Where we live we have hard water. I mean extreme hard water. I actually received my dishwasher for free because they wanted people with extremely hard water to test them out. When they came to do a test on the water they said it was about the hardest water they had ever seen.
Because of the hard water we get a build up on everything. Including the inside of my dishwasher. There is a thin white film that builds up on the walls and floors of the dishwasher, but the worst is I will start to notice that the drawers of the dishwasher squeak when you pull them out. It drives me crazy. When the squeaking gets bad enough I know it is time to clean the dishwasher.
I used to buy the dishwasher cleaning packs. They aren't cheap, around $5-$7 on amazon, but they do a great job. I had tried other suggestions that I had read about on Pinterest like using Kool-Aid Lemonade packets or vinegar but neither really worked. Recently I read an article that suggested using citric acid in the dishwasher. I noticed that citric acid is way cheaper than buying a cleaning kit and it is food safe so I don't feel funny about using it in the dishwasher. It worked great!
To clean your dishwasher I recommend filling up the soap dispenser with the citric acid. Mine holds about 1/8 of a cup. Then, add another 1/4 cup citric acid to a small bowl and place in the top rack of the dishwasher. This will quickly fill up with water and dispense more citric acid in the dishwasher.
Run the dishwasher on a high heat setting. I run mine on the 1-hour wash. Once the cycle is done open up the dishwasher and allow to dry. Your dishwasher will be clean and free from all the mineral deposits. If your dishwasher is really bad (mine was the first time I tried this) you may need to run the dishwasher with citric acid twice.
I was amazed at what a difference this simple trick made in getting rid of mineral deposits! I now run citric acid through the dishwasher about once a month to keep the mineral deposits and hard water stains off the dishwasher. Instead of paying $5-$8 dollars to clean my dishwasher each time I can pay $8 for citric acid and get about 8-12 cleaning from it.
You can buy citric acid in the grocery store (canning section), but I found it was cheaper on Amazon. This has been such an easy way to get rid of hard water stains and mineral deposits and still save a little bit of money. Plus, I love knowing that I am putting food grade products in my dishwasher.
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