Dishwasher stacked with dishes and cutlery

How to Remove Stubborn Stains and Limescale Build Up from Your Dishwasher

A dishwasher is undoubtedly one of the best conveniences of the modern world. Over time, you may notice your dishwasher is not performing as well as it should. If you’ve started noticing limescale stains on your dishes and glasses, do not worry – you’re not alone. Limescale build up is a common issue with dishwashers – and in this blog we’ll help you out with some solutions to bring your dishes back to their usual sparkling shine.

And while you’re here, be sure to check out our previous blog on the science behind limescale, and why it’s important to remove it.


Dishwasher Limescale on Dishes

We’ve all had it – you’re emptying the dishwasher only to find unsightly stains clinging to your plates and glasses. Limescale is the culprit behind this problem, a mineral deposit (calcium carbonate for all you science fans) that builds up when hard water evaporates, leaving behind a white, chalky residue. Not only is it an eyesore, but it can also impact the performance of your dishwasher in the long run – which can also increase energy and repair bills.


Cloudy glass with limescale residue


Can Limescale Damage Glass?

One of the most annoying consequences of limescale build-up is its potential to damage your glassware. The mineral deposits can etch into the glass surface, causing cloudiness and permanent scratches. Over time, this can make your once-gleaming glassware appear dull and worn-out. But you can prevent this and restore your glassware's shine.


What Causes Limescale in a Dishwasher?

Understanding the root cause of limescale build-up is the first step in tackling the issue. The main culprit is hard water, which contains high levels of calcium and magnesium minerals. When your dishwasher operates, it heats the water to clean your dishes effectively. As the water evaporates during the wash and rinse cycles, the minerals in the hard water are left behind, leading to limescale deposits on the interior surfaces of your dishwasher and your dishes.

Be sure to check out our previous post on how to deal with limescale in hard water areas if you’re finding limescale across your appliances.


Dishwasher cleaning in process


Will Dishwasher Tablets Remove Limescale?

While dishwasher tablets are designed to clean your dishes, they might not be enough to tackle limescale build-up on their own. Some dishwasher tablets do contain ingredients that can help to reduce limescale over time, but if the build-up is already significant, you'll need to take additional measures to tackle the problem effectively.

Using tablets to clean dishwasher


How to Remove Limescale from a Dishwasher

Now let’s get down to the business at hand. Here are some tried and tested methods to help you remove stubborn stains and limescale build-up from your dishwasher.


Vinegar to the Rescue

Vinegar is a natural acid that works wonders in breaking down limescale deposits. Place a dishwasher-safe bowl filled with white vinegar on the top rack of your empty dishwasher and run a hot water cycle. The vinegar will help dissolve the limescale and eliminate unpleasant odours.


Lemon Power

Lemons are another natural remedy to combat limescale. Cut a lemon in half and place it, cut side up, in the utensil rack. Run a regular hot water cycle without any dishes. The citric acid in lemons will work wonders in removing limescale buildup and adding a fresh citrus scent to your dishwasher.


Commercial Descalers

There are numerous commercial dishwasher descaling products available on the market, however, these will typically work better than natural solutions. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the best results. These descalers are specifically designed to break down limescale and mineral deposits, leaving your dishwasher clean and sparkling.


Dishwasher with clean glasses


Regular Maintenance

To prevent limescale build-up in the future, make it a habit to clean your dishwasher regularly. Remove and clean the filter, wipe down the interior with a cloth dipped in vinegar, and check the spray arms for clogs or blockages.


Remember, prevention is key to maintaining a limescale-free dishwasher. If you live in an area with hard water, consider using a water softener or a dishwasher additive designed to combat limescale. With a little care and attention, you can keep your dishwasher running smoothly and ensure spotless, limescale-free dishes every time.

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