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5 Tips for Cleaning Stains From a Dishwasher

Rinse Aid Rescue

There's a reason why modern dishwashers have an additional container next to the detergent cup. Rinse aids are now highly recommended to help prevent hard water stains or other general dishwasher residue. Made up of ethanol, citric acid, sodium, dyes and acrylic acid polymers, rinse aids break down the salts in hard water, preventing soap clumps from sticking to dishes during the rinse cycle. The National Institutes of Health report that most rinse aids are biodegradable, and while they're neither carcinogenic nor dangerous if used properly, they can cause eye and skin irritation following prolonged exposure (and should never be ingested directly, of course).

If you're not sure how you feel about adding additional chemicals to your dishwasher, there are other options. Add distilled white vinegar to the extra compartment, and see if that helps your cloudiness. No extra pocket in the door? Just place a cup of white vinegar facing up on the bottom rack before you run the dishwasher. You may be surprised by the results!