Dirty dishes after a dishwasher cycle

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jeb101
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Dirty dishes after a dishwasher cycle

Post by jeb101 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:33 am

We have this Samsung dishwasher, and on the bottom rack, for some reason, it just refuses to wash the dishes, for example, little bit of yolk on the plate will still be there, yet the one at my old apartment, which was a crap dishwasher, would clean that right out with a 1h quick cycle, where this won't do it unless I put it on the 3.5h heavy duty cycle.

Here is what I have done / confirmed:

- Removed the bottom filter / spin arm area
- completely clean, remove any food junk, insured all o-rings are in place and tight
- Little baking soda in bottom, and vinegar, let it sit, then run a cycle with vinegar on sanitize (the inside of the dishwasher looks great...)

- Remove the bottom filter / arm
- Confirmed there was no more found junk in the bottom.

- Put it back together, and the only thing that is consistent is the top and middle spin arms, as the glasses always come out spotless, so we know the pump works, and the dishwasher doesn't have any water, so it drains well also.


Now, the two parts I see that can give issues are: The bottom wash arm, and the little connector thing that it snaps into. The teeth on the wash arm seem a little work from likely being yanked in and out throughout it's 5 year life before we rescued all their appliances from neglect (it was nasty, all of them).

I'll see if I can't snap some pictures, if you guys think this is the issue, or something I am not considering, as I am going by what I can visually identify without really taking things apart. I would think it's still good, but I have no idea what the tolerance on those parts are to make them not work any more.

Cheers

CosmosisT
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Re: Dirty dishes after a dishwasher cycle

Post by CosmosisT » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:23 am

If it wasn't always like this, I'd check the water-line 100%; make sure the jets aren't calcified and various settlements haven't made their way in.

I'd attempt using CLR on any of the pieces water shoots out and check the water-line. Would just think pressure is gone and it being the lower-rack may be subject to the settlements. At times too construction can go on in a neighborhood and with the pounding/banging of the ground things can start flying down your pipe and clog things.

See if it's not a clog in the water-line somewhere or a calcium deposit you need to clear out. If not, then I'd say throw a camera in there to see! :D

jeb101
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Re: Dirty dishes after a dishwasher cycle

Post by jeb101 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:29 am

Hey CosmosisT,

Thanks for the info! I will look into that. Although, I am not sure if the wash arm is calcified, I took it out and rinsed it out, tried to poke stuff in, no resistance, no residue around the usual build up locations. Water pressure is a possibility, but I don't think so.. The whole house has wicked pressure, just hot water takes ~30 seconds to get there due to the way it was moved quickly before our plumbing upgrade in a few months.

As for the camera, that is actually what I want to do, but unfortunately don't have a gopro, I'll have to borrow one and make sure they are cool with me washing it. haha

Thanks for the insight!

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A. Spruce
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Re: Dirty dishes after a dishwasher cycle

Post by A. Spruce » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:07 am

To be honest, I've yet to meet a dishwasher that could actually get dishes clean, whether that dishwasher be man or machine.

Since you seem to be only having a problem with the bottom tray, it is either the wash arm that is not spinning well or the bottom rack isn't being loaded in such a manner that water can really get in to all the dishes. I also think it foolish that the dishes are not essentially clean before they go into the machine, since detergents these days lack the phosphates that do the "scrubbing".

The wash arm spins due to the streams of water leaving all the jets, so if there is any resistance it's going to affect how well the arm spins. Could be a problem with the hose from the pump to the lower arm, could be that there is too much friction to the spin, could be plugged jets in the arm.

I had a problem with debris build-up in the lines, which got sprayed all over the dishes. I was able to cure this by adding 1/2 to 1 cup of white vinegar to the last rinse cycle. It took a while to clean out the dishwasher, but once it was there has been no more issues with debris. I still add the vinegar every time the DW is run as prevention. If there is a debris filter inside the machine, you will want to make sure that it is clean before every run. I check mine after every load, cleaning as necessary. Another thing is the type of detergent you're using. I've always used Cascade crystals, until now, this new DW prefers liquid because it dissolves better than the crystals. Lastly, as I mentioned before, dishes really should be clean before they go in, particularly of foods that are like glue, such as eggs.

Hope some of this helps. 8-)
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CosmosisT
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Re: Dirty dishes after a dishwasher cycle

Post by CosmosisT » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:17 am

Definitely good reads. :)

jeb101
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Re: Dirty dishes after a dishwasher cycle

Post by jeb101 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:04 pm

Thanks for the info A.Spruce,

You bring up many good points, the wash arm is no longer smooth, the plastic snap in connectors on the wash are are pretty worn, I may try cutting / shaping it smoother with a hot blade like I did with a few parts (very carefully), make it closer to it's original shape.

I took a look at the manual, and it seems there is no real filter / trap, none that can be done by a normal consumer as a task, as it has a dozen screws to access it (I took the whole thing apart to clean and ensure that there are no faults in the seals / o-rings.

