August 19, 2017

States Ban Phosphate-Laden Dishwasher Soap

According to USA Today, July starts a ban in  sixteen states of the sale of dishwasher detergents that contain high levels of phosphates, a source of pollution in lakes and streams.

Stores will not be allowed to sell detergent with more than 0.5 percent phosphorous. The bans do not apply to commercial dishwashing products, and detergents for hand-washing dishes generally contain no phosphorus.

States instituting the rule include Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin, reports the Associated Press.

Some areas such as Spokane County, Wash., have had such bans in place for years.

“Phosphorous is like a fertilizer. It increases algae and aquatic weed growth in water bodies,” Bernie Duffy, natural resource specialist with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, told the AP. He said too much algae depletes oxygen needed for healthy fish and aquatic life.

Sewage treatment plants and private septic systems can remove much but not all of the phosphorous from wastewater, so some of it ends up in lakes, streams and rivers.

As a result of the ban, some familiar brands such as Cascade and Colgate-Palmolive are offering dish soaps with few or no phosphates.

Clorox has launched a Green Works product line that won the endorsement of the Sierra Club and Martha Stewart has developed a low-phosphate “Clean” line with Hain Celestial Brand, reports Environmental Leader, which says eco-friendly brands such as Seventh Generation and Method have gained in popularity.


  1. It is great to have a simple answer to the mystery of the crummy dishes. I’m so happy I could club a baby seal. I am headed immediately to Lowes and buy as much of this TSP stuff as will fit in my over sized gas guzzling SUV. I will make sure all of my fellow Tea Party buddies receive a nicely wrapped box of TSP come Christmas Morning. I plan on being a human bill board for this solution. Once the word gets out, sales volume of TSP is going to sky rocket so call your stock brokers.
    And Judy. Oh, Judy, Judy, Judy, Judy. I’m sure your intentions are good, but the bottom line is a good percentage of the population just want’s stuff to work. If the green movement had occurred at the turn of the 20th century, they would have worried about the number of horses on the road and the damage to the environment all the extra horse poop would create.

  2. The box of Finnish I’m using was just bought in the past week and it says it’s phosphate free.
    It works so very well people. Alternately, I found a recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent – it’s deceptively easy. One tablespoon of Washing Soda (baking soda processed for washing purposes) and one tablespoon of Borax, and you are done. A bit of white vinegar for the rinse cycle, and you’ve just replaced your dishwasher detergent. No phosphates, no chlorine, and zero petroleum; and of course no packaging or shipping costs, beyond what you spent for the Soda, Borax, and vinegar. You can’t get much more environmentally friendly than that. Don’t ever buy any Cascade again. Shame on P&G that they are putting out such a lousy product = Cascade. I’ve saved a box of it that is complete crap so I can prove it after using it and liking it for 30 years. Never again!

  3. I live in a state that still sells the phosphate-based products. I am going to get some for April.

  4. I thought I was losing my mind! After trying vinegar several times (to no avail) thinking that there was a hard water build up in the sprayer arms I finally researched the net and found the answer! I was ready to go out an buy a new DW. I have tried Finish also and it did not work for me. We must have really hard water. My husband, after reading this site bought the Cascade Action Packs. It was better but it still left some residue from the hard water on the dishes. But I am going to refuse to buy any more Cascade products. This is a racket!!!!

    My husband is going to check the hardware stores today for the TSP. I told him to buy a case!

    Thank you to all who posted on this site about what worked and didn’t work.

    Judy…you might want to rethink your inks. Proverbs 9:6 says “forsake foolishness and live, go in the way of understanding.” Provers 9:13 says “a foolish woman is clamorous, she knows nothing.”

  5. We experienced this same problem over the summer… perhaps around July? We have been using the FInish GelPacs for years. I have really bad water, hard water, with iron and deposits… and just thought it had finally won. Everything was coated in a white film. Felt dirty and gritty. I was putting some loads thru two or three times… dumping in vinegar, trying all sorts of things. We tried using two or even three gelpacs to see if that would help… started running everything thru on Sani Cycle and pots and pans settings… my husband rinses all the dishes so they are so spotless its hard to determine if the dishes in there are clean or dirty! I was thinking maybe the heating elements were so mucked up I was going to have to buy a new dishwasher!!!

