Vinegar as dishwasher detergent?

addictedtorosesNovember 1, 2008

I've been using a combination of dishwasher detergent and Jetdry in my dishwasher, but no matter what kind I use, I always get white spots and residue/deposits on my dishes. We have very hard water. I had heard of using vinegar once a month in an empty dishwasher to ward off calcium buildup, so about a week ago when I ran out of dishwasher detergent and couldn't get to the store for a few days, I used vinegar (1/2 cup at the beginning of the wash cycle). I tell you, those three days that I used the vinegar, my dishes were the cleanest I've ever seen them come out of the dishwasher. I bought the detergent anyway (it's what I'm using now, but I'm not happy about it) because I was afraid that daily or every other day use of the vinegar might hurt the dishwasher somehow. I'd really rather give up on the detergent completely, sooooo, do y'all think it would be safe to use vinegar as a detergent in my dishwasher every time it is used??? Is there anybody else who does this?

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Vinegar contains acetic acid, which is pretty mild. I've heard of using vinegar in the dishwasher rinse aid but not for washing dishes. One thing I have done was I used DipIt coffee pot cleaner instead of dishwasher detergent. I used it because my DW was leaving food residue on my dishes and glasses. I ran it once empty with DipIt in the dispenser, then I did three DW loads in a row with dishes in the DipIt. It cleaned the dishes and the DW. Anyone else?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 3:18PM
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This is an interesting discussion. I've had my machine a little over five years and its performance has been slipping bad over the last year. The service contract apes came out twice giving varying stories to avoid dealing with it (do not depend on service contracts with Whirlpool/KitchenAid, for major appliances). It temporarily improves after several runs of vinegar or dumping a whole bottle of Jet Dry in or somewhat if I use a bunch of glass majic dishwasher cleaner powder I think it was, but all those things are incredibly temporary. I also gingerly tried a finish wash with stupid& temporary's "lime gone" product which did not cause a suds overflow, but I can't tell you how much I used. This week I decided to try Electrasol powder instead of Cascade even though Cascade has been rated highest forever - the iffy performance has plummeted to lousy. Because it really did great for several years on pots and pans and everything, I think the machine is good and am considering swapping out the drain hose and really going through cleaning everything in it I can. It used to be a pleasant surprise to unload the beautifully clean dishes from the tightly packed dishwasher, now it's really quite depressing to find the loosely packed dishwasher revealing lots of food crust that needs rewashing. Maybe the appliance forum is better for this.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 10:46PM
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About 2 years ago CR did their report on the best dishwasher detergents. Their highest recommendation was Electrasol Dual Action Tabs. I tried them and my problems with dirty dishes stopped. Glasses came out clean and sparkling as well. They have changed the formula a bit and it is still a Dual Action Tablet, but there is a small red ball in the tablet for extra cleaning (I'm sure that's a gimmick,frankly!). Previously I had used Cascade powder or liquid and I would not switch back.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 12:38PM
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Had this conversation with my repairman yesterday. We have very hard water. He said the liquid form of electric dish washer detergent is bad. Has even more chemicals in it than the powder. He recommends the tablets. I had used liquid for the past year. He also said to be sure to avoid using ANY hand washing dish soap in preparing the dishes for the dishwasher as even one drop will deactivate some chemical in the dishwasher detergent. Do not put the sponge in the dishwasher for the same reason. Open the machine and pour in a cup of white vinegar during the rinse cycle every now and then. And he said to be sure to use the rinse agents they sell like JenDry. So I will be tryiing all of the above. My dishwasher has developed a white haze that now is on the silverware and glassware. I am sure it is on the dishes too, but they are white.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 3:17PM
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Oops, JetDri

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 8:46PM
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