As for the dish soap, I honestly have no idea how never figured out they removed sulfates from the formula, it explains SO MUCH why all of a sudden my new dish soap, same I've always used, didn't work any more.

I may add a tiny bit of TSP in my tougher loads, but will be looking into probably replacing the wash arm and retainer as it's ~70CAD for the pair.

I still want to throw a gopro in there though, cause it'll just be cool to see... :lol:

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A. Spruce
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Re: Dirty dishes after a dishwasher cycle

Post by A. Spruce » Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:54 pm

I had not seen an serviceable filter until this new DW I installed a year or two ago, it has one. Also, it was a discussion here that I learned about the detergents not being what they used to be and was given the idea to use vinegar to help with the cleaning of the machine and the rinsing of the dishes. I don't use commercial rinse aids and don't need them with the vinegar.

I would be very cautious about adding TSP or washing soda to the DW, as there may be components that do not react well to those products. Washing soda in particular will eat aluminum VERY quickly!
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Re: Dirty dishes after a dishwasher cycle

Post by Admin » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:04 pm

Although vinegar smells, it is a wonderful rinse agent. I would say maybe even better than commercial versions.

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Aaron
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Re: Dirty dishes after a dishwasher cycle

Post by Aaron » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:40 pm

The problem with dishwashers not adequately washing dishes is due to the LACK OF WATER they use to fill them. One thing I always do after I start the dishwasher is allow it to fill itself, and then once it starts it cycle I interrupt it and use my kitchen sink spray nozzle to ADD LOTS MORE WATER to it. The difference is night and day. It's plenty of water that really cleans--not the detergent or additives.

If I set a timer I might remember to add more water to the rinse cycle, too, but I always forget to do that.

We have knee-jerk EPA/EnergyStar initiatives to thank for this.

You have to add water after it's filled itself, because you need to allow it to be in the mode where it will operate without regard to the status of the float switch.
Last edited by Aaron on Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Spruce
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Re: Dirty dishes after a dishwasher cycle

Post by A. Spruce » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:41 pm

Admin wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:04 pm
Although vinegar smells, it is a wonderful rinse agent. I would say maybe even better than commercial versions.
Agreed. I don't use commercial versions because I don't want the residue on my dishes. Vinegar can get pungent if you use too much, but it is an aroma that dissipates quickly, regardless. Once the dishes are dry there is no odor.

I just looked up the water usage of my machine and it is 5-7 gallons per load, which is about one gallon of water per cycle. I've been using 1/2 cup or more of vinegar (free poured from jug). Now that I know it's only a gallon I will be dialing it back over the next few loads and see how things go. I'm guessing a 1/4 cup or less will be sufficient, given it's only a gallon of water per cycle.
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Shannon
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Re: Dirty dishes after a dishwasher cycle

Post by Shannon » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:17 pm

Its sad that we buy these things for convenience and yet we need to baby sit them and do more work to keep them functioning properly? I guess I will get rid of mine .....wait a minute ,I really don't wanna do dishes by hand every day so I guess i will keep it.
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jeb101
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Re: Dirty dishes after a dishwasher cycle

Post by jeb101 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:18 am

Wow guys, this is all good info, and a sad truth. We put so much time and effort in babying the dishwasher, we're likely putting more time making sure it works good than it is cleaning dishes! haha

I scraped out the flaky plastic and put a tad bit of heat to make the loose material stick in again, worked better ish, so at least I know the main culprit is likely the wash arm in the bottom.

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Re: Dirty dishes after a dishwasher cycle

Post by A. Spruce » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:48 am

jeb101 wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:18 am
Wow guys, this is all good info, and a sad truth. We put so much time and effort in babying the dishwasher, we're likely putting more time making sure it works good than it is cleaning dishes! haha

I scraped out the flaky plastic and put a tad bit of heat to make the loose material stick in again, worked better ish, so at least I know the main culprit is likely the wash arm in the bottom.
You might see if you can get replacement bushings, or whatever those parts are, for the arm, they can't cost that much.

If you replace the machine, a contractor grade machine will run you $300+, one of the fancy electronic pieces of poo is $1400 and up, we paid $1600+ for ours. So, your $100 fix is definitely a good investment.
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Re: Dirty dishes after a dishwasher cycle

Post by Admin » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:34 am

Our POS KitchenAid dishwasher was something around $1,600-1,700 and I wouldn't recommend it to my enemy. It has all the features a person could ever want, but it has broke down a few times, leaves scunge in the rails and overall is not as good as the Kenmore it replaced that was probably 1/3 the price.

jeb101
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Re: Dirty dishes after a dishwasher cycle

Post by jeb101 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:03 am

A. Spruce wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:48 am
You might see if you can get replacement bushings, or whatever those parts are, for the arm, they can't cost that much.

If you replace the machine, a contractor grade machine will run you $300+, one of the fancy electronic pieces of poo is $1400 and up, we paid $1600+ for ours. So, your $100 fix is definitely a good investment.
The commercial machine is definetly what we would put in when we replace it, but for now, my ghetto fix kinda helped so it would be a new wash arm. It's all plastic on plastic, definitely a "disposable" non disposable part to sell more parts.

