Detergent- Most dishwasher detergent contains complex phosphates (dissolves calcium and magnesium ions to prevent hard-water type lime scale deposits) , as they have several properties that aid in effective cleaning. However, the same chemicals have been removed from laundry detergents in US as a result of concerns raised about the increase in algal blooms in waterways caused by increasing phosphate levels. To prevent hard-water deposit the dishwasher should either be recharged with salt, adjusted appropriately for the hardness of the supply water or possibly equipped with a water softener.
Lime Scale Deposit- If your dishwasher has run out of the salt that recharges the ion exchange resin that softens the water, and the water supply is "hard", lime scale deposits can appear on all items, but are specially visible on glassware. It can be removed by cleaning with home products like white vinegar or lemon juice, or you can use a proprietary lime scale removal agent.
White Silicate Filming - This film starts as an oil-film effect on glassware, and progresses into a "milky" or "cloudy" appearance (which is not a deposit) that cannot be polished off or removed like lime scale. It's formed due to the detergent being strongly alkaline (basic) and glass dissolves slowly in alkaline aqueous solution. Components found in dishwasher detergents can chemically scour the glass, causing tiny crystals, which can precipitate further crystal growth that can turn entire glasses cloudy.
Preventive dishwasher maintenance reduces the amount of dishwasher service and prolongs the life of the dishwasher. It's a good preventive maintenance practice to clean dishwasher door seal often and to run dishwasher cleaner occasionally.
Many new dishwashers feature microprocessor-controlled, sensor-assisted wash cycles that adjust the wash duration to the quantity of dirty dishes (sensed by changes in water temperature) or the amount of dirt in the rinse water (sensed chemically/optically). This can save water and energy if the user runs a partial load. The heat inside the dishwasher dries the contents after the final hot rinse. Plastic and non-stick items may not dry properly compared to china and glass, which hold the heat better. Some dishwashers incorporate a fan to improve drying.
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