Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
My dishwasher leaves a disgusting film on my glassware. I have tried Glass Magic at $3.79 a box, plus dishwasher liquid to no avail. I have very hard water. Shy of installing a soft water system, is there a "homemade" solution that I can use to 1) remove the film and 2) use instead of the box stuff which doesn't really work? I have tried putting vinegar in the rinse cycle, but it didn't remove the film already on there! I read the manufacturer's pamphlet for my dishwasher and use the correct amount of dishwasher soap for my hard water situation. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. My dishwasher is only about 6 months old. I am totally horrified to offer my glassware to a guest because of the hideous film and spotting. I have been washing soaking my glassware in vinegar water in my sink to try to remove the film. So much for my dishwasher - it has caused more work and expense than what it is worth at this point!
Try adding baking soda when you add the detergent. I use this in my dishwasher and clothes washer and I have extremely hard water. I do not have spots on my glasses or a film. And my dishwasher does not smell. I usually use maybe half a cup, but adjust this amount to your needs. To remove the stains from the glasses you may have to scrub them. Try using baking soda. It is not abrasive enough to scratch the glasses. I use Eletrasol's granulated dishwasher detergent.
From Arm and Hammers website (www.armandhammer.com), to deodorize dishwashers, sprinkle a handful of Baking Soda on the dishes or in the bottom of the dishwasher to absorb these odors, so you can wait until the washer is full! The Baking Soda will do double-duty: deodorizing before you run the dishwasher and then cleaning in the first wash cycle. With Baking Soda handling the first cycle, add your detergent only to the cup that closes, for use in the second cycle.
To remove film on glasses, there are two things that will work and which are inexpensive. These will not remove "etching" but will remove film. The first is a glass of vinegar placed in the wash load along with the glasses. Fill the glass with the vinegar and set in the dishwasher so that the liquid stays in the glass. Run the load as you normally do. The film should be much better if not completely off. The second solution is to fill the detergent cup with "Tang" and run the cycle with that instead of detergent. I was told about both solultions by a dishwasher repair man who noticed the film on my glasses.
I wonder if this reader isn't experiencing etching. Etching occurs when you use a lot of dishwasher detergent; it is an actual fine scratching of one's dishware. You can't undo etching, but you can avoid it. If the film doesn't wash off, it is etching.
With that much mineral content in the water, you might want to reconsider the water softener. Not only is added detergent needed to clean the dishes, the hard water takes it's toll on your clothes and skin. The hard water build up on faucets and tubs (and your glasses) is visible evidence of the mineral content. Why fight rocks? Just get a water softener.
I had a similar problem, eventually with what looked like bits of partially digested food stuck to the dishwasher racks and some of the dishes (yuck!).
I called Sears for a warranty maintenance check to see if there was something stuck in the filter, but he said it was hard water and recommended running an empty dishwasher with Tang in place of the dishwasher detergent. I was afraid it would stain the inside of the dishwasher, but it didn't. Apparently the ascorbic acid cuts all the gunk off and keeps it from re-depositing on your dishes. (I have not tried real orange juice to see if it works as well.)
His other recommendation was to make sure we used the correct cycle for the correct kind of load. Ours is a newer machine and has a garbage disposal built into it that only operates on the "normal" and "pots and pans" cycle (big pieces still need to be scraped off, but no rinsing is required). There is a button for "water miser" that can be used with these 2 cycles, but he recommended rarely using the "water miser" cycle on the dial (only when we have a very light load to do) because of the hard water in our area and the built-in disposal does not engage on that cycle.
Following his recommendations, I only have to run a "Tang" cycle about once every 3 months, when I start to notice any build-up on the dishes or inside the washer itself.
Try using a tablespoon of borax in your dishwasher. I just throw it in on the door when I load the detergent. Borax, sold in the laundry aisle, is a natural water softener. The tip for the dishwasher is on the side of the "Twenty Mule Team" borax box. Borax costs about $2.50 a 76 oz. box, or about 3 cents per tablespoon.
Sandy in Illinois
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