Why is My Dishwasher so Salty? 3 Reasons Why!

If you recently noticed salty dishes, glassware, or bottles, you would be wondering, “Why is my dishwasher so salty?” It can be frustrating since you have to rinse the dishes again but there is a fix(es).

Your dishwasher could be so salty because the tap water is salty or there is too much salt in the salt reservoir. The quality of a salt brand, or water not draining properly may also cause a salty dishwasher. Ensure to also check the dishwasher settings too.

Although hard water affects your dishwasher in several ways, salt is also necessary even if you live in a soft water area.

Dishwasher salt problems 

  1. Water is not draining properly. If the wash water is not draining properly or completely, your dishes will come out salty. You want to make sure the hoses do not kink, and also that there is an air break along the waste line. This prevents sewage backflow into the dishwasher, which is obviously hazardous to your health.
  2. Salty tap water. The saltiness in your dishwasher could be a result of the tap water itself being salty. This could be caused by a salt-based water softener or desalination. Thus, when the dish air-dries, salt becomes more concentrated. In this case, you would have to hand-dry the dishes with a paper towel or clean cloth or with rinse aid. Place your dishes in a standing position in the rack to properly drain the salt with dripping water.
  3. Excessive salt in the reservoir. If you add too much salt to the dishwasher reservoir, and the water is not heated enough, the salt will not dissolve. As such, dishes receive the salt, making the wash result ‘salty’. Consider checking the water softener seal where you add the salt. If the seal does not close properly, you have to get some out to tighten the seal.
  4. Salt brand quality. The quality of salt you buy is also a factor. Bad quality salt will dissolve poorly, making the dishes salty.
  5. Dishwasher settings. Make sure to check your dishwasher settings to see if the salt is set too high.

Salt in dishwasher: what does it do?

Salt in the dishwasher softens the water, and when you do not refill the salt, the water stays hard, which may leave residues on your dishes.

If you reside in a hard water area, you need salt and rinse aid for good washing results. The purpose of the rinse aid is to assist the drying process and prevent stains on your glassware.

And if your dishwasher turns out so salty, according to AEG, a combination of salt or limescale could also be the problem.

The salt for the dishwasher has similar components as table and sea salts components – sodium chloride. Nonetheless, you do not use table salt for your dishwasher, even though it is much finer than dishwasher salt.

Table salt can block, and in extreme cases, damage a dishwasher. Typical dishwasher salt has a bigger granule size, so the salt dissolves slowly without clogging the softener unit.

Is dishwasher salt same as rock salt?

Rock salt is often referred to as Halite and may be considered a mineral. It forms from salt water residuals and salty deposits evaporating. During the formation, other impurities, just like sand, gypsum, dirt, and iron combine into the formed crystal.

Rock salt dissolves in the brine tank in a water softener, and so do the undesirable impurities. Understand that rock salt is generally not a food-grade salt, and the individual contaminants may violate FDA requirements.

One of the issues is whether the contaminants are harmful or not. And another issue is that the rock salt may degrade, fouling the cation exchange resin inside your softener reservoir.

Dishwasher salt is synthetic, typically rinsed in RO water, and pelletized into a 99% or more pure food-grade product that meets FDA requirements. Dishwasher salt is also healthier for your water softener.

Is too much salt bad for dishwasher?

Too much salt is bad for dishwashers. Moreover, your dishwasher will not stop working properly, but may also cause salty dishes if you leave loose salt in it.

Apart from putting excessive salt in a dishwasher, do not add salt into other spots marked for rinse aid, dishwasher detergent, or dishwasher cleaner. Any attempt can damage the dishwasher appliance.

And if you entirely stop adding salt to your dishwasher, the water softener will gradually saturate and stop working properly or altogether.

How much salt for dishwasher?

Some modern dishwashers feature an indicator light that comes on when you run low or out of dishwasher salt. Obviously, you are not supposed to load your dishes when the indicator light is on.

You also want to get the right amount of dishwasher salt for your machine. Refer to the dishwasher manual to know how much salt your dishwasher needs. The label may not give the correct estimate.

Always use a funnel and measuring cup to add as well as to measure the salt for the dishwasher.

Meanwhile, experts recommend that you leave the salt level about 1cm below where the seal screws back on. This is necessary to prevent overfilling, as well as wasting the dishwasher salt.

How to add dishwasher salt

It is advisable and more comfortable to top up salt in your dishwasher when it is empty. First, unpack a clean load of dishes for convenience.

  • Add the dishwasher salt to an extra filter in your machine. You should find this in the base of the washing unit, and not near the door. Refer to the manufacturer’s instruction or user manual to verify this.
  • Open the reservoir cap to add the dishwasher salt. Refer to the product packaging to know the amount of salt needed. Use a measuring cup as well as a funnel to measure and add the recommended amount of salt to the machine.
  • If you have water in the salt reservoir, you can still add the salt to it to displace the water. If you will not run the dishwasher immediately after refilling the salt, ensure to wipe displaced water from all over the machine using a paper towel.
  • If you start the dishwasher for the first time, fill the salt reservoir with water. Salt has to be in a solution to regenerate the softener unit.
  • Replace the salt reservoir cap, making sure it is firmly closed before using it.

