I noted on here that we bought a new dishwasher back in November of 2008. It’s a great dishwasher; it has a built in food grinder so you can put all sorts of stuff in there and it makes quick work of it. It worked fine for about 10 months, but about 2 months ago it started having problems cleaning dishes on the top rack. It got so bad that Thursday I tore the thing apart to see if I could figure out what the problem was. I literally removed all of the internal parts and some of the external parts, took it out back, and sprayed it down with our hose, blowing all of the crap out of it. I was hoping that the hard water deposits (of which there were plenty) were the problem. But when I started it back up and try to clean some dishes on the top shelf, no luck. The hours of work I spent on it made no difference!
Out of options for what to tear apart and clean, I turned to the internet. A couple sites recommended using specific types of detergents. That’s when it dawned on me that a couple of months ago is when we switched from a name brand gel detergent to a no-name brand detergent. Wondering if that may be the problem, I put another load in and dropped in some name brand detergent that we had sitting around, Electrasol gel pouches (we were using up the no name brand stuff we bought for cheap). I also read that if you have really hard water you should use twice as much detergent as the detergent, if it is good detergent, will actually help keep hard water deposits from forming. So, I dropped two pouches of the Electrasol in and hoped that it was the answer. Turns out, it probably was. That very first load came out a lot cleaner. Each subsequent load has also improved.
I’m hoping the knock-off detergent hasn’t permanently damaged our dishwasher, but using the name brand detergent seems to have substantially improved the cleaning ability of the dishwasher. It’s not back to where it was when we first bought it, but I’m hoping it continues to improve.
The lesson here – if you spend $600+ on a nice dishwasher, spend the extra few bucks for the good detergent. Not all dishwasher detergent is created equal.