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Jenny
09-24-2010, 05:30 PM
For several months now I've been thinking our dishwasher needs replacing - it started with tarnished flatware, then gritty dishes and cloudy glasses. Then I read this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/19/science/earth/19clean.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=phosphates&st=cse

I'm interested to know if anyone else has experienced this, and thoughts on environmentally green choices vs cost vs results.

I also thought the discussion in the article and reader comments about the potential need to change our ideas about what defines "clean." After all, wasn't in the makers of dishwasher soaps who first brought us the phrase "squeaky clean"?

Veronika
09-24-2010, 05:38 PM
I just thought I had a crappy dishwasher--good to know, yet frustrating.

PDilemma
09-24-2010, 05:44 PM
My FiL, an appliance repair technician, says this isn't particularly good for dishwashers either. Not sure why because I wasn't really listening to the conversation other than catching that part.

danceronice
09-24-2010, 06:03 PM
That would explain a bit, though my dishwasher was installed not long after the house was built and so is almost 20 years old, which I'm sure doesn't help.

Still I'll take the Cascade packs over powder detergent. Makes much less mess putting it in the machine and it's easier to control the amount.

another sk8rmom
09-24-2010, 06:19 PM
Oh wow, you just solved the mystery for us!!!

Over the last few weeks we've experienced exactly what you described and fits exactly with when we purchased a new box of dishwasher detergent.

Satellitegirl
09-24-2010, 07:13 PM
I'm not sure why dishwashers don't just focus on making it scalding hot when washing, and then we wouldn't have to worry about the soap anyhow. You only need something to cut grease. As far as things being foggy or not squeaky...I don't really care. If it's been sterilized, there's nothing to worry about.

soxxy
09-24-2010, 07:19 PM
I'm not sure why dishwashers don't just focus on making it scalding hot when washing, and then we wouldn't have to worry about the soap anyhow.

I assumed the water *was* that hot. At any rate, I wash my dishes by hand with hot water and detergent, place them in my dishwasher to dry, and once it's full, run the diswasher on the last cycle (without detergent), let them air dry, then store them. So I guess none of this applies to me. :confused:

zhenya271
09-24-2010, 07:56 PM
I have always been one of those people that rinse my dishes in straight hot water before putting them in the dishwasher, but then lately I've read that in the latest generation of dishwashers that this habit is actually detrimental to your drinking glasses. I sure hope my dishwasher powerball tablets are getting the job done!

Satellitegirl
09-24-2010, 08:04 PM
I have always been one of those people that rinse my dishes in straight hot water before putting them in the dishwasher, but then lately I've read that in the latest generation of dishwashers that this habit is actually detrimental to your drinking glasses. I sure hope my dishwasher powerball tablets are getting the job done!

detrimental to your drinking glasses how?

Schmeck
09-24-2010, 08:08 PM
The reduction of phosphates has made me use twice as much detergent in the dishwasher to do half as good a job, plus I have to run the washer on the longest cycle instead of the shortest one. I'm using more of everything, so how does that help?

FunnyBut
09-24-2010, 08:13 PM
I'm actually quite surprised to read this. I use the 'Cascade Complete' all-in-one little packages, and my dishes are the cleanest and clearest they've ever been. EVER. In my life, way before green was fashoinable. I have hard water too, and I've never seen such spotless dishes.

Jenny
09-24-2010, 08:15 PM
That's where we're in a bit of a pickle - less phosphates is good, but if it means more water used, or more energy (hotter water) or more soap, is it worth it?

Or, as the article and some here suggest, do we have rethink what "clean" is? Sure, our cutlery and dishes might not look as pretty, but if they are free of bacteria etc, then perhaps that should be enough.

I'm sure the detergent companies are trying to find alternatives - and one NY Times reader noted that plain old vinegar and water gives the best final rinse anyway - and many dish and flatware manufacturers are doing the same.

Some NY Times readers have said that Seventh Generation (an eco-friendly brand) is great - anyone use it? I think I will try it next.

Jenny
09-24-2010, 08:16 PM
I'm actually quite surprised to read this. I use the 'Cascade Complete' all-in-one little packages, and my dishes are the cleanest and clearest they've ever been. EVER. In my life, way before green was fashoinable. I have hard water too, and I've never seen such spotless dishes.

Maybe you live in a region where the old phosphate-heavy product is still available?

Satellitegirl
09-24-2010, 08:18 PM
Some NY Times readers have said that Seventh Generation (an eco-friendly brand) is great - anyone use it? I think I will try it next.

I've used it and it seemed to do fine. I haven't bought it lately due to it being a bit more in price, but it isn't bad.

milanessa
09-24-2010, 08:32 PM
No wonder Cascade has been on sale at my grocery store (buy one, get one free) at least 3 times in the past few months. Getting rid of the old product I guess. :lol: