Jessica’s Favorite Hard-Water Fighter (Make Your Dishwasher Happy!)

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Note from Collin:

Do you have a product you love? We definitely have many favorite products here on the Hip2Save Team, and thought it would be FUN to share some of them with you! I personally love product recommendations and I’ve also had a few requests from readers, so I have asked each member of the team to think of products they love (cosmetics, kitchen gadgets etc.) and to write up a post that will be shared here every Tuesday.

Hey everyone! It’s Jessica here, one of Collin’s sidekicks!

For about a month after moving into our home, I gave the new dishwasher a really hard time. I figured that since it was brand-spanking new it should work great! But much to my dismay, it left a white powdery residue on nearly everything – especially the glass dishes.

I tried different detergents, stocked up on rinse aid, and made sure to run the dishwasher through self-cleaning cycles, but nothing worked! It wasn’t until we had a solicitor selling water softener units show up at our door that I realized what the problem was: hard water.

With a new water softener unit not in our budget yet, I set out to come up with another solution for the filmy dishes – and that’s where Lemi Shine came into play! After doing a bit of research, I snagged this Lemi Shine Dish Detergent Booster to give it a try, and oh my goodness, it totally worked!

Lemi Shine is an all-natural product derived from citrus that you use along with your regular dishwasher detergent. It’s great because it cleans out your machine in addition to preventing the cloudiness – making sure that the hard water doesn’t build up and keep your dishwasher from working properly.

Now ALL of my dishes are sparkly! You can actually see through the glasses. And yes, that bowl on the left is really how my glass dishes look thanks to our hard water. The shiny bowl on the right is thanks to magic (aka LemiShine).

If you have hard water, or just want to give your dishwasher a boost, you may want to give this stuff a try!

Online shoppers can snag a 3-pack or just one bottle of the detergent boosters on Amazon. OR, if you’d prefer to shop in-store, you can snag some at your local Target or Walmart, likely for even cheaper!

YAY for coupons! (And photobombing dogs!)

Speaking of shopping in-store, be sure to head here to print these LemiShine coupons, including one that will give you a dish soap FREE when you buy a 24oz booster!

Lemi Shine has a range of products – disposal cleaners, appliance cleaners (works wonders for my washing machine), dish detergent, and more! I can only speak to my experience with the booster and the appliance cleaner, and I highly recommend both.

Did you see our other Try THIS Tuesday posts?

Jessica has been writing for 4+ years and lives at home with her husband and 2 fur babies.

Join The Discussion

Comments 45

  1. Taryn

    We love the booster and use it for every wash. Also, they have a rinse aid that I use as well. Great stuff!

    • Jessica (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      So glad to hear that, Taryn!

  2. An Education in Domestication

    Our dishes look like yours too, I should probably give this a try. Our water is ridiculously hard and have also tried so much to fix it. I’ve seen Lemi Shine but never tried it, I may have to now. You just put it in the soap compartment with your soap tab?

    • melissa

      This stuff is seriously amazing. It also works great on hard water stains on your faucets and in shower as well

    • Diana

      Yes. I put it in my soap dispenser and I like to just sprinkle a little in when I start a wash. So I put a soap packet and fill the rest of the soap dispenser with Lemi Shine.

  3. Polly

    Yes, it really works, love this stuff!

    • Jessica (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. jessarnett26

    This product is a life saver!! I have the exact same story. Horribly hard water, hated my dishwasher, and thought my pots and pans were being ruined because they always came out with white residue on them. I then tried the same things. Bought different detergents and rinse aids,and I even tried scrubbing my pots with bar keepers friend, thinking maybe that would help. Nothing worked until I stumbled on a blog that mentions Lemi Shine. I first used it to clean the washer and was astonished when I opened the door. It looked like a brand new washer!! All the build up on the heating element was gone and everything was sparkly clean. I then ran the first load of dishes through and not only did it not leave the nasty film, it actually removed all the build up that was existing. I was so excited I ended up washing every dish, glass, utensil and pan to get everything back to is original shininess! I know it sounds crazy but I can’t say enough good things about this product. It is a MUST for anyone with hard water. Bonus, I believe it’s eco friendly!

