Dishwashers are complicated. Our dishwasher, for example, is a compact dishwasher which means we have half the normal space to improperly load dishes before they are poorly washed and then because we are trying to conserve energy we have to dry them again before they are unloaded and put back away. As an added bonus, if we’re not careful, our super hard water will etch our glasses and flatware with water spots. Like I said, dishwashers are complicated.
After months of dirty dishes coming out of the dishWASHER, clean, but spottier than when we put them in, I started to research how dishwashers actually wash the dishes and what I found changed our dish doing lives forever. First, how you load the dishwasher is incredibly important. It turns out you can’t just toss everything in willy nilly. There is actual structure involved in putting the dishes in the dishwasher – glasses on the top, silverware on the bottom, plates and bowls last, making sure no dish is nesting with another.
Dishwasher maintenance is essential. A clean dishwasher is a happy dishwasher. I’ve cleaned my dishwasher with everything from lemonade, which is not even a little effective, to vinegar, which works really very well, but doesn’t last very long. When the hard water has a real hold on the inside of my dishwasher I pull out the big guns, Lemi-Shine MC3. It costs about $5 and it works wonders. One treatment takes care of months of hard water build up and grime on the inside of our dishwasher and like magic it’s clean and running like a champ again.
The soap you use in your dishwasher is either going to drive you crazy or make your life extra simple. We used the tablets for the longest time because that is simply what everyone did. You go to the supermarket and you buy Cascade to clean your dishes. After we went chemical free I started to smell and taste the soap left behind on our dishes and it bothered me. A lot. We were already using Lemi-Shine in every load of dishes to remove the hard water spots, so I went to Biokleen and discovered their all natural dishwasher soap and it worked great. We use a tablespoon of each in every load of dishes and the hard water spots are gone.
An incomplete rinse coupled with hard water and we had a full blown dishwasher mutiny on our hands. The fix, however, was simple. We switched our soap, we added some Lemi-Shine to every load, and dishwasher magic, our dishwasher isn’t nearly so complicated anymore.