HomeDetergentThe 5 Best dishwasher detergents for hard water in 2022

The 5 Best dishwasher detergents for hard water in 2022

        The hard water may not be a good solvent for washing, as it leaves white and chalky marks after washing due to its higher mineral content. The best detergents for hard water are those based on sodium. Because they are packed with phosphate, phthalate, and chlorine, natural detergents are the best choice if you have hard water.

       Cascade Platinum ActionPacs is the most effective detergent for cleaning dishes and relieving hard water stains. After investigating online and using the best dishwasher detergent and found Cascade Platinum ActionPacs to be the best. Occasionally, you might have to add to your dishwashing arsenal if you have hard water problems.

     Hard water can be easily cut with these natural ingredients. In this article, we have listed some of the best dishwasher detergents for hard water.

How do I know if my water is hard?

     Some signs of hard water are as follows:

  • Clothes get hard like stiff after washing.
  • Spots and stains of water on the utensils.
  • The water pressure is also decreased.
  • Skin and hair get dry and it looks like that the soap is not washed off.

     So, if you notice these all symptoms then your water is hard. If you live in a hard water area and you can’t have soft water then you should purchase a water softener. So that, you get rid of hard water.

Can hard water damage my dishwasher?

     Yes, hard water can damage the dishwasher severely. If you have another machine that works with water, can damage by hard water. Corrosion is caused by metals in tap water, such as iron, arsenic, copper, and lead. Then, rust is occurring which is the cause of clogging.

     Hard water damage all the parts of machines because there becomes a layer of hard water which cause damage to the machine. So, to overcome this problem, brands also offer some dishwasher detergents that work with hard water.


Our Top Pick

Best Overall
Cascade Platinum ActionPacs Dishwasher Pods – Eliminate Hard Water Haze and Film
Cascade Platinum ActionPacs Dishwasher Pods – Eliminate Hard Water Haze and Film
  • The scent is lemon
  • The weight is 2.8 pounds
  • The form is a discrete subunit
  • Size is 6.75 x 5.5 x 7.25 inches 
  • 70 count in 1 pack
Editor Choice
Finish Quantum Powerball Detergent – Clean Tough Spots Ultimate Clean & Shine
Finish Quantum Powerball Detergent – Clean Tough Spots Ultimate Clean & Shine
  • The scent is Ultimate Clean and Shine
  • The weight is 2.55 pounds
  • The size is 3.62 x 11.02 x 9.84 inches
  • The form is the tablet
  • 82 count in 1 pack
Budget Friendly
Lemi Shine Dish Detergent Booster – Biodegradable Non-toxic and Hard Water Stain Remover
Lemi Shine Dish Detergent Booster – Biodegradable Non-toxic and Hard Water Stain Remover
  • The form is liquid
  • The scent is lemon
  • The weight is 24 ounces
  • Dimensions are 8 x 6.5x 3 inches
  • 2 pack bundle

List of product

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best Overall
Cascade Platinum ActionPacs Dishwasher Pods – Eliminate Hard Water Haze and Film
Cascade Platinum ActionPacs Dishwasher Pods – Eliminate Hard Water Haze and Film
9.9
Check on Amazon
Editor Choice
Finish Quantum Powerball Detergent – Clean Tough Spots Ultimate Clean & Shine
Finish Quantum Powerball Detergent – Clean Tough Spots Ultimate Clean & Shine
9.8
Check on Amazon
Budget Friendly
Lemi Shine Dish Detergent Booster – Biodegradable Non-toxic Hard Water Stain Remover
Lemi Shine Dish Detergent Booster – Biodegradable Non-toxic Hard Water Stain Remover
9.7
Check on Amazon
Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent – Bio-based and USDA Certified Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent – Bio-based and USDA Certified
9.6
Check on Amazon
Melaleuca Diamond Automatic Detergent – Save Money and Reduce Plastic Melaleuca Diamond Automatic Detergent – Save Money and Reduce Plastic
9.5
Check on Amazon

1.     Cascade Platinum Action Pacs Dishwasher Pods – Eliminate Hard Water Haze and Film

Best Overall

81SezlTEDTL. AC SL1500

Feature:

  • The scent is lemon
  • The weight is 2.8 pounds
  • The form is a discrete subunit
  • Size is 6.75 x 5.5 x 7.25 inches
  • 70 count in 1 pack

The top product for hard water is Cascade Platinum ActionPacs dishwasher detergent. We researched the detergent and found that Cascade offers the best ActionPacs. Pre-wash is not necessary before washing the dishes because Cascade can wash dishes without it.