    • Jessica (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I am so glad to hear that this has worked so well for you, too! Thank you so much for sharing your experience! And yes, as far as I know it IS eco friendly. Another huge bonus for sure! ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. Jamie

    I have problems with my dishwasher too! I’ve no idea if we have hard water or not, how do we tell? Also I’ve tried tons of products, all gone to waste. Many empty dishwasher cleaning cycles. Still nothing works. Our dishwasher just doesn’t get dishes very clean. Maybe I should try this.

    • Jen

      There are test kits at Home Depot and Lowes you can buy to test your water hardness. They’re only a few dollars ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Linz

    This was such a helpful post! My dishes sometimes look like the one on the left too. My dishwasher is also new and bought a higher end one this time so the white residue is frustrating. I have found that when I put my dishes in dirtier (as opposed to really cleaning them off), that I seem to have less residue. I know it sounds weird but it’s true! I also have run the cycle empty except for a bunch of vinegar in it and that helped for a short time. But I will definitely be giving this a try. Thanks for the tip!

    • rebecca

      the part about putting the dishes in dirtier is not weird, it is true. modern dishwasher detergents work enzymatically. if you pre-wash, they won’t get as clean b/c the detergent doesn’t have anything to react with, to activate it. the enzymes attack the food particles and residue.
      modern high-end dishwashers have a food grinder as part of the drainage system. you are not supposed to pre-rinse or pre-wash. leave the food residue on to get cleaner dishes.

    • Jessica (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      You are very welcome Linz! Please come back and let us know how it works for you! ๐Ÿ˜€ And that’s really interesting Rebecca, thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. Sara

    Has anyone tried this with hand washing?

    • Mel

      It’s powder crystals…not sure how you’d use it to hand wash? I haven’t tried it but my sister uses the LemiShine dish liquid and says it works better than Dawn with cutting through tough stains & grease. and doesn’t leave drip dry water marks on her glasses.

  8. Bmhpb3

    1/3 cup of white vinegar poured right into the dishwasher works as well. I buy it at Sam’s club so it is very inexpensive that way. We have horribly hard water too and this is the only thing that helps. Plus it is all natural.

  9. L

    You can also buy Citric Acid in bulk. It also helps hard water. We have well water and put some in toilets, clean sinks with it. They also make some that are food grade, so you could add a little to your sink if washing dishes.

  10. ann

    LOVEEEEE the pic that has the dog with his tongue sticking out!!!!

    • 3WonkyDogs

      I agree, such a cute dog in the background! Thank you for this post.

    • Jessica (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Hahaha THANKS! He’s such a stinker. ๐Ÿ˜› And you are very welcome!!

  11. Ayanna

    How much does this booster normally cost?

    • Amanda

      It’s around $7, but worth every penny! A 24 oz bottle lasts a few months for me using it every other wash. It only takes about an ounce per wash. There are coupons and sales every once in awhile at Target so you can stock up. I’m with everyone else… this product saved my dishes and it’s so easy to use!

    • Jessica (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Hi! Amanda is right, the 24 oz bottle is about $6.99 at my Target, though they frequently have sales, gift card offers or Cartwheel offers available, so keep a lookout for those! We posted this deal a couple of months back, it is no longer valid, but shows what you could end up saving when they run the gift card promotion again. ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. Mindi (@MindiFriedland)

    This stuff is awesome! Shined them right back up and they’re squeaky clean. We use it every other wash or two to keep it up. So thankful for this stuff!

    • Jessica (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      So happy to hear Lemi Shine has worked for you! ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for sharing Mindi!

  13. Amy

    I love this also but did notice when I used it to was mugs and glasses with a design on them it would wipe it off. My husband was upset when I have washed a few of his Star Wars coffee mugs and glasses and they come out plain no longer printed.