    And then, after a couple of months of this nightmare, it cleared up. We’re back to using one gelpac on a regular wash setting. No explanation. Nothing. Until my sister in Florida mentioned this to me, and sent me the link to this article.

    I never noticed anything on the packaging, but never thought to look either. But we used Finish GelPacs the entire time. So give them a try… they are working great for us.

    My comment on the effects of this is that the damage done to the environment and people’s finances was far worse than the phosphates themselves. Products should have been tested and perfected before the ban was put in place. The energy and water we used for sani cycle, triple rinsing, prerinsing, prewashing, even running whole loads thru multiple times… not to mention using double, even triple the amount of detergent! And then the number of people who actually BOUGHT new dishwashers! Wow… what a disaster!!!

    I’m just so happy my dishes are clean again!

  6. Finish GelPacs… try them… they’re working great for us!

  7. Cristi Kath says:

    After weeks of thinking my dishwasher was failing I looked online for remedies. I found out vinegar in the wash cycle works, but I have to catch the load after the first rinse and drain. It’s a real pain. A few months after the ban I saw a news story about it and finally realized I was not insane. There was a reason I couldn’t get the dishes clean! I have been calling around janitorial stores to find the old stuff with phosphate and finally found onethat had stocked up before the ban! An 84 oz box was $12! I can’t believe the enviro-nazi’s are costing us so much money! I used to be very environmentally conscious, but now I am fed up. I can’t afford the ‘green’ idiots forcing their misguided garbage down my throat. They should have work on making products to work before they remove them from the market. Shame on them for costing us so much at a time no one can afford it!

    After reading the letters on this site I am off to Lowe’s to stock up on TSP! I find it amazing that the enviro-nazi’s have gotten so out of control. I’m going to try it in my laundry, too. Maybe I can have clean clothes as well!

  8. I’d like to take a minute to respond to Anita’s comment about the need for product testing. I discovered an alarming fact about our country’s laws during my research this year in school. When a pharmaceutical is produced, the company who produces it bears the cost of testing the product in order to assure that there are no negative side effects involved. Chemicals used in man-made products of every other kind do not have the same laws placed upon them. When the creators of plastic use chemicals such as BPA in baby bottles that are known to leach from the plastic and cause problems to baby’s endocrine systems they do this because it is cheap and easy and effective to create their product…and there are no laws preventing them from doing so. Our country’s laws leave the burden of proof of a harmful chemical in consumer products to the government. This is why product testing on the environmental impact of phosphates was not done prior to the release of the product. They don’t care, and they are not held to a regulation that would force them to care.

    It is unfortunate that the majority of people who have responded to this issue have chosen to ignore the warning that has clearly been sent out about these phosphates. The fact that most people have suggested that these phosphates are not harming humans directly and do not enter into our water sources shows that these are merely opinions and that they have not done their research on this subject. Our government has to spend millions of dollars to fund research on chemicals that may pose a threat to humans (and a threat to our environment threatens us) which is why so many harmful chemicals are not yet banned from the products we use every day. If they have spent the money (our tax dollars) to determine that a chemical is harmful enough to ban it from stores, people should listen. At the very least, do some thorough research before retaliating against a regulation meant to keep us from harm’s way.

  9. P.S. Adding vinegar to your cycle fixes the problem. I live in an area with some of the hardest water in the country and mine came out sparkling the first time I added vinegar to the load.

  10. Add Iowa to states attacked by federal regulations. Stores are offering a product called TSP Substitute. No “official” notice posted…no TSP. Now looking at what ingredients are in “Substitute”.

  11. TSP is not the stuff to use. You want to use STTP. TSP is used to take the shine off of walls before painting them. Just imagine what it would do to the decorations on your glasses.

    STTP is a food preservative that is safe. 1/2 tsp works with any non-phosphated detergent.

    STTP can be obtained at any chemical supply store (not Lowes or Home Depot). If you don’t have a local store, just look on Google.

  12. Zak Glickman says:

    If you go to a restaurants supply store you can buy commercial grade Cascade that still has trisodium phosphate. It was not banned for professional cleaners.

  13. I hate this…it is a huge waste of water to re-wash the dishes and i don’t have the time. Its just wasting more water and costing everyone more it safe to drink out of a glass cup that has white film all over it cuz I cant use ANY of my dishes and cups because they are covered in detergent!

