A dishwasher is a modern convenience that makes our hectic lives more manageable. A dishwasher can have a hefty price tag, and if it isn’t cleaning as it should, it’s simply a waste of good money. Some people notice that their dishes are covered with spots and residue that they have to remove by hand after washing. This is often caused by hard water, that’s hard on your dishes and your dishwasher. Let’s take a closer look at five reasons why hard water can affect your dishwashing performance.

  1. Cloudy Spots on Dishes

One of the most noticeable effects of hard water is cloudy spots on the surface of your dishes and glasses. There is a white residue of dried out water hardening minerals left behind after the dishes have dried and the water has evaporated away. Removing this material by hand is annoying, but there is another hidden threat lurking inside your dishwasher. This mineral material salt is also accumulating inside your dishwasher, over time it could cause corrosion and damage expensive parts. The machine will have to work harder to wash your dishes, this will use more energy, and yet the results will still be underwhelming.

  1. Strange Odors

When the dishes come out of the dishwasher, they are supposed to smell clean and fresh. If you’re using hard water to wash your dishes, you may notice an accompanying harsh metallic odor. This is unpleasant to use, and many people resort to rinsing their dishes in the sink to get rid of the odor.

  1. Too Much Detergent

When they notice that their dishwasher isn’t cleaning their dishes as well as it should some people resort to using more detergent. One of the key properties of hard water is that it makes lathering difficult and it forms soap scum (more on this below) instead. Adding more soap or detergent simply forms more soap scum, and it will not improve the washing performance at all. Using more detergent or soap costs more money, and this can really add up over time.

  1. The Formation of Soap Scum 

We mentioned soap scum above; there are elevated levels of hardness causing minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and iron, in hard water. These minerals prevent the formation of soap suds and lather when water interacts with soap and detergent. Instead, a white soap scum is produced, and this scaly substance will accumulate in your dishwasher and on your dishes. This will prevent effective cleaning, and the dishes may even have bacteria on the surface after washing.

  1. Damage to Water Using Appliances

A typical dishwasher could last for a decade before it needs to be replaced. When your dishwasher is supplied with hard water, this useful lifespan can be severely compromised. Over time, the hard water minerals will accumulate inside the dishwasher and make it less efficient at cleaning. Frequent repairs will be needed, the machine will have to work harder, and this will drive up the energy bills. Eventually, the cost of repair will be too high, and the dishwasher will fail.

If you have ongoing water quality issues, it is a good idea to consult a professional water treatment specialist. A fully WQA certified technician can not only perform water testing, but also guide you through the appropriate treatment options.

By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.