Dishwasher troubleshooting: food residue left on dishes

I’d like to think that this blog is changing the world, one frequently asked appliance question at a time. But rarely is that suspicion validated.

That’s why I love this story. The other week, our Twitter friend @SamBroberg told me he was having problems with food residue on his dishes.

Now, this isn’t like when your casserole dish still has cheese stuck to the bottom. This is more like specks of indiscernibles  on your water glasses.

Pretty much, “How in the WORLD did this get here?”

Calm down and I’ll tell you.

Older, American-brand dishwashers cleaned by filling with water, washing, emptying the dirty water and refilling with new water, etc. etc.

So between fills, the dirty water circulates and over time, food particles clog the spray arms.

Years later, the spray arms — now clogged — spit out the old junk during the final rinse. And voila: clean, yet speckled, dishes.

To remedy this, simply clean out the spray arm nozzles with an old toothbrush. @SamBroberg said it worked for him. (Frankly, I need to take my own advice during my kitchen clean sweep tonight.)

Now some models of American dishwashers incorporate filtration systems (like European models always did) that keeps food particles from recirculating back into the water.

Check out the 5-stage filtration on GE dishwashers and the triple filtration system on some Frigidaire dishwashers.

Also, the filter decreases water turbidity (translation: the water stays cleaner), making these models much more water efficient.

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