What to Do When a Dishwasher Is Not Properly Rinsing

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Things You'll Need

  • Dishwasher detergent

  • Clean cloth(s)

  • Glass dish

  • Cooking thermometer

  • Rinse aid

There are a few reasons why detergent won't rinse off in a dishwasher.

Dishwashers are an appliance built for convenience that result in clean dishes with little effort. Many manufacturers make dishwashers, such as Whirlpool, Bosch, Maytag and Kenmore. Dishwashers also come in all sizes, finishes and with a variety of cleaning options. If problems arise with a dishwasher not rinsing properly, there are some troubleshooting steps to take to help remedy the situation.

Step 1

Dishwashers depend on the right type of dishwasher detergent. The appliance's user's manual should contain recommended detergents. A dishwasher dispenser also requires being filled with the correct amount of detergent. If possible, try a dry detergent and wipe down the dispenser before pouring in the detergent to help prevent clumping.

Step 2

Buy new detergent. Detergents older than 8 months may not dissolve on dishes and leave a residue.

Step 3

Pour hot water from a sink nearest the dishwasher in a glass dish and place a cooking thermometer in the water. Wait a few minutes and read the temperature. This water should be least 120 degrees Fahrenheit to properly dissolve dishwasher detergent. Run hot water in the sink before starting the dishwasher or adjust the temperature of water coming from the sink.

Step 4

Redistribute the load in the dishwasher. Avoid setting large objects, such as pots, pans or cookie sheets, in areas that block the spray jets. This might be preventing an adequate water amount from rinsing the dishes.

Step 5

Add rinse aid to the dishwasher to help remove soap from the dishes.


Meredith Jameson

Meredith Jameson writes early childhood parenting and family health articles for various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from San Francisco State University.