Why Does My Dishwasher Consume Too Much Detergent or Rinse Aid?

Jul 19, 2023, 17:45pm

The dishwasher will require certain products so that the dishes can be clean and free of stains. There are several ways to put product in your machine, the most used and the simplest is to put a tablet which will dissolve during the dishwasher cycle, after emptying.

However, the products are not the only cleaning assets: there is also the salt tank and the resins. Without these elements, the washing of the dishes will be poorly done. This is why it will be necessary to check:

  • the salt tank
  • regeneration valve
  • water hardness setting
  • the heating resistor
  • the product box
  • the rinse aid dispenser

If you find that your dishwasher is consuming an excessive amount of detergent or rinse aid, it can be frustrating and costly. Not only does it lead to wastage of products, but it can also result in poor cleaning performance or leave behind residue on your dishes. Understanding the potential reasons behind this issue can help you address and resolve it. In this article, we will explore some common causes of a dishwasher consuming too much detergent or rinse aid and provide guidance on how to troubleshoot and rectify the problem.

Why Does My Dishwasher Consume Too Much Detergent or Rinse Aid?

1. Incorrect Detergent Measurement

Using an incorrect measurement of detergent can cause your dishwasher to consume more than necessary. Follow these steps:

  1. Read the Manufacturer’s Instructions: Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines or the detergent packaging for the recommended amount of detergent to use. Different dishwasher models and detergent brands may require varying amounts.
  2. Use the Recommended Amount: Measure the detergent carefully according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Using more detergent than necessary will not lead to better cleaning results and may actually result in excessive suds or residue.
  3. Adjust for Water Hardness: Consider adjusting the detergent amount based on the hardness of your water. Hard water requires more detergent, while soft water may require less. Check your dishwasher’s manual or contact the manufacturer for specific recommendations.

2. Rinse Aid Overuse

Excessive use of rinse aid can also contribute to the problem of consuming too much product. Follow these steps:

  1. Check Rinse Aid Levels: Ensure that your dishwasher’s rinse aid dispenser is not overfilled. Refer to the dishwasher’s manual for instructions on checking and adjusting the rinse aid level.
  2. Adjust the Rinse Aid Dosage: Some dishwashers have adjustable rinse aid settings. Experiment with different settings to find the optimal dosage for your dishwasher and water conditions.
  3. Consider Water Hardness: Adjust the rinse aid dosage based on the hardness of your water. If you have hard water, you may need to increase the rinse aid dosage slightly to achieve spot-free drying.

3. Spray Arm Blockage

If the dishwasher’s spray arms are blocked or not functioning properly, it can lead to inadequate cleaning and the perception of more product consumption. Follow these steps:

  1. Remove and Clean the Spray Arms: Take out the dishwasher’s spray arms and inspect them for any blockages, such as food particles or mineral deposits. Clean them thoroughly with warm water and a soft brush to ensure proper water flow.
  2. Check for Clogged Nozzles: Examine the spray arm nozzles for any clogs or obstructions. Use a toothpick or a small brush to clear any debris that may be affecting the water spray pattern.

4. Water Temperature Issues

Inadequate water temperature can cause the dishwasher to compensate by using more detergent or rinse aid. Consider the following steps:

  1. Check Water Temperature: Ensure that your dishwasher is receiving hot water. Run the hot water faucet at your sink before starting the dishwasher to ensure the water entering the machine is sufficiently hot.
  2. Verify the Water Heater Temperature: Check the temperature setting on your water heater. It should be set to around 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius) for optimal dishwasher performance.

5. Malfunctioning Sensor or Dispenser

A malfunctioning sensor or dispenser can lead to improper measurement or distribution of detergent and rinse aid. Follow these steps:

  1. Consult the Dishwasher Manual: Refer to your dishwasher’s manual for troubleshooting instructions related to the detergent and rinse aid dispenser. Some models may have specific recommendations for recalibrating or replacing these components.
  2. Contact a Professional Technician: If you suspect a malfunctioning sensor or dispenser, it is best to consult a professional technician. They can diagnose the issue and provide appropriate repair or replacement solutions.


With each wash, the regeneration valve opens and forces water through the salt tank before it enters the softener. This valve is located at the level of the softener, at the bottom rear of the dishwasher, behind the plinth.

  • Disconnect its connector, then measure its value with a multimeter: the valve coil should have a resistance of 2 to 5 kOhm.
  • If you find 1 or OL, this means the valve has sheared and needs to be replaced.

If the valve is OK, the softener must be replaced.

Why Does My Dishwasher Consume Too Much Detergent or Rinse Aid?


The issue could be due to a heating issue that can be accessed under the device by tilting it to the side. The heating system can be of three types: immersion heater, heating tunnel or circulation pump with built-in heating.

  • Select the ohmmeter position of your multimeter, 200 or 600 ohm gauge of your meter.
  • Place the test leads on the resistance heater connection points.
  • If you find a 1 or OL, the resistor is bad.You can also do a leakage test to see if your resistor is causing a short circuit.
  • Place a test lead on the tip of the resistor and the other on the ground wire (green and yellow).
  • If you find a value, current is flowing from the resistor to the device, so it is shorted.

In conclusion, a dishwasher consuming too much detergent or rinse aid can be caused by incorrect measurement, overuse of rinse aid, spray arm blockage, water temperature issues, or malfunctioning sensors or dispensers. By following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article, you can identify and address many of these issues. However, if the problem persists or you are uncertain about performing any repairs yourself, it is best to consult a professional technician for further assistance. They will have the expertise to diagnose the underlying cause and provide the appropriate repair or adjustment to ensure your dishwasher consumes the correct amount of products for optimal cleaning results.