Sometimes soap suds will pour out of your dishwasher as it runs. This can result in a huge mess that can cover the entire kitchen, and streaky dishes to boot. Then again, oversudsing can be less severe; at times the only evidence is water oozing out of the door, pushed by expanding bubbles. But do not despair, because most likely your appliance is not broken. Oversudsing is typically caused by the use of the wrong type of soap for the dishwasher.
A mistake that many people make is to put soap designed for hand washing dishes into the soap dispenser of the dishwasher. Also, hand soaps or dish soaps sometimes get onto the dishes in the sink, and carried over into the dishwasher. Do not use soapy sponges to prewash dishes or place soapy sponges in the dishwasher. These cleaners lack the defoaming agent required to prevent excessive suds from forming. Instead, always use detergent that is made specifically for the dishwasher. And make sure that everyone else in your household knows about proper dishwasher soaps as well.
When this mistake is made, however, and your kitchen is filling up with foam or water, this is what you do: Immediately turn the appliance off and open the door, even if it is still running. Remove the dishes to be cleaned properly later and be sure to rinse them off. If you have one, use a shop vac to suck up all the suds inside and outside the machine; but be certain that the vac is designed take up water. Otherwise, you can scoop it all up with a large plastic bowl or bucket. Once all of the suds are sopped up, it is time to clean all of the offending dish soap out the machine.
It is surprising how difficult it is to remove foaming hand or dish soap. Just running the dishwasher over and over is not an effective way to clean it out. Instead, put cooking oil into the bottom of the appliance and run it, making sure that the soap dispenser is open. Have you ever put a greasy pan into a frothy sink full of suds? Most of the bubbles disappear immediately because the oil neutralizes the soap. This is exactly what we are doing here. Next, run the dishwasher again with the soap dispenser open but this time use vinegar, preferably distilled. If the dishwasher is still forming suds, go ahead and repeat this process, running it with cooking oil and then with vinegar, until the hand or dish soap is removed.
On the other hand, if your dishwasher is still oversudsing, then your appliance may be malfunctioning. There might be something wrong with your drain hose, your pump, your electronics, or a number of other parts. If you need any help diagnosing and repairing your dishwasher, call Dave Smith Appliance Services, as we have a certified service department that specializes in the repair of dishwashers and other household appliances.