Dishwasher salt – why use it and how to use it?

Dishwasher salt – why use it and how to use it?
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Dishwashers are a huge convenience in running a household. Especially if you have a large family and large amounts of dirty dishes. Dishwashers help you save a lot of time washing. Unfortunately, like all household appliances, they wear out. If we take care of them properly, they will serve us for many years. Apart from regular cleaning of the inside of a dishwasher and the drain, you should also use proper salt. What is it for and how to use it?

Damp patches on dishes and water hardness

In Poland we have medium-hard water, which means that it has dissolved minerals (mainly magnesium and calcium compounds). They are the cause of white stains on dishes. The harder the water, the bigger the stains. Dishwasher producers have met the consumers’ expectations and now the appliances have special filters, which purify water from limescale. This way, dishes washed in a dishwasher are clean, shiny and streak-free

But what happens to the minerals separated from water? They stay on the filters. If such filters are not cleaned, they get clogged and the dishwasher simply stops working, and the filter can only be replaced. This is connected with additional costs and the necessity of disassembling the device. Sometimes such a replacement simply does not pay off and you have to buy a new dishwasher

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At present we have self-cleaning filters in dishwashers. They contain ion-exchange resin, which filters the water and reduces the amount of dissolved ions. This process takes place during the washing of dishes, when it is rinsed with water and salt. Chemical processes take place that cleanse the filter of minerals. And here we come to the crux of why we need to use dishwasher salt. Without it, filters are rinsed with water only, so the self-cleaning process does not take place. As a consequence, filter contamination builds up and eventually the filter gets clogged and useless.

Can I use ordinary kitchen salt in a dishwasher? Unfortunately not. Table salt, sea salt, rock salt or Himalayan salt contain additional minerals that the filter cleans the water with. Therefore, using such salt, not only the filter would not clean itself, but also polluted. For dishwashers use a special salt, which can be bought in any store with cleaning products. The cost of such salt per year is up to 30 PLN. This is a low price in comparison with the cost of replacing a clogged filter, which prices are half of a dishwasher. Unfortunately, there are no home methods for preparing such salt.However, this product is environmentally friendly and supports the less waste trend – it prolongs the life ofa dishwasher.

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How do I use dishwasher salt?

The special dishwasher salt is placed in a separate container at the bottom of the dishwasher. This is not the same compartment as for the tablet or rinse aid, but a separate container. This should be a plug that you unscrew and pour the salt into the hollow underneath. Then close the cap tightly and add salt from time to time. Remember that you only put salt for your dishwasher in this particular container and you only use the salt that is intended for cleaning the filters in your dishwasher. If the manufacturer claims on the packaging of dishwasher tablets that they already contain salt, do not trust these claims. Even if it is true, such salt will not make it to the filter anyway

A dishwasher is a big expense. It is known that if we decide on such a purchase, we want it to be an investment for years. In this case, using salt to the dishwasher is essential. It significantly extends the life of the device. If we follow the above rules, a dishwasher will surely serve us for many years

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