What Does Dishwasher Salt Do?

Last Updated on July 19, 2021

What Does Dishwasher Salt Do? As a person who loves to cook with a long list of dishes to try, the number of utensils used in the process are also very huge. Using a dishwasher is a life saver for those tiring moments after cooking. But instead of using only the detergent for washing, adding a dishwasher salt enhances the quality of cleaning. But before knowing the best dishwashers’ salt there might be a question as to “what’s a dishwasher salt and what’s its purpose?” Dishwasher salt is basically a granulated crystalline sodium chloride, the same composition as the table salt we use for regenerating the water softener circuit of households for industrial dishwashers. Generally, the granules of the dishwasher salts are larger than the table salt as it ensures the dissolving capacity of salt and lessens the chances of blockage of the softener unit. It’s analogous to water softener salt as it regenerates ion exchange resins removing the hardness of water that eliminates the calcium and magnesium ions. Using the dishwasher salt suppresses the limescale formation in the machine by softening the water flowing to the cleaning chamber. A better functioning part lessens the chances of malfunctioning of the machine. So, the requirement of changing the part due to internal issues also goes down. Its main usage is to help the resin balls attract more sodium ions and enhance the effectiveness of the absorbing capability of the magnesium and calcium ions by the resin balls. The dishwasher salt also helps in maintaining the hygiene of the machines. The spots and watermarks made due to the consistent usage of the hard water without the dishwasher salt make the machine unhygienic. Not significantly but partially it helps in preventing the limescale deposition and the stains and watermarks not only help the dishwasher machine to be hygienic and clean but also helps the dishes to look cleaner without water stains and be odour free. So after knowing that the dishwasher salt and table salt shares the similar components another question arises as “Are the dishwashers salt and table salt really different? What’s the difference between the table salt and dishwasher salt?” The answer is, yes. The two differ in several ways. Starting with the granule size. The granule size of the dishwasher is relatively a lot thicker than the usual salt. The smaller and finer consistency of the salt results in clogging of the drains when used in the dishwasher. Apart from the granule size the dishwasher and table salt differ in the chemical structure. The dishwasher salt is only made of 100% sodium chloride without other additives, while the table salt has anti caking compounds like magnesium which prevents the lumps formation of salt. The magnesium of table salt may interfere with the functionality of the dishwasher and might catalyse the formation of water stains. Now we know about the structure, the components the usage but a question still we have that, ”How the dishwasher salt works?” It’s simple, the working is based on just simple ionic interaction. The dishwasher may also be helpful for removing water stains, but the important purpose of it is to reset the unit’s built in water softener. Some of the dishwashers manufactured overseas have small resins filled in the water baskets. The resin balls remove the hardness of water by absorbing calcium and magnesium ions, as the two components contribute to hard water stains from the water, thus promoting clean, spot free dishes. The resin balls have negative atomic charge and the dishwasher salt has positive atomic charge, which helps to wash off the resin balls more effectively by ionic interaction. The dishwasher salt’s positive ions which are the sodium ions attract the negative ions of the resin balls so the resin balls attract more of the calcium and mad magnesium ions via ion exchange. After knowing this much we have to know the most basic part as, “How to use the dishwasher salt?” Dishwasher salt has to be used only in dishwashers’ dedicated salt compartment. The salt compartment is located around the bottom basket by the drainage, if the dishwasher has a built-in water compartment. The salt compartment has to be filled with a certain amount of dishwasher salt. Then it has to be closed and shut properly before turning the machine on. Always you have to make sure that you should not use the salt compartment to fill the detergent as it may damage the dishwasher’s water softening system. Every time make sure to use respective compartments to fill the detergent and dishwashers’ salt. Now the question arises about the amount we need to use in order to remove the hardness and prevent any damages of the dishwashers’ water softening compartment and keep the dishwasher perfectly fine. That is , “ How much dishwasher salt do we need to use in the dishwasher?” To know how much salt you need for machines to work out you must check the packaging of the dishwasher. It’s always recommended to use a measuring cup and funnel to measure the perfect amount of salt to be put inside the dishwasher. It’s always recommended to leave a gap of 1cm from the top of the dishwasher salt compartment, so that there will be no blockage to close the lid or cover of the dishwasher salt compartment. It’s always advised not to overfill the salt compartment. Many companies have an indicative light to let you know about the amount of dishwasher salt required in the machine. If the indicator light is on that means your machine is running low on dishwasher salt. But if your machine has the right amount of dishwasher salt then the indicator light won’t turn on. After knowing all the crucial things now it’s time to find the best dishwasher salt which will be best for your dishwasher. Here’s a list of few dishwasher salts:

