I've purchased a Dishwasher from Bosch (SMS60L18IN). We were very satisfied with it's first wash when it gave us clean utensils without any problems. We put a 3 in 1 tablet then. Now, I use a special salt, detergent and Rinse aid... all from Finish.

From the 2nd wash onwards, it started giving white film on almost all utensils and food residues are not cleaned on some.

I tried all workarounds that I found online like changing detergent amounts and using the venegar trick.

The issue I was thinking and the company engineers suspecting is the water hardness which is around 900 (or 920) ppm. They changed the hardness level in the machine of to H7 (this is the max one for 8.9mmol/L hardness that the company specified) suggested me to run the machine for a few cycles to get rid of water residue from previous cycles.

I've already ran four cycles and the issue still persists. Is the water hardness the cause alone? Would be there other issues like the detergent or salt?

Following are the things that I observed:

  1. The first wash was perfect. We haven't used sale here. Second and third washes are a bit okay.
  2. In the second wash. We put a 1.5 kg of specially recommended salt (it's brand is Finish)
  3. Issue worsened from the fourth wash.
  4. I realized that I haven't filled the salt resorvoir with water (the company recommends to fill it with water when you use the machine for the first time) and then filled it with a glass of water.
  5. The company technicians said that is not a big issue as the machine will itself dilute the salt with water after 2 or 3 washes.
  6. I ran the machine by pouring a cup of vinegar as suggested in some articles and I found that the white layer on the machines door was gone and utensils in the next wash are somewhat clean. Also, I tried changing detergent amounts, rinse raid quantity settings and switching hardness levels with each wash.

  7. Tried changing the size of the load with each wash

  8. Even if we purchase a budget softener like this, it may have low output rates and that gives new problems.

  9. And an important thing is that we believe it's too noisy (it gives knocking sounds while rinsing) like a cloth washing machine. The company staff said it is normal or I guess it is not that loud when they are around:)

More details

  • Name of the detergent, salt and rinse-aid's brand is Finish
  • Am I still using all-in-one tables? No

The company staff recommended water softeners (of a different brand as they don't sell softeners). But I fear if it brings new issues like the change in flow rate (individual tap softeners have low flow rate, i.e., 2 litres per minute where as the dishwasher requires 6 litres per minutre). Ours is a rented house so I can't install a permanent or full house water softener.

Could anybody tell me if you find any other issues here other than the water hardness? Any suggestions or solutions are welcome.

  • 1
    900 ppm is a very high number (see Wikipedia article here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_water#Hard.2Fsoft_classification). Can you list what workarounds you have tried?
    – John Feltz
    Dec 19, 2016 at 19:59
  • 4
    I don't know where you live, but in Germany, it would be illegal for the municipality to supply water over 713 ppm, and the Internet says that the hardest that is actually supplied is at 425 (tagesspiegel.de/berlin/…) If 900 ppm is not an error, I would be surprised that a new dishwasher is the first place where you notice the hard water - you would have to descale stuff from water pots to the shower head at least weekly, and it would be impossible to do laundry without a ton of softener.
    – rumtscho
    Dec 19, 2016 at 20:39
  • 3
    Trouble with water softeners is that you'll still have 900 ppm solids in your water. You won't see as much spotting because NaCl is more soluble than say CaSo4, but you'll be drinking salty water. With hardness that high, I'd go with a reverse osmosis unit. That'll actually reduce ppm. Dec 19, 2016 at 23:27
  • 1
    Can you tell us what country you are in? Detergent formulas vary country-to-country due to environmental laws. Are you on well water or municipal water? Since you are in a rental home, have you asked the landlord about water hardness and whether previous renters had problems?
    – John Feltz
    Dec 20, 2016 at 14:45
  • 1
    900 ppm is ridiculously hard water - that's 1/5 the dissolved solids of seawater.
    – John Feltz
    Dec 20, 2016 at 14:48

1 Answer 1


Most likely the problem is your water hardness. A few years ago, they removed phosphates from dishwater detergents. Since then, white films from calcium salts are a problem on glassware. Finish detergent (the little blocks with a red button) is excellent.

Try using white vinegar (or even CLR) to get rid of the film for a cycle or by hand. Use Finish detergent. Add some TSP (trisodium phosphate) with every load, which you can buy at a home improvement or paint store, and also use a rinse surfactant. Cross your fingers.

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