Find out what sort of water your area has, and read about protecting your machine from hard-water minerals.
Most metropolitan areas in Australia have soft to medium water which means that adding dishwasher salt is not necessary. The most populated hard water areas are around Adelaide and parts of Brisbane. Other areas of Australia do suffer from hard water but this can be very localised, water source dependent and even seasonal.
You probably know if you live in a hard-water area, because you’ll have limescale in your kettle or around your taps. If you’re not sure, take a look at the map to find out.
What’s hard water?
Hard water has calcium and magnesium dissolved in it. These minerals come from the kind of rock the water filters through before it gets to water-treatment plants and your taps. Hard water is harmless to drink, but it’s not so good for household appliances like dishwashers, and for keeping them clean.
I’m in a hard water area. What can I do to help my dishwasher work better?
Make sure you always use dishwasher salt, and enough detergent. If you don’t use the right amount of detergent, you’ll get a sticky curd instead of suds.
Rinse aid is really important too. Even if you’re using tablets that already have rinse aid in them, you need more rinse aid in very hard water areas to stop glasses getting streaks or spots.
Regularly using a dishwasher cleaner will help minimise limescale building up.