If you have hard water, your dishwasher will probably let you know. This is the place where the minerals in hard water are often most in evidence – causing cloudy and spotted glassware, and possibly chalky calcium buildups as well. After seeing many loads of dishes come out less than sparkling, a lot of homeowners go in search of the best dishwasher detergent for hard water. But the problem goes much deeper.
The truth is, there isn’t a dishwasher soap for hard water that really addresses the problem. The problem is that soap – and this goes for all types of soap, including dishwasher detergent – doesn’t lather well in hard water. At the same time, heat increases the tendency of hard water minerals to form scale, which makes your dishwasher a prime location for these problems to occur.
To get your dishes shiny again, don’t bother looking for a hard water dishwasher detergent. Instead, try one of the following solutions:
1. Use a dishwasher cleaner. You can clean out the hard water deposits in your dishwasher using vinegar or other home remedies. However, for best results, get yourself a specialized dishwasher cleaner for hard water like Finish Glass Magic. For a relatively low cost, this will give your dishwasher a performance boost.
2. Buy a new dishwasher with built-in water softener. Obviously, this isn’t an option for everyone. However, buying a high end dishwasher that includes a water softener will permanently solve your hard water problems – the ones that affect your dishwasher, anyway. Dishwasher water softeners work the same as larger softeners, and have to be loaded with salt in order to do their job (though obviously much less salt than whole house systems).
3. Get a whole house water softener. This is really the best option because it’s not only permanent, but comprehensive – in other words, it fixes the problem throughout your home. If you notice hard water problems in your dishwasher, it’s likely that you have hard water problems elsewhere as well. This could include your water heater, in which case you are likely paying higher utility bills than you need to. There are many other problems caused by hard water that will almost certainly cost you more than the price of a new water softener.
To sum up, we don’t have an answer for the question of what is the best dishwasher detergent for hard water. However, you can cheaply and easily improve your dishwasher’s performance by getting a specialty cleaning product. The better options are, unfortunately, pretty expensive. But ultimately, getting a whole house water softener system will likely be worth the cost.