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How to Remove White Film on Dishes

White film on dishes is caused by hard water, use of detergent in excess, and food residues. Let's see how to remove the same.
Sonia Nair Nov 7, 2018
A dishwasher is considered one of the most useful kitchen appliances. Though these machines are useful and good at helping you with this task; sometimes, you may notice a thin, white coating on dishes, after washing. You have to wash them once again manually, so as to get rid of this white powdery film.

Why is the Dishwasher Leaving White Film on Dishes?

This is one of the common dishwashing problems that can be solved to some extent, if you know the reasons and remedies. The main cause is hard water that can leave behind some minerals that form a chalky coating on the dishes.
Nowadays, dishwashing detergents do not contain phosphates, due to the new regulations. Phosphates are meant for removing minerals present in hard water. So, using such dishwashing liquids may not be useful in preventing white film on dishes.
Another probable cause is the use of excessive detergents, which may also result in a white residue on dishes. If the white film on glass dishes can be removed with rinsing, then, it could be due to overuse of detergent.
Otherwise, the cloudiness could be permanent etching of the glass dishes due to the high temperature setting or excess use of detergent. So, eliminating these causes may help you in getting rid of this problem.


So, the most common causes are hard water, excess use of detergent, or high temperature setting. Reduce the amount of detergent, or change the brand.
If the problem is due to hard water, then try vinegar, which is the best remedy for white film on dishes. All you have to do is to add a cup of white vinegar during the final rinse. This prevents accumulation of minerals on the dishes. Instead of adding vinegar, you may also keep it in a small dish, on the bottom rack or the door of the dishwasher.
Some people use a combination of bleach and vinegar for this purpose. In that case, use half a cup of bleach, during the wash cycle; and half a cup of vinegar, during the rinse cycle. Make sure to remove silver and other metallic items from the dishwasher, before using these remedies.
However, these solutions will not work, if the white film is permanent etching of glass. You can prevent such etching by reducing the amount of detergent, or by adjusting the power settings.
You should not use water that is hotter than 140°F, for dishwashing. Avoid rinsing the dishes, before placing them inside the dishwasher. Make sure to clean this kitchen appliance on a regular basis. This is much more applicable for those households that use hard water, that may deposit minerals on the machine parts.
In short, white film on dishes is a problem that can be remedied with some simple solutions. If you are confronting this problem, try the mentioned remedies and get rid of it at the earliest, so that your dishes come out sparkling clean.