Best Dishwasher for Hard Water

Hard water may not seem like a big deal until it starts affecting the state of your dishes. If you wash dishes manually, you may notice the unpleasant dry feeling it leaves on your skin. It can also prevent soap from lathering and leave white residue on your glassware. This can be effectively avoided with the right dishwasher and its proper maintenance. Dishwashers best suited for hard water usage are generally equipped with stronger tubs and enhanced cleaning settings.

Top-3 Dishwashers for Hard Water

Best Whirlpool Dishwasher for Hard Water
  • Cycles: 5
  • Place settings: 15
  • Sound rating: 51 dBA
Best GE Profile Dishwasher for Hard Water
  • Cycles: 5
  • Place settings: 16
  • Sound rating: 42 dBA
Best Samsung Dishwasher for Hard Water
  • Cycles: 7
  • Place settings: 15
  • Sound rating: 39 dBA

Things to Consider

Before making the final decision, you might want to consider a few key features that every dishwasher must have to function better in hard water conditions.

Materials

Hard water dishwashers usually have tall stainless steel tubs that are able to resist rust and easy to clean. Some hybrid interiors are also a good choice, with the stainless steel door and plastic tub combination offering ample protection and stain-masking qualities. Racks are made to be extra durable, often coated with nylon.

Cycles and options

The number of cycles normally ranges from 14 to 16, with a wide selection of modifying options that enhance all rinse stages and work at removing lime deposits caused by hard water.

Filtration

Look out for stainless steel filters and multiple-stage filtration systems. While not eliminating all salt ions, a good filtration system is still able to soften the impact on your dishes.

Rinse aid

Though many dishwashers tend to share the standard width of 24 inches, it’s highly recommended to take accurate measures of the space in your kitchen where you plan to install the new dishwasher. If you are not planning to put in any drastic modifications to accommodate a larger appliance, then take the existing measurements of the intended space and run with them.

Review of the Best Dishwashers for Hard Water

Specs
  • Cycles: 5
  • Place settings: 15
  • Sound rating: 51 dBA
  • Finish: Black stainless steel
  • Tub material: Plastic
  • Control type: Manual top control
  • Handle type: Bar handle
  • Dimensions (Hx W x D): 34.5 in x 23.875 in x 34.5 in
  • Energy consumption: 270 kWh/yr
Features
  • Durable hybrid tub
  • Effective pre-wash and rinse aid system
  • Heater-supported drying process
  • Certified sanitation
  • Quiet run with top end results

The Whirlpool WDT730PAHV is a built-in stainless steel dishwasher with a hybrid tub and automatic temperature controls.

The 15 available place settings are provided by the adjustable upper rack with a cup shelf as well as the lower rack with removable cutlery basket and a row of fold down tines. The stainless steel interior door supports the drying process, while the gray plastic tub masks stains.

There are 5 main cycles: Sensor, Heavy, Normal, Soak & Clean, and 1 Hour Wash.  The water-saving Sensor programme is able to detect the load size along with soil levels and adjust cycle time and the amount of water intake accordingly.

Another efficient cycle is the Soak & Clean setting used instead of manual pre-wash as it soaks dishes before the actual programme in order to loosen up old stains. It’s best used with a prewash detergent and applied to dishes with dried-on food particles and heavy stains.

The options include 1-24 Hour Delay, Control Lock, Sani Rinse®, Hi Temp Wash, and Heated Dry.

As the name suggests, the Heated Dry option uses heat to dry your dishes with the addition of rinse aid for improved results. For faster performance, the fan-assisted dry directs clean air at the load, preserving the post-wash levels of hygiene.

NSF certified Sani Rinse® provides high levels of sanitation as it’s able to remove 99.999% of common food bacteria.

This is a quieter dishwasher, operating at 51 dBA, that meets all ENERGY STAR® standards and delivers energy-efficient cleaning results.

Specs
  • Cycles: 5
  • Options: 11
  • Place settings: 16
  • Sound rating: 42 dBA
  • Finish: Fingerprint resistant stainless steel
  • Tub material: Stainless steel
  • Control type: Electronic top control
  • Handle type: Bar handle
  • Dimensions (Hx W x D): 34 in x 23.75 in x 24 in
  • Energy consumption: 270 kWh/yr
Features
  • Stainless steel tub resists rust
  • Improved filtration system ensures minimal damage to dishes
  • Remote troubleshooting via smart control system
  • Quiet operation
  • Wide range of rinse options

The GE PDT775SYNFS is a 700 series dishwasher with a tall stainless steel tub and superior filtration.

