Skip to content
Manage My Life

What would cause a white film on all the dishes on my Kenmore Elite Ultra Wash Quiet Guard Deluxe dishwasher?

We are on a well, which we have a Kenmore water softener, and an in-line filter. We previously had a Lady Kenmore dishwasher and it lasted 25 years with daily use. I loved it. I have used Electralsal finish power and liquid Cascade. We purchased this dishwasher in April or May 2009 from the Sears here in Terre Haute, Indiana and I'm wondering what can be done about this problem.

Dishwashers , Kenmore , Appliances
Sign in to answer a question
3 Answers from these members:
Fred M
To diagnose this problem the first thing to do is to figure out what kind of white film you have everywhere.

Generally there are two types of film you might see in a dishwasher.

The most common is soap film caused by poor draining or soapy water draining back into the dishwasher. Dishes washed in soapy water will have a white film.

The other type of white film is mineral deposits left on the dishes washed in water that has not been treated. You have a water softener and filter so this should not be a problem unless the softener and filter are not working properly. Evidence of this type of film can be noticed on the heating element turning white.

A simple way to determine what king of film you have is to take a glass that has film on it and run it under a faucet. Use your thumb to rub the film with the water and then dry the glass. If the glass is clear after rinsing it then likely the problem is soap residue. Soap will rinse off without to much effort. Soap residue can have mechanical causes. The drain line might not be routed correctly or the check valve in the dishwasher is not working properly.

If you rinse the glass and rub the film with your thumb but the film is still there when the glass is dried then the film is most likely caused by a mineral film.

If this seems to be the problem then you might consider having the water softener checked and the filter replaced.

Some common things to check is the water level in the dishwasher. Run a cycle and after it fills check the water level. For most Kenmore dishwashers the level will be just below the element. Check the water level again after a few minutes and see if it is the same. If the drain line is not routed correctly then the water might siphon out during the wash and this would also leave the dishes with a soap residue.

The soaps you're using seem okay but I will mention that most all dishwasher soaps now have rinse agent added and this can be a problem. The dishwashers must use rinse agent separately and there is a chance the to much soap with rinse agent added to the rinse agent being dispensed can cause excessive suds in the water which might leave a film. You can cut back on the amount of soap you're using and see if there is any improvement.

I hope this information is helpful to you but submit another question with any additional details for further assistance.
by Fred M Earned 109,681 community points in Kenmore
February 19th, 2010
Answered in 5 hours
0 votes
Manage My Life
Is a rinsing agent the only solution for a mineral issue?
by Manage My Life
January 3rd, 2011
0 votes
Manage My Life
This has become a very common problem. Your dishwasher is not broken....don't call a repairman or buy a new machine! The white film is probably hard water deposits. This happens because many state governments have banned phosphate as an ingredient in detergent. So detergents don't work as well as before. Here's a solution that's all natural and contains no phosphate.
by Manage My Life
November 14th, 2011
0 votes
Didn't find what you are looking for? Ask a question
Get up to
% off
On Dishwashers