UGGGH! Hard water deposits in d/w and dishes

sweeterthanhoneyFebruary 23, 2007

we live in a rural area with hard water. I have a Whirlpool Gold d/w with s/s interior. I am using the rinsing agent, but my cups are all white from the hard water, and my dishes are just not getting clean at all anymore!

What can I use on the inside of my d/w to give it a very thourogh cleaning and get rid of the hard water deposists?

I have been soaking my cups in pure white vinegar and that is getting the deposists off, but I don't want to do this with every dish, bowl, pot and cutlery I own!


here is a photo to give you an idea at what my cups look like! Some look even worse!

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Put white vinegar in the rinse dispenser in the door. This will help eleminate the build up of white spots.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 4:48PM
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That's too bad to see.

We had same trouble in our area for years. Finally bought a water softener & used the last 6 years. We don't have those problems any more.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 5:31PM
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Are you absolutely positively positive you have hard water, have you had your water tested by a reputable lab or the county. Why I say this is because so many times people automatically associate white buildup with hard water when in fact they have the exact opposite, very soft water full of dissolved salts. Especially true with well water found on the western prairies. We had this type of water and no matter what I said, what reports I showed the neighbors they wouldn't listen. As far as they were concerned if it left white residue it was "hard water" so they went an installed a water softner, the fools wasted their money.
Anyways, if you do have certified hard water the best hope is to install a water softener and be done with the problem.
Now if you want to clean your dishwasher of any hard water buildup the first and cheapest route to try is a gallon of cheap white vinegar. Turn the machine on and as soon as you hear it starting to fill with water, open the door and pour in a gallon of vinegar. Let the machine run about 60 seconds and shut it off either by opening the door a crack or switching it off, not draining it. Let the vinegar sit in the dishwasher for a few hours or overnight then start it up again to finish its cycle to get rid of all the vinegar and smell.
It's a lot cheaper than buying a little bottle of expensive dishwasher cleaner that may or may not work and which are basically just a mild acid like household vinegar. Only downside is your house will smell like a fish and chip shop for a day.

Another thing that can cause your glasses to go white (etch) is from prerinsing your dishes. The harsh chemicals in dishwasher detergent need some dirt on the dishes to work on otherwise they work on etching your glassware. Just scrape your dishes of big stuff, don't rinse them off.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 8:17PM
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We had a really bad problem I overhear the water guy tell my husband our water hardness was off the charts.we got a water softener more problem,s.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 7:30AM
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Our well water was hard with iron deposits too and we used vinegar to clean dishwasher and clotheswasher. I also used barkeepers friend to clean sinks,comodes,tubs,faucets and took my dishes now and then and soaked them in a barkeepers friend and water solution.
Now we have city type water with no problems.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 12:14AM
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Again, well water can be soft water on account of all the dissolved salts and at the same time can contain high amounts of iron. Not an uncommon scenario. A water softener isn't going to help in that situation, what you need for iron enriched water is an iron remover which looks similar to a water softener and recharges per the set time on the dial only you don't add "salt" to it because the tank is precharged with stuff that removes the iron. The tank has to be replaced every few years depending on how much iron is in the water.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 5:28PM
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Sears, among other hardware stores sell water testing kits. Very simple to test water hardness. The picture above reflects classic signs of hard water.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 5:49PM
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we do have a softener, but aren't using it. Seems to be to difficult to remember to buy it and add it! *blush*

We do need to get it going again. We didn't have this problem when we were using it

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 5:57PM
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Sometimes a change in dishwasher detergent can help greatly too. I have that problem when I use certain brands or kinds of detergent. I have found when I use the Electrasol tabs (I use the ones that have the little ball to aid in drying) and I haven't had a problem since. It may be worth a try to change your detergent also.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 12:46PM
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We also have hard water, and I've found that using a product called "Glass Magic" along with the dishwasher soap has not only eliminated the problem, it took the buildup off of the glasses and cleaned the inside of the dishwasher, too.

Lompoc, CA

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 5:40PM
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Go to Wal Mart and go to where they have the dish washer detergent. Get Lemi Shine. It helps alot. We have hard water and it also cleans the inside of the unit as well. You just put some with your detergetnt and let it go after several times your unit will start looking cleaner and your dishes becoming cleaner.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 3:28AM
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I suggest using a form of citric acid.

I found that the brand name detergents are much more expensive, and do not do as good of job as pure citric acid.

Here is a site where I buy my citric acid; it works like a charm!

Here is a link that might be useful: Hard Water Solution Site

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 2:35AM
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