Dishwasher Troubleshooting: Dishwasher Leaving White Film on Glasses

glasses with white film on them

I’ve been noticing many more glasses coming out of the dishwasher with a white residue on them.

I blame this trend on my roommates’ overzealous dish-rinsing habits rather than my overzealous wine glass-using habits, of course.

But, what does rinsing my plate have to do with my wine glass, Julie?

Everything, Loyal Appliance Blog Reader.

Many of today’s dishwasher detergents contain phosphates, which need food residue to break down. So, if there’s no food residue or grease, the phosphates don’t break down. Instead, they somehow end up on your glassware (disclosure: I’m no chemist, if you haven’t noticed yet.)

As if you need another reason to stop pre-rinsing/washing your dishes.

So, washing my dishes actually causes them to become dirty?

That’s what we call irony, LABR. You’re catching on.

How To Prevent Filmy Glassware

If you find yourself with a rack of filmy glassware, save the labor – and the water (rinsing dishes often uses more water than a dishwasher cycle) – and run a warm vinegar rinse.

Put 2 cups white vinegar in a glass or dishwasher-safe measuring cup on the bottom rack. Then run the dishwasher through a complete washing cycle using an air-dry or an energy-saving dry option. Do not use detergent. The vinegar will mix with the wash water.

Running a vinegar cycle every few months is a good idea, per se.

What are your best dishwasher tips? Share them in the comments below!

12 thoughts on “Dishwasher Troubleshooting: Dishwasher Leaving White Film on Glasses

  1. We recommend to our customers “Glisten” dishwasher cleaner. More than 10 years we are offering that cleaner for free to each our customer who order dishwasher service or repair. It’s working perfectly even with very hard water and it’s enough one run to make DWasher clean and shiny. Works good on both types of DWashers tubs: stainless steel and plastic. Thanks for good article!

  2. I never knew that! I always thought it was some streak leftover from the salts in the dishwasher tablets. For years my sister and I have been ribbing our mum about dirty glasses and it was probably our fault for not rinsing!!

    • Actually, the post is about how you should NOT rinse your dishes, Hotpoint washing machines. I’ll forgive you, since you’re clearly crossing categories right now.

    • No, really? I didn’t hear about that. I know that some people already seek out phosphate-free detergents, but I was unaware of a mandate. Where can I find info about this, Jerry?

  3. Pingback: Whats wrong with my water softener? | Whole House Water Softening Systems

  4. Hi Julie:

    Great blog! I signed up as a regular customer mostly to see when the next Extreme Sale is going to me held. Your blog semed like a great way to stay informed. Since then, I read your post on the Eco Experience at the MN State Fair, as well as your notice of AIA’s upcoming home tours.

    I’m so pleased to see Warners’ Stellian actively contributing toward sustainability efforts. Appliances play such a crucial role, both the purchase of new and replacement units, as well as the upkeep and maintenance. I learned a thing or two about troubleshooting and tune ups just reading other entries! Thanks for that.

    Lastly, just a quick note that it appears your company has a role in house # 3 on the AIA tour, in addition to # 9. And, I tried to post a comment under your AIA entry but could not, hence the comment in this area. Sorry about that.

    Keep up the excellent messaging and communications. As a consumer, as well as someone working, like you, to promote best green practices, it is heartwarming to see that you are out in the blogosphere!

    Thank you,


  5. Hi there I am so thrilled I found your website, I really found you by mistake, while I was browsing on Yahoo for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a tremendous post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all at the minute but I have saved it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the awesome job.

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