Look No Further Than Lemon Kool-Aid To Get Rid Of Dishwasher Stains

When was the last time you cleaned your dishwasher? As counterintuitive as it may seem, you need to clean your cleaning appliances occasionally since, over time, mineral buildup and oxidation can cause ugly-looking stains. Though, there's no need to climb inside your dishwasher with a sponge. You only need one unexpected ingredient to kiss those stains goodbye: lemon Kool-Aid.

Why does putting powdered drink mix in your dishwasher help to clean it? The science has less to do with the Kool-Aid itself and more to do with the particular flavor. Like many lemon-flavored beverages, the first ingredient in lemon Kool-Aid is citric acid. This is what gives the drink its tart flavor. In addition to being a flavoring agent, it is also a well-known substance in the housekeeping world, thanks to its ability to quickly and gently dissolve hard water buildup and rust stains without damaging the materials they form on. Thanks to this ingredient and lemon Kool-Aid's wide availability and low price, there's no need to buy expensive special tablets from Finish, affresh, Jue Fish, or even brand-specific ones from Phillips to help degrease and descale this appliance.

How to clean with Kool-Aid

Since lemon Kool-Aid already comes in powder form, it is straightforward to adapt it to cleaning purposes. Simply fill up your dishwasher's detergent compartment with it, run a complete washing cycle as you normally would, and let the hot water and citric acid combination work its magic. You can use the entire packet for this purpose because while it's just 6.5 grams, it's concentrated and very strong stuff. 

If you don't have Kool-Aid on hand, it is not the only ingredient that can be used for dishwasher cleaning. Many other citrus-flavored instant beverages use citric acid as a primary ingredient. Even lemon juice will work in a pinch, though it will be less potent than the powdered drink packet and other ultra-concentrated powders on the market. Whatever you choose, be sure to read ingredient labels to familiarize yourself with the product's contents, and always take caution when handling them, as citric acid can irritate the skin with extended contact and the lungs if inhaled.