Powerful and burn food:

       It contains no phosphate. The ingredients used in this product are nonionic surfactants, sodium carbonate, and sodium silicate. The enzymes used in the detergent are too powerful that they break down the debris and also, burn food.

Hard spots and negative effect:

     This Cascade product is for those who are facing hard water problems. It is highly recommended to eliminate hard spots on the glassware or dishes. It also prevents the dishwasher and dishes from the negative effects of hard water.    

    It saves your water and power as well. So, you don’t need to worry about your water and electricity bills. Before using, read all the instructions and precautions on the product.

  • Not just for dishwasher
  • Leave glass streak-free
  • Works great
  • Left no smears
  • Contains low chemical
Cons
  • Container too big
  • Pouring is difficult

Highlight: Gives perfect cleaning to the dishes and pre-rinse is not essential.


2.     Finish Quantum Powerball Detergent – Clean Tough Spots

Editor Choice

71Xh9VLmQtL. AC SL1500

Feature:

  • The scent is Ultimate Clean and Shine
  • The weight is 2.55 pounds
  • The size is 3.62 x 11.02 x 9.84 inches
  • The form is the tablet 82
  • count in 1 pack

     

This detergent has multi-chamber dishwashing abilities and offers three action powers that scrub away the 24-hours stuck-on food. It cleans the toughest messes and stains like tea and coffee on the dishes.

Powerful boost of shine:

      The detergent Powerball contains power action in it. This dry Powerball gives a powerful boost of shine to your utensils. Also, the shine of your glass will maintain for a long time. 

Spotless in hard water:

      You don’t need to measure the detergent because 1 tab is for one cycle. Easy to use and has no wrapping on it. Excellent for hard water that works well. Regardless of how hard the water is, make sure to completely rinse plates and dishes and make sure they look spotless.

      The best ingredients that turn the effect of hard water into soft, used in this detergent such as sodium citrate. That deep clean your dishes and make them sparkly.

  • Not just for dishwasher
  • Leave glass streak-free
  • Works great
  • Left no smears
  • Contains low chemical
Cons
  • Container too big
  • Pouring is difficult

Highlight: It lefts no residue and has no plastic wrapping.


3.     Lemi Shine Dish Detergent Booster – Biodegradable and Non-toxic

Budget Friendly

81oyDkOTQgL. AC SL1500

Feature:

  • The form is liquid
  • The scent is lemon
  • The weight is 24 ounces
  • Dimensions are 8 x 6.5x 3 inches
  • 2 pack bundle

     

This dishwasher detergent contains no phosphate in it. The ingredients used in this detergent such as citric extract that removes the hard water marks and toughest stains fill and others.

Bio-based and non-toxic:

      By balancing the PH caused by hard water, this dishwashing detergent cleans your dishwasher and keeps it clean. Lemi Shine detergent is bio-based, non-toxic, and chemical-free. It is made in the USA.

Deep cleaning and fillers:

      This detergent is suitable for cookware, dishes, and glassware. Lemi shine detergent maintains the finishing and sparkling of dishes, also remove the smell of internal components of the dishwasher. Best for deep cleaning the dishes. It is free of artificial dyes and fillers.

      Also, environmental-friendly and safe for humans. Despite being a powder, it will dissolve in hard water without any problems. It was designed to deal with that very problem, a problem so common to other powder detergents.

Boost the Performance:

     By removing mineral deposits from water, the mixture of citric extracts softens the water and boosts the performance of detergents. A combination of citric scents eliminates any odor, and there is no film left on the dishware surfaces or inside the dishwasher.

Pros
  • Too much suitable for hard water
  • Best for removing odors
  • Protect the dishwasher too
  • EPA safer choice
  • Environmental-friendly
Cons
  • In one cycle, it can wash fewer dishes.

Highlight: Best for removing all kinds of bad odors and safe for the dishwasher too.


