What Makes Dishwasher Salt So Effective?

Dishwasher Salt Efectiveness

Salt is an essential part of cooking, its sodium content really makes flavours pop, and can mean the difference between blandness and brilliance. Salt’s benefit extends far past the actual food preparation stage though, and all the way into the dishwashing. Keeping your dishwasher topped up with Finish Dishwashing Salt is necessary to ensure that your machine keeps working at optimum performance levels, and that your dishes come out looking like new. The idea of putting salt in an appliance might seem a little bit strange, so we’ve put together a list of facts about dishwasher salt to help you understand why it is so essential.


  1. Dishwasher Salt is Sodium Chloride, the same chemical that makes up table and sea salts. These can’t be substituted however, as dishwashing salt is specially formulated to contain none of the iron and carbonates that these other salts can contain, which can actually increase water hardness and damage the dishwasher.
  2. Dishwasher Salt doesn’t actually enter the dishwasher (salty dishes anyone?) instead it flows through the softener unit before being drained with the waste water.
  3. The way that Dishwasher Salt works, is by providing sodium for the dishwasher’s ‘ion exchange resins’ that are in the softener. When regenerated by the sodium, these work to attract and trap the magnesium and calcium ions that cause hard water.
  4. Dishwasher Salt has much larger granules than regular salt, this helps them dissolve slowly. If they were any finer, they would run the risk of blocking the softener unit.
  5. Regular salt contains special anti-caking agents to ensure that when salt gets wet it doesn’t become a solid mass, blocking the water softener. You wouldn’t get that with dishwasher salt!


To use dishwasher salt, locate the softener unit, which is usually at the bottom of the dishwasher by the drain. Unscrew the cap and fill with dishwashing salt. If the reservoir for the salt is full of water, you can still pour the salt in as it will displace what is in there. The salt will be made into a brine solution when it is used anyway, so it doesn’t need to be dry. Replace the cap, and it should be ready to use again. Most water softeners will have an adjustable setting for water hardness, so make sure this is adjusted correctly to make sure that you get the perfect clean. It’s good to get into the habit of replacing your dishwasher salt about once a month.

So as barmy as it may seem, that’s how salt can enhance your meal, all the way down to the washing up. Keep your dishwasher topped up with Finish Dishwashing Salt to ensure that whatever your water hardness, your dishes come out clean and sparkling.