Dishwasher salt name

Packaging amount

Link to check on amazon

Good Habit Premium dishwasher salt

4.65 pounds

Finish Dishwasher softener salt

6.61 pounds

Miele Care Collection Dishwasher Reactivation salt

9.9 lbs

#1. Good Habit Premium Dishwasher Salt:

  • The prior feature of this dishwasher is that it’s compatible with all kinds of dishwasher brands. It works with every brand like Bosch, Whirlpool, Thermador, Miele, Cove, Subzero, Wolf, Danby and all other brands.
  • As it’s made up of 100% pure sodium chloride it ensures the highest possible performance. It also prevents any kind of blockage as it has no additives. The salt helps to reactivate the dishwashers softener. So, helps in keeping the longevity of the machine.
  • It’s super convenient to use as it comes in a resealable packaging. It’s packaging just requires putting the product in the dishwasher salt compartment and it’s ready to use.
  • It’s premium quality helps in keeping the sparkle and shine of the dishes as well as glasses.
  • It comes in a package of 11 x 7.9 x 2.2 inches; 4.65 Pounds.

Flaws :-

  • Despite of it’s mention of best working with all the brands of dishwashers, It has some negative reviews for it’s effects while working with Miele dishwasher.
  • It tends to leave white film and a salty taste after being used in certain brands of dishwasher, mostly with Miele dishwasher.

The link to purchase the product from amazon is : https://www.amazon.com/4-7-Dishwasher-Salt-Softener-Recommended/dp/B07TBHBBS8/ #2. Finish Dishwasher Softener Salt:

  • Finish is a US based brand which produces and sells products like dishwasher detergent and salt.
  • It has 100% machine protection, so it does not hinder the functioning of the machine.
  • As it is mentioned it’s a dishwasher softener salt so it helps in getting rid of the hardness of water by removing magnesium and calcium ions to soften the water.
  • It prevents limescale and watermarks in dishes.
  • It works better in limescale protection when used finished salt with finish detergent.
  • It is a great product to use if you have a Bosch dishwasher.
  • It comes in a package of 7.76 x 3.78 x 9.33 inches; 6.61 Pounds.
  • It comes in a package of two.


  • It can only be used in dishwashers with built in water softener dispensers for the dishwasher salt.
  • It can be ruined if left open in humid weather.

The link to buy the product from amazon is: https://www.amazon.com/Finish-Dishwasher-Water-Softener-Bosch/dp/B07CSL6BLS/

#3. Miele Care Collection Dishwasher Reactivation Salt:

  • It is a perfect suited product to use for Miele dishwashers.
  • It’s extra coarse granules help the dishwasher to prevent any kind of blockage.
  • It protects the dishes against the limescale deposition.
  • It’s usable with common dishwashers also.
  • It comes in a package of 13.15 x 9.17 x 4.57 inches; 9.92 Pounds.
  • It comes in packs of three.
  • It has the exact required quantity for a Miele salt container.


  • As it comes in a huge amount the storage of the product might be a problem for many.

The link to buy the product from amazon is: https://www.amazon.com/Miele-Care-Collection-Dishwasher-Reactivation/dp/B01AJDUWQY/ Conclusion: In conclusion the product is still growing in the market as new brands are introducing and expanding very much. We hope that this will help you to find the perfect product for your machine. sources:https://fredsappliance.com/service/dishwasher-salt-use/#:~:text=Dishwasher and https://www.finish.co.uk/more-information/dishwashing-articles/products/effectiveness-dishwasher-salt/ and wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dishwasher_salt and amazon:https://www.amazon.com/dishwasher-salt/s?k=dishwasher+salt  

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