What To Do If Your Dishes Come Out Spotty

If you've ever washed your hands with soap and found that you have a filmy residue left on your skin, the problem is likely hard water.

Hard water contains high levels of dissolved minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium. When soap reacts with calcium, a type of soap scum forms, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, leaving that gross unclean feeling behind.

And the same exact thing can happen with your dishes. Have you ever run a load of dishes in the dishwasher and removed your supposedly clean dishes to find spots on the glasses and silverware? Yep, hard water is the likely culprit for this residue.

However, while the spots themselves are relatively harmless, they are unsightly. Luckily, there are several quick and easy ways to get around this problem if you can't live without sparkling clean glasses, silverware, and plates. Here's what to do if your dishes come out spotty.

There are several easy fixes for spotty dishes

If your dishes are coming out with spots on them, the quickest remedy may be to use less dishwasher detergent, according to Reviewed. Too much soap can leave a residue behind, similar to hard water mineral stains, so try to cut down and see if that works. But, if that doesn't do the trick, try switching to another detergent. Some brands are tailor-made to combat hard water issues, such as Lemi Shine, Glisten, and Finish Power Up.

Another product that can help is a rinse aid, like Finish Jet-Dry Rinse Aid, an additive that prevents water from sticking to your dishes, therefore preventing mineral buildup and the subsequent spots.

An additional tactic is changing the temperature setting on your dishwasher to high. If the water in the machine is too cool, it won't fully evaporate from the dishes during the drying cycle, leaving behind soap and mineral deposits. To ensure the high-temp setting works the best it can, try to avoid running hot water elsewhere in the house, like your washing machine or shower.

Your last resort, if the spotty dishes are really grinding your gears, is to get a water softener, which filters mineral deposits out of your water before being used in your home. They're relatively inexpensive and easy to install.