The Best Dishwashing Detergent for Hard Water

Sara Loving

Hard water can leave unsightly deposits on dishes after dishwasher cycles. This filmy residue can make dishes look as though they are dirty. The type or brand of dishwashing detergent doesn't matter because the hard water residue is left during the rinse cycle.

The best option for removing this residue is regular household white vinegar.


The best remedy for hard water is simple household white vinegar. Use your preferred brand of detergent and pour vinegar into the "rinse aid" compartment of your dishwasher. The vinegar will remove any deposits from your dishes during the rinse cycle.

Glass Magic

Glass Magic is a "dishwasher performance booster" product that softens the water in your dishwasher by removing the minerals in the water. Use your preferred brand of detergent and pour 1/4 cup of Glass Magic into the bottom of your dishwasher before running the cycle. Glass Magic is just as effective as vinegar, but it is more expensive.

Dishwasher Magic

Dishwasher Magic is a dishwasher cleaner used occasionally to clean out the hard water minerals from a dishwasher. Using one packet once per week in an empty dishwasher can help prevent hard water residue from building up on dishes.

Water Softener

If you have certified hard water (tested by a lab or the county you live in), then installing a water softener may be a good option. However, this can be expensive and time consuming, but is a good long-term solution to this problem.