Dishwashers for Hard Water – Buyer’s Guide

If you like to keep your clean dishes spotless, dealing with hard water can be quite a challenge. The harder your water is, the more stains you have to clean. But, there is a way you can alleviate this – dishwashers for hard water!

And while there are plenty of time-proven methods aimed to reduce the effects of hard water on your dishwashers — such as acid additives or special decalcifiers – the first step towards achieving a more consistent cleaning with high grain water is finding the right dishwasher. So, stay a while and check out our reviews and FAQ to find the best model for your home!

A person working on unloading the dishwasher

Things to Consider Before We Begin

When looking for a dishwasher compatible with hard water conditions, the most important aspects to pay attention to are the materials and cleaning power.

Dishwashers that come with full stainless steel tubs are generally more durable and handle the wear and tear well. This makes them a perfect choice for households that run on water with high amounts of minerals like calcium and magnesium. However, hybrid tubs that incorporate polypropylene elements in the tub’s floor or lining can also hold their own against the effects of hard water.

Other important features to consider are the sound rating and capacity of a dishwasher. The sound rating is measured in dBA, or A-weighted decibels, describing the loudness of sound as perceived by the human ear. Quiet to medium noise levels of a dishwasher during regular operation ranges from 45 dBA to 55 dBA which is equivalent to a whisper or quiet conversation respectively.

Top-Rated Dishwashers for Hard Water

PhotoProductTub materialsLoading capacity
(in place settings)
Details
Frigidaire FFCD2413USFrigidaire FFCD2413USStainless steel14View on Amazon
SPT SD-9263WSPT SD-9263WStainless steel8View on Amazon
Frigidaire FFCD2418USFrigidaire FFCD2418USStainless steel14View on Amazon
BLACK+DECKER BCD6W BLACK+DECKER BCD6W Stainless steel6View on Amazon
Danby DDW1804EBSSDanby DDW1804EBSSStainless steel8View on Amazon

Loading capacity of a dishwasher is typically described in the settings – it is the number of dishware items you can load in a dishwasher for a single run. For full-size dishwashers, this number ranges from 8 to 16 and even higher with heavy-duty machines. Plenty of modern dishwashers are also equipped with a third rack to improve upon the standard two-rack systems, though it is mainly done for storage organization.

Best Dishwashers for Hard Water – Reviews

Frigidaire FFCD2413US Dishwasher for Hard Water

Frigidaire FFCD2413US Dishwasher for Hard Water

The Frigidaire FFCD2413US is a great all-around dishwasher that handles hard water with ease thanks to the tech behind it. The stainless steel resists all sorts of damage, and the self-cleaning filters will help you out with the maintenance. On top of that, you get to control the dishwasher through an intricate, yet simple, control panel. So, whether it’s a delayed start or an extra rinsing, you get to set it up with ease.

This 24″ dishwasher for hard water comes as a built-in, meaning that it can fit virtually any kitchen out there. When it comes to the dishwasher’s capacity, we are talking about the rating of 14 places. If you and your family cook a lot, this dishwasher will be able to follow that dynamic. You also get to dry out the dishes faster with the drying mode, just don’t expect them to be dry after a single cycle.

The doors of this dishwasher use the stay-put system, so you can rely on the extra stability while loading/unloading. Both racks are easily managed as well, while you may spend some extra time installing the dishwasher (since it is a built-in model). Overall, this Frigidaire can handle larger loads of dishes, all while enduring the effects of hard water.

Features:

  • Loading capacity: 14 place settings
  • Number of cycles: 3
  • Number of racks: 2
  • Exterior Finish: Stainless steel
  • Control type: Full panel
  • Energy rating: Energy Star

Pros:

  • Larger loading capacity
  • Smooth glide bearings
  • Hot drying mode
  • Energy Star Certification
  • Self-cleaning filters

SPT SD-9263W Dishwasher for Hard Water

SPT SD-9263W Dishwasher for Hard Water

Now, If you are tight on space or you have to maneuver around your kitchen a lot, this particular SPT dishwasher might be the solution. It is an 18-inch model, meaning that you can put it almost anywhere. But, don’t let the compact size fool you, this dishwasher comes with all sorts of quality-of-life features. The portable part is just an added bonus, although, you should keep in mind that the capacity is somewhat limited – the place setting is rated at 8.

Firstly, on the top of the front panel, you can see the full control panel that lets you control the cycles, programs, and timers. The dishwasher has a total of 6 programs installed, including heavy, rapid, eco, glass, 90-minute, and normal mode. Once you try them all out, you’ll surely know which mode fits your habits and “dish dynamic”.

