Is there anything more frustrating than cleaning only to find it does not look like you have cleaned at all? You scrub your floor only for the dog to track in mud. You clean your carpet only for your child to spill his juice. You spend your day catching up laundry only to find an overlooked basket in your daughter’s room. You scrub your bathroom sink for your husband to shave and leave his hair lying there.
Sadly, some of these things are out of your control. However, there is one you can control: those awful water spots on your clean dishes. It can be discouraging and extremely frustrating to take your dishes out of the dishwasher expecting them to be clean and finding that they look as bad as, or worse than, before. Take heart, though. You don’t have to throw out your crystal and glass dishes just yet or resign yourself to paper, styrofoam, and plastic. There is still hope. Let’s take a look at some of the causes and solutions.
Causes of Hard Water Spots
In order to stop these dreadful spots, you first have to understand what causes them. This will take a little investigating on your part while you try a few different solutions. The following are the most common causes of water spots that cause your clean dishes to look cloudy and dirty:
- Hard water. This is something that plagues homes across America. Hard water can leave a mineral buildup on your clean dishes. This may not only leave water spots but can also damage your dishes over time as these deposits become etched into them.
- Excess detergent. Using too much detergent can also leave a buildup that does not easily rinse off. This can leave you with water spots as well as a slimy film on your dishes.
- Water temperature. If your water temperature is too low, your dishes may not rinse well leaving you with water spots.
Should you find yourself left with water spots after running them through a cycle, there are a few things you can try. The first two fixes should be tried first to avoid unnecessary costs.
- Turn up the temperature setting on your dishwasher. Turning the temperature setting on your dishwasher up to Hi-Temp may solve your problem. This would be one of the cheapest and quickest fixes.
- Use less detergent. This would be the other cheapest and quickest fixes. You can try cutting down the amount you use each time over a week until you find the sweet spot.
- Add a rinsing solution to your dishwasher. A rinsing solution can help fight the minerals and grime that like to stay on your dishes. You can purchase these at any retailer or dollar store. However, there is an even cheaper and more natural way to do it. Place a small bowl of white vinegar on the top rack of your dishwasher and turn the cycle on. Vinegar is a powerful and natural cleaner that may not only prevent water spots but also clean off old ones that have been plaguing you for some time. Additionally, vinegar can be purchased for cheap, usually around one to two dollars for a large container which can then be used for weeks of dishwashing. As it is natural, you have less to worry about in terms of fumes and chemicals being left behind.
- Have a water softener installed. If all else fails, you can have equipment installed to soften the water in your home. However, this can be a pricey fix depending on the equipment you need and what choose to purchase so be sure to try the other solutions first. If you find that a water softener is necessary, do your research. Do not just jump on the first thing you come across. For reviews on water softeners and comparisons of different brands, check out the “10 Best Water Softeners (Reviews & Ultimate Buying Guide 2018)“.
As frustrating as water spots can be, they are a fixable issue with some time, effort, and patience. Through trial and error, you can find the perfect solution for you to keep those dishes sparkling clean.