  14. Greetings all. I would like to say: don’t feed up on Judy!

    There is probably a reason why phosphates are banned in products like dish washer soap. Perhaps, the problem is regulations which go from a regular amount of phosphates to zero phosphates. Cold turkey! Legislatures always create unintended consequences with their legislation. For instance, federal regulations on the amount of water with each toilet flush were designed to save water. Unfortunately, often one flush is not enough. After two or three flushes one wonders if the toilet is using more water than the old-fashioned ones that used to flush with one flush. The issue is, how to go to reduced phosphate use and still have clean dishes. Perhaps a law which reduced the allowable amount of phosphates over a decade or two, would have given soap manufacturers as well as dish washer manufacturers time to evolve and cope better with two lower phosphate requirements. It seems Finish more or less adapted to the change, and Cascade did not. Regular dishwashing soap, the kind you use to manually wash her dishes, is not affected–it still has the same amount of phosphates. Also, dishwashing soap for commercial applications is not affected either. Guess what most people will be buying? Another on intended consequence.

  15. Ann Harper says:

    This is soooo much my story.. discolored silverware, cloudy dirty glasses some still with lipstick on them. And dishes coming out of the dishwasher dirtier than when they went in. We bought a new Maytag dishwasher that was worse than the old one because it uses less water. The Maytag repair man couldn’t find anything wrong with the new dishwasher.. I was so very frustrated. The other night a friend sent me an email about the phosphates being taken out of the dishwasher soaps. So I’m not crazy.. and I am going to get TSP or head to the restaurant supply for some real dishwasher soap that no one has meddled with.

  16. Dear Allen,

    Where did you get your information???

    Trisodium phosphate
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Trisodium phosphate (TSP, E339) is a cleaning agent, food additive, stain remover and degreaser. It is a white, granular or crystalline solid, highly soluble in water producing an alkaline solution. The item of commerce is often partially hydrated and may range from anhydrous trisodium phosphate, Na3PO4, to the dodecahydrate, Na3PO4·12H2O. Most often found in white powder form, it can also be called trisodium orthophosphate or just plain sodium phosphate. Trisodium phosphate was at one time extensively used in formulations for a wide variety of consumer grade soaps and detergents, but ecological problems have largely ended that practice, at least in the western world. Though substitutes are not as effective,[2] the raw chemical can be bought in bulk for addition to underpowered detergents.[3]

  17. I would love to see a cost/benefit analysis done on this.

    I take reasonable steps to go green where the benefit far outweighs the cost. I keep my home at 45 degrees in the winter, except for one room. And I have no children, so my pollution contribution over the next 100 years will be squat compared to those of you with kids and grand kids. But in spite of my innately green disposition, whenever ‘green’ amounts to pointless symbolism and squandered effort (examples abound) I say, SCREW GREEN!

    So, do the benefits of getting rid of phosphates in dish soap outweigh the squandered resources of time, effort, lots of water, and lots of wasted new pollution and materials needed to manufacture new sets of everything ruined by washing without phosphates? And what of the likely overdosing of phosphates by tens of thousands of homes forced to guess at the phosphate mixture by people who try to do it themselves? Is there any benefit left over? Beats me, but off hand I’d say it’s not likely. Still, I’m open a reasonable man.

    If you support this phosphate ban, please make the case for me. Otherwise I’ll be the first in line at my hardware store tomorrow.


  18. Found one that works! Cascade Action Pacs -Citrus scent (orange color) Remarkable just like the old days, leaves no residue and no slippery feeling. Squeaky clean results and not harsh to the glasses and silverware. I have been experimenting for months. Tried Finish Powerball and it left some spots. If they don’t work, I return them until I find the one that does works. The action pacs citrus work better than the Cascade complete which left a slippery feeling which to me is some kind of residue.

  19. I had ALL the same problems as those listed above. I was ready to throw my black plastic utensils and many of our dishes away. What I am doing now (after a lot of research) is the following: I fill the small prewash cup with any dishwasher detergent. I fill the large wash cup with citric acid, which I buy at the health food store. My dishes are coming out clean! I just bought a new dishwasher so I am a bit afraid of the TSP. It is my understanding that Allen (12/17) is correct that it was STTP taken out of the dish detergent, not TSP. Citric Acid is the first ingredient in Crystal Light, FruitFresh and in Lemon/Lime Koolaid. You can buy just the crystals online or at Helath Food Stores.

