Lime Build-Up in the Dishwasher

Mineral deposits occur when the mineral components in water precipitate out of the solution and stick to surfaces. Layer after layer can accumulate until internal parts are covered with the deposits and cease to function efficiently or stop working altogether. Homeowners can tackle these deposits a number of ways and get their appliances running again without the need for expensive repairs.

  1. About Lime Deposits

    • Water in most areas of the country have some type of mineral in it. It may be calcium, magnesium, iron or copper. This occurs when water underground seeps through rocks and soil that has a high mineral content. When this water is heated in the dishwater, the minerals become concentrated and remain stuck to the inside surfaces of the dishwater, as well as to drain hoses, seals and other internal parts. These can build up, layer after layer, until drainage openings are clogged and working parts are so coated with lime that they cannot function properly. This causes more frequent repair costs and reduces the life of your dishwasher.

    Water Softening

    • Water softeners treat the water to remove calcium and magnesium so that deposits don't form. This is an inexpensive way to keep appliances like dishwashers operating efficiently. Water softeners require the use of a granular water softener salt that binds with the calcium and magnesium to remove these chemicals from the water. Though these systems incur an initial cost and recurring expenses for salt, they save money in the long run on repair costs, cleaning products and appliance lifespan, according to Lenntech.

    Natural Product To Remove Lime Deposits

    • For those who do not want the expense of costly descaling products that contain harmful chemicals, try using simple household products to remove lime scale in the dishwasher. Household vinegar that you have in your pantry is a 5 percent solution of acetic acid, a mild acid, Run one cup, full-strength, through a washing cycle to remove lime buildup. For stubborn stains, make a paste of baking soda and vinegar and apply to the area. Allow the paste to stand for several minutes and then rinse the paste away, according to the North Carolina State University web site. Even a cup of orange juice has enough acid to remove a light coating of lime from surfaces.

    Commericial Products for Removing Lime Deposits

    • A number of descaling products are available on the market for removing lime buildup on coffeemakers, bathroom fixtures and in dishwashers. These products generally do a good job of removing lime, but may have strong odors that require thorough rinsing to remove. Always check with your dishwasher manufacturer for their recommendations on which products to use to remove lime scale from your dishwasher.

    Routine Care

    • To prevent lime buildup, use vinegar or a commercial lime-removing product once every month to prevent lime buildup that can cause problems in your dishwasher.

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References

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