Friday, June 25, 2010
We have a well at our house, so we have nice, clean, mineral rich water. Which means - calcium build-up! We got a new top-of-the-line dishwasher a couple of years ago. The dishes have to be well rinsed before they go in, or they come out dirty. A "professional" told me that's because we don't have a water softener. A few months ago, it just pretty much quit working. The water wasn't even spraying out of the top arm. Upon examination, I discovered that the whole machine was pretty caked with "scale" or mineral deposits. We've been washing the dishes by hand for the past few months - which is a good experience for my boys! But enough good experience. We have a nice machine there and it seems a shame to not be able to use it. So I started looking for solutions.
I let the water run into the dishwasher. Then I opened it, dumped in a few cups of white vinegar, shut it and let it continue. I let it do it's "soak and scour" magic for 2 hours and then stopped it. The dishwasher looked sparkling clean inside and the water was spraying out of the arms just fine! The heating element is still pretty corroded but not as badly. I think the trick is to run a vinegar rinse every few weeks or so. Periodically anyway - depends on how quickly your minerals build up.
I was pretty amazed at how well it worked, and it hardly cost a thing! I hope that helps any of you who have hard water and a poorly functioning dishwasher!