  20. Here is a link for you chemistry students. I read it but still don’t know if TSP is safe to use or not. I sincerely hope so as it would be much cheaper than what I am doing.

  21. I have all the same problems in Utah. I called a dishwasher repair person out to fix my dishwasher. He told me to clean my dishwasher with muriatic acid (a pool and pond cleaner) every few months. You have to let the dishwasher fill with hot water and pour in a cup of the muriatic acid in the bottom and let it go through all the cycles. It gets rid of the film covering the dishwasher. You can also put your dishes and glasses which have film on them in too. DON’T put in the silverware or stainless steel pots and pans or aluminum. In general, he said to run the hot water (needs 120 degrees) in the sink first before starting the dishwasher. Put in only a tablespoon of powdered dish soap and use jet dry in rinse container. I haven’t done this enough to figure out if it works well. The muriatic acid worked like a charm.

  22. MARKIE OBRIEN says:

    TSP will etch glass, destroy dishwasher gaskets, and void your warranty.

  23. Teri in Whitewater WI says:

    Phospates are not the answer the following is taken in part from the link Environmental effects TSP was once the major component of laundry and dishwashing detergents. However, the phosphate contained in these products was not removed from wastewater during treatment and was then subsequently discharged into watersheds and larger bodies of water. There, phosphate was often the limiting agent for waterborne plant life, and the excess caused algal blooms and subsequent eutrophication of lakes and estuaries. Even cleaning products labeled as TSP may contain other ingredients as well, and may, in fact, be less than half trisodium phosphate.

    If using Citric Acid be sure you are purchasing FOOD GRADE only or it will be to strong, (in part from the MSDS) aqueous solutions of citric acid can, if in contact with reactive metal (iron, zinc, aluminum) form hydrogen which may form explosive mixtures.
    Here’s a link to where FOOD GRADE Citric Acid can be purchased inexpensively a 16 oz resealable bag is only $7.00!

    Happy & Healthy New Year Peace out from someone who participated in the 1st Earth Day 🙂

  24. former dawn user says:

    Can anybody tell me if I can add TSP to my liquid dish soap? We don’t have a dishwasher machine besides me:-)

  25. Judy,

    It’s people like you and that Sierra Club that are taking America down with your chronic complaining about anything and everything. Ever flown in a plane from N.Y. to L.A. or anywhere else for that matter? What do you see from the plane? TREES! It’s all land and TREES! And another thing … the polar bears ain’t floating around on ice bergs either. Get a life and leave mine alone. I’m gonna go out and get me a big box of TSP and get my stuff clean again.

  26. Curious as to what exactly was taken out of soaps, I did some reading. This is what I found, but I can’t remember everything from Chemistry…so maybe those of you who are chemists can help out!

    It looks as if Sodium Tri-Polyphosphate was the item taken out of the detergents. I found this on the back of my FINISH box. And I’m not sure if Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) is entirely safe to use instead of the STPP.
    Here are the actual molecular makeups of each one:

    Sodium Tripolyphosphate (STPP):
    Na5-P3-O10 (5 sodium atoms + 3 phosphorous atoms + 10 Oxygen atoms)

    Trisodium Phosphate (TSP):
    Na3-P-O4 (3 sodium atoms + 1 phosphorous + 4 Oxygen atoms)

    As you can see, while they are related, they are not the same.
    They are both bases from what I read. So adding vinegar in with either one would dilute it out. Don’t know what the PH level is for each one, other than they are a base. Hope this helps add to the discussion on a good remedy to the problem!

  27. I like to fish.

    Its a pretty well understood principle that phosphates in wastewater and agriculture are the main cause of eutrophication, which causes algae blooms and fish die offs in lakes and rivers. If you’ve ever seen eutrophication (and smelled it) at lake or river that you love, you know that something is wrong. This is why phosphates were phased out of laundry detergents about 20 years ago and why they are being phased out of dishwasher detergents now (by 16 states looking to protect the health of their lakes and rivers, not by the federal government).

