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For the secret to sparkling dishes, look to your kids' favorite drink mix. Kool-Aid miraculously banishes lime scale deposits from hard water in your dishwasher, says our thrifty reader.

koolaid dishwasherClean your dishes with lemonade Kool-Aid for maximum shine! Photo: justmakeit, Flickr

When my dishwasher starts to leave my dishes and silverware with spots or lime deposits caused by hard water, I forgo my ordinary dish detergent and use inexpensive Kool-Aid instead. Yes, Kool-Aid, as in your kids' favorite drink mix (but only use the lemon kind).

Give it a try. First, make sure your dishwasher is completely empty. Then open a single packet of Kool-Aid and pour the contents into the dishwasher's soap compartment. Feel free to use the less expensive store brand if you choose.

Run the empty dishwasher through one full cycle. The citric acid in lemon-flavored Kool-Aid will clean out the appliance thoroughly. In fact, you'll notice a huge improvement as soon as you open it up. The next time you do dishes, you'll also notice less spots and a lot more sparkle!

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  • Julie Warner

    Funny! I just wrote a blog about the same thing yesterday. Vinegar works well too if you don't have lemonade. Directions here:

  • Denise

    Tang also works!!

  • Roda

    I wonder what Kool-Aid does to our insides if it has these capabilities. Cool facts to know though! Check out the other inexpensive ways to DIY - HTtP://bIT.lY/SavingArticles The site features daily free things too!

  • murray

    Many years ago a repairman told me to run the dishwasher empty with a whole container of tang every two years. I have never had crusty build up. I believe it is due to following his directions.

  • JO

    i wonder what it does to kid's stomachs

  • Lora

    I guess it stops lime deposits in their tummy???

  • lora

    it stops lime build up in the tummy

  • steve

    Your stomach is far more acidic that kool aid.

  • Jojo

    Removes all the hard water spots in their stomaches and colons, of course. What were you thinking?

  • John C. Billingsley, Jr.

    Just put a picture on the discharge side and then you wan't waste any and you will be doing your recycliing thing.

  • Craash420

    Should it be a picture of a pitcher?

  • quill

    ,,,same result with baking soda or vinegar or both togerher

  • Gina

    I knew an electrician who found out that running TANG through the dishwasher also cleaned it pretty well. As for what Kool-Aid does to a child's stomach, our stomach acids are far more stronger than any kool aid or coke product. They may clean dishwasheres and car batteries but they don't effect our stomachs in the same manner.

  • pam

    Yes, that is what I've always used - the store knock-off of Tang. I didn't realize Kool-aid (citrus flavors only) would work as well - so, go with whatever is cheapest!

  • penny

    When we bought this house 21 years ago the real estate agent told us to use TANG to clean the dishwasher out which was brown inside. Turned out to be the citric acid that does it .... brands don't matter.

  • Heidi

    what about lemon juice

  • LST

    A hand grenade will work too, because after you've finished remodeling the kitchen, it'll all be clean & new!

  • Dee

    You just now finding out this money saving technique? I used kool-aid to clean my stove and dishes when I was in the service while stationed in Germany ( 1972 ). I also used denture tablets to clean the toilet bowl. After the initial cleaning, I would drop 2 denture tabs in the bowl and let them do their job.

  • m320753

    ajax. a jax a jax is the best thing to clean toilet stains from hard water or any other scratches.

  • dan nolan

    Cheaper than detergent? Huh? Powder detergent can cost 24 cents an ounce while koolaid costs 49 cents an ounce. Who are you kidding?

  • 21 Comments / 2 Pages

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