The two pieces I need are around 75 CAD shipped from the US, which is crazy cheap, considering samsung canada, for those exact part numbers is 187$ shipped. I'll get it on amazon US using the proper part numbers, and the link from the site ;)

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Re: Dirty dishes after a dishwasher cycle

Post by A. Spruce » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:20 pm

Admin wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:34 am
Our POS KitchenAid dishwasher was something around $1,600-1,700 and I wouldn't recommend it to my enemy. It has all the features a person could ever want, but it has broke down a few times, leaves scunge in the rails and overall is not as good as the Kenmore it replaced that was probably 1/3 the price.
I believe that Kenmore is Whirlpool, for what it's worth.

I feel the same about our GE, utter piece of garbage. There was a slightly cheaper model, but the roommate chose this one because it had a bottle washer integrated into the top rack. Not sure why she thought she needed that, but whatever, she bought the darned thing.

Funny thing is, I told the salesman that I wasn't interested in all these electronic POS machines, that I wanted the old analog style, his response was, "oh, that's a contractors model, we have them in the back, we don't put them on the showroom floor."
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Re: Dirty dishes after a dishwasher cycle

Post by Aaron » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:20 pm

Kenmore is often Whirlpool or GE, depending on the appliance and model. Actually KitchenAid appliances are often just their name slapped on some other manufacturer's product as well.

For dishwashers, the cheap contractor ones are all you need and all you should get. I bought my Amana (an economy brand made by Whirlpool) at Menards for like $280, back in like 2014. It replaced a Kenmore (GE) one I had before. The control is a good old fashioned tried-and-true twist dial with timer motor that just makes and breaks contacts to operate the valve solenoids, heat coil, and discharge pumps. Absolutely no electronics.

Dishwashers used to work WELL because old models filled with LOTS more water than they do today, and detergents a while ago used to contain phosphorous. I'm convinced that dishwashers today are just cheap appliances that are really subsidized by Big Soap (Proctor & Gamble and Colgate-Palmolive) to sell you detergents and rinse aid products. Just like cheap inkjet printers exist to make money selling you outrageous-priced replacement ink cartridges.

I wash all my stainless steel pots and pans by hand. I use Brillo pads, and they come out sparkling clean. I've never had success with pots and pans in the dishwasher, they always come out with a nasty chalky film on them.

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Re: Dirty dishes after a dishwasher cycle

Post by jeb101 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:16 pm

So I did a bit of a test, and it seems that it's the drain line that has crud in it, so that will need to be addressed. I put in a set of clean dishes, cups, whatever, and half of them came out with spots of cured on food bits size of sand, and on bottom of cups, where the water accumulates, had some floating chunks.

I also learnt from the manual that it's a new "super efficient" dishwasher, they use not very much water, and just push your food around and rely heavily on rinse aids. They even have a diagram on how to fill your dishwasher for it to actually work.

I don't care if you use a liter or 30 liters of water, but at least clean the freaking dishes! I shouldn't have to engineer the placement of my dishes to have it work only decent (it does work better, but still not great).

I miss my old cheap Kenmoor dishwasher from my old apartment, it used more than a teaspoon of water, and I could put way way more stuff in there than I can in my newer, bigger dishwasher. Never had any chunks of food leftover, and if I did, it likely means that the user cleanable food trap had stuff floating around. Now, to do that, I need to remove 13 screws, and basically disassemble the bottom part of the dishwasher to get to the trap, thanks Samsung...

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Re: Dirty dishes after a dishwasher cycle

Post by A. Spruce » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:30 pm

jeb101 wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:16 pm
So I did a bit of a test, and it seems that it's the drain line that has crud in it, so that will need to be addressed. I put in a set of clean dishes, cups, whatever, and half of them came out with spots of cured on food bits size of sand, and on bottom of cups, where the water accumulates, had some floating chunks.
That is the same problem I was having before I started doing the vinegar rinse. Before you go tearing into the thing, yet again, run it empty and put vinegar into every cycle, that is to say, every single time it drains and fills again, put more vinegar in there. That is what I did to mine and it flushed out the crap and created an environment where it doesn't accumulate anymore.

I used 1/2 to 1 cup of white vinegar per cycle, for two full "loads" before I started putting dishes in again. There was an immediate difference and I began to only add the vinegar at the last rinse cycle, at a rate of 1/2 to 1 cup. Because of this conversation I researched and figured out that my dishwasher only uses about a gallon per cycle, so I've cut the vinegar back to 2 to 4 tablespoons, which is the size of the soap cup, so when you get to the maintenance use of vinegar, just fill the soap cup 1/2 to full of vinegar at the last rinse. Vinegar not only keeps the crap out of the machine, it works as an excellent rinse aid and leave no slimy residue.

FWIW, during the cleaning phase I found that vinegar reacted with the detergent (cascade gel), which probably negated the effects of both, so don't use them at the same time, meaning don't add soap and vinegar at the same time.
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