We are incredibly lucky to live somewhere where water is available to us whenever we want it. But have you ever thought about the different kinds of water that comes out of your tap? No two glasses of water are exactly the same, but the main factor that differs from one tap to another is the hardness of the water. This difference can be seen most prominently in the effect it has on household appliances, not least the dishwasher.
To give you a greater understanding of this, we’ve put together this information to explain exactly what is meant by hard water and soft water, what it means for your dishwashing, and what you can do to prevent the negative effects.
The Hard Facts
All water as it falls as rain is naturally soft, which means that the only ion (an electrically charged atom) is sodium. As this water makes its way through the ground and into the waterways that eventually lead to our taps, it becomes ‘hard’. This is through it picking up lots of dissolved minerals such as chalk, lime, magnesium and calcium. These minerals are in many ways preferable, because many of these minerals are essential to our health, making hard water better to drink – and it can also taste better!
When hard water passes through a dishwasher, the minerals in the water build up on the heating elements, most notably as limescale. This not only makes it a lot harder for the dishwasher to clean the dishes, but it can actually make them look worse as the minerals are dissolved and re-deposited on dishes and glassware, causing unsightly cloudy spots.
Softening the Blow
Finish has developed a number of products to ensure that even if you are supplied with particularly hard water, you can still guarantee that your dishes, glassware and cutlery come out gleaming.
- You should use a Finish® Rinse Aid which speeds up the drying time, and ensures that nothing is left behind when the water evaporates.
- And crucially, you should make a habit of using Finish Dishwasher Cleaner regularly. When the minerals do build up on the machine’s vitals, the cleaner will ensure that they are disposed of before they get the chance to relocate to your dishes.
Whatever your water hardness, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t get perfectly clean dishes, every time.