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  1. #1
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    Default Stains inside dishwasher

    Came across this for the first time in ten years of inspecting and am wondering if anyone knows what this may be caused from. It is a deep yellowish stain on the interior cabinet and door of a GE dishwasher (interior is originally white) and is even coating the pull-out racks, spin sprayer, drain cover, etc. Could this be caused by "Hard Water"? Municipal water system in use, however, I do not see evidence in homes bathrooms, toilets, sinks, or shower heads indicating a similar condition. Home owner says she has tried everything to get it clean as well as trying several different dishwashing soaps, etc...and can't figure it out either......

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  2. #2
    Stephen G's Avatar
    Stephen G Guest

    Default Re: Stains inside dishwasher

    My first thought is that they used a liquid bleach and it splashed everywhere.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Stains inside dishwasher

    Someone used iodine for Jet-Dry?


  4. #4
    Stephen G's Avatar
    Stephen G Guest

    Default Re: Stains inside dishwasher

    lol


    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    Someone used iodine for Jet-Dry?



  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Stains inside dishwasher

    The more I have researched this, the more I believe that it is from mineral deposits due to hard water. Despite no similar discoloration on other fixtures, (tubs, etc) the discoloration and/or build-up can occur and appear differently on dissimilar surfaces (i.e. tile vs plastic, v.s fiberglass, etc.)


  6. #6
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Re: Stains inside dishwasher

    I would definitely say hard water. Also, if the house is older, some public water systems can release a lot of crap and sediment from within the old piping system resulting in discolored water.

    Was the house by any chance recently switched over to public from a private on-site well?

    Last edited by Nick Ostrowski; 01-05-2012 at 07:30 PM. Reason: typo
    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: Stains inside dishwasher

    When I lived in CA the utility company put out notices they were going to do something with the water lines, and not to run dishwashers during the test period. I remember seeing many stained dishwashers after that, so I'm guessing a bunch of people didn't heed the advice.
    This was in the 90's, so my memory isn't 100%.


  8. #8
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    Southern Vancouver Island
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    Default Re: Stains inside dishwasher

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    This was in the 90's, so my memory isn't 100%.
    Probably not too bad compared to the 60's, though.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  9. #9

    Default Re: Stains inside dishwasher

    I had a client with what appeared to be the same condition down in southern Mississippi, she had a private well. I know you said your client tried several different soaps, so did my client to no avail until she used cascade complete gel packs. After the first wash it came clean. If she uses any other soap it returns. I never did figure out what caused the condition. I just concluded that it was some type of bacterial scum, although I have no scientific data to back up the conclusion. suggest to your client that she give that a try if she hasn't already. Good luck!

    George Hallaron: Owner primary inspector
    Bienvenue Home Inspections LLC
    www.bienvenuehomeinspections.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Default Re: Stains inside dishwasher

    Greg,
    Water has minerals in it that are being baked onto the surface when the DW goes in to the dry cycle.

    Put a cup of C.L.R. in DW and run. Pause the first cycle for 15 min then continue cycle. It will dissolve the brown residue on surface. Sometimes it will take two treatments.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Tennessee
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    Default Re: Stains inside dishwasher

    Thanks Gary! Yep, they are going to have to invest in a gallon or two of that stuff as the shower stall is pretty nasty too...just has a different appearance. I'll let everyone know how that comes out so we have proof in the pudding!


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
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    Default Re: Stains inside dishwasher

    Mineral and undisolved fully rinsed detergent/soap collections, improper use of rinse aids, and use of heat drying cycle, may or may not be aggrivated by staining from unrinsed coffee, tea, tomato sauces, etc. likely also colonization of Serrata upon same; may or may not also additionally iron oxide.

    CLR extreme and likely to ruin the pump seals, the support bracket gaskets, dispenser rings, and the basket seals. and will rust any portion of the coated wire racks where the coating is compromised.

    A half gallon of distilled white vinegar poured in bottom during wash cycle, otherwise empty and not using anything else, as necessary until collections are softened, and mostly gone.

    In the future use powedered traditional dishwasher detergent at the proper operating water temperature. Do not run "dry/heat" cycle until cleaning and disinfection has been completed and several cycles of water only have been sucessfully run. Stay away from the liquid formulations. Stay away from the "natural" or "eco" stuff. Over use of detergent. Likewise stay away from the pellets. Until cleaned and sucessful at measuring and determining the correct amount to be used.

    Two or three cycles (no heat dry) using 1/2 gall vinegar only in empty, followed by detailing with a non-scratch scrubber, a soft toothbrush, toothpick wrapped in white cotton terry cloth, terry cloth clean washcloths (damp) dipped in good old baking soda as a non-scratching abrasive - lots of old-fashioned "elbow grease", and actually cleaning it up. Rinse, rinse, drain, cycle with nothing but water several times.

