First you should make sure that there is nothing in the dishwasher. Then what I have found to work the best is CLR. It will get rid of the brown hardwater stains. Take a half of cup of this and pour it into the bottom of the dishwasher.
After you have added the CLR, turn your dishwasher to the shortest setting or time. Depending how dirty your dishwasher is, you will need to run it through two to three times (keep adding more CLR each run).
After you have finished and it is clean, it will smell like CLR which isn’t pleasant. You should then use plain old dishwasher soap and run it through a cycle. After you are done, your dishwasher should look amazingly clean.
* To get rid of hard water deposits on your dishes, try using Baking Soda. Place 1/4 of a cup into a bowl and put it into the top rack of your dishwasher with your dishes. You may need to do this a couple of runs.
To remove mold. Run the dishwasher empty and add in one cup of bleach. This will whiten and brighten the tub and kill any mold that is growing.
* The CLR is pretty strong so you should always run your dishwasher with fresh water after you’ve cleaned it. Your dishes will smell like CLR if you don’t.
Another great product to purchase to get out the hard water stain is Maytag’s Dishwasher Magic. This is fast, easy, and leaves a nice clean smell. It is costlier but well worth it.