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What is salt and rinse aid?

When using your dishwasher, you may be familiar with salt and rinse aid. They are important for the operation of the appliance and getting good cleaning results. In this article, we explain what salt and rinse aid is.

Salt is used in dishwashers to soften the water and improve the performance. It softens water by adding sodium to the mix.  By softening the water, you are likely to experience better results as dishwasher detergent works better with soft water. This also helps to prevent a build-up of lime scale in your dishwasher. This is important as lime scale can create internal blockages and damage the pipes, which can negatively impact performance.

To refill dishwasher salt you will need to locate the softener unit, unscrew the cap, and fill with dishwasher salt. The amount or type of salt you need to use may be dependent on the water hardness in your area. You can find out the water company of your area to find out more about the water hardness.

Rinse aid is a ‘surfactant’ that is used in dishwashers. The way it works is by lowering the surface tension of the water in the appliance. By lowering the tension, it increases its spreading and wetting properties, making it easier to rinse off dishes and cutlery. As it a result, it helps to prevent water marks and streaks when cleaning. This is particularly important if you are cleaning glasses or stain-free utensils. There are many different brands available from different retailers, but you can always check your user manual if there are any specific requirements your model of dishwasher needs. On most models, you will refill the rinse aid by opening the compartment and filling.

So, how do you know when the salt and rinse aid needs to be refilled? Generally, your appliance will have indicators on the display which light up when they need to be checked or the user manual will specify how frequently you should do this. Otherwise, the main indicators may be poor cleaning results, filling, or drainage issues so we would recommend checking for this and refilling if applicable.

Overall, it is important to refill the salt and rinse aid as part of your maintenance. Always consult your user manual for clear instructions on how to refill your specific model. If necessary, contact the water company for your area to confirm any requirements for the water if it is a hard water area. You can view our range of dishwashers here.