My dishwasher cleans the cups and plates well, but it doesn't remove all the soap. For example, If I pour water into a cup that was cleaned by the dishwasher than soap bubbles start to form. I would say that there is a medium-small layer of soap on the cups and plates. Also, I decreased the amount of soap from the recommended amount, but still no luck. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to fix this?

  • 1
    I had a similar problem using Kirkland (Costco) brand liquid soap. I switched to the name brand stuff and it worked better. FWIW: we have hard water, don't have a water softener and our dishwasher wasn't very expensive.
    – popdan
    Sep 9, 2015 at 0:34
  • 3
    Are you using a rinse-aid?
    – Steven
    Sep 9, 2015 at 0:36
  • does the rinse cycle activate for the proper amount of time?
    – ojait
    Sep 9, 2015 at 0:40
  • If you're using a rinse-aid to no avail, you need to buy some soap that still has phosphates in it (but at $80 a box, you might want to make your own).
    – Mazura
    Sep 10, 2015 at 2:35

2 Answers 2


General suggestions:

  • use powdered soaps (not liquid)
  • make sure you are using a rinse aid (jet-dry)
  • make sure you aren't using 'too much' soap
  • run the dishes through a cycle with vinegar added to the dishwasher
  • look on the dish soap aisle for some powered 'soap scum' removal powders that you can adde to the dish soap. It's often a citric-based product in powder form
  • I might also add that it's worth checking the filter
    – Steven
    Sep 9, 2015 at 18:30
  • @Steven yes. Good point. I forget that many people don't realize there's a filter in there that needs to be cleaned often.
    – DA01
    Sep 9, 2015 at 18:32

RInse Aid ("Jet-Dry®" or similar) is the most likely cause - dishwasher soap does not really bubble much at all (as to why it does not, I have, many decades ago, made the mistake of putting regular dish soap in a dishwasher, which became a mass of foam I got to clean up.)

The function of "rinse aid" is to reduce the surface tension that holds droplets on plates and glasses so that water "sheets off" cleanly and you are not left with water spots where a droplet has dried (if you have water hard enough to leave water spots in that case.) This is pretty much a "soap-like" function, and it's applied in the final rinse, so some stays on the dishes.

You may be able to turn the amount of "rinse aid" dispensed down - check your dishwasher manual/instructions. Given your issue, I would turn it to the absolute minimum, and also consider not refilling the dispenser when it finally does run out. Unfortunately it's not usually possible to empty the dispenser easily.

Of course, you may (depending on your water) then get water spots on your plates and glassware, unless you turn off the dry function and towel dry the wet dishes when the cycle is done.

  • 1
    I would have thought the problem is a lack of rinse-aid, not too much
    – Steven
    Sep 9, 2015 at 13:42
  • It could go both ways. It might also be worth checking on an "Extra Rinse" function, like my dishwasher has. Sep 9, 2015 at 14:31

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