If you plan to host a Halloween party this year, you probably want to use your dishwasher to clean and sanitize your seasonal serving dishes and trays. If your dishwasher has hard water problems, it might not get your dishes and trays clean enough for the party. In fact, the hard water can ruin the metal and glass surfaces of your dishes and trays with dark stains and spots. Sometimes the water inside the dishwasher looks yellowish, cloudy or smells bad. You may get rid of the dishwasher's hard water problems just in time for Halloween with the helpful information and tips below.
How Does Hard Water Affect the Items in Your Dishwasher?
The lime and bacteria in your hard water can create brown and yellow stains on the surfaces of metal, glass and ceramic dishes once these contaminants stick to them. These discolored contaminants can also stick to the colorful images of your Halloween dishes and trays. If you try to remove the bacteria and lime stains with a dishtowel or scrubbing pad, you might end up removing the images and colors of your Halloween items along with them.
The bacteria that live inside the dishwasher may create an unpleasant scent when you use the appliance. This happens when the bacteria release sulfur compounds that react to oxygen. The reaction makes the water smell like rotten eggs. There's a way to treat your hard water and its problems at home. You can use white vinegar.
Why Is White Vinegar an Effective Home Treatment for Your Dishwasher's Hard Water?
One of the most effective household cleansers you have in your kitchen is white vinegar. You normally use white vinegar to add tang and flavor to different types of salads and culinary dishes. However, white vinegar is also an excellent natural cleanser that removes the unhealthy minerals and bacteria that build up inside your dishwasher's water lines, reservoirs and dispensers.
Vinegar contains a strong acidic content of about 8 percent. The acid is tough enough to dissolve lime, which is a buildup of calcium, phosphorus and other common minerals. In addition, it can also sanitize your dishwasher by attacking and killing bacteria.
Now that you know how vinegar treats your hard water problem and why, you may give it a try. Here's what you do:
Empty the Dishwasher's Tubs and Baskets
Before you use white vinegar to clean your dishwasher, be sure to remove all containers, dishes, pans, and utensils from the dishwasher's tubs and baskets. The empty tubs also make it easier for the vinegar to penetrate and clean the hidden water lines and other areas of your appliance. Once you do this, you can now proceed to the next step.
Clean the Dishwasher
- Pour ½ cup of white vinegar into the detergent reservoir of your dishwasher
- Turn the appliance on the sanitizing cycle – the water temperature in this cycle increases to over 160 Fahrenheit, which is ideal for removing and killing the dishwasher's bacteria content
- Allow the sanitizing cycle to complete, and then wait for the rinse and dry cycles to carry out
- Open the dishwasher's door for at least 15 minutes – this may help release the vinegar's strong odors from the appliance
As the heated water and vinegar run through the dishwasher's water lines, reservoirs and hidden recesses, they break up the lime deposits. The deposits generally leave the dishwasher through the main water line that connects or supplies it.
After you complete all of the steps above, close the appliance's door and turn on the quick-wash cycle. The cycle may remove any leftover lime and bacteria inside the dishwasher. The water may appear clear and smell odorless if the hard water problem goes away.
If you still notice hard water problems in your dishwasher after following the cleaning tips, contact your appliance specialists for assistance. The specialists may use other cleaning methods like water line flushes and hard water chemical treatments to solve the problems.