To get your glassware gleaming, your dishwasher needs more than just a water supply. This is where dishwasher salt and rinse aid come in.

But are they both necessary? How do they work and how should they be used to keep your dishwasher working at its best?

We’ve looked at the most searched-for questions around dishwasher salt and rinse aid.

What is rinse aid?

It’s all in the name. Rinse aid helps water rinse off your dishes and glasses. It does this by reducing the surface tension of water, stopping it from sticking to surfaces as easily and helping it to drain away.

Where water can’t stick to surfaces easily, you get fewer water marks — keeping your glasses and utensils streak free. In hard water areas especially, rinse aid helps prevent water spots from forming and makes dishes dry faster too.

Do I need dishwasher salt?

Dishwasher salt is course-grained sodium chloride, which helps soften hard water.

Hard water contains high levels of calcium carbonate, also known as lime. In a dishwasher, it can lead to limescale build-up on the filter and potentially damage the appliance. 

Not using enough dishwasher salt, therefore, could cause your dishwasher to break down more easily or need more regular repairs and maintenance.

If you find that your dishes are coming out streaky or gritty instead of sparkling clean, you might be running low on salt.

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