dishwasher repair

How Dishwasher Salt Works

Contrary to what some people may believe, dishwasher salt does not clean or fight hard water stains. Its purpose is to reset the built-in water softener.

Some dishwashers, feature water softener baskets filled with small resin balls.

These resin balls absorb calcium and magnesium ions – two compounds commonly attributed to hard water stains – from the water, promoting clean, spot-free dishes.

The resin balls have a negative atomic charge and the dishwasher salt has a positive atomic charge.

When the dishwasher salt is used, these resin balls attract the sodium ions; thus, resetting the resin balls so they are more effective at absorbing calcium and magnesium ions in a process known as ion exchange.

However, it important to note that when referring to the use of salt in the dishwasher, it doesn’t mean regular table salt that is used for cooking.

Do not use Table Salt 

Regular table salt that is use for cooking can clog dishwashers and create more of a build-up.

Regular salt can clump when wet and large amounts can create potential clogs if used.

They usually contain additives that could make hard water problems worse!

There are dishwasher salts that do the heavy-duty work of keeping limescale at bay.

This is achieved through the salt particles being a completely different grade than traditional salt, it is made of crystalline sodium chloride.

In simple terms, this means it will dissolve a bit slower and expel from the dishwasher at a different rate than regular salt.

Using Dishwasher Salt

Dishwasher salt should only be used in the dedicated salt compartment.

This unit has a built-in water softening system, the salt compartment (usually located inside on the base underneath the bottom basket rack).

Unscrew the cap and fill the compartment with dishwasher salt right to the top, then refit salt cover cap and tighten.

This process should be done at least once a month.

Note: do not make the mistake of pouring detergent powder into the salt compartment, as this will damage the dishwasher water softening system.

Dishwashing tablets should only be used inside the detergent compartment, and salt added in the salt compartment.

Without regenerating salt, the dishwasher simply cannot do a wash cycle to full capacity.

This leads to various issues. One of the biggest issues is that the machine will not function as it should.

Limescale Build Up

The limescale will then build-up and will become crusted in the parts of the device reducing its function greatly.

While this is a scary thought, especially because dishwashers are not that cheap, this can cause an even bigger problem when the results produced from running the dishwasher with all the build-up.

The whole purpose of having these handy domestic appliances is to make our lives easier when it comes to chores.

Dishwashers that are full of limescale will result in a cloudy film covering the dishes and glasses.

Cloudy and spotty dishes are not only unattractive but also just not as clean as dishes from a fully functional dishwasher.

To get perfectly cleaned dishes every time, it is crucial to make sure the salt is added when the empty light indicator is on to get a great wash results every time.

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