Many states adopted a phosphate ban in dishwasher soaps in 2010 in order to protect the environment. Manufacturers knew the bans were coming and decided to reformulate their products for all 50 states in order to make them phosphate free. Phosphates damage the environment by promoting algae growth. This harms the health of fresh water ecosystem and damages our water supply. So, the ban is good for the environment but created a problem with cleaning supplies since phosphates were the main cleaning ingredient in soaps and detergent. Since you now have to buy phosphate free dishwashing detergent you have probably noticed a white film developing on all your dishes. You may have wondered what in the world was happening since you didn’t change detergents. The white stuff sticking to your glasses is calcium carbonate, which may not look pretty but it is harmless.One of the largest manufacturers of detergents, Proctor and Gamble, has seen an abundance of complaints on its website:
“White residue.” “Horribly disappointed.” “Ruined dishes.”
“The hard water reacts with the new soap. It makes the soap have a tough time washing the dishes and it also has a hard time dissolving completely and that’s where you get the film on your dishes,” said a representative from P&G.
“Phosphate was a major workhorse ingredient. It helped remove stains and food and grease on your dishes and your glasses. It is not an easy process. You can’t just take out a major ingredient and overnight come up with a product that’s gonna do the same thing,” said Brian Sansoni, American Cleaning Institute.
Proctor and Gamble said its research and development teams have been working for two years in order to come up with solutions that work as well as the phosphate containing detergents. P&G claims spotting or filming can occur, particularly in harder water, with these new phosphate-free formulas.
Big detergent companies say they are working hard to come up with a solution. Yet they have taken this ban and made it an opportunity to attempt to sell you more products. P&G recommends using a dishwasher cleaner, which they produce and charge you money for every six months. You can buy rinse aids, the most expensive soaps, and water softeners galore, BUT YOU DON’T HAVE TO! Save your money and time by using our secret dishwashing ingredient: vinegar.
We have found that adding a little vinegar at the beginning of the wash cycle completely solves the problem.
The Miracle of Cleaning with Vinegar
We discovered the solution with an idea from the big soap manufacturers themselves. One suggested cleaning the dishwasher with a cup of vinegar from time to time. We tried it and it worked on the dishwasher but the glassware was still spotty. So on a whim, we added the vinegar to the rinse cycle while the dishes were still in the dishwasher. BEAUTIFUL RESULTS! Unfortunately, the spots returned as soon as we returned to the regular way of doing dishes. For a while, we tried to add vinegar to the rinse cycle every time, but it is just impossible to catch the cycle at the right moment every time. Plus we were going through A LOT of vinegar. Then one day we decided to add the vinegar at the beginning. We filled the side of the closing side of the soap dispenser with soap as usual, and the side of the dispenser that does not close with vinegar. It only holds a couple of tablespoons, and the soap cycle comes after, so it seemed like a crazy plan, but IT WORKED!
Now we tell everyone! Not only can people use phosphate free dishwashing detergent but they also have a simple and effective solution to avoid white, chalky dishes! Using inexpensive dish-washing detergent and adding a couple tablespoons of white vinegar is all you need for sparkling dishes. The dishes have never come out cleaner! Hope this little tip from daisy maids will make your life easier- and cleaner!