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Why Do Dishes Feel Slimy After Dishwasher

Open Door Of Built-In Dishwasher

A dishwasher is a helpful appliance that makes your dishwashing chore like a breeze. However, sometimes your dishes feel slimy and sticky even after getting washed.

The chore of rewashing them is both tiresome and time-consuming. If you are facing a similar problem, you must wonder why your dishwasher is not cleaning the dishes properly. What can be the reason for it?


Several reasons your dishes feel slimy and sticky even after being washed in a dishwasher. Some common causes are:

  • Water Hardness
  • Detergent residue
  • Low Water Temeprature

If you are done cleaning your dishes, again and again, read further. This article will uncover why your dishes feel sticky after getting washed and solutions to fix them.

4 Reasons Why Your Dishes Feel Sticky After Getting Washed

Sticky dishes feel gross to touch, and nobody wants to use them for eating unless they are rewashed. But that negates the purpose of having a dishwasher in the first place.

So if you are dealing with a similar problem, let’s dig in and find its causes.

1. Water Hardness

Transparent And Black And White Dishes

Hard water has high mineral content suitable for human health, but it is highly harmful to your dishes. If you live in an area with hard water, you will likely have dirty dishes even after dishwashing.

The hard water has plenty of calcium and magnesium that can create a whitish coat on the plates and turn them sticky when touched.


To avoid this problem, try using more detergent and running your dishwasher on a normal cycle.

If the problem persists, use a reverse osmosis water filter to soften your water and make dishwashing easier.

2. Inefficent Detergent

Close Up Of Bottle Pouring Brightener Liquid Into Dishwasher

Inefficient detergent is another culprit that leaves your dishes oily after dishwashing.

Numerous dishwashing soap companies have started creating phosphate-free detergents due to the environmental impact resulting in compromised results.

Phosphate, although a harmful component to the environment, can clean grease and oil off your dishes efficiently.

When your detergent doesn’t have adequate cleaning agents, it won’t be able to clean your dishes thoroughly, leaving them soapy and slimy.


As mentioned earlier, the current detergents in the market aren’t effective enough to efficiently clean your dishes. Using a rinse aid along with soap is suitable for optimal performance.

Rinse aid is a liquid mix of salts, acids, and surfactants that helps your dishwasher clean your dishes better. You can also try multiple brands of detergents and play with different amounts to see what works better.

3. Low Water Temperature

Details Of Dishwasher Control Buttons

Dishwashing detergent requires hot water to work correctly and clean the dishes efficiently.

I suppose there is a problem with the heating element of your dishwasher; In that case, it won’t heat the water to a suitable temperature leaving a significant amount of oil residue on your dishes.


It is good to manually check the heating element of your dishwasher by removing the lower panel.

If you cannot detect anything, call a technician for advice. A professional will use a multimeter to check the wiring and diagnose the problem in no time.

4. Detergent Residue

Attaching A Capsule With Detergent In The Diswasher Machine

Another reason why your dishes feel dirty even after dishwashing is detergent residue. Often the dishwasher has a malfunction or poor water supply that leaves detergent residue on the dishes.

If you see tiny bubbles forming on your glassware or a white coating around the plates, it signifies detergent residue.


Dishwashers require adequate pressure of water for cleaning the dishes. You must look for a clogged water supply hose and clear it up.

If your water supply is not blocked, ask for professional help. An expert can look at your dishwasher and diagnose the malfunction in the machinery.


Dishwashers have indeed changed our lives for good. With the help of this efficient and time-saving device, you can have clean dishes in no time. However, often you can have dirty dishes even after passing them through a dishwasher.

In that case, check your detergent, water hardness, temperature, and supply. If you find the culprit try to fix it as soon as possible or call a professional for help.

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