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dishwasher calcium buildup

8,489 1,297 October 10, 2017 at 04:35 AM
I installed a top of the line Kitchenaid dishwasher ($1500) right about a year ago. It has been getting worse and worse leaving calcium on everything. Glasses are almost white sometimes. I started using a cup of vinegar with each load but that really didn't help much. I also use a teaspoon a tri-sodium phosphate but also did not help. I replaced the rinse-aid with vinegar as well but also nothing. Last night I took everything out of it and it had a TON of calcium buildup. I mean like 1/8" deep everywhere. It was coming off in sheets. I did not have this issue with my last dishwasher. What is going on and how can I fix this?

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#2
You have hard water, you fix this with a water softener. See if your new machine has a descale mode.

Vinegar usually needs time to soak to make a difference. I have heard of people buying bulk citric acid and running the machine empty several times with that to help build up. Detergents matter too, Look into using Lemishine as a wash additive.
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Quote from LiquidRetro
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You have hard water, you fix this with a water softener. See if your new machine has a descale mode.

Vinegar usually needs time to soak to make a difference. I have heard of people buying bulk citric acid and running the machine empty several times with that to help build up. Detergents matter too, Look into using Lemishine as a wash additive.
I know it's scale/hard water but this started when I got the new dishwasher. I have been in the house for 10 years and just now this starts happening.

I was told about some product that you put in the dishwasher that apparently does well in 1 or 2 cycles. A bottle with a wax seal that melts when you run and dissolves everything away over a cycle or two.

I also just read that Gel detergent is the worst to use, which is exclusively what I use. I am going to get the packets instead which I hear are actually the best since many have a water softener in them.
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#4
I am no expert on this, but another solution might be to try using a phosphate based dish detergent like Bubble Bandit. Phosphates help get the dishes clean without the spots and without the hard water residue. I have been using it for awhile and it solved the issues for me. This all started a number of years ago when the tree-huggers got state governments to start banning phosphate based detergents. So you are supposed to have dirty dishes instead lol (not to mention that their science is dubious at best and there is evidence the replacements are potentially more harmful).


https://www.bubblebandit.com/page...hard-water

https://jillcataldo.com/bubblebandit/
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Last edited by YanksIn2009 October 10, 2017 at 09:17 AM.
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Quote from YanksIn2009
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I am no expert on this, but another solution might be to try using a phosphate based dish detergent like Bubble Bandit. Phosphates help get the dishes clean without the spots and without the hard water residue. I have been using it for awhile and it solved the issues for me. This all started a number of years ago when the tree-huggers got state governments to start banning phosphate based detergents. So you are supposed to have dirty dishes instead lol.


https://www.bubblebandit.com/page...hard-water

https://jillcataldo.com/bubblebandit/
Yep - I use the below as well. It helps get the dishes cleaner but doesn't do a lot for the calcium buildup.

https://www.amazon.com/Dap-63004-...ywords=tsp
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#6
Quote from dealgate
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I know it's scale/hard water but this started when I got the new dishwasher. I have been in the house for 10 years and just now this starts happening.

I was told about some product that you put in the dishwasher that apparently does well in 1 or 2 cycles. A bottle with a wax seal that melts when you run and dissolves everything away over a cycle or two.

I also just read that Gel detergent is the worst to use, which is exclusively what I use. I am going to get the packets instead which I hear are actually the best since many have a water softener in them.

I've used that stuff (which btw has a rebate on ibotta if you do that). doesn't do much for buildup. I generally take out racks and stuff and scrub a bit with a brush THEN use that bottle of crap.

I'd suggest upping your game to CLR or equivalent, run dishwasher empty and HOT, then open to air dry a bit (bulk of water), spray on clr on all surfaces and let sit. Then use HOT cycle again. This is really a maintenance thing.... no chemical treatment is going to do well stripping off any significant thickness of deposit.
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Quote from dealgate
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Yep - I use the below as well. It helps get the dishes cleaner but doesn't do a lot for the calcium buildup.

https://www.amazon.com/Dap-63004-...ywords=tsp

I have not had the white residue from the hard water on my dishes since switching to bubble bandit. That said, bubble bandit has STTP (Sodium TriPolyPhosphate) not TSP which is more common.

http://ths.gardenweb.com/discussi...at-is-stpp
http://ths.gardenweb.com/discussi...sp-or-stpp


No expert in this stuff at all to say the least and results could vary based on the hardness of your water. All I can go is by is the results I have had personally which were all the result of the crummy detergent previously being used being replaced by bubble bandit.
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Last edited by YanksIn2009 October 10, 2017 at 02:57 PM.
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After a thorough cleaning and switching to the Cascade "15x" power packets, the first load looks great. Not sure how much of that is the packet and how much is the cleaning but I guess time will tell.
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