Last Updated on November 14, 2022 by Claire
Why do my dishes taste like soap after the dishwasher? Anything could be wrong if your dishwasher recently started giving soap-tasting dishes after cleaning. You would also notice slight opaqueness on glassware, which is nasty.
Your dishes taste like soap after the dishwasher due to excessive use of or low-quality detergent. Limescale buildup through water hardness, dirty water line/drain, and even clogged filters can cause a soapy flavour. Also, using pods against the manufacturer’s recommended liquid/powder detergent is a culprit.
Without fixing it, your dishwasher will keep putting soap on the dishes. A dishwasher not getting the soap off after rinsing is a common reason. But there are other culprits to be suspicious of. In extreme cases, replacing an old dishwasher saves more money than repairs.
Common Reasons Dishes taste like soap after dishwasher
This section of the publication explains the various reasons your dishes taste soapy. And, of course, we also recommend various fixes to get your dishwasher back to performing optimally.
If you already have food that has a soap taste, you can see ways to remove the soap taste from the food.
Your dishes will taste like soap if you add excessive detergent to the dispenser. The dishwasher will rinse well when the soap is too much.
Most dishwashers arrive with a measuring cup for filling the dispenser with the correct amount of dishwasher detergent, use that.
You want a suitable amount of detergent for a normal full load of dishes in your machine. This is mostly the case with liquid or powdered soap. You may not have a measurement problem if using dishwasher pods.
Your dishwasher is susceptible to hard water problems. When the water in your area is too hard, it is challenging for the dishwasher to properly wash your dishes and get rid of soaps.
Dishwasher soap combined with hard water will produce a curdy precipitate known as soap scum.
Typically, hard water uses dissolved minerals, including magnesium ions and calcium ions, in high concentrations in the form of dissolved salts. Dishwasher soaps may contain sodium salt from stearic acid.
Nonetheless, soft water is quite alkaline and could as well taste soapy.
The first go-to solution is to clean or install the filter to adjust water chemistry if your dishwasher does not already have a filter.
You could also use a dishwasher descaler a few times a year to get rid of limescale buildup and hard water deposits.
Just run the longest, hot water wash cycle on your emptied dishwasher without adding detergent for 30 minutes. While the wash cycle is active, add a box of descaler to the bottom of the dishwasher.
Run a different wash cycle after the hot water cycle is complete.
A dirty or clogged filter will cause your dishwasher to produce dishes that taste like soap. The dishwasher soap you use accumulates in the filter after a long time of several dishwashers without cleaning it.
The solution is to remove the dishwasher filter from the bottom of the tub. You may have to remove a few screws to remove it from its housing.
According to Bosch, you should use a toothbrush to get rid of visible debris on the top of the filter and give the housing a thorough brushing.
Simply dip the brush in a mild powder or liquid dishwasher detergent to eliminate mineral deposits and tough food clumps. Finally, rinse off the soapy residue from the filter. Wipe the filter housing dry.
Depending on your dishwasher model, you may have multiple water filters in the interior. Refer to the product manual or search your dishwasher model number online for steps to clean the filter.
You may have to replace the filters if damaged. Note that some dishwashers come with permanently installed filters, you only have to clean them. Speaking of distilling, can your coffee maker distill water?
Dishwasher soap quality
The quality of the dishwasher soap you use can be the reason your dishes are coming out so soapy.
We used a super cheap generic brand soap in one of our reviewed dishwashers, but the result was not pleasing. We also noticed that the dishes came out feeling and tasting like soap.
The glassware looked cloudy and, of course, slippery to touch. Heated dry and air dry will merely dry the soaps on the dishes.
The solution is to switch to high-quality soap as we did. The difference will be immediate, so you no longer have to hand-rinse your dishes after dishwasher wash/rinse. In our Bosch dishwasher test, we switched to these detergents for the best results.
Below are the high-quality soaps we used to eliminate the soapy flavour:
Finish All-In-1, Dishwasher Detergent
The common reason why we used the Finish All in 1 Detergent is that it has the following.
This Finish detergent was able to soften the tough dried-on oatmeal and baked-on lasagna. The stubborn disappeared within seconds, leaving no soapy flavour as well.
No doubt, the cleaners are powerful for all stubborn stains on your dishes.
Normally, you want to pre-soak. The ‘Finish’ uses a unique Powerball that removes grease and helps the machine scrub off dried-on and burnt food.
Cascade Complete Dishwasher-Pods,
We recommend this for the following reason.
Detergents with complete ActionPacs use 25% more cleaning power, and so does this Cascade detergent. This detergent is also phosphate-free.
If the dishwasher soap you use does not dissolve quickly, the dishes will come out soapy. Cascade dissolved so fast during our test, releasing the needed grease-fighting power for proper wash and rinse.
