You’ve found your holiday dishes in the back of the cabinet and washed them all. You stack them up and get ready to set the table, only to find that your dishes have a white filmy residue all over them: water spots! What do you do now? The dishwasher was supposed to get these clean, and now you need to hand wash them all again!
If you struggle with spotted dishes, it’s possible that you have hard water running through your faucets and did not even realize it. What you need is a water softener installed to help eliminate this problem (along with some others!) A water softener prevents spotting on your dishes, so before the holidays is the perfect time to get one installed!
Two Water Softening Methods
Unfortunately, not all the products that claim to be water softeners actually soften water. There are salt-free water softeners that are more accurately referred to as “de-scalers.” This type of water softener does not actually remove the calcium and magnesium from the liquid, but it sends an electric charge that changes the crystal structure of those minerals so that their hard scale does not form as quickly.
In comparison, the salt based water softeners run the water through resin beads, where those same calcium and magnesium molecules actually switch places with the sodium molecules. This is what makes the water soft and ultimately better for bathing and cleaning, as well as preparing foods.
Hard Water Creates More Work for You
The water spots that are left on your dishes are caused by the minerals in the water being left behind after the water evaporates during the drying cycle. If the water in your home is hard, you’ve probably noticed this problem. Installing a water softener system in your home can help eliminate this issue as well as others that you may not even be aware of. Hard water also affects your pipes and everything you clean with it, including:
- Skin and hair
Hard water can also create an unpleasant odor and taste for your drinking water. For more information on the differences between hard and soft water, check out Advanced Water Solutions’ blog here!
Other Ways to Eliminate Those Spots on Your Dishes
If installing a water softener system in your home is not something you can do at the moment, there are a couple of other options you can try while you wait to get one installed:
Cut down on your detergent use. Sometimes the spots that are left behind on your dishes are caused by using more dishwashing detergent than you actually need. Using too much leaves a soapy film or residue on your dishes during the wash cycle. This will make them appear dirty even after they have been washed. Being mindful of how much detergent you use, and taking the time to measure it out can help reduce or eliminate water spots.
Use white vinegar or citric acid. If you are already paying close attention to the amount of detergent you use and are still getting spots on your dishes, you could try using a rinse aid in your dish cycle. Fill the rinse aid part of your dishwasher with white vinegar or citric acid. Both of these will help prevent water spots from forming. They also act an odor neutralizer, which will help your dishes smell fresh.
When all else fails and you have tried all you can to reduce those water spots lingering on your dishes, it may be time for you to invest in a water softener system for your home. Start getting those dishes ready for your company and all those holiday gatherings by softening your water!