Home Crochet baby clothesDescale dishwasher in 10 steps - instructions with 4 home remedies

Descale dishwasher in 10 steps - instructions with 4 home remedies

  • Material and preparation
    • Home remedy in detail
  • Descale the dishwasher
    • frequency
  • Consequences of calcium deposits
  • Prevent lime
  • Related Links

To a modern kitchen belongs to the dishwasher as the washer-dryer in the bathroom. It saves time and money, but it can calcify when used frequently, which under which the performance of the dishwasher suffers noticeably. For this reason, you will need to descale your appliance over and over again to improve the washing performance and to protect the machine from possible damage.

Descaling is an important process to free your dishwasher from the buildup of limescale that may occur during use. German water is hard and extremely calcareous, which can cause permanent damage to equipment that uses water for cleaning. Due to the high temperature development during the rinsing process, the lime can deposit more quickly and attacks, in particular, heating elements and pipes whose conductivity is limited. This leads to higher energy consumption, a poor cleaning performance and also limescale on dishes, cutlery and wine glasses. Thanks to numerous home remedies, you can easily descale the machine yourself.

Material and preparation

When it comes to descaling the dishwasher, all you need is a suitable detergent and a little time. In addition to the classic chemical funds from the supermarket or the drugstore, home remedies are an effective way to finally get the dishwasher lime-free. These can be found in almost every household and are usually immediately at hand, without you having to go again.

You need this:

  • Descaler (home remedy or from the trade)
  • gentle dishwashing liquid
  • sponge
  • several towels to wipe
  • Dishwasher salt

Home remedy in detail

If you choose a home remedy instead of a finished decalcifier, there are a few options you may even have in the closet.

This includes:

  • citric acid
  • Vinegar essence (at least 25 percent acidity)
  • bicarbonate of soda
  • baking powder

Here you must make sure that these ingredients work together best, that is, you have to choose a combination of the different components. The following applies: Put a corrosive liquid into the machine together with a leavening agent. However, this does not mean mixing the ingredients, but adding them separately to the dishwasher so that the effect can be used against the lime.

Citric acid and vinegar essence

When choosing the acid that will etch away the lime, you have the choice between citric acid and vinegar essence. You can get citric acid from fresh lemons, which is quite a lot of work, since you need at least eight to ten tablespoons, or buy it ready. An advantage of citric acid is the fresh aroma, which is noticeable after descaling the dishwasher. As an alternative, the Essigessenz should be mentioned. Normal vinegar is too weak for the lime, so vinegar essence must be used with at least 25 percent acid. The disadvantage of acetic acid is the rather strong odor, which disappears only after several rinses.

Tip: Essigessenz is easily found in any supermarket, even if you have overlooked it at first glance. Essigessenz of Surig or Kühne you get already for a price of less than two euros.

Soda and baking soda

These leavening agents differ little in their effect and more in the composition. While soda is a naturally occurring salt, sodium hydrogen carbonate (NaHCO3), which was previously used by humans, baking soda is based on soda and is slightly stronger in overall effect. Both loosen the lime, so to speak, so that the acid can finally remove it. If you decide to use soda, you need to add a larger amount of acid to the dishwasher because baking soda already contains an acid but is not completely effective on its own. Soda is usually cheaper than baking soda, as it is not enriched with other substances.

Tip: If you want to opt for a particularly environmentally friendly variant, you should bet on the soda. Soda is environmentally friendly and also non-toxic, making it ideal for decalcifying.

Descale the dishwasher

1. Before you can begin descaling, you must first remove any dishes and cutlery from the machine. Because of the powerful effects of home remedies, they could be attacked, especially if you are washing wooden items, such as a fork with a wooden handle or cutting boards.

2. Before you treat the dishwasher with the home remedies, you must first thoroughly clean them. Simply use dishwashing liquid and a sponge and go over rough spots in the dishwasher. Remove any leftovers and clean the sieves if they are dirty. The less coarse dirt can be found in the dishwasher, the more effectively the descaler works. Pay particular attention to the cleaning of the sieve, the spray arms and seals made of rubber, as this can hide a lot of dirt.

3. After cleaning, you can now begin to descale. If you have opted for a decalcifier from the trade, read the description and dose accordingly. Here are the products of Miele or Sagrotan recommended. Just make sure that they are much more aggressive than the home remedies.

