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Thread: Dishwasher mystery: tiny black waxy/greasy specks

  1. #1

    Dishwasher mystery: tiny black waxy/greasy specks

    We have been noticing some tiny black specks on our white plastic cups and Rubbermaid lids. They don't rinse off in the rinse cycle, an they smear when you rub them. They are also on one white surface in the dishwasher.

    We can't figure out what they might be. They don't stick to the white Corelle dishes - just plastic.

    We clean our dishes really well before they go in the dishwasher - probably more than we need to but old habits die hard. We do have JetDry in the dispenser, so there is a rinse agent in use - it just doesn't work on these specks on plastic.

    I am wondering if some rubber gasket is failing bit by bit somewhere.

    Any dishwasher detectives out there?
    Laurie

  2. #2
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    My guess would be a rubber gasket or seal siomewhere is starting to fall apart. Where is the more difficult question. Start with the door seal (easiest to check and to replace) and work inward.

  3. #3
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    Have you tried running one cup of vinegar through a complete cycle?

  4. #4
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    I have had this problem!

    The first thing I tried was to use the heated dry cycle, instead of trying to save electricity by air drying... that helped some.

    But, what really worked was to fill both detergent cups with Clorox bleach, do some light scrubbing on the interior, put the silverware baskets in the racks to be washed, and then wash on the normal cycle. My dishwasher was sparkling clean!
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

  5. #5

    Reporting back...

    Thanks for the advice...I'm still on the quest. The cup of vinegar didn't remove the black specks. They are still on the plastic cups and lids, and no sign of them on the white Corelle, nor the silverware.

    So, next we will try the Clorox bleach. I don't see any sign of seal problem in the door seal. I pulled out one of my black OXO utensils, and wondered if it was "shedding" - but it seems fine.

    Hmmm....this is weird.
    Laurie

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by breadmama View Post
    Thanks for the advice...I'm still on the quest. The cup of vinegar didn't remove the black specks. They are still on the plastic cups and lids, and no sign of them on the white Corelle, nor the silverware.

    So, next we will try the Clorox bleach. I don't see any sign of seal problem in the door seal. I pulled out one of my black OXO utensils, and wondered if it was "shedding" - but it seems fine.

    Hmmm....this is weird.
    Make sure that when you use the vinegar method that you wait til the dishwasher has done the little drain process when you first turn it on. Otherwise that cup of vinegar just went down the drain. I use the vinegar method and wait til I hear the dishwasher filling with water then add the vinegar.

    I think the sticking to plastics vs other items isn't as relevant as most items tend to stick to plastics and will run off of other items. However, it is relevant in that it did tell you something is wrong inside the dishwasher. Sure sounds like a door seal, however. Also, check the drain area inside the dishwasher just to make sure something isn't in there that could be the culprit.

  7. #7
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    Often, grease will line the walls of the dishwasher pump hoses (see picture below) and attract food particles. These particles will turn black and eventually fall off in the rinse cycle. Use the bleach and hopefully this will solve the problem.


  8. #8

    Thanks!

    Thanks for sticking with me on this one, Hammster and Gumbeaux...I appreciate your help! I did wait to put the vinegar in until the water filling was in progress.

    I figured that is what I would do with the bleach, too - is that what you'd recommend, in terms of timing?
    Laurie

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by breadmama View Post

    I figured that is what I would do with the bleach, too - is that what you'd recommend, in terms of timing?
    Yeah, do the same thing Hammster said to do here except use bleach this time.

  10. #10
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    Make sure you put the bleach in the closeable cup for the detergent -- that way, it doesn't all go down the drain.
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

  11. #11
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    A black spatula fell and was on the heating element and melted some, before I caught it....I had the same problem for a couple of washings...kept washing the same dishes until all black was gone...Not sure if this could be your problem. My problem did go away.

    Good luck!
    Joyce
    You may have had a lot of unfair things happen, but when you look back over your life, remember something good that has happened for you. Replay the good memories. Joel Osteen

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by LakeMartinGal View Post
    Make sure you put the bleach in the closeable cup for the detergent -- that way, it doesn't all go down the drain.
    It's going to take more bleach than that to work. A coffee cup filled with bleach on the rack would work better.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gumbeaux View Post
    It's going to take more bleach than that to work. A coffee cup filled with bleach on the rack would work better.
    Maybe so. I filled both detergent cups, and with a little pre-scrubbing, got out all but the bigger chunks, which were sitting around the bottom where the so-called garbage disposal is.
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

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