Time: 5 minutes
You have a dishwasher so that you can open up that just-run machine and see clean, sparkling, streak-free magnificence with little work from you. Unfortunately, hard water in your dishwasher can leave even the cleanest dishes looking cloudy and streaked.
Weâ€™ve got a fix for that: add dishwasher salt to your machine once a month and revel in the shine.
What's in it for you?
- Shiny, clean dishes
- Hard water build-up prevention
- Longer machine life
What is dishwasher salt?
Dishwasher salt is a particular grade of salt designed to attract the magnesium and calcium ions that cause hard water. In addition to clouding dishware, hard water can also block your washer jets and leave deposits on heating elements, reducing your cleaning power, increasing your electricity bill, and even shortening the life of your machine.
Dishwasher salt is specially formulated for your machine and cannot be substituted with table salt, sea salt, or rock salt. It has much larger granules and contains a special anti-caking agent, ensuring that when the salt gets wet, it doesnâ€™t become a solid mass or block the softener unit. Ordinary salt can even increase water hardness and damage your machine.
To add dishwasher salt:
Locate the softener unit, usually located at the bottom of the dishwasher by the drain (below the bottom basket).
Unscrew the cap and fill it with dishwasher salt. There is no specific guide outlining the amount of salt you need to add. Simply fill the reservoir until it wonâ€™t take any more.
If the reservoir is full of water, you can still pour the salt in. It will displace what is already there and the salt does not need to be dry.
Replace the cap. Your dishwasher is ready to use again!
Most modern dishwashers have an indicator light to remind you when it is time to top off with salt, while older machines have a float indicator.
Some 3-in-1 dishwasher tablets contain an ingredient with â€˜salt actionâ€™ to improve cleaning power, but this is not a substitute for adding salt to the water softener. Tablets do not replenish the water softener but remain in the cleaning chamber of the machine. In contrast, dishwasher salt doesnâ€™t enter the chamber but flows through the softener unit before being drained with waste-water.
If youâ€™re not sure if you have hard water, you can ask your local water supplier for the hardness level in your area.