The 2 nylon-coated racks provide up 16 place settings with additional space housed by 2-level foldable tines and the lower-rack silverware basket with 3 cell covers. There is also an option to free up more space by adjusting the height of the upper rack.

Overall cleaning performance is enhanced by deep clean silverware jets aimed to wash even closely nested cutlery, 4 powerful Bottle Jets designed to clean tall items and hard-to-reach glassware, and the Piranha™ Hard Food Disposer with removable filter that rotates its stainless steel blades at 3,600 RPM, removing large food particles and preventing the clogging of 3 wash arms.

There are 5 cycles: Auto, Heavy, Normal, Light, and 1-Hour Wash.

Using soil sensors, the Auto cycle is able to determine the optimal wash time and water temperature for each load. The duration of Auto cycle varies from 1 hour 50 minutes to 2 hours and 10 minutes. 

The time-efficient 1-Hour Wash can be further improved with the Dry Boost™ modifier that increases the final rinse temperature and adds 49 minutes of drying time to the cycle. After the cycle is complete, you can pull out the rack immediately and let the load flash-dry which won’t take longer than 5 minutes.

This model also offers 11 options: Bottle Jets, Steam Presoak, Sani (NSF 184 Certified), Twin Turbo Dry Boost™, Wash TempBoost, Wash Zone Lower Only, Wash Zone Upper Only, Heated Dry, 1-12 Hour Delay Start, Start/Reset, and Child Lock.

The Twin Turbo Dry Boost™ option finishes every cycle by employing the dual fan system and hidden heater, ensuring safe and fast drying results.

The efficient performance is maintained by the variable speed dual pumps during water intake and after-cycle drainage. Both the floor of the dishwasher and your kitchen surfaces are protected by the Leak Defense system with Active Flood Protect. It’s able to detect small leaks and monitor water levels inside the dishwasher cabinet.

This GE dishwasher is equipped with the smart WiFi connect system, allowing you to use your device for monitoring active cycles and checking detergent levels at any given moment.

Available for built-up floor installation as well as flush cabinet and side installation, this model can suit any kitchen layout and match other appliances with its fingerprint resistant stainless steel finish and hidden controls.

Operating at 42 dBA, this GE is consistently quiet as well as energy-efficient as per ENERGY STAR® requirements.

Specs
  • Cycles: 7
  • Place settings: 15
  • Sound rating: 39 dBA
  • Finish: Fingerprint resistant stainless steel
  • Tub material: Stainless steel
  • Control type: Top touch control
  • Handle type: Recessed handle
  • Dimensions (Hx W x D): 33.875 in x 23.875 in x 25 in
  • Energy consumption: 239 kWh/yr
Features
  • Durable racking system
  • Soak and rinse cycles ensure better cleaning
  • Self Clean option keeps dishwasher in shape
  • Powerful wash system
  • Whisper-quiet operation

The Samsung DW80R9950US is an ultra-quiet dishwasher with linear wash system and improved capacity.

With the addition of the 3rd rack to the highly flexible racking system, this model is able to hold up to 15 place settings and extra items with further adjustments.

Mounted on soft glide rails, the upper rack can be adjusted with just one touch, boosting the loading flexibility with a neat wire cup shelf that can be folded to free up space. The lower rack can hold a wide range of kitchen items with its adjustable fold-down tines, removable silverware basket, and height clearance of 12 inches for tall cookware..

There are 7 cycles: Auto, Normal, Heavy, Delicate, Express 60, Rinse Only, and Self Clean.

By selecting the Auto cycle, you will be able to get optimal cleaning for each load configuration according to soil sensor data that provides settings for all wash stages.

Express 60 and Rinse Only can save you time and energy with fast and efficient washing of lightly soiled loads. For Rinse Only there is no need for detergent.

The Self Clean cycle is designed to clean the dishwasher’s tub. You will know when your dishwasher needs cleaning by the Self Clean indicator lighting up.

Additional options include Half Load, Zone Booster™, Sanitize (Anti-bacterial-NSF), Speed Booster, Hi Temp Wash, 24 Hour Delay Start, Control Lock, and Wi-Fi Smart Control.

For heavily soiled loads, specifically large pots and pans, you can apply the Zone Booster™ option that directs an extra water spray for the left section of the lower rack, blasting baked-on stains and food particles.

The wash system consists of 3 powerful spray arms that make up the Linear Wash System. Featuring AquaBlast™ jets, the Linear system is able to ensure complete wall-to-wall coverage that cleans every corner.

