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The Dirt On Clean Dishes

By: Tiffany Alton-Froggatt

Few things are more frustrating than opening your dishwasher only to find that your "clean" dishes are chalky, cloudy, or still have food residue stuck on them. There are several factors that affect the washing results of your dishwasher. Try these suggestions for cleaner dishes tonight!

  1. Your dishwasher needs to be clean to clean well. Check inside your dishwasher for food soils and residue that may be impacting its performance. If your dishwasher has a filter system, make sure that you are taking it apart regularly and emptying it out. Cleaning your filter with a small bottle brush will help get all of the residue out of the nooks and crannies. Run a dishwasher cleaning product through your dishwasher at least once every two months to keep it sparkly clean. I use "LimeFresh" I run an empty cycle with about 1/4 cup of "LimeFresh" every 60 days.
  2. Check the wash arms to make sure that all of the water supply holes are clean. Sometimes small seeds, plastic bits, or other foreign materials make their way into the wash arms and block the distribution holes. If the water can't spray out of the holes, it can't clean your dishes.
  3. Incoming water temperature. Your dishwasher is designed to work at its peak performance with an incoming water temperature of 140 degrees. The problem with this is that most residential water heaters are regulated at around 120 degrees. The best way to ensure that your dishwasher is getting the hottest possible water into your dishwasher is to run the hot water tap nearest to the dishwasher until the water is as hot as possible before starting your dishwasher.
  4. Minerals/Hard water residue. Even with a water softener, you may find that your dishes feel gritty or chalky after washing. Try a citric acid based detergent booster, like "LimeFresh" in every dishwasher cycle. I add my detergent pack, and then put around 1-2 tbsp of "LimeFresh" into my dishwasher for every load of dishes. The difference that it makes is remarkable. Seriously - try it, I promise that you will not regret it!