    Its frustrating to see spots on your dishes when you work hard to make your house your castle. I hope you can use some of the solutions listed above that don’t require additional phosphates. I think that soon there will be phosphate free products that are just as good as what you were used to.
    And in the meantime, maybe you can think, when you eat off of dishes with spots, that our daily bread really doesn’t taste any different.

  28. Sorry JC it is not just “spots” on the dishes. The buildup on the dishwasher itself got so bad (doing what I had always done BTW) that we bought a new dishwasher. I “go green” in many other ways and I too want to avoid algae bloom. However, I will not do something that doesn’t work. I live in the desert with ultra hard well water. The citric acid is working for me now. And, Teri (12/31) I found that I can buy 10# of food grade citric acid for $47.50 (including shipping)from

  29. my clothes have not been coming out sister said add a spoonful of powdered dishsoap because it has phosphates and thats what makes your clothes now theres no phosphates in the dish soap so will TSP work?

  30. Larry Thiel says:

    Hey Bob Power.
    We don’t really have a need for a Finnish salesman here.
    And obviously since you’re making the same stupid posts on every website where this discussion is going on, it’s pretty obvious that you work for them.
    And it’s also pretty obvious that your phosphate free crap is no better than the Cascade phosphate free crap.

  31. Colleen Calhoun says:

    Sure glad to know that I am not the only person having so many problems with the dish washer. I had sear’s out about 6 times to try to find out what was wrong with my dishwasher. Over that period of time I was washing the dishes by hand. I finally gave up and bought a new dish washer. I have always used liquid Cascade. But the new dishwasher after maybe three months was leaving the dishes with a white deposit on them. Then recently I discovered that I had forgot to buy Cascade and remembered that I had a old box of granular Cascade in storage, so I went and got it and the first load was shiny again. It is really maddening that Sear’s hauled off a dish washer to the dump that was perfectly good. I also find it amazing that as many people that is having trouble they didn’t have any idea what the problem might be!!! I didn’t receive any answers from Cascade when I e.mailed the about the problem. Guess they don’t want to talk about it either.Going to Lowe’s tommorrow in the AM. Thanks for all the info.

  32. I live in Florida, on the central Gulf coast. Our water supply is from our well that provides very hard water.

    When the phosphates were taken out of our dish washing detergent, not only did our dishes no longer get clean, but our dishwasher was coated with a thick layer of white, hard material, and the openings from which water sprays were clogged — many totally.

    I am a marine ecologist (Ph.D.)and the irony of this situation is that phosphorus is not something that is an ecological problem in this part of Florida. Our streams and lakes have high levels of phosphorus naturally. Most of the phosphorus that is mined and used for fertilizers, detergents, etc. comes from this area. Thus the little bit of phosphorus in detergent has little or no environmental impact, because there is already so much in the waters. Nitrogen, not phosphorus (P) is the limiting nutrient in this area.

    Despite this, we still can’t buy dish washing detergent that works and has P. It is a problem of indiscriminate application of a good idea that is not a good idea in every case.

    If I lived in many other places in the country, P is a problem for water bodies, and I would forgo using P, even if it meant that my dishes were not clean and my dishwasher failed.

    However, there are many places in the US where P is not a problem — places like Arizona, where there are practically no water bodies, for example. Environmentalists would do better to make sure that their good intentions are applied reasonably and with scientific understanding and discretion.

    For me, I will just add TSP. I don’t think that adding a a few tablespoons per load can damage your dishwasher or anything in them. I had to run several loads with about a cup of TSP just to partially unclog all the spray openings in our dishwasher.

  33. Peter Thomson says:

    Jess was right about adding vinegar to eliminate the detergent residue on glasses, plates and utensils. We are on well water and have a septic system so phosphates should not be a problem for the environment. We do have a lot of lime in our water(hard water) so vinegar helps neutralize the wash water. The trick is getting the vinegar into the wash conveniently. Our dishwasher has a prewash and wash cycle so it fills and empties multiple times and it is difficult to add vinegar at just the right times.
    I made a vinegar dispenser from an empty margarine container. I drilled 5 quarter inch holes in the lid and drilled 6 quarter inch holes around the circumference of the container about one inch from the top. You fill the dispenser with vinegar and put it in the dishwasher. The spray goes into the container from the top and dispenses the vinegar through the holes in the side. By the end of the wash cycle all the vinegar has been dispensed and the remaining contents is the rinse water.

