Can You Use Calgon in a Dishwasher?

If your utensils come out of the dishwasher with some greasy or white layers of residue even after using a cleaning detergent, then you might be experiencing the effect of hard water. To prevent this frustration and your dishwasher from jamming, you should try Calgon. 

Calgon is a brand of water softener that is used in cleaning processes. This water softener comes in powder form, gel form and 3 in 1 tablet. You can use the product in either form in your dishwasher or washing machine due to its excellent properties that will be discussed throughout this article. 

Is There Calgon for Dishwashers?

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You might think that using a dishwasher detergent is enough in your cleaning process. But do you ever think about your dishwasher? Since we assume when washing utensils, the dishwasher itself gets cleanup, I am sorry to inform you, you might be going for a new dishwasher soon. 

It might not be too later, though, for me to introduce Calgon. Calgon is a water softener that helps soften hard water with over 250ppm. It also protects your dishwasher’s part from jamming due to limescale, dirt and residue buildup. Calgon also prevents the heating elements in your dishwasher from failing due to the high concentration of salty water. 

It is worthy to note that Calgon is not a descaler with another function in your dishwasher. So how do you use Calgon in a dishwasher when you are also using a dishwasher detergent?

Should You Put Calgon in With Your Washing?

Calgon comes in three forms that fulfill the same purpose. However, for our dishwasher, you should use Calgon powder and Calgon tablet. Put Calgon powder in one compartment at the top, a dishwasher detergent on another soap cup, and one tablet. Set your dishwasher in the cleaning cycle and start the dishwasher.

Your dishes will not have any residue caused by limescale buildup by the end of the cleaning cycle. Your dishwasher parts will be cleaned, and any foul odour will have gone.

Avoid using Calgon at the bottom of the dishwasher. The tablets will dissolve faster and are utilised during the prewash process only.

What Can I Use Instead of Calgon?

If your water hardness is below 250ppm, then you can use Borax. White vinegar will work miracles for your utensils if you cannot access Borax. 

Can I Use a Washing Machine Cleaner in My Dishwasher?

Since both cleaning appliances can suffer from limescale build-up, detergents residues and dirty water from cleaning, they need to be cleaned regularly. 

No rule prohibits you from using a washing machine cleaner in a dishwasher. However, I would not use the cleaner with my dishes inside the dishwasher if I were you. 

One of the most common washing machine cleaners is Affresh.

Can I Put the Descaler in My Dishwasher?

Cleaning a dishwasher is one thing a lot of people ignore. You assume because water runs in the dishwasher, it is clean. However, if you read your user manual, you are recommended to wash your dishwasher at least 2times every year. 

Using a descaler in your dishwasher will make your dishwasher last longer, preventing limescale buildup and keeping the foul smell away. 

How Do You Descale a Dishwasher?

The first step when you want to descaler your dishwasher is finding the best descaler in the market. 

  • Unload all the dishes from the dishwasher. Do not forget to remove the filter at the bottom of the dishwasher as it might be hiding food particle residue.
  • Set your dishwasher in a cycle that operates at a maximum temperature of 70°C. Run this cycle for 30minutes. 
  • When the cycle is still running, open the dishwasher’s door slightly but not entirely because the water will not be drained. 
  • When you open the dishwasher, the cycle will stop.
  • Pour a descaler of your choice at the bottom of the dishwasher. The amount of descaler you use depends on the brand’s specification.
  • Let the cycle continue for all the limescale to come off the dishwasher.

Avoid using vinegar as a descaler since it might damage your dishwasher. 

What is the Best Product to Clean a Dishwasher?

There are quite a several descaler brands available in the market. One of my top best experiences cleaning my dishwasher included;

You should clean your dishwasher at least twice every year depending on how frequent you use your dishwasher. 

How Do I Get Rid of Limescale in My Dishwasher?

Depending on the amount of limescale buildup in your dishwasher, you can use a strong descaler. Among our top picks list above the best descaler is Glisten Dishwasher Cleaner and Disinfectant. Finish Dishwasher Cleaner also works wonder in getting rid of limescale. 

You can use two methods to get rid of limescale in your dishwasher. 

The first method was described above where you run the dishwasher in 70°C cycle when the dishwasher is empty. You then pour the recommended amount of Descaler in your dishwasher and continue the cycle until it is complete. This is the most ideal cleaning process. 

Alternatively, your can pour a descaler in your dishwasher and let it sit for 24hours without using your dishwasher. You then run the dishwasher in 70°C cycle until its complete. 


Using a water softener in your dishwasher during cleaning improves the efficiency of the dishwasher. Using a dishwasher detergent only might result in a white layers of limescale if you are using hard water. 

Calgon is one of the best water softener chemical that can be used both in your dishwasher and washing machine. Remember that Calgon is not a descaler. 

Even if you use Calgon for every cleaning cycle, you should descale your dishwasher at least twice every year. Descaling your dishwasher prevents the limescale from jamming your appliance. Ensure you choose the right descaler from the list provided in this article.