Kitchenaid KUDE70FVSSO dishwasher leaves white film on everything

kerfuffle6October 31, 2013

I purchased the floor model of the above-referenced dishwasher. It appeared to be in perfect condition, and it couldn't have ever been used because it was not hooked up at the store. It was recently installed in my new house by a licensed plumber. The builder assures me that the installation was done correctly, and I know that the water supply to the dishwasher is very hot. The dishwasher leaves a white film on every item in every load. Moreover, if dishes and cutlery go in with oil on them, they come out with oil on them. We have hard water, but I have seen dishwashers work fine with the same water source. Kitchenaid customer service would only say: 1) I should use Cascade detergent. (I have tried three different types: Cascade Advanced Power, Cascade Extra Action, and Cascade Gel, getting the same results with each one.) 2) I should use a rinse aid (I don't use a rinse aid because they are supposed to help with water spots, and I don't have water spots. Besides, they can leave a chemical residue on dishes, which I am not comfortable with.) Does anyone know what is causing the white film and what I can do to eliminate it? Does anyone know why this high-end dishwasher is not removing oils from my dishes?

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You are using too much detergent with each load.

Also, are you rinsing your dishes before putting them in the DW? Don't. Just scrape. You must resist the compulsion to rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.

Even though your water supply is hot, sometimes the first few minutes of the cycle the water is cold cause it's been sitting in the pipes. Run your kitchen sink's hot water until the water comes out hot, then turn on your DW.

Try Finish Powerballs. People here love them. Or, try Method Smarty tabs, available at Target or Whole Foods. Start with breaking the tab in half for each load and see how that goes. Work up to a whole tab if needed, but it may not be needed. Report back.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 6:47PM
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Rinse aid does more than prevent water spots.

The white film is surely mineral deposits from your hard water.

Phosphates are gone from dishwasher detergents. The replacement compounds in the formulations now aren't as efficient at handling hard water. You need to continue experimenting with detergents until you find one that works with your local water chemistry and machine usage conditions. Cascade Platinum and Finish Quantum Powerball tabs have gotten positive remarks from other people with similar troubles.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 6:51PM
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I, too, chose to forgo the rinse aid with my new KA dishwasher, but it did a lousy job without it. I gave up and added the rinse aid.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 10:35PM
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Okay. I went to Target and purchased all the products mentioned here. I will try them and report back. BTW, I never rinse my dishes before loading them; I simply scrape the big stuff off.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 7:55PM
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Our white film issue was also appetizing! For us, we have to use Finish Quantum and the Finish all-in-one booster with every single load. No rinse aid. I also learned that if I put the crisco measuring cup in the dw, I am asking for trouble the next several loads so I just hand wash that. A vinegar cycle with no dishes is helpful, too, especially after clearing out the traps in the machine.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 11:37PM
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I tried the Finish Quantum Powerballs. The white film is greatly diminished, but still not completely gone. I think my dishes (which are glass, not ceramic) may be permanently damaged from previous cycles, so I am going to try the Powerballs on some brand new glasses and glass dishes. I will post about the results.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 11:50PM
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Run the clouded dishwasher through a cycle using Lemishine instead of detergent. Lemishine is a citric acid product that deals with hard water / mineral deposits. You can find it with the dishwasher detergent at your store.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 8:47AM
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Thanks for the suggestion. I will try Lemishine and report back.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 11:21PM
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I haven't tried the Lemishine yet, but I did wash some brand new clear glass dishes and glasses using Finish Quantum Powerballs. They came out looking great- no white film and no water spots, either! The old clear glass dishes in the same load still look terrible. Could it be that the etching in the glass (from normal wear and tear) is "collecting" hard water deposits that the detergent is unable to remove?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 2:30PM
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Can also try wiping them with vinegar.