    The dishes come out sparkling clean just like they used to and we can all feel good about going green. You can use the same vinegar that you use for your salad dressing but you can also buy it by the gallon in your supermarket very reasonably.

    I hope this helps everyone adjust to the phosphate ban so we can both be clean and green at the same time.

  34. Home Depot sells TSP that works great!! cycled my washer once with tsp 1/2 cup and used 1 tablespoon and my dishes came out as good as they did before this stupid change. Home depot sells TSP for 3.96 (cheaper than Lowes) its the powder form located in their paint department.

  35. i to thought that my dishwasher was broke and thought it was my Mobil park messing with the pipes all the time every glass and pot is white and grey and black i tried bleach so i went to my other dishwasher that is new and had the same thing happen i was ashamed to let any one drink out of our glasses and bought new one just to have the same thing happen so a thing on are news about this and i am so glade to find this to solve the problem i am on my way to Lowe’s

  36. White vinegar is an acid and does work, however the appliance manufactures do not recommend it except for occasional use as it could damage the dishwasher. User beware.

  37. Scotty Canuck says:

    Hello from the Great White North!
    Canada also banned phosphates (Federally) about the same time, maybe sooner. All of what has been posted here certainly applies above the world’s longest undefended border as well. Recently it has been making the evening news as well, most reports advising to go with the vinegar trick.
    Probably explains why I’ve seen so many dishwashers on the street heading for the dump, (maybe?) or off to a recycler. (probably as most larger Canadian cities have had “green” programs for years)

    Now that the TSP / STTP issue seems to be well explained, I will check out Lowes (yes we do have them up here now, yay!) for these compounds as well as suss out the industrial outlets, the “hobby” shops and the liquidators. I guess if it doesn’t get damp, dish power doesn’t have a “Best Before” date to worry about. 😉

    As far as I can tell, New York has not jumped on this mis-guided bandwagon and Buffalo is only 90 mins. from my house.
    So, with passport in hand, I’m a-going cross-border shopping with my worth $1.02 US Canuck Bucks as my contribution to US economy recovery.

    Thanks to all for your insight and Judy, the East Coast seal hunt starts soon, c’mon up and club a nice fur coat.

  38. Here in FL, had the same cloudy residue problem.(Also thought dishwasher was on its way out. Could hardly even pull out the racks.) I have found a product called Lemi Shine. Purchased it at my local Walmart, in the dishwashing detergent aisle. You use it with your detergent. It is FABULOUS!!!!

  39. The unintended consequences of this EPA ban nonsense is to make things worse for the environment.

    People are going to use twice as much soap, twice as much water, twice as much energy, and twice as much money (that could have gone to planting a tree) to get their dishes clean.

    All because of some kooky green central planning Nazis. Are they really happy now?

  40. These regulations are all most all ways made by city living liberals who might make up 30% of our population but live on 10% of the land. Of course your going to get more algea blooms in a city water system that drains into your rivers. How about the people that live in the country with a septic tank that does not drain into a river or stream. All a phosphate is is fertilizer so its great for my leach field and plants not to mention keeping my extremely hard well water from ruining my DW.
    If you dont want to use phosphates then dont but keep your stupid city laws to your selves.

  41. beer_and _guns says:

    As the ward of the kitchen in my house, I’ve been fretting about having to buy a new dishwasher because the dishes were not coming out clean. Thanks to due diligence on her part while researching new dishwashers, my wife found out about this whole green-weenie fart-smelling fiasco of banning phosphates. What a load of horse hooey!!!!!!!!!!!! OK – here goes for all you tree hugging, bunny cuddling so-called ‘environmentalists’ (if you can take a moment from driving your hummers and/or gigantic SUV’s, put your i-phone down and basically get the %@*$ out of your ears): Liberalism ALWAYS, repeat, ALWAYS induces the exact OPPOSITE of its stated intent. If you don’t agree, tell me one instance where liberalism obtained its goals by imposing on anyone else’s free will. PLEASE

  42. Lemishine devotee! Solved our problem with residue from dishwasher detergent. I just add 1T Lemishine to detergent – dishes come even cleaner than detergent with phosphates. Glasses have never been as shiny!!!

  43. I don’t really see any comments here by people who appear to be Nazis. Why can’t people just recognize differences of opinion without exuding hate and calling each other names? And for those of you quoting scripture, how about John 15:12: “This is my commandment, That ye love one another as I have loved you.”

