Tip & How-To about Dishwashers

Hard water Calcium white powder build up in dishwasher

Calcium and magnesium is present in a great number of homes today regardless of hardness or softness of the water. Water containing dissolved carbonates of calcium and magnesium can lower the effectiveness of the detergents you use and leave deposits on the dishware and tub of the dishwasher. When these deposits dry they become what some call lime scale.

To remove these deposits there are a number of cleaners on the market today. I will list them in the order of my preference. You can find them near the dishwasher detergents. If you use them read the instructions on the label, but basically you can run a cycle with no dishes and the cleaner. Some of the cleaners like Lemi-Shine can be used with a full load of dishware after you clean the tub. This helps keep the tub clean and deposits off the dishes. If you want a home remedy that seems to work pretty good, put a cereal size bowl upright in the lower rack (no other dishes in the dishwasher) fill the bowl with vinegar and run a normal cycle. The vinegar will wash out and clean some of the deposits away. If residue is still around run a second cycle of the vinegar wash.

- Lemi-Shine
- Finish Dishwasher Cleaner
- Glisten
- Glass Magic

Here are some links to other dishwasher tips I have put together.

Blinking Clean Light

Poor washing on the top rack or noisy

General Dishwasher Cleaning

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3 Answers

what should my hardness level be

Water is the universal solvent. It dissolves some of almost anything it comes in contact with. Calcium and Magnesium are VERY common elements which combine readily and are commonly known as limestone. Limestone dissolved in water is what makes water hard. Water hardness is measured in grains; one grain hardness = 17.1 ppm limestone. Rain water is approx. 2.5 grains hard. Most lake water is 6 to 8 grains hard. 11 grains is Very Hard water. 30 grains is Extremely Hard water. Most people are choosing a brand of water softener at around 15 to 24 grains hardness... they're tired of the stiff towels and scratchy bed sheets.

You can likely get your water hardness and iron content tested for free at any place that sells softeners; just take a water sample in. If you want to know who the knowledgeable ones are, go to wqa.org and find a Certified Water Specialist near you.

Personally, I love soft water and would have a softener at any level harder than lake water BUT you should also know that I'm a perfectionist who gets 'em wholesale.

(Iron has nothing to do with hardness. Iron is a staining element that can leave rust stains on your porcelain at, as low as, 0.3 ppm)

Sep 04, 2014 | Water Dispensing & Filtration

2 Answers

Water softener

You have SWR which would mean soft water, Then there is reg which mean regenerate, the other is bach wash and off. The thing about water softeners is that you should know how hard the water is first. There is a setting inside that determines how many grains of hardness the softener treats. It appears this unit is home made and therefore is all on and not adjustable. There needs to be a brine tank that contains salt water in order to REG the system, then you back wash it to get all the salt out. So it is anyones guess what the times and amounts are.

Jun 12, 2013 | Water Dispensing & Filtration

16 Answers

What minerals are found in apples?

Apple Calcium Copper Iron Magnesium Manganese Phosphorus Potassium Selenium Sodium Zinc


Jan 17, 2013 | Cooking

1 Answer

dishes are coming out very filmy.


A couple of things could be causing this. I will create a list here of the most common causes, if they do not help I have attached a link at the end to some other tips I put together.

- Be sure your rinse aid dispenser is full, if you have run out it could cause filming

- Looks for suds in the dishwasher, if present it would indicate that some foreign detergent like dawn or other sudsing detergent got in there. If this happens run a short cycle or two adding a bit of vinegar or cooking oil to help dissolve the suds.

- Use the amount of detergent for your water quality. In the spring as the water table rises the amount of calcium and magnesium changes. They can cause filming, if you water is soft use less detergent, if hard use a little more and you may have to use an additive (see link)

Let me know if this helps at all, your honest feedback to me would be appreciated.



May 03, 2010 | KitchenAid 24 in. KUDI01FLSS Stainless...

2 Answers

water runs continuosly...I have well water and when this occurs, the drinking water tap just trickles...and also the water filter life is greatly reduced

If it's like my well water was there was sand in the water which would lodge in the water inlet valve where the water supply connects to the fridge on the back. It prevents the valve from closing completely. Sometimes it would clear it's self if you keep cutting it on and off till it stops. I also had the same problem with the cold water in the washer. Replacing the valve didn't help because the sand kept coming. Some type of filter is needed in the water line before the fridge is needed.

Jan 16, 2010 | GE Monogram ZDI15C Automatic Icemaker

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