Best detergents/Soaps for hard water - Mothering Forums
The Mindful Home > Best detergents/Soaps for hard water
Nillarilla's Avatar Nillarilla 12:41 AM 06-09-2010
I need a detergent for the dishwasher and an HE compatible laundry detergent. As natural as possible and not too expensive would be great. I have really hard water and getting clean dishes and clothes is a lot of work. I know I need a water softener added to the system but in the meantime?

Katie T's Avatar Katie T 02:46 AM 06-09-2010
I have really hard water and use Charlies Soap. It isn't that pricey (cheaper than tide) and works great without anything added. Note: it depends on the makeup of your hard water what will work for you, so just cause it is great for me it might not be for you.

I have tried it in the dishwasher but after a couple cycles it quits working, not sure why. Anyways, no great advise there as we still use the nasty Finish in the dishwasher.
Lineymom's Avatar Lineymom 10:14 AM 06-09-2010
we have hard water and I like soapnuts. I buy the naturoli brand in bulk from amazon. I think I am running about the same for when I used to use all free and clear. Been using them for 8 months for dipes and everything. You can use them in dishwasher, but I don't have one

Can't get more natural than soap that grows on a tree!
cristeen's Avatar cristeen 03:32 AM 06-10-2010
I love soap nuts for laundry, too. Didn't know you could use them int he dishwasher though.

Honestly, the dishwashing soaps I've had the best luck with aren't available in Canada. The Trader Joes house brand (either liquid or powder) with straight white vinegar in the rinse aid. Been using that for years. The regular old powder stuff my sister gave us when she gave us the dishwasher always left granules stuck to the dishes.
thewaggonerfamily's Avatar thewaggonerfamily 08:56 PM 06-10-2010
Rockin Green Hard Rock formula for laundry. Ours is uber hard and we have a FLer
Purex free worked okay.

A glug or two of white vinegar in the dishwasher works awesome! We killed 2 or 3 DWers before someone clued us in to that. It takes a week or 3 to clear all the buld up, but after that its smooth sailing. And we had tried EVERYTHING before that and nothing else worked.
Katie T's Avatar Katie T 12:27 AM 06-11-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by thewaggonerfamily View Post

A glug or two of white vinegar in the dishwasher works awesome! We killed 2 or 3 DWers before someone clued us in to that. It takes a week or 3 to clear all the buld up, but after that its smooth sailing. And we had tried EVERYTHING before that and nothing else worked.
Fill me in, what do you mean you killed a few dw before someone clued you in. Our is acting up and if I can stop doing something I shouldn't be doing I wanna know lol. I also have dishes come out dirty from only using straight white vinegar as a rinse aid. Is there a trick or does it just no work for some peoples water?
sunnysandiegan's Avatar sunnysandiegan 01:30 AM 06-11-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie T View Post
Fill me in, what do you mean you killed a few dw before someone clued you in. Our is acting up and if I can stop doing something I shouldn't be doing I wanna know lol. I also have dishes come out dirty from only using straight white vinegar as a rinse aid. Is there a trick or does it just no work for some peoples water?
I cannot answer what the PP meant, but I can tell you that filling the rinse aid dispenser is not enough white vinegar for hard water areas. We have to pour it directly in the bottom of the dishwasher. For awhile, we were using a cup or more each time we ran it! Now it is working much, much better and we're only using 1-2 "glugs". (love that term)

Also, I read something somewhere recently (nice description, eh? ) that suggests the sprayer arms in the dishwasher may be clogged with calcium deposits when your dishes come out icky in hard water areas. It depends on what mineral is IN your hard water, obviously. We have very high calcium in our water, so I am actually planning to google calcium build up in dishwasher in a few minutes in order for us to figure it out and fix it this weekend.
Pepper44's Avatar Pepper44 01:52 AM 06-11-2010
I use Purex free and clear and Calgon in the wash, then vinegar in the rinse. Works great!! Our water is extremely hard from limestone in our area.

The dishwasher is another story. We use nasty Cascade tabs in it and it has to have vinegar in the rinse aid in order to not make this scary grinding sound. Even with the vinegar it still doesn't wash great--we have to totally decrust every dish before putting it in the dishwasher to wash. I'm going to check the sprayers to see if they are clogged with mineral build-up and try dumping more vinegar in the dishwasher!
thewaggonerfamily's Avatar thewaggonerfamily 10:08 PM 06-11-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie T View Post
Fill me in, what do you mean you killed a few dw before someone clued you in. Our is acting up and if I can stop doing something I shouldn't be doing I wanna know lol. I also have dishes come out dirty from only using straight white vinegar as a rinse aid. Is there a trick or does it just no work for some peoples water?

The PP is right, the whole thing was clogged with mineral deposits. Even the heating element had a 1/2' of crust on the heating element. I was not cleaning the dishes at all and leaving a mineral sand and haze on everything. I tried everything, manually disassembling all the sprayer arms and anything else I could disassemble and chipping it off, CLR, dishwasher cleaners multiple times, nothing worked. The PP is also is right, a little vinegar in the rinse dispenser is not going to cut it. You need at least a cup, if not more poured in the bottom of the DW before you start it. Every single time. For us, it took a few weeks (and we do 2 loads a day, usually!) before it was all better. I'd say at least a few gallons of vinegar run through. If you stick with it, you should see some improvement after 8-10 loads. Once you get it all cleared out, you can cut back on the vinegar in each load. (Dunno, maybe 1/2 cup?) We just glug it in the bottom of the DW after we put the detergent pak in the dispenser. But first I think you have to do the work of cleaning out the buildup, and it just takes time. Our latest DW we started doing the vinegar since the beginning and we have had no build up and no problems. Ocassionally if I forget the vinegar a lot or run out for a bit, I need to up the amount I put in for a few loads. HTH!
Nillarilla's Avatar Nillarilla 01:58 AM 06-12-2010
Ok so more vinegar in the dishwasher got it! No I gotta go to costco and stock up. There is a local cloth diaper supplier selling rockin green. I think I will get some and give it a go.
Up