    Remove racks, baskets, etc. and clean. Detail seals, etc.

    Next disinfection - eradicate the Serrata. Useless to begin disinfection untill the deposts of salts, minerals, and baked on soap/detergent scum have been removed, which host the colonization, and promote the accumulation of minerals/salts.

    Check water temperatures must be hot enough, early enough to properly disolve the dishwashing detergent, check proper drainage, discharge hose, clean air gap if present, etc, assure water distribution system is contamination and cross contamination free.Future - keep water temperatures up, run water at sink flushing line prior to running DW cycle. Keep pet bowls out of dishwasher unless disinfected first. Every 2 - 4 weeks run a short full cycle with nothing more than 1-1/2 c. distilled white vinegar.Advise the user, always wipe up spills of the detergent, less is more. Use a measured amount, set to air dry and open DW to air dry. Do not pour detergent into a wet cup. Check cup door operation, assure it is releasing at the correct time.Although it works great on older enameled or SS, do not advise the use of "the tang trick" on plastic. Discharge through proper tail piece adapter, NOT grinder, maintain proper high loop for DW drain hose.

    Check the WH and connections, flush, anode, steel sacrificing. Verify no cross-over, no syphoning, hose bibs, etc. Flush system.

    Similar for shower - remove scum and mineral deposits, disinfection, esp showerhead, hose, wand, pipes, cross-over, maintain/prevent collections of soap scum and mineral deposits (etc.) after each use and between full cleaning cycles by spritzing with 50/50 white vinegar and water then wiping down dry, to maintain, and full cleaning followed by disinfection regularly until serrata has been eradicated.

    Check the clothes washing machine, esp. top of basket lip if top loader, for similar collections/growth, esp. if plastic basket, in/under dispensers, etc. and under agitator.

    Disgusting film on racks and compartment pictured.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 01-06-2012 at 11:52 AM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    2,479

    Default Re: Stains inside dishwasher

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Subick View Post
    Came across this for the first time in ten years of inspecting and am wondering if anyone knows what this may be caused from. It is a deep yellowish stain on the interior cabinet and door of a GE dishwasher (interior is originally white) and is even coating the pull-out racks, spin sprayer, drain cover, etc. Could this be caused by "Hard Water"? Municipal water system in use, however, I do not see evidence in homes bathrooms, toilets, sinks, or shower heads indicating a similar condition. Home owner says she has tried everything to get it clean as well as trying several different dishwashing soaps, etc...and can't figure it out either......
    Greg,

    Some of the well water in my area has a high iron content, which causes orange staining in dishwashers as well as showers/tubs. Might be the case here.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Tennessee
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Stains inside dishwasher

    H.G...I have a better, quicker, and far less complicated solution!....
    *Unplug dishwasher or trip breaker
    *Turn water off to supply
    *Disconnect drain hose from sink
    *Unscrew mount from beneath counter top
    *Pull dishwasher out
    *dispose of properly
    *Purchase and have professionally installed DW with a stainless steel interior

    or...if that is too complicated for occupant.....wash dishes the good 'ol fashioned way...BY HAND!


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Chicago
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    930

    Default Re: Stains inside dishwasher

    Vinegar is good to get rid of deposits however that may be the result of them using sulfuric acid in the kitchen drain also as it stains everything so guess my next question would be did you check around the sink basin area?


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
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    Question Re: Stains inside dishwasher

    HG is rigt in the anode rod in water heater may be a cause for scum stainning.
    You can try the vinigar approach, no harm no foul. But, still say that CLR will work better. Persoal use and used on others' have had no detrimental effects over many years of use.

    Do recomend checking water heater as sourse of problem.


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    West Chester PA
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    166

    Default Re: Stains inside dishwasher

    Fill the dispensers within the Dishwasher with powdered "Tang"
    It should remove all of the staining.......


  18. #18
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Stains inside dishwasher

    I just installed a dishwasher that has a built-in water softener. That may be an option for areas with this type of staining.


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Stains inside dishwasher

    Looks like calcium. If so, Lime Away (CLR) would take it off.


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Stains inside dishwasher

    It is from the water! In TN the water is so hard that it hurts when you take a shower!

    Joe H, has a good treatment! TANG the drink of astronauts will do an amazing job cleaning a dishwasher. It has to do with the ascorbic acid that is in it plus a few other goodies!

    Most likely the dishwasher will remain stained to some degreee, but it could be lightened up some.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Vancouver
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    202

    Default Re: Stains inside dishwasher

    I have a rental in Edmonton and had a stinkie dishwasher from former tenants. I used "tang" in it for one cycle and it worked. before that I tried running several empty washes with regular cleaners and still had smell. Tang worked and removed the smell with one cleaning. not sure how it works on stains, but got the smell out


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