Running Your Dishwasher With Soft Water: What You Need to Know

Having soft water in your home has many benefits. It’s healthier, better for your hair and skin, and tastes better. And while you may know how soft water benefits you and your family, did you know that it can also extend the life of your appliances that use water? One of the appliances most affected by the type of water in your home is your dishwasher.

While the detergent you use and the dishwasher play a significant role in the dishwashing process, knowing what type of water you have in your home is also essential. The type of water you have affects the performance of your dishwasher and detergent. In this article, we will discuss the different kinds of water and how they affect the performance of your dishwasher.

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is water that has high amounts of magnesium and calcium in it. Hard water is generally safe to drink and to use to wash clothes and dishes. However, it may just taste strange, and leave a film behind, for instance, after you wash your hands.

The problem with hard water is that if it is not taken care of, it can damage things it comes in contact with for an extended time. Some signs that you may have hard water include:

  • Limescale on faucets
  • Reduced water pressure
  • Chalky residue on dishes
  • Dry hair and skin
  • Fabrics start feeling rough

What is Soft Water?

Soft water doesn’t contain excess magnesium and calcium. Some benefits of soft water include:

  • Sediment particles are removed before they come in contact with your plumbing and appliances. This reduces the build-up caused by hard water and can help extend the life of your pipes and appliances.
  • Soap is more effective when using soft water because soap can lather better, requiring less soap to do the job right.
  • Fights dryness on your skin and hair. Since soap is more effective with soft water, it can moisturize as intended without the hard water build-up.

Problems With Hard Water and Dishwashers

  • The dishwashing detergent becomes bubbles when released into the water during a process called “sudsing.” When your dishwasher is using hard water, the soap will not properly dissolve.
  • Hard water can leave calcium and magnesium on dishes making them look cloudy. It can even be why your dishes come out of the dishwasher with food residue still on them.
  • When your dishwasher has been in contact with hard water for too long, you may notice rust inside. Not only is rusty water not sanitary, but when the dishwasher parts get rusty, they can fail over time.

Benefits of Soft Water and Dishwashers

  • You will notice a reduction of limescale build-up, and it may even disappear! Without this build-up, water can flow freely throughout the system and helps maintain performance and increase the life of your machine.
  • Soft water can eliminate the cloudy, gritty film left on your glassware after being washed in hard water.
  • You can reduce the amount you spend on dishwashing detergent when using soft water. Soft water makes soap more efficient, meaning you will only need to use half of the normal amount of detergent per wash.
  • Softened water aids in the drying process. In today’s dishwashers, there’s not a heating element at the bottom of the machine to dry the dishes. Instead, they heat water to a temperature to create steam. The steam is then drawn to a cooler object, so moisture is pulled from the hot dishes and attracted to your dishwasher’s stainless inner walls. Your softener helps the process because it will cause the water to run off your dishes.

Trust the Water System Experts at Independent Water Service, Inc.

You love your dishwasher. After all, without it, your hands would be in hot sudsy water for hours a week scraping food off dishes. So make sure you treat it right by making the appropriate adjustments according to the type of water in your home. And if you don’t have a water softener, or you have one that you’re not quite sure is working for you, we can help.

At Independent Water Service, Inc., we are water system experts. We have provided purification solutions and drinking water systems to homes and businesses in Yakima and Central Washington for almost four decades. Not only will our experts perform a free water analysis, but they will also use the results to recommend the solution that is best for you.

Don’t wait another day for fresh, clean water. Contact us today for your FREE water analysis.