4.      Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent – Bio-based and USDA Certified

91n YHgrHNL. AC SL1500

Feature:

  • Fragrance-free
  • The form is pods and tablets
  • The weight is 4.14 pounds
  • Size is 9.19 x 8.19 x 4.63 inches
  • 45 count in each, pack of 2

      

Seventh Generation dishwasher detergent offer ingredients that are powerful to remove the toughest leftovers of food from the utensils and give a better finish to your dishes. This detergent also solves the hard water problems.

Cleans every single spot:

      In the areas where hard water is maximum, we recommend this detergent. Now, you don’t need to hide your dishes from your guests because it cleans every single spot from the dishes.

Plant-based:

      Another amazing thing is that it has no scent/fragrance in it. Whether you have well water or you don’t have a water softener, this detergent is efficient. This detergent is plant-made and has all-natural ingredients in it.

Safe and Cruelty-free:

     It is environmentally safe and cruelty-free. Also, phosphate-free and have no dyes and bleaches in it. Most importantly, do not touch the packs with a naked hand.

  • Not just for dishwasher
  • Leave glass streak-free
  • Works great
  • Left no smears
  • Contains low chemical
Cons
  • Container too big
  • Pouring is difficult

Highlight: Never tested on animals and easy to open.


5.     Melaleuca Diamond Automatic Detergent – Save Money and Reduce Plastic

41u2AF3w4CL. AC

Feature:

  • The form is liquid
  • Size is 9.02 x 7.01 x 2.2 inches
  • The weight is 2.77 pounds
  • Scent-free
  • 1 bottle

Sparkly Finish:

Melaleuca dishwasher detergent is chemical-free, phosphate-free has no bleaches and harsh fumes. It deep cleans the plates and gives them a sparkly finish. The enzymes in this detergent dissolve every foodstuff, even burnt-on.

       Also, without damaging the dishes, it removes all food residue. This optic-shine formula has 3 anti-film agents that stop the food particles and water to sit on the utensils. That makes the dishware and glassware more shine.

Safe and Affordable:

      You can use this bottle easily for 25 loads. This detergent gives you the value that will be worth each penny. It is safe for the earth and health. Also, affordable and the best in quality.

     It gives 100 % result against 24- hours stuck on food and hard water. So it’s the best detergent that is free of dyes and chemicals.

  • Not just for dishwasher
  • Leave glass streak-free
  • Works great
  • Left no smears
  • Contains low chemical
Cons
  • Container too big
  • Pouring is difficult

Highlight: Affordable and safe for the environment.


Comparison of Cascade and Lemi Shine

         The best dishwasher detergent for hard water is offered by two popular brands Cascade and Lemi Shine. These two brands made eco-friendly and detergent for hard water. But both brands have negatives and positives. So here we go.

By fragrance view:

    As a concern to the fragrance, Lemi Shine offers fresh and natural scents. Also, they manufactured scent-free dishwasher detergents.

    On the other hand, Cascade offers detergents that have overwhelming fragrance. So, if you want scent-free or light and natural scent then Lemi Shine is best.

By cleaning performance view:

    The cleaning performance of Cascade is excellent. It cleans away all hard stuff of food with its powerful enzyme formula. Also, it removes all hard water spots from the glassware, dishes, and other utensils.

    While on another side, the ability to clean the Lemi Shine is also good but it does not clean the hard water spots effectively. But the cleaning performance is good except for the spots on glassware.

By price view:

    The price of both brands is affordable. Lemi Shine will value your money more than Cascade. Because Cascade is a little expensive than Lemi Shine.

By packaging and formulation view:

    The packaging of Lemi Shine is easy to open and its consistency is good. Also, Cascade packaging is convenient. So, both brands have effective and commodious packaging.   

    The formula used in Lemi Shine is chemical-free. Because they used plant formulation in their detergents that are safe for the environment. While Cascade also manufactures phosphate-free products. So both are safe for the environment and health.


How does hard water affect the dishwasher?

How does hard water affect the dishwasher

      Hard water affects the dishes even, dishwasher too badly. When you use hard water the surface is covered with a film that damages the appliances or others. Here are some effects of hard water:

1. Chalky deposits in your dishwasher

           If the dishwasher has chalky deposits then that’s dangerous. Because the components of the dishwasher will not work at all. The moveable parts of the appliance will clog and cause severe damage to your appliance. If your dishwasher does not work then your dishes would not clean.

