Mailbag: Removing Mineral Deposits from a Dishwasher

girlscout wrote:

oh holiest of appliance repair men. i have searched thru your infinite wisdom and found no answer for this question…how do i clean mineral deposits that have accumulated in my DW? (well water) . i read your advice to test the hardness and if too hard, get a water softener. oh, and what IS life?


Message sent from IP:

Fun Fact to Know and Tell: white vinegar dissolves mineral deposits. Can we apply this Fun Fact to your dishwasher? Let’s find out!

You can try this exciting experiment at home, it’s fun for the whole family! Start the dishwasher (without any detergent or dishes) and let it fill with water. Once it starts spraying, open the dishwasher door and remove a quart of water from the basin and add a quart of white vinegar. Close the door and let the dishwasher run through the cycle. When the dishwasher stops, open the door and… well, I don’t want to spoil it for you, but if you take a deep whiff, you’ll find out what life is.

P.S. — For a less exciting version of this experiment, you could use citric acid crystals instead of white vinegar. But then, you wouldn’t find out what life is.


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