Best Dishwasher Cleaner for Hard Water

Best Dishwasher Cleaner for Hard Water

It’s hard to imagine what the world would be like without technology. We’ve all been blessed enough to live in a time when tech inventions keep making waves across the globe and we’ve all benefited hugely from them. Years ago, to think that a time would come when dishes would be done by a machine without ever breaking them into pieces, would have been far-fetched. Thankfully, we all have these appliances in our homes, and they have, so far, made life generally easier for us. The dishwasher is a big part of every household’s setup. The American Cleaning Institute published an article that states the purpose of a dishwasher to mechanically distribute enough detergent solution and water in and around the dishes to loosen tough stains and remove oil. Needless to say, the dishwasher has lots of benefits, some of which include saving time and effort while also reducing the risks of breakage through manually handling dishes. Part of the bigger picture is to make the kitchen cleaner, creating a healthier environment for cooking which will, in turn, promote good living. All these benefits, and many more, are why the dishwasher is a big part of every household and that’s why it’s so popular in the home these days.

What’s a modern kitchen without a dishwasher? Despite its usefulness in the kitchen, the dishwasher can be really messy if you don’t regularly clean it. The greatest misconception people have about the dishwasher is that in the process of washing the dishes, it can also wash itself. It’ll be wrong to think that. The best way to keep your dishwasher in good shape is to make sure it gets regular cleaning. People find it hard to fully understand how the dishwasher works and how it can be best maintained. Thankfully, that’s the mystery we’re going to help you solve in this article.

Coming to terms with the fact that the dishwasher doesn’t clean itself is the first step to creating a perfect environment for all parties. The truth is that you need to regularly clean your dishwasher if you want it to last as long as you want it to, or maybe more. You don’t have to do a deep clean every time. If you run hard water in your house, you leave your dishwasher, and the other items in your house, with risks of getting damaged because of minerals building up regularly.

Before we get into the best dishwasher commercial cleaning products, let’s look at the elements that make up a dishwasher and how it really works.

Elements of a dishwasher

We found out that the reason why people have found the dishwasher very hard to understand is that they haven’t taken their time to study its elements. Its operation is quite easy too. Once you get a good grip of these elements, understanding the concept of the dishwasher will no longer be difficult and you can finally understand how the dishwasher works.


Water is an important part of every cleaning process. As a matter of fact, there are only a few cleaning steps you can take without involving water. The same is applicable to the dishwasher where water also plays a major role in carrying detergent, dissolving, and rinsing dirt away. According to the American Cleaning Institute, water is distributed at a certain velocity in the dishwasher. This velocity will then determine how much scrubbing action is needed to remove stains from the dishes you’re trying to wash.

With the dishwasher, the right amount of everything is what makes it work very effectively. Unlike a washing machine, the dishwasher doesn’t get filled up with water, contrary to what a lot of people think. A dishwasher, depending on the number of washes and rinses in a cycle, can use up to 6-10 gallons of water. This means that you can wash your dishes using a dishwasher with a little volume of water.

Another thing people have complained about is the dishwasher displaying insufficient water. This can be as a result of the huge pressure on the water supply from the other demands in the house. It is advisable to limit the usage of water on other activities like laundering and bathing while the dishwasher is in use to avoid the machine displaying “insufficient water.”

The hardness of water can also pose a great threat to the effectiveness of the dishwasher, and this will show greatly in the results. Hard water is determined by the amount of magnesium and calcium present in it. You can find out how hard the water in your area is by putting a call across to the local water company.

Lastly on the water is temperature. The temperature of the water present in the dishwasher will determine how quickly the detergent is dissolved. The lesser the temperature of the water, the more difficult it will be to get stains out of your dishes and that might cause the dishwasher to overwork. The recommended water temperature level shouldn’t be lower than 130 degrees F.

