Dishwasher Interior Staining

The interior of the dishwasher is designed to resist staining; however, should staining occur, we recommend the following solutions:

Gray and/or brown stains: Can be a calcium or iron build-up. This is a water condition and may reappear after cleaning. To remove these stains, you can treat with citric acid crystals using the steps below:

  1. Fill the detergent cup with three to four ounces of citric acid crystals and close the cup.
  2. Run the dishwasher through a normal cycle.
  3. Rinse thoroughly by running the dishwasher through another cycle without the crystals but with a full cup of detergent.
  4. A severe mineral build up may require a second treatment to remove all of the accumulation.


Red, pink or orange stains:
Generally caused by a tomato-based products, such as pasta sauce. Citric acid will not have an effect on red, pink or orange stains.

  • This stain is not easily removed, but will fade over time.
  • To keep this from happening in the future, remove any excess tomato sauce from your dishes before loading them in the dishwasher.
  • Staining can also be minimized by running your dishwasher immediately after loading with dishes that have tomato sauce on them.


Green stains:
Typically caused by specific types of detergents that contain dye or color pigments. Some gel-type detergents have been tested and proven to cause this staining after prolonged use. Switching to a different detergent is the best way to prevent these stains.


White stains/film:
Can be caused by hard water minerals or an excess of detergent residue. Over time, hard water build-up can cause damage to components of the dishwasher.

  • You may want to consider installing a water softener.
  • Remove mineral build-up or detergent residue with the citric acid treatment described in the "Gray and/or brown stains" section.

Note: Citric acid is available in liquid or crystal form. We recommend the crystals because they will remain in the detergent cup until it is time to dispense the product, while the liquid is likely to run out before the detergent cup opens. Citric acid crystals are sometimes called "sour salt" and are available at some drug stores and most grocery stores in the canning or spice section. GE Appliance Parts also stocks Citric Acid Crystals as part number WD35X151. Replacement filters can be ordered: Purchase a GE Appliance part online.

  • Citric acid can be used in both plastic and stainless steel interior dishwashers.
  • This procedure should be completed in an empty dishwasher, though dishes/glassware with mineral or detergent build up can stay in the dishwasher,
  • Do not place silverware, aluminum items or other metals in the dishwasher during this process to avoid tarnishing those items.
  • Dishes or glasses with "patterns" should not be left in the dishwasher when doing a citric acid treatment. Some "patterns" can be damaged or washed off.

Rust / yellow stains: Dishwasher Interior Staining Rust