Chronic Over-Soaping Syndrome in Dishwashers and Washing Machines
One of the biggest problems facing homeowners today is that dishwashers and washing machines fail due to the overuse of concentrated soaps. If you want to understand why this is happening and what you can do to reverse it, then you are in the right place.
Soaps for dishwashers and washing machines have been transforming for almost a generation. Soaps have changed from a beneficial boring product like a powder detergent into an adulterated liquid emulsion and now into ever more bizarre hyper-concentrated pellets that look like candy.
If you want to have less stress in your life, don't buy soap that looks like candy. Nothing good can come of that. I would take it even a step further. Companies that choose to package soaps, which are poisonous if ingested, in clever bite-size nuggets that look like candy, should be put out of business. The only way to do that is for all of us to stop buying those products.
In Pennsylvania, the average home has hard water. The water that comes from wells and municipalities has lots of calcium in it. Using too much concentrated, "candified" soaps in a calcium-rich hard-water situation leads to buildup on the surfaces of washing machines and dishwashers.
This buildup affects the health of seals, o-rings, pumps, motors, and gaskets. When seals, o-rings, and gaskets begin to fail, soapy water enters the electrical areas and damages components like pumps and motors. The effects of the buildup and damage can lead to premature failure of the appliance and the need for expensive repairs.
If you are having cleaning issues in your washer or dishwasher, if you notice a white coating or film in the dishwasher, if you feel like your washing machine is stinky, you are experiencing symptoms of Chronic Over-Soaping Syndrome.
My recommendation is to throw out all liquid soaps, gels, and pods immediately. Then, buy the least concentrated powder soaps available. For washers, you can get Tide Powder here. For sensitive skin, I recommend Dreft Powder. For dishwashers, Cascade Powder is best.
The next thing is to dose the soap accurately to prevent over-soaping. Even though the links provided are to the least concentrated soaps available on the market, I still think they are too concentrated. It is for that reason that I recommend using half a scoop (approximately 1/2 measuring cup) of powder Tide or Dreft for your washing machine. For the dishwasher, I recommend using 2 Tablespoons of Cascade powder
To get rid of the residue, build up and smell in your dishwasher and laundry machine, I recommend cleaning the appliance internally by running a hot empty cycle using citric acid as the cleansing agent. Citric acid looks a lot like sugar and can be purchased online or at your local store. I like Millard Citric Acid.
When doing a deep clean on a washing machine, measure 5 cups of citric acid and pour directly into the tub or basket. Then start an empty hot cycle. You can repeat the deep clean procedure up to 3 times in the first week. Then up to once a week as needed for the next month. By then, you should only need to do it quarterly.
When doing a deep clean on your dishwasher, measure 3 cups of citric acid and pour directly into the sump ( the center bottom of the dishwasher). Then run a normal hot cycle. You can repeat the deep clean procedure twice in the first week and then once a week for up to a month. After that, you should rarely need to deep clean.
One final soap recommendation for dishwashers, in addition to using 2 Tablespoons of Cascade powder, I also recommend using 3 Tablespoons of citric acid with every cycle. The citric acid can be added to the pre-wash booster spot, added to the soap tray, or put in the very bottom of the dishwasher tub. This extra citric acid will help with cleaning and prevent buildup from occurring.
Lastly, I prefer an all-natural rinse aid over the purple, blue, and green chemicals sold in the store for dishwashers. I recommend using lemon juice as an alternative to the chemical-based rinse aids. Lemon juice acts as an astringent to aid in drying the dishes. It also leaves Vitamin C on your plates and cups, which is a very healthy side-effect. You can buy lemon juice here.
You can purchase all of the products mentioned in this article by visiting My Appliance Apocalypse Survival Tool-Kit. I do not profit in any way from your use or purchase of these products. The links are not affiliated or commissioned.
PS. Don't put vinegar and baking soda in an appliance to clean it. All this will do is expedite the demise of your appliances.