Strange Reporting at NPR: Dishwashers Not Working

December 15th, 2010

This article at NPR, Dishes Still Dirty? Blame Phosphate-Free Detergent, was written by someone perhaps half asleep. Please read it and share your comments.

The writer explains that automatic dishwasher detergent makers were forced to take the phosphate out of their detergents earlier this year. They had to do this because several states banned the ingredient and it wasn’t feasible to make different formulas for different states. Apparently, the detergent makers didn’t really tell consumers about the missing ingredient. Way to go.

Yeah, I get that people suddenly couldn’t figure out why their dishes weren’t as clean as they used to be, but what the article leaves out is that several companies have been making phosphate-free dishwasher detergents for years!

You don’t have to pull your hair out with companies that don’t know how to do it right. And you certainly don’t have to buy phosphate at the hardware store like one person interviewed by NPR.

Not all of the green detergents will work for everyone. I’ve tried lots of them, and have learned that you have to find the detergent that works best with your water’s hardness. Seventh Generation didn’t work for me, but it does for some people. Ecover and Method both work wonderfully for me.

I use Method dishwasher tabs because they’re easier to buy. Ecover I’ve only found at places like Whole Foods, but I do use Ecover rinse aid. Another thing that will help with rinsing food off of dishes is adding a bit of vinegar before each load is turned on. Some people even add it to their rinse aid dispensers.

Have you suddenly noticed a difference in how your dishes look? Do you have a favorite phosphate-free dish detergent?

(image via flickr/kevindooley)

2 Responses to “Strange Reporting at NPR: Dishwashers Not Working”

  1. esra aytul on February 1, 2011 9:50 pm

    I have been using Citradish for little over 6 months and I will never go back to other detergents. It works wonderfully for me. Not just the same much more better than those chemically dangerous detergents. I only scrape the dirt with a brush do not even rinse. If I am going to rinse I rinse in my dishwasher.

  2. Peggy on February 2, 2011 10:19 am

    Hi Esra! Thanks for the recommend. I’ve been happy with Method, but I might check out Citra Dish too. I visited their website and see that they have Citra products at Whole Foods. I go there about once a month or so to drop off my #5 recycling, but it’s a bit out of the way for everyday. However, dish soap is one of those things you don’t need every week, thankfully.

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