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Milky water when rinsing in dishwasher & gritty covering on dishes

I have been having some problems with my Siemens dishwasher. The dishes have been coming out with a gritty film on them. I have been trying to work out what the problem is, and topping up rinse aid, salt and increasing the salt setting to make sure it is not a hardness issue. No success. I have days when the dishes come out fine and others when they do not. I noticed yesterday when it was on a rinse cycle that the rinse water in the bottom of the dishwasher, and I assume being used to rinse the dishes, was a milky colour and I guess this is what is drying onto the dishes. I also noticed that the bottom spray arm was not rotating. I am not sure if there was much spray coming out of it, but I did see it this morning on the first cleaning rinse part of the cycle rotating and spraying as it looks like it should. Any thoughts most welcome. Jus

Posted by Justin Guest on

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Andrew Taylor

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I have spent many years (47) in the catering industry using catering dishwashers, under counter models, corner- wash stations and also conveyer machines..

The milky water is a by-product of the wash water and rinse water mixing.

The spray are has to rotate freely or the dishes won't wash or rinse properly. They spins a lot faster than you realise and this adds pressure to the water, but also a pulsating effect to remove dirt.

Over doing the salt can cause more problems that it solves. The gritty film may indeed BE salt. I actually prefer Calgon as a softener.

My advice is to remove both top and bottom spray arms. Check the slots/holes for obstruction, and run water through them under a tap, outside to inside (the opposite to how it is in the machine) rocking the arms up and down to allow any obstructions to flush out. Lemon pips and toothpicks are out biggest problem! Put the arms back and make sure they spin freely. Sometimes they just lock up for no apparent reason!

Use CLR descaler in the machine to clean it using the instructions on the bottle. Then run the dishwasher using the recommended doses of detergent and rinse aid.

Posted on Jan 19, 2016

Testimonial: "Andrew. Thanks for this. I am not sure why the wash water and rinse water are mixing, sounds like some residual water being left behind in the dishwasher and not being pumped out- though it is completely dry this morning after a wash (and the post are sparkly...), so there is not a problem with the pump it seems. I sat in front of it this morning opening and closing the door while it was on the wash part of the cycle and noticed the bottom spray arm was not spinning, nor much water coming out. I wonder if it is a blocked pipe somewhere that is not getting water into the spray arm (via a pipe leading to the arm) as I often take them off and clean the arms themselves. I will try to see if the water is coming from the top to the bottom spray arm, as the top spray arm is spraying well. It is not scaled up- we have run several descaling attempts."

  • Justin Guest
    Justin Guest Jan 20, 2016

    Sorry, put the comment in the testimonial box. Apologies...

    "Andrew. Thanks for this. I am not sure why the wash water and rinse water are mixing, sounds like some residual water being left behind in the dishwasher and not being pumped out- though it is completely dry this morning after a wash (and the post are sparkly...), so there is not a problem with the pump it seems. I sat in front of it this morning opening and closing the door while it was on the wash part of the cycle and noticed the bottom spray arm was not spinning, nor much water coming out. I wonder if it is a blocked pipe somewhere that is not getting water into the spray arm (via a pipe leading to the arm) as I often take them off and clean the arms themselves. I will try to see if the water is coming from the top to the bottom spray arm, as the top spray arm is spraying well. It is not scaled up- we have run several descaling attempts."

  • Andrew Taylor
    Andrew Taylor Jan 20, 2016

    The wash arms should spin freely when spun with the hand. If they do, then there may indeed be a blockage in the supply pump, the pipes or maybe the impeller in the pump has broken vanes?

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