Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hard Water... Hard Times

As a local brewery near us says... " Warrenville water eats appliances!"

Indeed it does. We have incredibly hard water. Drops of water on the car from the hose leave white circles. And it's a constant battle in the shower. I had gotten a new dishwasher last year (replacing the 18 year old one we had). I have to say... I hated how it cleaned (or didn't clean as the case may be) and the white powdery residue left behind. I tried several rinse agents, different detergents, etc... getting very frustrated and ultimately going back to handwashing a lot of dishes! Which as you know uses a lot more water and energy.

A few months ago I found a product called Lemi Shine that helped in the dishwasher with the spots. Dishes got "cleaner", but not squeaky clean. It is citric acid based, thus eco friendly, and for its level of citric acid content it worked great... and I was a little happier with the dishwasher... for awhile...

On impulse I picked up Dishwasher Magic a few weeks ago. You use it in an empty dishwasher on the hot cycle. When I opened my dishwasher after, I saw that ALL of the thick mineral scale and deposit on the heating coil... poof... gone... I got so happy (my kids think I'm weird) that the inside of the dishwasher was sparkly. Again, this is an all citric acid product.

The next test would be how clean did the dishes come out? Spotless! Super clean! No crusty cling-ons! And it has continued to perform that way since Thanksgiving. And I have yet to add Lemi Shine to the cycle. Can't tell you how great that is... coming from a dishwasher that yielded gritty, white, not so clean dishes.

They recommend using Dishwasher Magic monthly and with my calcium and lime content... that's probably just about right for me. People with softer water could more than likely get away with using it less. It's about $5 a bottle and the way I figure it is... if I can load the dishwasher to capacity and get really clean dishes for a fraction of the water use... and cost... it's well worth it.

I saw they also have a product for washing machines... Washer Magic and that will be my next test... I can only imagine what deposits are lurking in that old baby... so will keep you posted.

If anyone knows of a "green" dishwasher detergent that actually cleans... let me know and I will try it out! Going to try Simplicity first... Brad thinks he saw it listed in Consumer Reports as Eco and functional.


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