What is Dishwasher Rinse Aid and How to Use it
Dishwashers are a true blessing in disguise. They have made arduous chores like washing dishes a piece of cake! Literally. This seemingly simple chore can practically take up an hour or more of your precious time in a day, not to mention the effort it involves especially after a long day at work. You neither want to leave the mess of dirty dishes lying around in the kitchen sink nor are you in a mood to start clearing up.
This is where dishwashers step in – allowing you to chuck in the dirty dishes and literally forget about them until the next morning. You wake up to clean and dry dishes! But regular dishwasher users often complain of water spots on these dishes, which means that they may be clean but aren’t really spotless. Rinse aid, precisely, addresses this particular concern.
In this writeup, we talk all about rinse aid for dishwashers, what does rinse aid do, is rinse aid safe to use and why is everybody talking about it. Why nearly all dishwashers today come with a separate section for rinse aid? How does dishwasher rinse aid work? We answer all of these questions in subsequent segments.
What is Rinse Aid?
Rinse aid, also known as dishwasher rinse agent, is basically a chemical cleaner that falls into the surfactant category. Surfactants are designed to help lower the surface tension of the specific liquid they’re dissolved into. In dishwashers, rinse aid is dissolved into water to reduce its surface tension and spread out evenly like a “sheet” and easily roll down the dishes. This means that this agent can help prevent the formation of water droplets on the dishes after they’re washed. These droplets can turn into water spots on these dishes which tend to remain long after they get dried up, lending an unclean look to the dishes.
How Does Dishwasher Rinse Aid Work?
As explained above, a rinse aid essentially helps wipe away the water from your dishes in the dishwasher. It works in doing so on all kinds of dishes – flatware, plates, bowls, glasses, and more. And because rinse aid helps water roll down the dishes easily, preventing it to form droplets instead, it means that your dishes turn out cleaner and spotless after the completion of the wash cycle. It also means that the dishes dry up much faster than expected.
The surface of the water gets exposed to more atmospheric air, which leads to the dishes getting dried more effectively and even drain out faster. This in turn means that water stays on your dishes for much lesser time than when you don’t use rinse aid; all of it contributing to fewer water spots, hard water filming, and markings on dishes.
How to Use Rinse Aid?
The dishwasher drying agent is quite easy to use in any kind of dishwasher. If you purchase a new machine, you may even get a free sample of rinse aid to try with it. Besides, nearly every dishwasher today comes with a separate section specifically meant to put rinse aid during the wash cycle. Some countertop dishwashers selling for under $500, too, have a separate rinse aid section.
This is how you use a DIY dishwasher rinse aid. It’s super easy because a large number of modern dishwashers come with automatic dispensers that can release rinse aid into the final rinse cycle on their own. All you need to do is put a little amount in the section specified just as you pour liquid detergent into the machine (rinse aid also comes in liquid form).
How to Use Rinse Aid Without a Dispenser?
In case the dishwasher you have doesn’t provide for an automatic dispenser, you can easily buy a rinse aid basket from the nearest home store or supermarket. The basket can be hung from the upper rack of the dishwasher. You can also look for a dishwasher pod that includes both detergent and rinse aid in one.
Benefits of Using Rinse Aid
One of the main advantages of finishing your dishwashing by using the rinse aid agent is that it yields fewer water spots on dishes, particularly glassware. Notice how your glass dishes look all spotty and untidy even after having gone through the entire cycle in the dishwasher? And because it’s glass, it’s easily visible too, which means you find it difficult to place them the next time before guests.
But with rinse aid you can rest assured, enjoy lesser spots on your glassware. Even with other plates and cutlery because they look really annoying and gross if left spotty.
Besides, these water spots that are left lurking on your dishes long after they even dry up can be particularly troublesome if you have hard water coming into your house. This is because hard water tends to leave a white residue behind which is extremely bad to look at even around other places in the house like water taps or drains; they even leave a ring-like circle around the bathtub after each use.
Rinse aid can help get rid of these problems in a jiffy. Not to forget another frequent complaint from dishwasher users of the dishes still remaining wet even after the complete heat cycle is over. Rinse aid can help dry up dishes much quicker, which can be particularly helpful to save energy because you can cut the heat cycle; rinse aid would still do its job.
To sum up, here we have the top benefits of using rinse aid:
- Leaves dishes absolutely spotless, especially glassware and glass crockery
- Better and faster drying of dishes; helps save energy in the long run
- Protects delicate dishes such as glassware against etching and marks
While rinse aid does seem to be getting popular for all the advantages it offers, as detailed above, there are mixed opinions on whether it’s necessary to use it in every dishwashing cycle with various dishwasher sizes. While the dishes would still clean without it, you can completely bid adieu to the perpetual problem of “water spotting” and marks, particularly over delicate chinaware, with rinse aid.