After each cycle, the AutoRelease™ door function pops the door open to allow circulation for the faster and better drying.

Additionally, this Samsung dishwasher features the WiFi-enabled Smart Control function. By using the SmartThings app on your device you can freely monitor and control your dishwasher’s functions while receiving status notifications and cycle recommendations.

This is an ultra-quiet model that runs at 39 dBA without disrupting your daily activities. It’s also ENERGY STAR® certified with the annual output of 239 kWh.

Specs
  • Cycles: 5
  • Options: 11
  • Place settings: 16
  • Sound rating: 46 dBA
  • Finish: Black stainless steel
  • Tub material: Stainless steel
  • Control type: Electronic top control
  • Handle type: Bar handle
  • Dimensions (Hx W x D): 34 in x 23.75 in x 24 in
  • Energy consumption: 270 kWh/yr
Features
  • Dedicated jets for cutlery and bottles
  • Effective filtration system
  • Great interior capacity
  • Adjustable racking
  • Rust-resistant tub materials

The GE GDT665SBNTS is a 600 series dishwasher with a great selection of options and stainless steel interior.

The three-level racking system offers up to 16 place settings. Providing additional space for flat culinary items, the full 3rd rack can also be removed to accommodate lower levels. The upper rack is adjustable by height, and the lower rack features a removable silverware basket with cell covers and multi-position fold down tines.

There are 5 cycles, including Auto, Heavy, Normal, Light, and 1-Hour Wash.

The Auto cycle detects soil levels and load size with integrated sensors, adjusting all wash parameters to suit each load. For cleaning tall glassware, place the items in the Bottle Jet section where they will be showered by 4 powerful jets until completely spotless.

The 11 options include Bottle Jets, Steam PreWash, Sani (NSF 184 Certified), Dry Boost™, Heated Dry, Wash TempBoost, Wash Zone Lower Only, Wash Zone Upper Only, 1-12 Hour Delay Start, Start/Reset, and Child Lock.

The drying features specifically consist of the Dry Boost™, Fan Assist Dry, Heated Dry and Multi-Wattage Wash and Dry Element.

To improve any chosen cycle, select the Steam-Sani or Presoak-Sani that increases the water temperature in the final rinse stage to sanitize all items, removing 99.999% of bacteria from your dishes.

The dual pump and Piranha™ Hard Food Disposer with removable filter provide best possible cleaning results, while all leakages are prevented by the Active Flood Protect system. In addition, this GE dishwasher is ENERGY STAR® certified and runs at 46 dBA.

Specs
  • Cycles: 9
  • Options: 8
  • Place settings: 15
  • Sound rating: 46 dBA
  • Finish: Stainless steel
  • Tub material: Stainless steel
  • Control type: Digital top control
  • Handle type: Bar handle
  • Dimensions (Hx W x D): 33.6 in x 23.75 in x 24.6 in
  • Energy consumption: 258 kWh/yr
Features
  • Protective 3-stage filtration
  • Flexible capacity for all types of kitchenware
  • Extra-insulated stainless steel tub
  • Exceptionally efficient energy consumption rates
  • WiFi enabled smart controls

The LG LDT5678ST is a heavy duty dishwasher with multiple wash options and smart controls.

The three-level EasyRack™ Plus system provides 15 place settings.

The height adjustable upper and lower racks are equipped with cup shelves and fold-down tines. Utensils and various cooking items can be stored in the removable lower-level cutlery basket and the spacious 3rd culinary rack.

For improved washing performance, this model offers the 3-stage filtration system in combination with the QuadWash™ technology that provides complete coverage during each cycle by utilizing 4 multi-motion spray arms.

There are 9 cycles are Auto, Heavy, Delicate, Normal, Turbo, Download Cycle, Machine Clean, Rinse, and Express, as well as 8 options, including Dual Zone, Half Load, Energy Saver, High Temp, Extra Dry, Delay Start, Control Lock, and Night Dry.

Depending on the load size and soil levels, the wash settings are adjusted by the SenseClean™ Wash System for best cleaning results regardless of plate configuration.

All cycles can be monitored via SmartThinQ® app, allowing you to voice-activate different functions of the dishwasher. It’s WiFi-enabled and compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.

The interior is fitted with stainless steel that comes with extra insulation and anti-bacterial treatment. With the 46 dBA sound level and ENERGY STAR® certification, this model does its job quietly and efficiently.