2. Signs of rust

           Hard water can cause rust because it is corrosive. Using hard water tends to result in mineral deposits that contain salt. Salts accelerate rusting. Rusted dishwashers eventually grind to a halt. After your dishwasher is filled with hard water, corrosion will begin right away, but you might not notice it for months.

3. Water spots

           Water spots are the big cause of damaging your utensils especially, glassware. These spots look so annoying on the dishes. In some cases, these spots start to form quickly and leave permanent stains on your dishwasher within minutes.

4. Dirty dishes

            The strongest symptom of hard water is that when you clean or wash your dishes, they are not clean properly and come out dirty. Detergents that are powdered are less effective when they are used in hard water.

            Additionally, limescale buildup causes dishwashers to become blocked. A dishwasher load that turns up dirty dishes probably indicates that a buildup has occurred and hard water must be dealt with.

10 Best Eco-Friendly Dishwasher Detergent | Secrets Revealed

 Dishwasher detergents made with natural ingredients come in many formulations. Dishes are typically cleaned safely and effectively with such formulas.

      To me, eco-friendly dishwasher detergents will come from natural and organic ingredients that degrade naturally without harming the environment. When it comes to buying these detergent formulas, shopping can be both exciting and challenging.

      You should be aware of the ingredients and performance options. Before making any purchase on the best dishwasher products, we’ve provided a quick buying guide, along with reviews.

      This list includes dishwasher detergents that are effective, eco-friendly, environmental-friendly, safe for humans, and come in thoughtful packaging.

How to deal with hard water build-up in your dishwasher?

      Dishwasher cleaner should be used daily if you have hard water build-up in your dishwasher and also water spots on the dishes. Food particles can become trapped in your dishwasher because of mineral deposits left by hard water.

      These deposits can contribute to your dishwasher smelling. Food particles trapped within the dishwasher drain cannot be flushed away, thus starting a decay process. The mineral deposits will break down with a quality cleaner used regularly, and decaying food waste will fall down the drain.

      Hard water mineral deposits shouldn’t be an issue if you use a good dishwasher detergent such as those recommended. You can use dishwasher detergent to keep your dishwasher sparkling clean as well as clean your dishes exceptionally well.

How the stains of hard water can be removed from glasses in a dishwasher?

      Your glasses have a buildup of limescale that you can see. If you have trouble with this build-up, and you have tried dishwasher detergents without success, you could soak your glasses in white vinegar. With the help of vinegar’s light acidity, the limescale on your glasses will be breakdown and the glasses will look great.


Things to consider before buying dishwasher detergent for hard water

     Before purchasing a dishwasher detergent for hard water, some things should be considered to buy the best detergent. So here these are:

1. Packaging

         Whenever you are going to purchase detergent, choose eco-friendly packaging. There are two types of packaging of detergents are available in the market. Separately wrapped tablets and pods.

        The pods are covered with a coating called PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol). This packaging is saved. So these pods are made according to a cycle. Pods are perfect for hard water.

2. Water supply

        The second most important thing to check is that the water supply of your water is hard or soft then purchase a dishwasher detergent. Calcium, magnesium, and more other minerals are found in hard water. So, according to water, buy a dishwasher detergent.

       Natural and biodegradable dishwashing detergents are suitable for hard water. If you use well water then must use an iron filter.

3. Cutting powder

         You have to know that how much ability that the detergent has to fight grease and oils. If the detergent is not washing dishes clean then it has no power to clean dishes according to the molecules, present in hard water. Then stop using the detergent.

         So, choose a dishwasher detergent that has molecules level as the hard water. So that the dishes might clean sparkly and clean.

4. Ingredients

         Always choose a detergent that has no harmful ingredients in it which is safe for your family and the planet too. So, purchase a detergent that does not irritate your skin and also, clean your utensils completely. We recommend you use dishwasher detergents that are free from these such as bleach, phosphate, ammonia, and chlorine.

5. Convenience

         In the world where we live, convenience is the most important factor. This step allows us to maintain proper order in the world. Dishwasher tablets or detergents can be used to dissolve hard water when you place the dishes and pots on the top rack of the machine.

        Now, close the dishwasher pod and start it up. Dishwasher detergent should be selected according to the number of dishes it is meant to clean. In most cases, single-dose pods or tablets are the most convenient for single-use.