4. If you have decided on home remedies, you only have to fill them in. To do this, place the baking soda or soda directly in the machine on the floor and the liquid substances in the compartment for the actual detergent. Dosage for the acids are eight to ten tablespoons, as well as for the powder.

5. Now set the machine to a wash with a temperature of 60 ° C. Do not use the pre-wash, as this would only flush away the home remedies and prevent descaling.

6. If your dishwasher does not have a program without a pre-wash or you can not display it, you should do the following: start the rinse without descaling and wait until the pre-wash has finished. This can be recognized either by the LCD display on modern machines or the light above the symbol of the pre-wash cycle. Depending on the manufacturer, the symbols differ, so you have to look up the instructions for use of your machine. Pause the program and open the machine. Now put the home remedies in the dishwasher and continue the program.

7. At the end of the program, be sure to inspect the inside of the machine for stubborn limescale deposits.

8. If limescale is present, mix some acid and powder in a bowl. Use a sponge or cloth to rub the solution into the deposits. The stronger you do this, the faster the stains are removed.

9. Then start a short rinse program again to remove the last stains. But you do not have to fill in a new decalcifier. Just make sure that it is set hot enough, also 60 ° C.

Step 10 is also recommended if you have chosen vinegar essence as a decalcifier. Essigessenz smells quite strong even after the rinse and can be weakened by an additional program in the smell. After a few rinses, the vinegar smell in the dishwasher is completely gone.


Of course, how often you should descale the machine depends on the water hardness of your region. However, it is always recommended to clean the dishwasher thoroughly with a descaler once a year. If your water is particularly hard, you should descale semi-annually to prevent sedimentation and possible damage.

Consequences of calcium deposits

Limescale in the dishwasher is not a reason to be worried, but there may be several problems with lack of cleaning and too much lime. The biggest problem with too much lime in the dishwasher is an increased energy expenditure. The lime worsens the conductivity of the water and also the effect of the detergent. The dishwasher then has to generate more heat, which will make itself felt in the electricity bill at the same time. The second problem is the formation of unpleasant odors, as lime binds odorants. In other words, if your machine smells worse and worse, it's time for a decalcification.

Note: In extreme cases, it may even damage the heating elements or seals of the dishwasher, which greatly affects the functioning of the machine. Therefore, you should never give up the descaling.

Prevent lime

Use of dishwasher salt

You can also prevent the deposit of lime by using dishwasher salt. Dishwasher salt is designed specifically for this purpose and has special properties that set it apart from ordinary table or sea salt:

  • Dishwasher salt is sodium chloride, which is typical salt
  • contains neither iron nor carbonates, the salts of carbonic acid
  • As a result, the hardness of the water is not increased as otherwise the case
  • Salt binds ions of calcium and magnesium, which lowers the hardness of the water

Dishwasher salt is recommended even when using multitabs, as they do not contain enough softeners and therefore have an insufficient effect. The salt is filled into the water softener and is slowly consumed there until you have to refill it. Due to the coarse grain, the granules can be used for a long time and also do not clog the water softener. Fill in the salt, making sure the flap closes easily. As a result, do not use too much salt. On average, one filling is sufficient for four weeks with daily use of the dishwasher.

Tip: The best salts for detergents are from the manufacturers Broxal, Somat and Finish. Please never use normal salt for it, otherwise it will clog up the system.

Set water hardness

Another measure to effectively prevent lime is to adjust the water hardness. Many modern dishwashers in the higher price range have a function that allows you to adjust the hardness of the water. It is advantageous if you ask the competent waterworks which water hardness is normal in their environment. Then you can optimize the setting and thus reduce the descaling all at once.

Tip: Each manufacturer has a different approach, by which you can adjust the hardness of the water. Here is worth a look in the manual or the respective customer support.

Further care tips

You can effectively prevent the formation of lime at regular intervals by thoroughly cleaning it. It is important to keep running a high program every now and then, as this kills bacteria and fungi thoroughly and thus reduces the deposit of lime. You should not have any dishes in the dishwasher, as with the descaling process, and you should remove food debris and coarse dirt in advance. The regular cleaning when clearing the machine is of course equally important and should never be neglected. This works wonders and you are less likely to be suddenly surprised by numerous calcifications.

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