Thread Number: 74120  /  Tag: Modern Dishwashers
Maytag/whirlpool dishwasher cleaning
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Post# 978993   1/19/2018 at 13:39 (297 days old) by mike_g (Aberdeen SD)        

Hello. I have a Maytag MDB8969SDM0 dishwasher, that's about 2 years old. We have fairly hard water, about 14 grains hard. We have been running Cascade powder with lemi shine added to help keep hard water deposits off the glasses. In the past several months I have been noticing little white granular deposits on the glasses, and the dishes in the top rack haven't been getting reliably cleaned. I suspect some sort of hard water build up in the filter area and or in the pump and related assemblies.

In a separate discussion thread on a different forum, I described White build up which is occurring on the filter screens in the bottom of the machine. This model has no easily removed and serviced filter, but instead has an older style design, with some filters screens just visible below the lower wash arm. I've attached a photo with shows this.

I have run approximately a cup of vinegar through the machine while empty, to attempt to clean these deposits.

I removed the wash arms and attempted to clean the screens in the bottom of the machine, but was unable to remove that part due to the tube leading to the upper wash arm, as seen in the photo.

For those who are familiar with this type of machine, a few questions:

1. How does one remove these deposits? I assume those filter screens should be clean.

2. Will a chemical removal method such as citric acid or similar be the way to go, or should I endeavor to disassemble the machine to permit me to access the accumulator and other parts of the pump area.

3. Any other thoughts for maintaining this dishwasher in the future? I plan to reduce the use of soap going forward and start using stpp to help soften the water during the wash cycle, and hopefully eliminate the need for lemi shine.

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Post# 979012 , Reply# 1   1/19/2018 at 14:35 (297 days old) by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        
You have a similar machine to mine

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I can't speak of taking anything apart, but it's weird since you have been using lemishine all along, that there was even any build up at all. Isn't that almost pure citric acid? With my Maytag, I have pretty hard water here, and I run sugar-free lemonade through mine once a month and it sparkles. But when I wash dishes, I always add a little bleach before starting it. That screen at the bottom under the lower wash arm does have this whitish look to it, but I think that's normal. Mine does too. But if things in the top aren't getting clean, it sounds like something is wrong somewhere. You can put a camera in a zip lock bag and a waterproof flashlight and turn it on to see what it's doing while washing. I did this once and it was pretty cool. U can't let it run too long or get too hot though. I used double zip lock bags just to be safe.

Post# 979040 , Reply# 2   1/19/2018 at 16:37 (297 days old) by mike_g (Aberdeen SD)        

Near as I can tell, it is citric acid plus fragrance.

We have been filling the cups each about half full with cascade , and then adding maybe 1 tsp of lemi shine on top of each cup. I think we started this soon after installing the DW. I have wrestled with this - it seems counterproductive to raise pH and then lower it, all at the same time.

The upper wash rack gets pretty clean overall, but the small amount of granular deposits are an annoyance to me. Maybe unrealistic expectations? Maybe we are just using too much cascade in the first place? But, maybe it is the lack of phosphates, coupled with hard water (high pH, lots of minerals in hard water, leading to precipitates that get left behind?)

Post# 979121 , Reply# 3   1/20/2018 at 09:21 (296 days old) by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        
I'm not sure

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If I would use Lemishine and dish detergent at the same time. I don't get the deposits left behind on the top rack. Maybe try using just dish detergent/STPP/rinse aid....and every couple of weeks just do maintenance with citric acid to keep the dishwasher free of hard water built up? I do not like Powdered Cascade. I have had terrible results with it (though it's been a while since I've used it). I use Finish powerball, I pour a little bleach (like a shot glass) in the dishwasher before starting the cycle, that gets mostly flushed away before the main wash starts. I also hear cascade platinum is great too. I haven't had to upgrade to that yet because I have great results with Finish powerball which is cheaper. I wish I could be more help on the technical stuff of taking the dishwasher apart but that's out of my league.

Post# 979190 , Reply# 4   1/20/2018 at 16:12 (296 days old) by mike_g (Aberdeen SD)        

Really wasn't that hard. I removed the top rack, lower wash arm, fill tube, accumulator, and then I came across a slotted plastic trap of sorts....this was full of stringy detritus and grease. I removed a couple other parts from the sump, till it was apparent there was no more removal from the top. Never saw the chopper and screen,I assume those need to be removed from underneath the washer?

I cleaned and reassembled, and am now running a couple tbsp of Leno shine in a cleaning run. It even sounds like more flow.

Post# 979191 , Reply# 5   1/20/2018 at 16:14 (296 days old) by mike_g (Aberdeen SD)        

Lemi shine, that is. I don't know why Maytag wouldn't provide this info in the user manual.

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