6. Fragrance

         The fragrance is also essential to consider. Some people might be allergic to fragrances. So choose a dishwasher detergent that has no fragrance so that you don’t face any problems.

7. No residue

        You must want that after washing the utensils, there is no residue sitting on the dishes. Unfortunately, some residue and spots are still visible. Depending on the reason, hard water can be thicker than detergent sometimes. Make sure that the detergents you select have a higher molecule density than hard water.

8. Price

        The last but not least fact to consider is the price of detergent. Always purchase a dishwashing detergent that is not expensive and clean the plates properly. Also, useful for the planet and your health. So choose budget-friendly detergent.


How to remedy stained dishwasher?

How to remedy stained dishwasher

       The limescale buildup can be dissolved, disintegrated, and melted away in several ways. Simple household ingredients can be used on stains in addition to commercially available products. The following methods will help you clean stained dishwashers.

a. Rinse aid

          The first thing, if you have rinse aid in your dishwasher then fill it up regularly. Additional rinse aid will rise your dishes and glassware properly. It happens when the surface of the water is decreasing. That means the residue will sit on the surface and the dishes will come out without stains and hard water spots.

b. Hard water detergent

         Liquid detergents have more active ingredients in them, compared to powder detergent. The best detergents have chemical-free ingredients in them that soften the water. Further, this makes soaps lather more easily.

c. Vinegar rinse

         Vinegar soft the fabrics and water, also decrease the pH of water. It makes the magnesium and calcium solve in water easily. Put 1 cup of white vinegar in the dishwasher’s dispenser, before washing the dishes. It works better than detergents and has no bad chemicals in it, also it’s eco-friendly.

d. DIY remedies

         You can also DIY your dishwasher detergent at home. Mix 1 cup of washing soda, kosher salt, and borax equally in a bowl. Then use one tablespoon of detergent per 1 load. Also, it will last for a long period.

e. Water softener

         Water softener dilutes the minerals of hard water into soft. If you insert the water softener into the water supply then it will increase the cleaning performance of the dishwasher. As the water softener goes through the wash cycle, resin beads inside trap calcium and magnesium and swap out sodium or potassium.


Frequently Asked Questions:

What kind of detergent is best for hard water?

       The best dishwasher detergent for hard water is Finish Quantum Powerball Detergent. Because it has the power to soften the water. Detergents that are listed in this article are best for hard water.

What should I use if I have no dishwasher detergent?

       Simply use a few drops of dishwashing detergents such as fairy and Palmolive then put baking soda in the dispenser and shut it. The dishes will clean properly and sparkly.

Using hard water, how long does the dishwasher last?

      If you use hard water in your dishwasher then the appliance lost its lifespan of 30 %. Usually, the lifespan of the dishwasher is 10 years but using it with hard water, will last for 7 years.

Is it bad that the dishwasher runs every day?

      No, it’s not bad to run the dishwasher every day. But always run the dishwasher when it is full because if you run it empty then it is a waste of power and water.

What does citric acid do in dishwasher detergent?

     Citric acid is the powerful ingredient in the detergents that clean the burn marks and food particles on the utensils. It is also found in rinse aid detergents.

What is the benefit of using a liquid-based detergent?

     Because the liquid detergents have no packaging. It has just gel that is poured into the dispenser. So it does not damage the dishwasher also. Because the packaging detergent has plastic that causes drainage problems in the appliance.

Can I use hard water dishwasher detergent with hard water?

     Yes, you can but decrease the quantity of dishwasher detergent before washing the dishes. Hard water detergent contains more strong ingredients than soft water detergents. So useless.

How much detergent do I need?

     Every dishwasher has an individual setting. It depends on the dishes and the strength of the detergent. Also, the water supply and dishwasher age.

Does putting excessive detergent brings better result?

     Not. It results in suds, build-up, and residue. Also, damage your dishwasher as well. So, do not use excessive detergent.


Final thoughts:

      It’s important to remember that the detergents that we mentioned above are best for your dishes, pots, and glassware. They give them a brilliant shine and sparkle. These are the detergent brands that are recommended around the world.   

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Stella is the founder and chief editor of getdishwasher.com. For the last decade and a half, Her aim for this website was to help people make the right decisions for their dishwasher component upgrades.

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