This particular dishwasher model handles hard water well thanks to stainless steel parts and the ease of cleaning. One of the most popular features of this particular dishwasher model is that it is incredibly easy to install. Some would say that no plumber is needed with how easy it is. This means that you can move the dishwasher to a new location, or as some people do, use it as an additional dishwasher in the household.

Features:

  • Loading capacity: 8 place settings
  • Number of cycles: 6
  • Number of racks: 2
  • Sound rating: 52 dBA
  • Exterior finish: white
  • Control type: full panel
  • Energy rating: Energy Star

Pros:

  • Super portable
  • Requires no special tools to install
  • Stainless steel interior
  • ENERGY STAR® qualified performance

Frigidaire FFCD2418US Dishwasher for Hard Water

Frigidaire FFCD2418US Dishwasher for Hard Water

This Frigidaire comes with a slight upgrade in features compared to the previous model we talked about. The exterior resembles a standard Frigidaire dishwasher, but this model comes with more cycles (a total of 5). If you cook a lot and you have a hard water issue in your area, you might just find what you need in this machine.

When it comes to loading capacity, we are talking about a 14 place setting, which is more than enough for a regular-sized household. On top of that, this dishwasher for hard water comes with a hard food disposer, aka “you don’t have to rinse every single piece of food before you load it”.

This model also utilizes the heated drying system, making your dishes ready faster. The noise level is rated at 55 dBA.

Maintenance also comes with some features, like the built-in filtration system which, combined with hard food disposal, makes cleaning easier.

Features:

  • Loading capacity: 14 place settings
  • Number of cycles: 5
  • Number of racks: 2
  • Sound rating: 55 dBA
  • Exterior finish: stainless steel
  • Control type: full console
  • Energy rating: Energy Star

Pros:

  • Hard food disposal system
  • Stay-put door
  • ENERGY STAR® certified operation
  • Sanitation cycles certified by NSF®
  • Durable interior and exterior

BLACK+DECKER BCD6W Compact Countertop Dishwasher for Hard Water

BLACK+DECKER BCD6W Compact Countertop Dishwasher for Hard Water

You probably know Black+Decker as an industrial tool manufacturer. However, they have their hands on appliances as well. This countertop dishwasher for hard water brings all the rigid and durable technology along, with a modern twist, of course. While it is a countertop dishwasher for hard water, its powerful cycles (a total of 7) will get the job done quickly, eliminating the stains that mineral deposits left behind.

Connecting this dishwasher is easy thanks to its quick-connect system that doesn’t call for a plumber or any special plumbing work. The washer is controlled through the panel and the LED screen. Once you are done, you can easily store it below the counter since it weighs only 46 lbs.

The seven modes include Normal, Intensive, Eco, Glass, 90 Minutes, Rapid & Soak. This dishwasher also features a child lock system that prevents children from accidentally operating it. Maintenance is also made easy thanks to the removable filter that you can just rinse under some running water (or wash it if necessary).

Features:

  • Loading capacity: 6 place settings
  • Number of cycles: 8
  • Number of racks: 1
  • Sound rating: 60 dBA
  • Exterior finish: PrintShield™ stainless steel
  • Control type: LED display with a control panel

Pros:

  • Super portable at only 46 lbs.
  • Durable materials
  • 7 Powerful heavy-duty cycles
  • No direct plumbing needed to install

Danby 18 Inch Built in Dishwasher for Hard Water

Danby 18 Inch Built in Dishwasher for Hard Water

This Danby dishwasher for hard water packs a bit of everything. It utilizes modern technology and sturdy materials to deliver results even in areas with hard water. Also, it is not a big and robust dishwasher that takes up half the kitchen – it’s only 18 inches in size.

The dishwasher is controlled via an intuitive control panel that comes with a built-in screen. Here, you can pick one of the 6 cycles which include Heavy, Normal, Eco, Glass, Rapid, and Rinse. Moreover, you can control the heat – a total of 4 temperature modes are available, allowing you to adapt to the mess that needs to be washed off.

The overall sound levels are low, clocking at 52 dBA. When it comes to power rating, this particular dishwasher for hard water comes with an Energy Star rating as well. So, if you are looking for a potent dishwasher that can withstand the challenges of high-mineral water in your area, this Danby might just hit the spot.