Some water softeners allow you to adjust the settings for the water hardness. Bes sure to make the proper adjustment to keep your dishwasher from being so salty.

Your best guide is the product manufacturer’s instructions from the manual provided. You could also refer to the helpful manufacturer’s resources online through their website.

Top up the salt in your dishwasher regularly whenever it runs low.

Which salt to use for dishwasher?

The right salt will keep your dishwasher from being salty, and eventually get damaged. In this spirit, this section of the publication recommends the following dishwasher salts for your machine:

Impresa Store 5 LB dishwasher salt water softener

With just $18, you can buy the Impresa dishwasher salt that delivers ultra-powerful clean without stain traces. This high-quality salt dissolves excellently to keep your machine from being so salty.

Other features you will enjoy include the following:


An absolutely pure dishwasher salt with coarse grain and with no additives. This 5-pound dishwasher salt is what your dishwasher needs to perform at the top level.


This is a universally compatible dishwasher salt that meets the requirement of your dishwasher. It also works excellently with Bosch, Miele, and Whirlpool dishwashers. You only have to pour the recommended amount of this salt into the water softener container of your machine.


Quite effective, and will easily cut through limescale and hard water residue in your machine. It softens the water if you reside in a hard water area, helping your dishwasher run optimally.

No additives

As mentioned earlier, the Impresa dishwasher salt is additive-free. Impresa also assures that this salt is vegan, food-grade, and non-GMO. You will not find iodine, caking compounds, or others you may think of.

Simple application

Using this salt is easy, simply pour it into the salt unit and close. Check the level while refilling according to the dishwasher manual. Click here to see on Amazon

Good Habit LB premium dishwasher salt

This is a high-quality dishwasher salt designed to get rid of salt residues on the dishes after a wash cycle. Good Habit is also reliable for its pure salt, which works in many dishwashers. This salt is your dishwasher’s best bet for the following reasons:


A suitable dishwasher salt for all dishwasher models. It brings its purity to ensure an optimal dishwasher performance. You can use this dishwasher salt for your Cove, Danby, Subzero, Miele, Whirlpool, Bosch, Thermador, and all other brands.


Here is a product offering the best cleaning for an affordable cost. It can seamlessly reactivate the softener of your dishwasher, getting it to work at its peak performance and withstand long-term use.


Regarding purity, it is a 100% pure coarse grain salt without additives. During our tests, this dishwasher salt dissolves completely, which gives a sparkling and refreshing touch to dishes with no salt remnants.

Application and convenience

After pouring this salt into your dishwasher salt unit, you reseal it. This stores it safely for your next use.

Wash result

Of course, you expect a premium result from a top-performing salt, which Good Habit LB offers. It helps your dishwasher to deliver sparkle glasses and shiny dishes rid of salt after the wash cycle. Click here to see on Amazon

Aromasong dishwasher salt – 100% natural water softening agent

Aromasong is another reliable name with dishwasher salt that does not stick to your dishes, bottles, and glassware after washing. Other interesting facts:

No residues

One of Aromasong’s selling points is that this salt rids residues from your dishes. It also keeps the salt reservoir clean after salt reactivation.

It can soften hard water, helping your machine to dissolve water more seamlessly to eliminate ard stains, starch, grease, and salty spots.

Shiny dishes

A squeaky wash is certainly devoid of salt residues, which Aromasong dishwasher salt can offer.


A dishwasher salt sourced from nature and made of pure dead sea salt. This means no preservatives or additives, so your dishwasher will be getting high-quality for your money.

Application and compatibility

Just fill the salt reservoir with this dishwater salt, and close the cap. You can also use this salt for any of the top dishwasher brands, including Danby, Whirlpool, Bosch, Meile, and more. Click here to see on Amazon

What to look for when buying dishwasher salt

  1. Cleaning ability. You need a dishwasher salt with the required power to aid your machine scrub well enough to break down and eliminate tough stains in one wash.
  2. Additive-free. Only invest your money in a dishwasher salt that is 100% pure coarse grain salt containing no additives. Salt with additives will not completely dissolve, meaning you would be getting salty dishes after the wash cycle.
  3. Compatibility. You may have to ask your dishwasher manufacturer for a recommended dishwasher salt. Bosch, for instance, recommends Finish dishwasher salt.
  4. Cleaning formula. A suitable cleaning formula gives your dishes the needed sparkle. Of course, you want to invest in a dishwasher salt with powerful enzyme formula and, perhaps, three-layer construction for a superior wash.

Can you use normal salt instead of dishwasher salt?

You cannot use normal salt instead of dishwasher salt. The granule sizes of a typical dishwasher salt are larger, ensuring slower dissolution that does not clog water softener.

A dishwasher salt does not also contain additives such as magnesium salts or anti-caking agents found in normal or table salt.

Salt designated for dishwashers contains sodium chloride, also present in table or normal salts. But you must not use normal salt, even though it is much finer. A finer salt will clog or even damage your dishwasher.

Reports also show that potassium iodide or sodium iodide may be present in table salt. These chemical compounds do not affect the ion-exchange system but can damage the water softening unit of your machine.

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