Etching is permanent damage to the glass, if etching is what happened. It's caused by a chemical reaction from too-strong concentration of detergent (alkali) in the dishwasher under the elevated temperature conditions in the wash ... not by normal wear-and-tear.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 2:44PM
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I use the Cascade Platinum dishwasher tabs as well as a rinse aid. I use natureclean Rinse Agent - it works very well. I think it's a Canadian made product, don't know if it is available in the US.

I have used the Quantum Finish tabs as well, but going forward I will only use the Cascade Platinum - IMHO, for my KA dishwasher, do the best job. Glasses are sparkling clear, plates etc. (scraping only, no rinsing) are very clean.

This post was edited by Caya26 on Sat, Nov 9, 13 at 17:14

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 5:13PM
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So, dadoes, if the glass is, in fact, etched, will it never look clean and clear again? I do notice little "lines" in the glass, but the cloudiness is all over the glass, not just inside the "lines".

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 6:52PM
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So, dadoes, if the glass is, in fact, etched, will it never look clean and clear again? Correct ... but etching is not dirtiness and it affects only the appearance of the glass, not the functionality.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 7:35PM
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When I got my KA dishwasher, not only did KA recommend Quantum Finish, they fave you some samples. It's worked great for me, but will also now give Cascade Platinum tabs a try, too. CPlat must be somewhat new on the market?

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 10:49PM
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I finally tried Lemishine, and it did an amazing job of removing the cloudy film from my clear glass dishes. I put about a tablespoon of it in the main wash compartment, along with a Finish Quantum Powerball. When I opened the dishwasher to unload, I couldn't believe my eyes. All the glass was transparent again! There were some small opaque white "deposits" on a few pieces, and I was able to scrape those off with my fingernail. Does anyone know what causes those and what, if anything, I can do to avoid them in the future? So now I think my original problem is solved: I just have to use the most expensive dishwasher tablets in combination with a pricey detergent booster, and my dishes will look clean! BTW, the pictures on the Lemishine label accurately represent my "before" and "after" experience with it. I sincerely appreciate the advice all posters offered and, because you seem so knowledgeable, I am wondering if someone can explain our long history of dishwasher woes. The only other time we actually purchased a dishwasher was in1993. I distinctly remember everything about the episode because the dishwasher that was in that house when we bought it finally broke down- the same week that our first child was born. (In fact, until yesterday, I had planned on giving said child all my cloudy dishes to use in her college apartment!) We replaced it with a Whirlpool that we bought for $330. My spouse installed it (though he was a novice), and it worked perfectly for the following 13 years, with whatever detergent happened to be on sale at Target, even though we had very hard water. We have not had a properly functioning dishwasher since. We lived in four different rental houses in two different states (two houses had hard water and two did not, and all of the houses were brand new or less than two years old when we moved in), and none of our dishwashers (two high-end and two mid-level) properly cleaned our dishes. All of them left food residue and a white film on the dishes to one degree or another, even though we kept the filters clean. While we never tried the products mentioned above, we did try many different detergents, to no avail. Did we have so many problems because dishwasher technology changed (e.g., for purposes of energy or water efficiency, to make them quieter, etc.), because phosphates were removed from detergents, or for some other reason? I understand why toilets declined in quality (low flow requirements), but the dishwasher evolution has me puzzled!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 3:26PM
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The problem is the detergents nowadays. Many states and other "local" jurisdictions have banned phosphates. Laundry detergents and dishwasher detergents formulas have gone phosphate-free over a period of the last few years. Manufacturers could still market phosphated formulas in areas that haven't legislated a ban, but then they'd have to produce, warehouse, and distribute different formulas for various geographic areas ... so they've gone to producing only the phosphate-free products.

The chemical components that replaced phosphates (at least initially) are not as effective against mineral content in the water. Low- to moderate mineral content may be OK but very hard water presents a problem. Larger doses of detergent may help, or may not. However, non-phosphate formulas have been improved as consumer complaints poured in to the detergent manufacturers. The more expensive products tend to be better, go figure.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 6:15PM
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