23rd September 2016
Have you noticed stains and a bit of white residue on the inside of your dishwasher and even your dishes and glassware? These dishwasher stains are caused by hard water build-up. As water travels in the ground it picks up whatever it comes in contact with, such as minerals and rocks. These minerals can include Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Copper, and more. The hard water stains are actually those minerals getting left behind after the water has evaporated from the dishwasher. If you’ve noticed this happening in your home, you have very likely hard water.
Hard water can be a big problem over time for your dishwasher and also most of your home appliances such as shower heads, iron, kettles, washing machine, etc. Hard water leads to limescale deposits which can cause white residue build-up that is hard to clean, causes rust, failure to heat pumps, other heating elements, and more.
Luckily, there are ways to combat hard water problems. If you know you have hard water, you can clean your dishwasher once a month to cut down on limescale deposits. There are commercial rinse agents you can buy at any home improvement store but there are also home remedies with ingredients you probably already have. There are a few options to choose from, you can choose to clean with vinegar, baking soda, or lemon juice. Place a cup of whichever cleaner you chose on the bottom rack of your empty dishwasher and run it through a full cycle on normal heat. High heat or steam wash is not recommended as it may start to smell like vinegar in your kitchen. Because vinegar is very acidic, it is also great to clean with. However, it should not be used weekly to clean your dishwasher.
The ultimate long term solution to keep your dishwasher and appliances in top shape is to invest in a water softener. A water softener takes all the hard minerals out of your water before they even come in contact with your appliances. In the long run water softeners save you money, by keeping your appliances healthy, using less soap, less water, and no more residue.