Best Dishwasher Detergent for Hard Water – Buyers Guide

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best dishwasher detergent for hard water

Having a dishwasher at home has really made cleaning up so much easier for busy people. If your home has hard water supply and you are looking for the best dishwasher detergent for hard water, then look no more! Here is everything you need to know about what kind of a dishwasher detergent you need for hard water. 

After testing different dishwashing detergents over the years, we can with confidence that Finish Powerball Deep Clean Dishwasher Detergent gave us the best results. We have a hard water supply in our home but this detergent works like magic. You can read more on our impressions with Finish Powerball Deep Clean Dishwasher Detergent further down in this article. Before we get there, there is a bit more information you need to know, that will help you make the right choice.

What is hard water?

Depending upon the region where you stay and where you are getting your water from, you could be getting either soft water or hard water. Hard water refers to the water, which has a high saturation of minerals in it. Hard water is the water which passes through chalk, limestone deposits or gypsum. As the water percolates through these, it picks up tiny particles and residue of calcium as well as magnesium sulfates, carbonates, and bicarbonates. It is this presence of calcium and magnesium, which make your water ‘hard.’ 

How does dishwasher detergent work in hard water?

Due to the presence of calcium and magnesium particles in hard water, soap often forms an insoluble substance called soap scum, which can be very difficult to clean and get rid of. When it comes to dishwasher detergents specially made for hard water, these detergents are specially designed so that they do not form this insoluble scum. Instead, they dissolve quickly in the hard water and help clean all your dirty dishes easily. 

How does hard water affect your dishwasher?

Hard water typically contains high levels of calcium, magnesium, and a lot of other minerals. When you use hard water in your dishwasher for washing your dishes, the first thing you will find is hard water stains and a filmy residue on your dishes. The hard water also eventually may clog up your dishwasher and cause problems with drainage.

Other than that, the hard water also does not really allow your dishwasher to clean your dishes thoroughly. You might actually find spotting or stains on your dishes as well as inside your dishwasher. The hard water slowly but surely causes clogging issues and can turn into a plumbing nightmare.

Why do you need to use a special dishwasher detergent for hard water?

More often than not, if you do not use a special detergent in hard water and simply use soap, you will find that your dishes look dirty even after you run a complete dishwashing cycle. The hard water deposits can deposit themselves on your dishes and prevent them from becoming clean, which is why you need to find a special dishwasher detergent if you have hard water at home.

The presence of hard water in your dishwasher can also cause a film, white spots, or even deposits on your dishes after a dishwashing cycle. To prevent these from occurring, you need to find a special dishwasher detergent which works well even in hard water.

How do you use a dishwashing detergent?

Dishwashing detergents have made life very easy for most people who own dishwashers at home. All you need to do is remove the individual packaging from a dishwashing detergent tablet, and place it in your dishwasher. You can even add a water softener along with the tablet if you wish to, as this often works better when you are dealing with hard water in your dishwasher. 

The tablets dissolve in the water and clean your dishes thoroughly so that you don’t need to re-wash them again. Simply remove your dishes and dry them once you use the dishwasher detergent!

How much dishwasher detergent do you need to use for one cycle?

The problem with using powder forms of dishwasher detergents is that you need to individually measure the quantity of detergent every time you run your dishwasher. However, the new and better dishwasher detergents come in tablet forms which are individually wrapped.

These individually wrapped packages contain precisely the amount of dishwashing detergent that you need for one cleaning cycle in your dishwasher, so there is never any wastage of the product. You also don’t need to worry about adding too much or too little of the detergent, as these come pre-packed with the specific quantity of dishwashing detergent that you will need for a single wash cycle! 

So what is the best dishwasher detergent if you have hard water supply?

It can be a bit tricky to choose the ideal detergent for homes with hard water. If you don’t pick the right one, you will have issues with limescale buildup and not properly washed dishes all the time. Lucky for you, we did our homework and here is what we chose:

Finish Powerball Deep Clean Dishwasher Detergent 

Our Pick
image source: finishdishwashing.com

Finish is World’s No.1 brand when it comes to dishwashing detergents. The All in 1 Powerball is perfect when washing in hard water. The formula is so powerful that it cuts through grease and burnt food residue right away. It does not leave any white spots (limescale residue). The dissolving pods are wrapped in foil, so if you are sensitive to fragrances, this is quite helpful.

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When it comes to looking for the best dishwasher detergent for your home, especially homes which have hard water, the best product on the market for all of your needs would be the Finish Powerball Deep Clean Dishwasher Detergent. There are 94 tablets individually wrapped which have just the perfect amount of dishwasher detergent which you will need for one cleaning session. For those who are looking for the best dishwasher detergent which will leave your dishes completely clean and sparkling, even in hard water, this is the product which you need for your home.

The dishwasher detergent has been specially designed so that it works optimally even in hard water, giving you sparkling clean dishes which you do not need to re-wash. With unique ingredients and the Finish Powerball, the dishwasher detergent can easily remove even the toughest stains such as tea, coffee, and also dried and caked on foods easily without any manual intervention.