Wash systems

Different dishwashers are designed with different ways by which water is distributed. While some dishwashers come with multiple water sources, some are only designed with a single water source. These wash systems will determine how much load you should be putting in the dishwashers. For example, a dishwasher with a single water source won’t be able to operate big loads at a time. This means that you need to load carefully to ensure that some parts of the dishwasher don’t get blocked in the process.

Dishwasher cleaner

Nobody likes to hear this but the dishwasher cleaner you decide to invest in will tell you about the operation of your dishwasher. The reason why we’re writing this piece is to get you exposed to the different commercial dishwasher cleaners that have proven to be very effective over the years. A good dishwasher cleaner should be able to do the following perfectly;

  • Clean up dirt/stains/grease.
  • Minimize water spots on the dishes.
  • Reduce the surface tension of the water.
  • Protect the dishes from the effects of hard water.

All you need to do is make sure you add the right amount of detergent to every wash cycle you’re about to begin. If you don’t fill the detergent dispenser cup(s) with the right amount of detergent, it could result in damage to some of the items the dishwasher is washing, and that will cost you extra money trying to get them replaced, that’s if it doesn’t cause major damage to the machine itself.

Rinse Agent

If you run hard water, you’ll find an automatic rinse agent particularly helpful. Its work is to get the water in the dishes to sheet off instead of drying in droplets. With this method, you don’t have to heat the dishes, especially when you’re trying to conserve energy.

Safety dishwasher rules to follow

Safety is very important when operating home appliances. It should always be prioritized, especially when you have kids at home. With your dishwasher, you’re going to be dealing with lots of commercial cleaners and you need to make sure they’re kept only where the adults can access them. These cleaners are often made of harmful chemical substances. It means that even adults need to be very careful when using them. We’ve highlighted some of the safety dishwasher rules to follow to keep everyone in the house safe;

1. We all know that with dishwashers, hot water helps you achieve the best results as we have pointed out earlier. You need to be very careful when you’re handling hot water to prevent burns, especially with the kids. Make the dishwasher spot a no-go area for them, for their sakes and everybody else’s in the house.

2. At the end of each wash cycle, make sure there’s no detergent left in the detergent dispenser cup, and if there is, clean it up. You can avoid wasting the cleaner by initially adding the right amount of detergent at the beginning of each wash cycle.

3. If you bought extra dishwasher cleaners because you don’t want to frequently visit the store or have the delivery guys at your doorstep every time, make sure you store them away from the food items in the house, and away from the kids’ reach too. Not just the dishwasher cleaners now but every commercial cleaner with chemical substances in it.

4. Always ensure that you add your dishwasher cleaner before running the dishwasher. This is to ensure your safety, or anyone else running it. It is advisable to add the right amount of detergent before turning on the dishwasher itself.

5. Load the dishwasher correctly to avoid getting the machine damaged. If you overload the dishwasher, it’ll overwork, and not only will you not be able to get the best results out of it. It is very important you load the dishwasher moderately if you want to protect it as well as your dishes.

Things to consider before buying a dishwasher

Back in the days, dishwashers were only made for a certain set of people in the society; those of higher social statuses. Those were the only ones who could afford them. Thankfully today, they’ve become what every household must have because not only do they save time, they get the job done perfectly too. However, despite the high demands over the years, there are still things you need to put into consideration if you’re looking to purchase a dishwasher. The market is so wide that there are so many dishwashers and you might end up getting the one that won’t be very useful for you if you don’t nail things down to a few details.

Your budget

Before you begin your search for a new dishwasher, have it at the back of your mind that this factor has a great role to play in making your purchase decision, and almost all the other factors are attached to it. Usually, appliances are priced by capacity, surface finishes, special features, and many more. If you’re on a budget, you need to properly straighten out how much you’re willing to spend on a dishwasher before you begin your search. This will help you nail everything down to a few details. Your price is clear, although you must be willing to compromise the other factors like surface finish and special features.

NOTE: stainless steel dishwashers are usually priced higher than the other surface finishes.