Specs
  • Cycles: 7
  • Place settings: 14
  • Sound rating: 49 dBA
  • Finish: Smudge-Proof™ black stainless steel
  • Tub material: Stainless steel
  • Control type: Electronic top control
  • Handle type: Bar handle
  • Dimensions (Hx W x D): 33.75 in x 24 in x 24.25 in
  • Energy consumption: 260 kWh/yr
Features
  • Combined filtration system protects from damage
  • Three-level racking allows holds larger loads
  • Stainless steel interior resists effects of rust
  • Additional wash options improve cleaning performance

The Frigidaire FGID2479SD is a quiet and efficient dishwasher with a powerful wash system and beautiful stainless steel design.

The stainless steel interior houses the flexible Global Rack system, providing up to 14 place settings with the additional 3rd level rack for cutlery and small items. The upper rack is equipped with 2 cup shelves and 2 rows fold down tines, while the lower rack holds a removable silverware basket in addition to the foldable tines.

OrbitClean® Satellite Spray Arm ensures total coverage on 5 wash levels, while the hard food disposer and stainless steel filter protect nozzles from clogging.

There are 7 cycle options: Heavy, Normal, 30-minute Wash, China Crystal, Energy Saver, Rinse Only, and My Favorite. Integrated soil sensors are able to automatically detect the required wash pressure for each load, choosing between surge, spray, or scour.

To effectively save your water expenses, you can select the Energy Saver cycle to wash lightly soiled and pre-rinsed kitchenware. My Favorite Cycle is meant for easing the everyday wash routine, allowing you to program all wash parameters and additional performance-enhancing options into one cycle, making it available at the touch of one button.

This model offers a range of modifying options, namely Hi Temp Wash, Sanitize, Heat Dry, and Air Dry. During the Hi Temp Wash, the water is heated to 140°F to assist the final rinse and drying process.

The Sanitize option increases water temperature to 155°F for the final rinse, maintaining it for 9 minutes and removing all remaining food bacteria.

The Heated Dry option improves the drying process, especially if you use rinse aid, and the Air Dry is capable of reducing energy consumption by allowing your dishes to dry through natural circulation.

Featuring the Floor Beam Indicator technology, this model can alert you of cycle status change by turning on LED lights and directing them at the floor: blue when the cycle is still in progress and green when the cycle is complete.

This Frigidaire dishwasher comes with the SilentDesign™ package, ensuring a quiet run of 49 dBA. It’s ENERGY STAR® certified, consuming only 260 kWh annually.

In Conclusion

What can I use in my dishwasher for hard water?

Hard water often leaves spots on your dishes and gives glassware an uneven cloudy quality. To make sure your dishes come out sparkling, it’s recommended to add vinegar, lemon juice, or baking soda before the wash cycle. Vinegar is the most effective option and should be poured inside the Jet-Dry tray from which it will be released automatically.

Is hard water bad for your dishwasher?

Hard water may not cause significant direct harm, but its damaging effects occur after prolonged contact. Overtime, the salts like magnesium chloride and calcium chloride start to build up on the interior surfaces of your dishwasher. The heating element and water pumps tend to accumulate high amounts of lime deposits which can lead to rust and possible motor failure.

Why is hard water hard?

Essentially, hard water carries high amounts of minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium, that can get displaced and result in calcination of various surfaces. The hardness of water is measured in grains per gallon, or GPG, where one grain is equivalent to 64.8 milligrams of calcium carbonate.

Soft water is considered to be 1 GPG and below. Moderately hard water ranges between 3.5 GPG and 7 GPG, while hard water normally falls between 7 GPG and 10.5 GPG. Very hard water is everything higher than 11 GPG.

How do you remove calcium deposits from a dishwasher?

If your dishwasher doesn’t have an integrated water softener, you might consider installing it separately. Otherwise, the key to maintaining your dishwasher salt-free is to use the right supplies while conducting frequent interior cleanings.

  • Detergent. The owner’s manual normally features instructions for optimal amount of detergent used with each water type. The harder your water, the more detergent you have to add. Some manufacturers recommend adding 8 teaspoons for the hardest water constitution measured between 9-12 grains.
  • Rinse aid. To battle the issue of spotting and early lime buildup, it’s widely recommended to add rinse aid. Most owner’s manuals suggest the best rinse aid types as well as optimal amounts. Some dispenser trays allow you to adjust the amount of rinse aid for each cycle.

Regular cleaning. The visible effects of hard water usually manifest as white residue and dull stains on the interior surfaces. Fortunately, this filming can be gradually removed with white vinegar. If you decide to use the vinegar, pour it in a sturdy cup and place it in the lower rack. Run the dishwasher empty on the normal setting and skip the drying cycle.

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