new plates and cups and with food too. I check this every few times I run a load because there is usually something stuck in there that didn't go down.

By Galso11/20/2008

As this website is about savin money....I suggest that you wash your dishes by hand and save money. I have seen estimates that it costs about $1 per load plus the dishwashing soap.

Now when you think about the time it takes to rinse off the dishes first, load up the dishwasher, unload, etc. How much effort are you really saving by using the dishwasher?

If you are rinsing them, you might as well just wash them and put them away. You can save yourself a bundle of money every month and it really does not cost that much time.

By Bobbie (Guest Post)11/20/2008

I wish I knew what kind of dishwasher you had but I can tell you that maybe you need a new one. I have a double drawer one and it can do that to me if I have something blocking the arm beneath the rack. Also I get that from the filter being clogged.

By Joyce [2]11/20/2008

Don't they say to clean it with vinegar? I would
check on Google. J.B.

By Marjorie C. Woodworth [82]11/20/2008

I always rinse off my dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Then I never have stuck on food.

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