Getting rid of dishwasher residue

Resident Expert

Q Glassware washed in my General Electric dishwasher eventually takes on a subtle, chemical taste of the detergent. I have tried a brand of rinse-enhancer and I have tried switching brands of dishwasher detergent, and still a chemical taste persists.

- J.L. Chattanooga, Tenn.

A The softer the water, the less detergent one should use. So if the questioner has soft water, it could be that she's adding so much detergent that it's not being rinsed off completely.

With soft water, one tablespoon of detergent in the closed cup would be fine. Another alternative is that "the dishwasher may not be getting enough water in the rinse cycles," suggests a representative of the General Electric help line.

After the main wash there are at least two, sometimes three, rinses that should be getting rid of any detergent left on the glasses.

But if the dishwasher isn't filling up with water, or if it is not going through the rinse cycle completely, that could explain the residual taste of the detergent, according to the person answering the help line.

To determine if this is the problem, listen to the dishwasher go through a regular cycle and see that you're getting the right number of fills

But be sure to consult your dishwasher's instruction manual for the precise number of fills for the particular cycle you have selected. This might vary by dishwasher model.

Readers: Pose your questions and we'll seek out experts on home repairs, gardens, food, and family legal issues. Send queries to the Homefront Editor, The Christian Science Monitor, One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115 or e-mail

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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