Dishwasher capacity

When you’re looking to purchase a dishwasher, you need to also look at its capacity. By considering capacity, we mean looking at the number of people in the house and how often you cook. This will help you choose the perfect size of the dishwasher. Usually, a 24-inch dishwasher can take more plates than its 18-inch counterpart. Making the right decision is very important in this case because a lot of people have issues with how they load their dishwashers which can be traced down to not choosing the dishwasher with the right capacity. If you choose the right capacity, you’ll find every wash cycle success and you’ll always get the best results while you also get to preserve the dishwasher.

Energy consumption

If you’re purchasing a dishwasher, you might as well purchase the one that’s going to save you a lot of money on your electricity bill. A dishwasher that is energy efficient will carry the energy rating sticker. Once you make that conscious decision to opt for a dishwasher that is energy efficient, you will find yourself not spending much on electricity, provided other appliances in your space are energy efficient too.

Best dishwasher cleaner

Finish Dual Action Dishwasher Cleaner

If you don’t love this Finish dishwasher cleaner for anything, you will love the fresh scent it leaves behind any time you use it for your dishwasher. It is the best option for hidden grease and limescale, as pointed out by the manufacturer. If you’re going to be deep cleaning once a month, this Fresh cleaner should be your go-to dishwasher cleaner. It helps break down any limescale or grease building up inside the dishwasher, making it very easy for you to get rid of them. People who have witnessed the cleaner’s effectiveness first-hand have positively raved about it online, further proving how good of a cleaner it is. If you’re using this cleaner, make sure the dishwasher is empty and one bottle is enough for a cycle.

Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner with 6 Tablets

Affresh dishwasher cleaner comes in a tablet form and this particular package comes with 6 tablets. This cleaner contains citric aid, sodium carbonate, and polyethylene glycol among many others. If you’re looking to descale your glassware and dishes, this is the best citric acid dishwasher cleaner to get you through the process in one piece. You can put a tablet of Affresh in a full load of dishes and glassware to leave them sparkling clean again.

Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Cleaner

This Cascade dishwasher cleaner is a box of 8 cleaning pods that are individually wrapped. It’s best to be used once a month when you’re deep cleaning your dishwasher and trying to leave it with a good, fresh scent. To use this dishwasher cleaner, all you need to do is unwrap one of the packs and toss it in your empty dishwasher. It’s going to help you clean off the mineral deposits, limescale, grease stains, and many more in the dishwasher.

Summit Brands Washer and Dishwasher Cleaner

Summit is already a popular appliance manufacturer so the brand knows all about getting hands-on effective cleaners. This Summit dishwasher cleaner comes with tablets that can be used to clean and deodorize washing machines and dishwashers. With this Summit cleaner, you won’t have to use bleach products or phosphates any longer. To begin with, put the tablet in an empty dishwasher, load your dishes, add the detergent, and run the cycle. It will add fresh lemon scents to your dishwasher.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you clean hard water from a dishwasher?

Hard water stains can be damaging sometimes. Fortunately, there are several ways to combat hard water in a dishwasher. Every commercial product we’ve reviewed in this article works effectively for cleaning hard water from a dishwasher and you can try it too.

  • Can I put vinegar in my dishwasher?

Vinegar is such a good thing to have at home. It is very versatile when it comes to cleaning and it can also work perfectly for a dishwasher with cleaning and deodorizing. If you run your dishwasher on a hot water cycle with vinegar in it, you’re going to be super amazed by the results.


Nobody likes hard water stains. When you give them a chance to dwell comfortably in and around your appliances, the result is not always good. A dishwasher, like every other appliance in the house, is not exempted from hard water stains but there are different ways to get rid of these stains. There are natural ways to go about it and with the natural methods, we have things like vinegar, lemon, and baking soda. We’ve also reviewed some commercial cleaning products which are very ideal for getting hard water stains off your dishwasher. Whatever you do, always make sure you read the instructions that come with these cleaners and always put safety first.

Read more about how to clean hard water stains from a stainless steel dishwasher here.





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