Dishwasher Problems – Is It the Detergent?

Dishes Not Getting Clean? Maybe It’s The Detergent

If you are having problems getting your dishes clean enough to eat off and you think that something might be wrong with your dishwasher, relax because it might just be your detergent. Before you pay a service person to come out to your house to check out your dishwasher, or before buying a new one, take a look at the type of detergent you are using to clean your dishes.

Most dishwashing detergents include an ingredient called phosphates which are tough on dirt and grime, but this ingredient is harmful to the environment. Phosphates promote algae growth which in turn can harm the water supply, so many states today have outlawed detergents that contain high amounts of this chemical. Today, there are 16 states that have banned the sale of dishwashing detergents that contain more than 0.5% phosphates, so if your dishes aren’t getting as clean as they used to, it may be because of your dishwashing detergent.

If you’d like to conduct a test to make sure that your detergent is the causing factor of your dishes not getting cleaned before you spend money on expensive dishwasher repairs you don’t need, you can try a few things to help your dishes get cleaner. First of all, analyze the dishwashing detergent brand that you are using. Does it say that it contains low levels of phosphates? If so, you will immediately know that this is the reason your dishes aren’t getting clean. You can try a new brand, or you can just try a few things to help your detergent work better.

If you’ve established your dishes aren’t getting clean because of your brand of detergent, you can try scrubbing your dishes better before you put them in the dishwasher. By thoroughly cleaning your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher, you are helping your dishwasher work better because it won’t have to work as hard to get the grime off your dishes.

Another way to get the most out of your dishwasher and dishwashing detergent is to soak deeply soiled dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. You can soak the dishes in water, or you can use vinegar for tougher stains and debris. By pre-treating your dishes with vinegar, you can also help make them look shiny and new because the vinegar will give them a certain sparkle.

Before you give up on your dishwasher, make sure it’s really the dishwasher and not the dishwashing detergent that is causing your unclean dish problem. If you try these ideas listed above, not only will you save money on unnecessary repairs, but you will have cleaner dishes that will make you feel comfortable to eat off.

Incoming Searches:


  1. Tell me why in the world I would ever bother using a dishwasher if I’ve already had to wash the dishes before loading it? That’s just silly. We need to know what detergents still have phosphates and a source to buy them from!!!

  2. I’m sick of having to add extra stuff (expensive rinse, vinegar, etc) to the dishwasher to get my dishes clean! A friend of mine said she tried a new product that works great, but I don’t think it will be available for a month or two and then only online. Don’t know the name of it but I’ll be searching. Interesting that the big phosphate users (ie industrial, commercial) with plenty of money to line politicians’ pockets aren’t included in the phosphate ban!

  3. I’ve stumbled on a better, easier and inexpensive ‘solution’; just pour some plain vinegar in the open detergent cup (at least half full) and put your regular detergent in the closed cup ( I like Finish Powerball brand). Not only will your glassware and flatware sparkle but the dishwasher stays nice and clean!

  4. Anita Allen says:

    Better yet just buy Cascade with phosphate at Restock-it

  5. Like the others, I too have found that Cascade has failed me…. don’t blame it on the government…I am now using another d.w. all in one tab and having no problem at all. I have used Cascade for more years than I can remember…..and sorry to give you up!

  6. please do something aout your commercial about the cascade kichen counselor I’m going to need some soon if it comes on my tv one time infact I can’t change the channel fast enough when it comes on.

Speak Your Mind



Website Alert

Do you think Bed, Bath and Beyond is better than Wal-Mart?