How to Clean Calcium Build-up in Dishwashers

How to Clean Calcium Build-up in Dishwashers

Dishwashers make it easy for people to wash the kitchenware without needing too much effort. However, these trusted appliances need some maintenance as well. One of the maintenance needed is to clean the calcium build-up in these dishwashers. It is not rare for them to get dirty and to have some residue, especially for households with hard water sources. In this article we will discuss how to clean calcium build-up in dishwashers. So read on!

What you need for this method

The most important thing we need to clean calcium build-up in dishwashers is the white vinegar. It is our cleaning agent, and it will be acting on the calcium residue. At a minimum, you will need two cups of this vinegar. However, the amount needed still depends on the size of your dishwasher. If you think your dishwasher is larger than most others, it might be fine to add a few more ounces.

Next, we will need a dishwasher-friendly glass. It should be big enough to hold the amount of vinegar that you need.

And last but not the least you will need a working dishwasher. If you are only undergoing maintenance because your dishwasher is broken, and you want to clean it before the repairs, you might want to try other methods.

What to do

To clean calcium build-up in a dishwasher, first, you need to empty up the dishwasher. Then, you should pour the vinegar into the glass. As mentioned earlier, make sure to have at least 2 cups (16 fl. oz.) of vinegar, and there should be some additional amounts if the dishwasher is bigger.

The next step is to put the glass filled with vinegar inside the dishwasher. You should put it on the bottom rack since most of the build-up happens on the bottom part of the machine. After closing the dishwasher, you can now start it up. Make sure to only use the regular settings without any high heat ones. After that, you simply need to watch as the dishwasher goes through its washing cycle automatically. The vinegar will be spilled all over the place, accompanied by the pressure from the jets installed inside.

The last thing to do is to simply open the dishwasher and remove the glass. Leave it there for a while so any stench from the vinegar can go out. After a while, probably a few hours at the very least, your dishwasher will be spotless. 

Tips to Prevent Calcium Build-up

Although the method of using vinegar to clean the calcium build-up in dishwashers is a good solution, it is still recommended to do this sparingly, for excessive use may actually produce negative results instead. Thus, it is important to prevent the calcium build-up as much as possible. Here are some tips to help your dishwasher do its job.

·Use the proper detergent – there are many different kinds of dishwasher detergent in the market and finding the proper one to use is necessary. There are detergents that deal with hard water sources; there are those who work well on stainless steel types of dishwashers, and there are those that have reduced potency for low-load washing.

·Use rinse aid – rinse aid is a kind of product that helps your dishwasher in draining the water from inside. Since the calcium build-up is usually caused by minerals deposits from the water, draining these properly will help in fighting against this problem.


Vinegar is a good cleaning agent to use for your dishwasher. It is very convenient and easily accessible. Now that you can use it to your advantage, you are now more equipped with the knowledge on how to clean calcium build-up in dishwashers.

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