So many of us live with hard water on a daily basis, and dealing with it is probably the most frustrating when it comes time to emptying the dishwasher.
Why are there white spots everywhere on my supposedly “clean” dishes?
Reading: Best dishwasher soap for hard water
Yeah, we hear you.
Never fear, though, because we are here to share our list of the best dishwasher detergent for hard water with you!
After a bit of trial and error, we were able to determine which brands make the best products for helping prevent these pesky white spots on our dishes, and in addition to these brands, we’ll also share our favorite DIY solution that works just as well!
Top 6 Dishwasher Detergent for Hard Water Table
PictureNameTypePriceRating (1-5)PictureNameTypePriceRating (1-5) 1. Cascade Platinum Actionpacs Dishwasher Detergent Tablets$$4.6 2. Finish Powerball Tablets Tablets$4.6 3. Miele Care Collection Dishwasher Detergent Tabs Tablets$$$$4.6 4. General Quality Brands Dishwasher Detergent Pacs Tablets$$4.3 5. Bubble Bandit Dishwasher Detergent with Phosphate Powder$$$4.1 6. Borax 20 Mule Team + Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda + Lemi Shine, Dishwater Detergent Additive + Morton Salt Kosher Salt DIY$$$$*Bonus Suggestion* Try this DIY solution as a more natural alternative
Type of Detergent
There are many different products that you can use to clean your dishes, but after years of experience and dozens of products, these seem to work best for those who have hard water issues:
- Tablets. These typically contain part gel and part powder, and combined they are the most effective at not only ridding your dishes of grease and grime, but also leaving them free of white film and spots.
- Boosters. Many manufacturers also offer boosters that you can add to the dishwasher together with your favorite detergent.
If this is the type of solution that you are looking for, then we suggest that you try the
Lemi Shine that we used in our DIY recipe.
More on that next!
The DIY Recipe!
For some of you, the best dishwasher detergent for hard water may be one that you whip up yourself.
It is a very cost-effective and all natural way to help keep your dishes sparkly clean, and you’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make it!
- 2 cups each of Lemi Shine, Washing Soda and Borax
- 1 cup Coarse Kosher Salt
That’s it! Just mix them all together and store them in a glass container. It only takes about 1 Tablespoon of this powder mixture per load, so it should last you quite a while.
Extra Tip – Use White Vinegar
One extra tip that we’ve heard of and tried ourselves with excellent results is to use some white vinegar in the dishwasher, whether you are using your favorite brand of detergent or the DIY recipe we gave you.
Since the vinegar can be too harsh on the rubber components of the detergent compartment, we add a small amount of white vinegar to a shot glass and set it (facing upward, of course) on the top rack of the dishwasher.
It helps leave everything shiny and squeaky clean!
Top 3 Best Dishwasher Detergents for Hard Water Reviews
1. Cascade Platinum Actionpacs Dishwasher
# of tablets: 85
This is probably our favorite budget-friendly brand. It has two liquid gel sections on the top and a layer of powder on the bottom that, when combined, all work together to effectively wash away grease and grime without leaving hard water stains after the dishwasher has completed its cycle.
These should work pretty well, but your dishwasher is the other half of the cleaning formula so we can’t guarantee magical results if you have an old unit or one that needs a little maintenance.
Overall, we can definitely attest to the effectiveness of these tabs.
2. Finish Powerball Tablets
# of tablets: 64
These tabs from Finish claim that they clean well enough so that you can skip the pre-wash step.
Was that the case for us? Yes, but probably because we have a great dishwasher that is in excellent working condition. Some of you might need to run the pre-wash cycle either way, depending on what you’re washing.
Hard water doesn’t stand a chance against the power gel that this tab releases once the detergent compartment flings open.
Kind of a bummer that there are 13 less tabs than the previous box, but this also costs less so you do the math!
3. Miele Care Collection Dishwasher Detergent Tabs
# of tablets: 94
Very expensive yet very effective, these tablets from Miele are designed especially for Miele brand dishwashers but work just as well with any other brand.
Since hard water doesn’t only affect the dishes but also the dishwasher itself, you’ll be surprised by the differences you’ll notice after using this products.
Dish detergents are not all created equally, and the secret mixture of ingredients in these tabs will help keep your machine running in tip-top condition as well as keep your dishes free of hard water stains.
Not everyone is willing to pay the high price for these tabs, but if nothing else has worked and you want to ensure a long, happy life for your dishwasher, then we say go for it!
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