Since many states now have banned dishwasher soap with phosphates, there have been a number of problems.
First, people are finding that dishes are not getting cleaner. They are opening their dishwasher to find a white film over all their dishes or else they are finding dishes not clean at all or even ruined dishes. This is because makers of dish detergent are trying to find suitable alternatives for phosphate in dish soap, which was the primary cleaning agent. Many states have banned phosphate dishwasher detergent because they feel that the phosphate ends up in waste water and in streams and lakes. This agent helps algae grow, which can supposedly crowd out aquatic life, leaving them less needed oxygen.
Second, people are trying to locate either some dishwasher detergent with phosphates or else a way to add in phosphate to dish soap so that it again cleans better – like it used to. In some places, you may be able to find dishwasher soap with phosphates still. Looking online is your best bet since local stores will not be able to carry it.
One solution is to add phosphate yourself (TSP – trisodium phosphate). You don’t need to add much. You can find it at local stores like hardware and outdoor gardening stores or else you can easily buy it online as well. Be careful handling it, too. Read the instructions on the box to make sure you are handling it properly. Too much phosphate can cause problems, too. Use just enough.
Some trusted brands have been causing problems but others now work. There have been some Cascade dishwasher detergent problems and Proctor and Gamble hasn’t yet been able to find a suitable replacement for phosphate it seems. One brand that people are reporting success with is Finish (formerly Electrasol). That’s the brand I use myself and I’m very happy with the results. The Finish brand seems to be doing the trick. Some people are reporting some problems with it but in general, it’s a solution.
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