When it comes to dishwashing, we often focus on detergents and rinse aids, but there’s another crucial ingredient that plays a vital role in the performance of your dishwasher: salt.
This essential component maintains your dishwasher’s efficiency and prevents limescale build-up. But how much of it should you add?
While there is no specific quantity, you should always add enough salt to fill the reservoir. Dishwasher salt typically comes in packs of 1 or 5 kilograms.
How To Add Salt To The Dishwasher
Adding salt to the dishwasher is essential if you want to maintain the appliance in good working conditions.
If you’ve never refilled your washer’s reservoir, here’s how to do it.
1. Locate the Salt Reservoir
The salt reservoir is typically located at the bottom of the dishwasher near the filter or in the lower part of the door.
Refer to your dishwasher’s manual to find the exact location of the salt reservoir.
2. Check the Salt Level
Before adding salt, check the current level in the salt reservoir. Some dishwashers have a transparent or removable cap that allows you to see the salt level directly.
If the salt level is low or empty, it’s time to refill.
3. Prepare the Dishwasher Salt
Dishwasher salt is commonly available in granule or pellet form. Ensure that the salt you are using is specifically designed for dishwashers and does not contain any additives.
Do not use table salt or other types of salt, as they can damage the water softening system.
4. Add the Salt
Depending on your dishwasher model, you may need to unscrew or twist the cap to open the salt reservoir. Some dishwashers have a separate lid or flip-up cover that needs to be lifted.
Carefully pour the dishwasher salt into the salt reservoir. It’s recommended to use a funnel or a small scoop to avoid spillage.
Be cautious not to introduce any moisture or foreign objects into the reservoir, as it can affect the water softening process.
Follow the recommended fill level indicated in your dishwasher’s manual or the markings on the salt reservoir.
Avoid overfilling, as it can cause clogging or lead to salt residue on dishes. If you accidentally overfill, remove the excess salt with a dry cloth or paper towel.
5. Close and Secure the Reservoir
Once you have added the salt, securely close the reservoir cap or lid.
Ensure it is properly sealed to prevent any leaks during the dishwashing cycle.
6. Run a Rinse Cycle
After adding salt, it’s a good practice to run a rinse cycle to allow the salt to dissolve and distribute evenly in the water softening system.
This helps to avoid any potential salt residue on dishes during subsequent wash cycles.
7. Monitor Salt Levels
Regularly check the salt level in the reservoir and refill it when necessary. The frequency of salt refilling depends on factors such as water hardness and dishwasher usage.
As a general guideline, it is recommended to check the salt level every month, or more frequently if recommended in the user manual.
7 Common Dishwasher Salt Mistakes
While using dishwasher salt is essential, there are some mistakes you should be aware of.
1. Using the Wrong Salt Type
One common mistake is using the wrong type of salt.
Dishwasher salt is specifically formulated for use in dishwashers and contains no additives. Using table salt or other types of salt can lead to clogs, damage the water softening system and affect the performance of your dishwasher.
2. Overfilling the Salt Reservoir
Adding too much salt to the reservoir is another common mistake. Overfilling can lead to salt residue on dishes and in the dishwasher, causing poor cleaning results and potentially damaging the appliance.
It is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations or the marked fill level on the reservoir to avoid overfilling.
3. Underfilling the Salt Reservoir
On the flip side, underfilling the salt reservoir can also impact the dishwasher’s performance. Insufficient salt may result in limescale build-up on dishes, reduced cleaning efficiency and potential damage to the water softening system.
It’s crucial to add the appropriate amount of salt as recommended by the manufacturer.
4. Allowing Moisture into the Reservoir
Moisture or wet hands should be avoided when handling dishwasher salt.
Introducing moisture into the salt reservoir can cause the salt to clump or dissolve prematurely, leading to salt blockages or inefficient water softening.
Ensure your hands are dry, and be cautious not to spill any water into the reservoir during the salt-refilling process.
5. Neglecting to Run a Rinse Cycle
After adding salt to the dishwasher, it’s important to run a rinse cycle before starting a full wash cycle. This allows the salt to dissolve and distribute evenly throughout the water softening system.
Neglecting to run a rinse cycle can result in salt residue on dishes during subsequent wash cycles.
6. Forgetting to Monitor Salt Levels
Many people forget to monitor the salt levels in their dishwashers over time.
Regularly checking and refilling the salt reservoir is essential for maintaining optimal performance.
7. Not Adjusting Salt Usage for Water Hardness
Water hardness can vary depending on your location. Failing to adjust the amount of salt used based on the water hardness can impact the effectiveness of water softening.
Always consider water hardness levels, as determined through a water hardness test, and adjust the salt dosage accordingly.
Dishwasher salt can help maintain your appliance in good condition. While there is no specific quantity of salt to use, you should always add enough to fill the salt reservoir.
Before adding anything, keep in mind that you should only use dishwasher-specific salt. Any other kind can damage your appliance.