One of the best parts about the Finish Powerball Deep Clean Dishwasher Detergent is that this detergent leaves behind a fresh, clean fragrance, both on your dishes as well as in your dishwasher. You don’t have to worry about any kind of unpleasant food odors coming from your dishes or your dishwasher anymore after using this special dishwasher detergent!

Why We Like It:

  • The dishwasher detergent comes in a neat, foil packaging, with each tablet individually wrapped. It ensures that there is no overuse of the dishwasher detergent and no wastage of product.
  • The fresh, pleasant scent left behind on the dishes and in the dishwasher is a huge benefit, as you don’t need to run another empty cycle on your dishwasher to get rid of any foul food smells.
  • The Powerball easily cuts through all kinds of stubborn stains and grease, so you don’t need to pre-wash or pre-soak your dishes.
  • Just one Finish tablet is enough to clean all of your dishes easily.

What We Don’t Like:

  • The scent leftover by the dishwasher detergent can be a little intense for those individuals who are sensitive to these smells. They might not like the scent left behind by this dishwasher detergent.

The fix: Well, you can simply run another rinse cycle on your dishwasher without the Finish tablet, which will significantly reduce the scent! 

Why You Should Get It:

For those who are looking for the best kind of dishwasher detergent that you can mainly use for hard water, the Finish Powerball Deep Clean Dishwasher Detergent is the toughest and most effective one you will find on the market. Click here to check other customer reviews on Amazon. 

Cascade Platinum Plus Dishwasher Pods 

Runner Up
image source: cascadeclean.com

If you are dealing with hard water in your home, then the Cascade Platinum Plus Dishwasher Pods are another great alternative. This is a stronger and more potent kind of detergent to clean your dishes properly. The Cascade Platinum Plus Dishwasher Pods are so easy to use and work great in all types of hard water. The pods work great in removing grease and grime with ease.

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One of the most significant advantages of using Cascade Platinum Plus Dishwasher Pods is that you don’t really need to pre-wash your dishes anymore! Place your dishes properly in your dishwasher and add one Cascade Platinum Plus Dishwasher Pod into it.

The unique Power Booster action, along with a superior grease-fighting solution, ensures that your dishes are thoroughly clean after every wash. Since the formula comes in pre-packaged pods, you don’t have to worry about wastage of products ever again. Just add one pod into your dishwasher and let the cleaning formula do the rest for you in no time. 

Why We Like It:

  • Comes in pre-packaged pod formula
  • Requires just one pod per cleaning session
  • Lemon scent adds freshness to dishes after washing
  • No pre-washing formula

What We Don’t Like:

  • The lemon scent might be too intense for some users

The fix: In case you find the lemon fragrance of the cleaning formula to be too strong for you, run another normal rinse cycle in your dishwasher without any soap or detergent. The water will automatically rinse away most of the scent and flavor! 

Why You Should Get It:

The best thing about using Cascade Platinum Plus Dishwasher Pods is the convenience of use. Place one pod into your dishwasher dispenser cup and let the formula do its magic within minutes. With a fresh lemon scent, Cascade cleans your dishes perfectly in homes that have hard water. Click here to check other customer reviews on Amazon. 

Finish Hard Water Booster Powder 

Also Great
image source: finishdishwashing.com

If you have hard water problems and want a powder-based dishwashing detergent, then this is the perfect product for you! Finish Hard Water Booster Powder tackles all of these stains, film, and residue from your dishes while cleaning them thoroughly without being affected by the hard water! It also helps you to reduce the calcium buildup in your dishwasher with just a couple of uses.

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Finish Hard Water Booster Powder comes in powder form. You add a small amount of the powder formula into your dishwasher dispenser cup and run a normal rinse cycle. You will find all kinds of stains, grease, burnt food, residue, and hard water marks entirely off within a few minutes.

The formula comes in a beautiful lemon sparkle scent, which adds freshness to your dishes. Not just that, any stubborn odors on your dishes will have no place anymore with Finish Hard Water Booster Powder. 

The best way to use this booster powder is to add some of the powder to the pre-wash chamber in your dishwasher. Of course, in case your dishwasher does not have this chamber, add the powder to the bottom of the dishwasher to get the same results!

Why We Like It:

  • Lemon sparkle scent removes odors and adds freshness 
  • Booster formula removes hard water stains and filmy residue 
  • Removes tough bleachable stains such as tea, coffee, red wine, sauces, etc. 
  • You can use it with every cycle of your dishwasher- safe to use on your dishes regularly.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Might leave a slight cloudy residue on some glasses or dishes if you don’t precisely rinse off the powder

The fix: After completing your dishwasher cycle, run another empty cycle with just water to rinse out any of the residue or powder from your dishes and glasses. 

Why You Should Get It:

When it comes to cleaning your dishes even with hard water, Finish Hard Water Booster Powder is just the product you need. It not only removes marks, stains, and odors but also makes the water softer! Click here to check other customer reviews on Amazon.


Helpful resources:

  1. What is hard water – Wikipedia

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