    • Jessica (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Shoot! I haven’t noticed this yet with my printed mugs, but I will be sure to keep an eye on them. That’s no fun!

  14. Brenda

    Finish also makes a hard water dishwasher booster. Works great. Harder to find, Amazon is the only place I can find it.
    What other things do you do to deal with hard water build up? We boil water and filter it before we add it to Keurig. We have to clean our faucets and shower heads with lime away every few months. Just wondering if anyone else had solutions besides buying the water softener.

    • ๐ŸŒบNolee๐ŸŒบ

      I use distilled water in our Keurig. We have horrible water and can’t afford a softener yet. We’ve had our Keurig for several years and have never had a single issue with lime/calcium/etc. I can’t say that I love paying for water, but it has been well worth it for the Keurig.

  15. Lana

    We use 1/4 tsp of ascorbic acid in every wash along with Seventh Generation. 5 pound bag from Amazon lasts forever.

  16. ๐ŸŒบNolee๐ŸŒบ

    Thank you for this! I hate our hard water, and we can’t afford a softener yet. I have run several loads with hot water and vinegar through our dishwasher, and it has helped. I also use white vinegar as our rinse aid. But I’m definitely willing to give this a try!!

    • Jessica (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      You are very welcome! Fingers crossed Lemi Shine can help you! ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. Susi

    This stuff is great! Beware putting anything aluminum in with it…I.E. Nordic ware cookie sheets etc. it strips that beautiful shiny finish right off of it! Doh…does say that on the bottle which I read after the fact ๐Ÿ™‚ hope I save someone that upset ๐Ÿ˜ญ

    • Jessica (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks for the tip, Susi! ๐Ÿ˜€ I will definitely avoid putting in any aluminum when using it!

  18. Lolie

    Lemishine is the best and works wonder for hard water! I discovered it several years ago and I let everyone know about it. Great product!!

    • Jessica (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yay! I’m so happy it’s worked so well for you, too! Thank you for sharing your feedback, Lolie!

  19. Alyssa Holman

    My Big Brother is a Creative Director of LemiShine. We just moved to St Louis, from Houston, and the water is completely different here! Lemi is T.H.E. best if you have hard water! Try it on your stainless baking pans, you’ll definitely see the difference!

    • Jessica (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      That is so cool that your brother is the Creative Director, Alyssa! Thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ˜€

  20. Kerri

    I have hard water as well and now can’t wait to try this product! Do they have anything for hard water stains in the toilet? Or anyone recommend a different product for that? My toilets look like they are never cleaned even though I clean them every week!! It’s so embarrassing!

    • Natalie

      When we had hard water I’d pour water in my toilet making it drain and not refill, then add Barkeeper’s Friend powder cleanser. Let it sit a moment and scrub wuth a toilet brush. It always worked for me! Didn’t think of using Lemishine… I used it in our dishwasher though with great results! (Barkeeper’s also has a spray foam that I love for the shower… less scrubbing!)

  21. Oshea

    This is the best dish liquid I have ever tried. I bought it on clearance & was pleasantly surprised. I just bought the dishwasher packs. I haven’t been able to find the booster in store.

  22. Pat

    Why would you put any dishware in your dishwasher with designs? Eventually, it will come off, LemiShine or not. I have Pyrex bowls with the red markings. I always hand wash, they are over 20 years old and look like new.

  23. didi

    OMG , thank you for posting this , this post alerted me to something i was missing , i live in south Florida and after researching i found out that my area has extremely heavy water .. since i moved here 7 years ago my hair started to be dull and dry and not a gallon of conditioner or any other products would help , i tried everything from keratin treatments to natural oils and nothing helped but after seeing this post i thought maybe it is the water and once i googled it i found out that yes it is the water damaging my hair , now i am looking to either but a water softener system which is extremely expensive or a shower head filter which i don’t know if it will help but i will just give it a try

    • Sara

      There are showerheads with Vitamin C filters that might help, available on Amazon and elsewhere online.

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