Dishwasher salt

A guide to rinse aids, dishwasher salt and tablets: all your questions answered

  • 5 min read

Written by Domestic & General

To serve its purpose – that is, giving you sparkling clean, dried dishes – a dishwasher needs a little assistance. This is where rinse aids and dishwasher salt come in. But many are left confused as to if they’re both necessary, what the differences are and how to use them to keep your dishwasher working at its very best.

Here, we’ve looked into the most commonly searched for questions around dish salt and rinse aids to bring you all the answers you’ll need.

What are rinse aids?

Rinse aid is used to help water rinse off of your dishes and glasses. The way it does this is by reducing the surface tension of water, causing it to stick to surfaces less easily and drain away more effectively.

The purpose of using a rinse aid is to prevent water marks, keeping your glasses and other utensils clean and clear.

Do you need rinse aid?

Many are often confused as to how essential rinse aid is. Though it’s not as essential as the cleaning tablets and salt, rinse aid is important if you want to avoid streaks and watermarks.

Rinse aid has become more important ever since it was made a legal obligation to reduce the volume of phosphates in cleaning agents in 2017.

Phosphates are a strong cleaning agent but proved to be harmful to the environment. In reducing the levels in each dishwasher tablet, there’s less of an impact on an environmental level, but glassware and other goods weren’t washing away detergent as well.

How to use rinse aid?

The rinse aid compartment is usually next to the detergent compartment. Depending on how many washes you do you might have to fill up the rinse aid every few weeks. When doing so, look for a maximum fill line.

Do I need dishwasher salt and what does it do?

The salt for your dishwasher is essentially course-grained sodium chloride – it’s an agent which helps soften the hard water that can prove tough on your dishes and prevents the dishwasher’s softener unit from clogging up.

Not using enough dishwasher salt, therefore, could cause your dishwasher to break down more easily or require more regular repairs and maintenance.

Is dishwasher salt the same as regular salt?

No. If you’re out of dish salt, don’t fill your machine with the same seasoning you’d add to your chips.

What does dishwasher salt do?

It prevents limescale from building up in your dishwasher’s filter, so it affects how clean your plates come out. If you find that your dishes are coming out ‘streaky’ or ‘gritty’ instead of sparkling clean, you might be running low on salt.

Do I need dishwasher salt in soft water?

Hard water affects our appliances in many ways, but, even so, salt is required in every dishwasher even if living in a soft water area.

The main difference, though, is that when the water is softer it will take longer before needing to replenish the salt. So, people living in soft water areas wouldn’t need to worry about changing their dish salt as often.

Do I need dishwasher salt if I use tablets?

All-in-one tablets appear to, you guessed it, do it all in one – cleaning and rinsing your dishes in one cycle, with one tablet.

Like living in a soft water area, using an all-in-one tablet will help in that it reduces the usage of your dish salt, but you should still ensure your machine has some.

If you’ve noticed issues with your dishwasher lately and replacing or filling up the salt isn’t helping, it might be time for some TLC. With a Domestic & General dishwasher protection warranty, you’ll have experts on hand to help with any repairs or replacements.