How to Remove Calcium Deposits From Dishwasher

Calcium deposits in your dishwasher can affect its efficiency and the cleanliness of your dishes. If you’ve noticed white, chalky spots on your glassware or a dull film on your dishes, it’s likely that calcium deposits are the culprit. Fortunately, removing these deposits is not a complicated task. In this article, we will guide you through the process of effectively removing calcium deposits from your dishwasher, ensuring it continues to function optimally and your dishes come out sparkling clean.

Understanding Calcium Deposits

Before we dive into the removal process, let’s understand what calcium deposits are and why they occur.

What Are Calcium Deposits?

Calcium deposits, also known as limescale, are a buildup of minerals, primarily calcium and magnesium, that accumulate over time on various surfaces, including the interior of your dishwasher. These minerals are present in hard water and can stick to your dishwasher’s heating element, spray arms, and other components.

Why Do They Form?

Calcium deposits form when hard water is heated and the minerals it contains precipitate onto surfaces. Over time, these deposits can hinder the dishwasher’s performance and lead to issues like clogged spray nozzles and reduced water flow.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Before you begin the cleaning process, gather the following tools and materials:

  1. Vinegar: White vinegar is a natural and effective solution for removing calcium deposits.
  2. Baking Soda: Baking soda will help scrub away stubborn deposits.
  3. Toothbrush or Soft Brush: You’ll need this for scrubbing hard-to-reach areas.
  4. Soft Cloth: To wipe down the dishwasher’s interior.
  5. Gloves: For hand protection.
  6. Safety Glasses: To protect your eyes.

Step-by-Step Cleaning Process

Now that you have your materials ready, let’s get started on removing those pesky calcium deposits from your dishwasher.

Step 1: Empty the Dishwasher

Start by removing all dishes from the dishwasher and ensuring it’s completely empty.

Step 2: Vinegar Wash

  • Fill a bowl with white vinegar and place it on the top rack of your empty dishwasher.
  • Run a full cycle with the dishwasher set to the hottest water temperature possible.
  • The vinegar will help dissolve and loosen the calcium deposits.

Step 3: Baking Soda Scrub

  • Sprinkle a cup of baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher.
  • Using a toothbrush or soft brush, scrub any remaining deposits or stains.
  • Pay special attention to the spray arms and nozzles.

Step 4: Vinegar Rinse

  • Pour another cup of vinegar into the dishwasher’s bottom.
  • Run a short cycle with hot water again.
  • This will ensure any remaining deposits are dissolved and flushed away.

Step 5: Final Wipe Down

  • After the cycle is complete, wear gloves and use a soft cloth to wipe down the interior surfaces.
  • Inspect for any remaining deposits and scrub if necessary.
  • Be thorough, especially around the door and rubber seals.


Regular maintenance and cleaning of your dishwasher are essential for keeping it in top working condition. By following these simple steps and using common household items like vinegar and baking soda, you can easily remove calcium deposits and ensure your dishwasher continues to perform efficiently, leaving your dishes spotless.

Don’t let calcium deposits affect the performance of your dishwasher any longer. Try these cleaning steps today and enjoy a hassle-free dishwashing experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Q: How often should I clean my dishwasher to prevent calcium deposits?
    • A: It’s recommended to clean your dishwasher every 1-2 months, depending on water hardness.
  2. Q: Can I use lemon juice instead of vinegar to remove calcium deposits?
    • A: Yes, you can. Lemon juice has similar acidic properties and can be used as an alternative to vinegar.
  3. Q: What causes cloudy glassware even after cleaning the dishwasher?
    • A: Cloudy glassware can result from hard water minerals. Consider using a rinse aid to prevent this.
  4. Q: Is it necessary to remove the dishwasher’s spray arms for cleaning?
    • A: Typically, it’s not necessary. Most deposits can be removed without disassembling the spray arms.
  5. Q: How can I prevent future calcium deposits in my dishwasher?
    • A: Using a water softener and regularly cleaning your dishwasher can help prevent future calcium deposits.

Now that you have the knowledge to tackle calcium deposits in your dishwasher, you can ensure your appliance remains in excellent condition for years to come.

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