  44. Sharon MacNeille says:

    I live in Florida. I was going crazy hand washing my “clean” dishes too. I tried one cup of white vinegar in the wash cycle. Just let the wash cycle go for about a minute then pour the vinegar in. If you put it in before the cycle begins it will just drain out. It really works!!! It’s safe and cheap!

  45. @Peter Thomson – You, sir, are a genius. What a simple and effective little margarine tub invention you made for adding vinegar to the rinse cycle. (Look up about a dozen posts before this one…) And thanks to all for the useful comments and insight. I only wish some of the visitors here could take a break from hurling slurs. Mr. Thomson, your suggestion get the prize! Thank you.

  46. To Pam or Peter Thomson: Where exactly do you place the vinegar dispenser? Can you give us a link to a picture of your dispenser? Thank you!

  47. After trying every suggestion on this list and having a breakdown over the inability to get any on my dishes clean. I tryed a product I got at wallmart called Lemi Shine. I LOVE IT!!!! everything is shinny and film free. good luck!!!

  48. After enduring 2+ months of cloudy glasses, dulled silverware and the dreaded white film covering everything from my kids’ plastic dishes to my ceramic dinnerware, I was at my wits’ end. My dishes looked horrible and I just knew that they were probably ruined for good. I had tried everything…vinegar, bleach, Dishwasher Magic (that helped a little), but nothing was getting the film off of my dishes and keeping it off. I finally went and bought a box of TSP, but was nervous about using it after I read the label. I bought it anyway, but on the same day, I went to WalMart and picked up a can of LemiShine, too. When I first started having the problem, I had read some information about LemiShine, but didn’t think it would work since it’s used to remove hard water stains (which wasn’t my problem). But I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give that a shot before I went to the heavy duty stuff (TSP). I followed the directions, ran the dishwasher and when it was done, became giddy at how good the dishes looked. All of them looked clean again! Bright silverware, clear glasses, plastic cups that don’t have white powder embedded in them. It’s probably a little sad at how excited I am about clean dishes! I wish that I would have given LemiShine a try 2 months ago when I first saw it, I could have saved myself a lot of aggravation. I also switched to Finish Quantum tabs; quite a bit more expensive than what I was paying for my old powdered detergent, but that mixed with the LemiShine seem to do the trick.

    By the way, a few days later, a GE repairman had come to fix my freezer. As he was working, I mentioned the white film and what a pain it was. He showed me a memo on his computer that GE had sent out in the spring, warning the techs that they would be receiving an influx of calls because of the ban on phosphates and the residue that the new detergents leave on dishes. In the memo, it said that the results seemed better when using non-powdered detergent and a bit of powderized citric acid added to each load. The repairman said that he adds 1/2 a tsp. to his dishwasher along with the detergent and doesn’t have any problems now. I plan on pricing the citric acid and if it’s cost effective, maybe giving it a try. For now, though, I’m happy with the LemiShine and feel much safer using it than the TSP. Oh, also, LemiShine’s ingredient label says that it has real fruit acids, natural citrus oils and fragrance. It is also phosphate-free. Hope that helps.

  49. Once again environmental fanatics have pushed another piece of “one size fits all” legislation into our morass of stupid laws. Phosphate is NOT an environmental hazard or pollutant. It’s a fertilizer and a key ingredient in laundry and dishwashing detergents. The only problem with it is that it’s a good fertilizer and IF it winds up in ponds and streams can boost the growth of algae. That’s only a problem in parts of the country where waste water gets into the water table. That’s NOT the case in most WESTERN states. Waste water in this part of the country goes into septic systems or sewer evaporating ponds and eventually evaporates. It DOES NOT go into rivers or streams. The problem here is that water is scarce, expensive and (usually) hard. Phosphates in detergents are the only reasonable way to get clothes or dishes clean. Now we have thousands of people using more water, hotter water, double cycles, etc, trying to get things clean. Net effect is more energy consumption and more water use. Responsible environmental protection requires knowledge and common sense. Put scientists and engineers in charge of environmental regulation and get the idiots out.

  50. David Amerman says:

    Hey, Does anyone know if using just TSP will work. TSP is a cleaning agent, I was just curious. Thank you.