Maintenance & Care \ Dishwashers \ How to Fix a Dishwasher that’s Making Everything Cloudy

How to Fix a Dishwasher that’s Making Everything Cloudy

Households rely on their dishwashers to keep mealtime moving and to make sure they don’t waste a single evening handwashing dishes and cutlery.

But what if your dishwasher is making everything cloudy? This article reviews some of the causes behind this and offers tips and advice on how to resolve the issue once and for all.

What Causes a Dishwasher to Make Everything Cloudy?

Here are the common reasons behind a dishwasher making everything cloudy.

Hard water

  • The minerals in hard water reduce the effectiveness of dishwasher detergent.
  • Hard water tends to leave mineral deposits on dishes, and can also cause staining.
  • Hard water creates buildup in the water lines, which can reduce your dishwasher’s lifespan.
A couple of recent changes have increased the impact of hard water:
  • Manufacturers add phosphates to dishwasher detergent to reduce the effects of hard water, but eco-friendly laws passed in 2010 limited the amount of phosphates allowed in detergents, so manufacturers reduced them.
  • Municipalities began using fewer water softeners in their water supply.
Hard water, combined with the reduction in phosphates and water softeners, could cause you to notice more issues with “cloudy” dishes.

Low Home Water Pressure

There’s no way around it: dishwashers need strong water pressure to get the job done each and every load.


Etching, a common type of corrosion, can cause glass material to disintegrate and lead to the formation of small pits and scratches, both of which are permanent and cannot be removed.

How to Troubleshoot the Various Causes

Hard Water

  • Liquid rinse aid may help reduce the onset of spotting and filming on items during the wash cycle.
  • Check and refill the rinse aid dispenser so it doesn’t run out.

Home Water Pressure

Remember that your home water pressure should be somewhere in the range of 20-120 psi.

Perform this simple test to determine if your dishwasher has enough water pressure:

  1. Turn on the faucet that is nearest to the dishwasher.
  2. Place a 1-quart (0.946 litre) container under the faucet, making sure that it lines up perfectly.
  3. Count to see how long the container takes to fill with water. If it takes longer than nine seconds, then there’s a good chance that the water pressure is low. In this case, a booster pump can be installed to improve the water pressure. Enlist the help of a plumber to both confirm if you need a booster pump and to install the part.


  • Confirm if etching has occurred by gently trying to rub off the cloudiness. If it remains, then it is the result of etching.
  • You can’t remove etching, but you can avoid it with a liquid rinse aid if your water is hard or has a high mineral content.
The following dish detergent tips may also help prevent etching.

Dish Detergent

  • Only use a detergent that is available in packs or pods. Be sure to closely follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Only use fresh dishwasher detergent.
  • Use at least one tablespoon for each load.
  • Heavy soil and/or hard water typically require you to add more detergent to every load.
  • Keep all detergent stored in a cool, dry area.

This guide should help you determine what is making everything in your dishwasher cloudy, and understand which steps can remedy the problem.

If the issue persists, then you should contact a plumber to inspect your dishwasher.

Need help? Visit here to schedule a service appointment.

Need help maintaining your dishwasher? Get quality service beyond the manufacturer's warranty from certified technicians. Learn more.
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Need help maintaining your dishwasher? Get quality service beyond the manufacturer's warranty from certified technicians. Learn more.

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