How would you know when there is a buildup of limescale in your dishwasher? Is it a dishwasher flaw? Or is it something else?
Truth is, it has got nothing to do with your dishwasher, and is all about your water supply.
You’ll sometimes notice that your dishes and even your dishwasher hardware develop white filmy residues. This is due to the minerals present in the water and occurs more frequently when you have a hard water source that is richer in minerals.
These minerals deposit in your dishwasher and dishes, resulting in the buildup of limescale. Hence, you need to know how to delime a dishwasher in the proper in order to keep your device up and running smoothly for ages!
How To Delime A Dishwasher
First and foremost, gather up the supplies to get the job done. Here are some of the basic items that you’d need:
- White vinegar
- Lint-free cloth
- Warm water
- Rubber gloves
- Baking soda
Step 1: Disassembling
The very first step of deliming your dishwasher involves removing the removable parts to ensure that you can reach every nook and cranny to properly clean and delime the device.
Hence, remove all the parts including the dish racks, filters, and utensil holders, etc. Once removed, soak them in a solution of vinegar and warm water and leave them to rest for 30 minutes or more based on the amount of limescale buildup.
Step 2: Removal Of Debris
Now that you have removed the racks, holders, filters, etc., you have better access to your dishwasher. Check all areas for any food or other debris, including the spray arms, corners, side walls, filter, dispenser, etc.
Wipe all areas and clean the sensitive areas with a toothbrush or toothpicks when the areas are less accessible to clean off all debris.
Step 3: Hot Water Cycle With Vinegar
- Now get yourself a bowl that is dishwasher safe and pour a cup of vinegar in it.
- Place the bowl of vinegar inside your empty dishwasher at the bottom.
- Allow the dishwasher to run a cycle of hot water wash.
Due to the vinegar along with the hot water, the limescale will get removed entirely, along with the removal of any remaining food debris, residue, soap scum grime, grease, etc.
If the limescale doesn’t all come off in a single water cycle, repeat this whole step again for better removal.
Step 4: Baking Soda Wash
For when the limescale deposit is more extensive, vinegar alone may not work. In that case:
- Sprinkle baking soda inside the dishwasher.
- Next, with the help of your toothbrush, work some elbow grease to scrub off the stubborn areas.
- Then run place a bowl of vinegar at the bottom like the step discussed above.
- Now run a regular cycle to delime the whole device.
You can use baking soda without scrubbing just to finish off the deliming process more effectively when the limescale buildup is small-scale. It will aid in stain removal and leave your dishwasher smelling fresh and clean
Step 5: Cleaning The Exterior
Now that the interior descaling is done and dusted, it’s time to clean the exterior.
You can either use a homemade solution of water, vinegar, and dish soap to clean the outside or use a commercial cleaner that is safe to be used on the surface of your dishwasher.
Use a microfiber cloth to wipe the outside clean so as to avoid scratching up the surface.
Step 6: Reassembly
Take the soaked removed parts out of the vinegar and warm water solution and reassemble them. Run a regular cycle to ensure that everything is running smoothly and is in its proper place to complete the cleaning process.
Tips On De-Liming A Dishwasher
- If the home products don’t work, you can of course use commercial products but ensure that they are safe for your dishwasher and are food-safe.
- Don’t pour vinegar inside your dishwasher directly as it will drain out.
- If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, mix in some lemon juice with the vinegar to reduce the unpleasantness.
- Run a wash cycle without any vinegar to remove the lingering vinegar smell. You can use baking soda in this wash cycle too.
- Feel free to keep the dishwasher open to air-dry the interior if the smell still bothers you.
- Perform deep-cleaning or deep deliming every six months.
- If you have a hard water source, install water softeners to reduce the degree of limescale of deposits.
- If you are lucky to have a dishwasher that comes with a sanitizing self-cleaning cycle, run it every month to ensure better maintenance.
- Feel free to use products that can be used in regular wash cycles which battle against the buildup of residue, debris, limescale, etc.
How To Delime A Commercial Dishwasher
So far, we were guiding you through on deliming your kitchen dishwasher at home, which can easily be done with home ingredients. But if you’re wondering, say, how to delime a Hobart dishwasher, the approach is a little different since we are talking about a commercial device.