Features:

  • Loading capacity: 8 place settings
  • Number of cycles: 6 + 4
  • Number of racks: 2
  • Sound rating: 52 dBA
  • Exterior finish: Anti-fingerprint stainless steel
  • Control type: Full panel with an LED screen
  • Energy rating: Energy Star

Pros:

  • 6 wash cycles plus 4 temperature modes
  • Silent operation
  • Durable tub
  • ENERGY STAR® certified run

FAQ About The Best Dishwashers For Hard Water

How do I remove hard water deposits from my dishwasher?

While many prevention techniques may help you stove off future hard water deposits, the first stage of this process is removing the already accumulated stains from your dishwasher.

There are a few steps to cleaning your appliance of hard water residue, all of them quite simple. For this, you will need common household items like white vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, Lime-A-Way, or Borax. Additional tools include a sponge, a screwdriver for the filter, and a toothbrush (preferably new and soft), or a small cleaning brush, also soft.

Baking soda, vinegar, and a cleaning brush on a table

How to clean a dishwasher for hard water?

  • Clean the filter located at the bottom of the dishwasher’s tub. The best way to do it is to remove it first (some filters need to be unscrewed first), then rinse it with hot running water while carefully scrubbing it with a soft toothbrush. Adding special dishwashing detergent may help the process.
  • Get a dishwasher safe glass and fill it with white vinegar, though not to the brim. Place the container on the top rack of the empty dishwasher and run a normal cycle.
  • After the vinegar stage has completed, add regular baking soda to the tub’s floor and run a short cycle.
  • Avoid using the newly cleaned dishwasher until the next day and leave the door open overnight. This will vent the odors from your improvised cleaning agents and remove the traces of hard water buildup.

How does hard water affect your dishwasher?

Hard water generally lowers the cleaning quality of a dishwashing machine. This includes salt deposits, scaling, murky stains, and cloudy glass effects. More serious hardware damage may occur only after continuous exposure to hard water over a long period, though it also depends on the grain count in your water.

High grain hard water contains high amounts of magnesium chloride and calcium chloride which can result in the buildup of deposits on the interior parts of your dishwasher. Over time, the dishwasher’s motors, pumps, and heat-generating elements become particularly vulnerable to lime deposits. If not removed in time, such deposits can lead to premature rust of the tub and even motor failure.

How do you get hard water stains off glasses in the dishwasher?

One of the easiest ways to remove hard water smudges from your glassware is to soak them in a special solution. You can whip it up at home by mixing two cups of white vinegar with warm soapy water.

Once the mixture is ready, submerge the glasses for 10-30 minutes. The soak time depends on how tough the hard water stains are and how much of the total surface they cover.

After a good soak, take out the glasses and wipe them with a soft sponge or cloth. Rinse each glass well to remove all traces of the solution.

What to use in a dishwasher for hard water?

Since the issue of cloudy glassware and stained dishwasher tubs is quite common in areas with hard water, a few foolproof methods have been accepted as the top go-to DIY solutions. The most commonly used additives include white vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, and special cleaning agents.

Normally vinegar is poured into a glass and placed inside the tub, but some tutorials recommend adding it directly into the liquid detergent tray, though it could be harmful to some dishwashers. Baking soda is usually peppered over the bottom tub surface for maximum effect.

What dishwasher is best for hard water?

If you live in an area with hard water supply but your household still requires a dishwasher, your best option would be a model with full stainless steel or hybrid interior and heavy-duty wash support.

Most leading industry brands offer a whole series of affordable yet powerful dishwashers suitable for hard water use, but which of them is the right option for you depends entirely on the priorities of your household—whether you put style, functionality, or durability above all else. The perfect balance of budget, performance, and design is possible to strike once you invite more practicality into your process.

Empty and clean racks of a dishwasher

In Conclusion

Going through all these dishwashers for hard water can be a cumbersome task. That is why we hope that our reviews and guidelines will be there for you to help you make the best choice. If you know that your area has issues with hard water, there is no reason not to get a sturdy dishwasher that can deal with it. Factor in your habits and wishes, and pick the dishwasher for hard water that matches them.

At The Home Dweller, we aim to get you tangible info on house appliances and homestead topics. So, if you found this article helpful, please share it with someone that is in need of a good dishwasher that works with hard water too.

About the author

Donna Djuragic

Donna Djuragic is a crafty blogger who's always on the lookout for ways to make her homestead nicer, better organized, and more functional. She enjoys reading, gardening, home improvement, and finding pragmatic solutions to common homeowner problems. Feel free to get in touch via donna@thehomedweller.com.

P.S. - Donna loves to hear from her readers. Be sure to leave a comment below!

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