Dishwasher Etching Plasticware?

Category Dishes

My dishwasher is ruining all of my plastic products. It tends to leave permanent white spots etched in the surface of the plastic. It does not do this with glass or stainless items, just plastic. I'm not sure what to do.


By Galen

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January 31, 20130 found this helpful

First and very importantly, were your plastics labelled as dishwasher safe?

If yes, the etching is probably being caused by your detergent-have you changed brands lately, or does the container boast it's 'new and improved'?

'New and improved' means the maker has changed the ingredients. Read the label for any newly written instructions-you may find the new and improved formula means the detergent shouldn't have been used on plastics.

If you haven't changed brands and your brand isn't 'new and improved', your water supply may have changed. Depending on how far your water travels through city pipes you may be getting an extra blast of sanitising chemicals. I once lived very close to the beginning of the line and WOWSA did that cause me trouble if the city had needed to hit the supply with extra chemicals!


I had to give up Dawn dishwashing liquid whilst living in that apartment because the chemical reaction between Dawn's formula and the city water ate my plastics, silverware, and stainless steel cookware!

If you're on a well, check the label of any softener salts-those may have been 'improved'.

Either case (city or well) can cause chemical reactions with your dishwashing detergent that caused the etching on your plastics.

If it does turn out to be your detergent and there was no warning on the label, let the company know their product 'ate' your plastics. Write them a polite letter or email and include photos of the detergent sitting amid your ruined plastics-they might offer to replace the ruined plastic but erm, don't hold your breath.


Good luck, please update so we know how this turned out!

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