The ideal time for deliming your commercial dishwasher is when the dishwasher is empty and you don’t have dishes to wash anytime soon; such as before or after working hours or on a holiday.
In order to delime commercial dishwashers, you are in need of a commercial descaler or deliming chemical. Ensure that the product of your choice is food-safe and suitable to be used in your dishwasher.
Ensure that you are fully geared up with safety gear such as gloves, goggles, and facemask to protect yourself against steam, chemical fumes, acid burns, etc.
If you intend to do the deliming yourself, consider consulting a professional to get ample expert advice and knowledge.
Also, if your device adopts the use of chemical sanitizers such as quaternary ammonia, chlorine, or iodine, consult a professional or the manufacturer’s instructions to identify the type of suitable chemicals.
This is because or else, mixing the wrong ones will result in harmful products that may also cause damage to your dishwasher.
High-temperature and low-temperature commercial dishwashers differ slightly when it comes to the deliming process, but we’ll provide you an overall guideline that is similar for both types.
Step 1: Turning It All Off
a. High-Temperature Dishwasher
- First, shut down the detergent dispenser.
- Next, take out all the detergent as or else, it will interfere with the performance of the descaler or deliming product.
- Now turn off the commercial dishwasher and if it has a booster, shut it down as well.
b. Low-Temperature Dishwasher
Begin by shutting down the switch of the chemical feed. You might also need to remove the containers’ chemical feed lines depending on the type of dishwasher.
Deliming low-temp commercial dishwashers are more sensitive and you need to choose the right chemical product to do so as we mentioned initially.
Step 2: Getting The Water Out
Now move on to draining the water tank(s) of your dishwasher manually to remove all the water from your dishwasher. Manual draining is recommended for proper water removal before the deliming process.
Step 3: Let’s Get Cleaning!
You have to clean up the dishwasher and its components to remove clogs, food debris, broken dishes, grime, etc.
Rinse the upper and lower wash arms, the rinse jets, etc. look for clogs and clean them up, and make any replacements, if necessary, when it comes to the open tips, drain screen, scrap trays, etc.
Step 4: Filling Up Water
Since all the solid debris is dealt with now, you can now move on to refilling the dishwasher with clean water. This is where you’ll be adding your deliming product.
If your commercial dishwasher is a low-temp model, it is advised to run a wash cycle to ensure that any remains of chemical sanitizers get washed off. After this wash cycle, you can proceed to refill your dishwasher.
Step 5: Adding Your Deliming Product
It is finally time to add in your deliming product as per the manufacturer’s instructions via the drain port or the wash tank. Make sure you use the correct amount of the product based on your dishwasher and the extensiveness of the limescale buildup. Let the solution sit inside as per the instructed duration.
Step 6: Running The Deliming Cycle
Proceed to run a wash cycle with the added deliming product. Follow the duration instructed by the manufacturer in order to receive the desired results.
Based on your dishwasher model, you might need to run multiple cycles or you can run the cycle indefinitely until all the limescale gets removed if the dishwasher allows you to ditch the mechanism that controls time.
If your commercial dishwasher is a high-temp model, only turn on the device, not the heating elements.
Step 7: Inspection
Check the dishwasher interior to ensure that the deliming process worked. Inspect to see any remaining limescale and repeat step 6 if necessary.
Step 8: Finishing off
Your commercial dishwasher should be free from limescale by now. all that’s left to do is to drain your dishwasher and refill it with clean water.
If it is a low-temp dishwasher, you have to run the wash cycle for around 10 minutes or more so as to remove any residue of your descaling product. After this, you can drain and refill the wash tank with clean water
Step 9: Reassembling
The only thing left to do now is to get your dishwasher ready to get washing by restoring the tasks you performed in step 1.
These include turning on the dishwasher, the detergent dispenser, the booster and heating elements, chemical feed buttons, reattaching chemical feed lines, refilling the detergent, etc.
Even if one can forgive a wrong cook on their steak meal, dirty or spotted dishes are a major sin.
This is why it is absolutely crucial that your dishwasher is properly cleaned and descaled.
Whether it’s your home device or your commercial one, a dishwasher is no doubt what keeps the kitchen running, and having a smoothly running clean dishwasher is vital.
Hence, after going through our guide on how to delime a dishwasher the right way, you’ll surely be able to keep your dishwasher up and running smoothly for ages to come!