Cascade could clean a 24-hour stuck-on mess on our low-water consumption dishwasher quicker than we expected. Of course, we did not have to pre-wash, we only scraped off food remains.
All in all, it is necessary to invest in a good dishwasher liquid or powder. Remember not to overfill the reservoir, you could even fill it halfway.
Some dishwasher manufacturers do not recommend using pods. Pods are typically solid and may take longer to dissolve, preventing the dishwasher from eliminating the soapy taste. Even the best Comfee dishwashers are against pods.
Pods can also result in detergent buildup in the dishwashing machine.
If you have been using pods, consider switching to liquid or powdered dishwasher detergent.
If the water temperature is not hot enough, the dishwasher will not be able to wash off the soap.
In most cases, your dishwasher needs to heat up to 120ºF to 160ºF for the dishwasher detergent or pods to dissolve.
The simple fix for this problem is to make sure the water temperature is up to the suggested temperatures in your dishwasher.
Otherwise, the internal dishwasher thermostats could be faulty. Use an external thermostat to check the water temperature, or have a repairman do the job.
The heating element could be faulty if the water temperature is lower than usual, which requires a replacement. Report the problem to your dishwasher manufacturer for a fix.
Dirty water line
A clogged water line or drain will cause the soap taste you are experiencing on your dishes.
This is because your dishwasher cannot empty existing soapy water and replace it with fresh water. The dishwasher will keep passing the soap on the dishes, resulting in a soapy flavour.
To fix this problem, inspect the tightness of the water line and drain. If loose, try coupling it with pliers to seal the rubber gasket.
Avoid tightening the seal too tightly to prevent stripping the threads, or causing a leak.
You could try installing a replacement water inlet valve. Secure it firmly in place and reconnect the wires and hoses. You could also replace the lower kickplate panel before restoring power to the machine.
The Best Cleaning Dishwasher
For this section, we recommend just one dishwasher we found to perform optimally without leaving soap-tasting dishes:
- A convenient and small Energy Star certified dish washing machine for cleaning the dishes after dinner or cooking. Simply load the dishes in the dish basket and cutlery rack and let this white dishwasher do the dirty job. Easily sits on countertops or tabletop requiring less space
- With simple to use control panel and light indicators. Program selector has 6 wash cycle options: heavy, normal, ECO, glass, speed, and rinse for your different dishwashing needs. Delay button light to postpone wash cycle
- Features a quick connect assembly with accessories including inlet and drain hose and a faucet adapter for water lines that are compatible with round-shaped faucet outlets with removable aerators, and 55/64"-27 male or 15/16"-27 female threads underneath
- Using the rinse aid dispenser, you can dry your plates, mugs, and glass quickly without the marks or streaks. Only use rinse aids designed for an automatic dishwasher to prevent damaging your dishwasher. An indicator light will let you know when to refill the dispenser
- This counter top appliance measures 17.2 x 19.6 x 21.6 inches with 6 standard place setting capacity perfect for small size household or individuals living in apartments with limited space for huge kitchen appliances
This hOmeLabs is a convenient, small Energy-Star-rated dishwasher capable of removing soap taste from your dishes and other kitchen utensils.
Features of the hOmeLabs HME010033N
Despite its small size, hOmeLabs managed to fit in up to 6 wash cycle options, including normal, heavy, glass, eco, rinse and speed. Each of these will optimally get rid of the soap taste from dishes.
Quick connect assembly
Thanks to the quick connect assembly, we were able to quickly install the machine for use. This dishwasher arrives with an inlet hose, a drain hose, and a faucet adapter.
Rinse aid dispenser
The rinse aid dispenser dries dishes quickly without marks or streaks. Ensure to use automatic dishwasher rinse aids to avoid damaging the machine.
There is also an indicator light that shows when you have to refill the dispenser.
Benefits of the hOmeLabs HME010033N
With the delay start option, you can schedule or postpone a wash cycle. We set the machine to automatically dishwasher while we focus on other activities.
Efficiency is the selling point of a modern dishwasher, and this machine is certified by Energy Start among others.
It weighs just 44 pounds, easy to carry about.
This machine is made with stainless steel that can withstand several daily washes.
Speaking of water consumption, we noticed about 1.14 to 3.30 L per load, depending on the wash mode we selected.
What we do not like
We expected it to be quieter. However, this dishwasher is quieter than the normal conversation you hold with people. However, you can make the dishwasher silent.
Does not sanitize baby bottles
If you have a baby, there is no sanitizing option for your baby’s dishes.
No salt reservoir
The manufacturer confirmed to us that this hOmeLabs model does not contain a salt reservoir.
So we’ve seen practical reasons why dishes taste like soap after dishwasher. If these solutions don’t work, then I suggest that you switch over handwashing specific utensils that you will use for cooking at the time of washing.
This would be a better option instead of going to purchase a new dishwasher. But if you are financially buoyant, then you can decide to get a new dishwasher and install it properly.