I’ve had several people lately ask me What I Use in My Dishwasher. So, I thought I’d write something up with some detailed pictures.
I have hard water! Which means I have lime deposits. Hard hard water. It isn’t fun! I’ve tried all kinds of stuff to limit the deposits. Some work better than others for me.
I used to use a simple detergent made for dishwashers. One of the things I really didn’t like after the dishwasher ran was the white powdery stuff all over all of the dishes. And, the glasses were never clear; they always had a grey cloudy appearance. So I started experimenting and trying new things. Here’s what I’ve been using for many months now, and it works best for me! No more water spots on the glasses. No more powdery stuff. No more grey cloudy glassware. No, I’m not getting any compensation for these products in any way with this post (but if any of these companies want to send me free samples or whatever, I’m totally open to that! hee hee), these are just what I’ve found works best for me, and I want to share!
So, here’s what I use and how I use it …
The rinse aid…
Always, always, always keep your rinse aid dispenser filled, especially if you have hard water! I tried using vinegar in the dispenser for awhile, but I don’t think it worked very well. I still had hard water deposits in the dishwasher itself, and I often had water spots on the glasses. Since this Lemi shine rinse aid works so well for hard water, I figured I’d give it a try. It totally works for me! And, I’ve noticed that it’s usually less expensive than some other brands.
Vinegar… (oh, I still use it in the washer, just not in the rinse aid dispenser) …
I just use a simple plain white vinegar in the dishwasher. And, buy the mega-huge jug of it, it saves money in the bigger size! Save the fancy lemon-vinegar for times when you’ll smell it after pouring it. This idea came to me from One Good Thing by Jillie.
I keep a little 1/3 cup measuring cup on the top rack of the dishwasher. It just lives there now. No need to put it away each time the dishes are clean, since I use it for every load. Pour the vinegar in that little cup right before turning the dishwasher on. It sits upright on the top shelf as the cycle runs. As Jillie says, “By putting the vinegar in a bowl or cup, it will overfill as the cycles goes on, and the diluted vinegar will be evenly dispersed throughout the dishwasher.” Yes, there’s water in the cup at the end of the cycle. You can use 1/3 cup measuring cup like I do, or a little dish or bowl. Just something that’ll hold the liquid.
Next, onto the soap dispenser… Lemi Shine and Dawn…
The dishwasher repair guy is the one who told me to try this product (which is actually why I started using the Lemi Shine as a rinse aid too). He had to come out because the lime deposits in the dishwasher clogged up a valve (or something) and water started to leak out onto the floor of my kitchen instead of draining out the way it should. He told me to put a little Lemi Shine in the soap dispenser for each load. I use about 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon per load, I just free pour, no measuring needed. But, since I started using this, I have no more lime deposits in the washer itself. I haven’t had any leaking problems from the washer, and my glasses are beautiful!
The soap I use is Dawn. I use it for hand washing the dishes as well as for the dishwasher. Jillie suggested this one too. Though, she suggested using 1/2 teaspoon, and I use 1/4 teaspoon. The first time I tried it with 1/2 teaspoon the suds came out and all over my floor! This too, the little measuring spoon just lives in my dishwasher now, just in the silverware rack, in the front. No need to empty it out after each load. Now, the Dawn, I measure out each time because I fear that if I attempt to free pour I’ll end up with too much and a sudsy floor again.
I always run my load with the no heat dry at the end to save energy and ultimately, save money. The dishes are rarely ever wet when I open the washer, and if they are, a quick toweling off will fix that.
So, I think that’s all of it. Yes, it takes a little longer to fill the cleaners for each load (rather than just dropping in a Cascade tablet or pouring in a little dishwasher detergent). But, when the dishes are clean and spotless, and I don’t have to be embarrassed by grey film and spots when someone comes over, I think it’s totally worth the little extra effort that it takes.
Let me know if you have any dish washing tips or tricks. I’d love to hear them!