Phosphates help dishwasher detergents clean better, but they also boost algae growth in freshwater, threatening fish and plant life. Bans on dishwasher detergents with all but trace amounts of phosphates, like the one in effect in Spokane, Washington, are designed to help the environment.
But many of the eco-friendly dishwasher detergents we recently tested are not great cleaners. Read our latest report on dishwasher detergents (available to subscribers) to find out which of the liquid, packet, powder, and tablet products scored the best in our tough tests, and watch our video on how we test dishwasher detergents (right).
To get the cleanest dishes, scrape off heavy soil before you load them into your dishwasher. Skip the prerinsing, which wastes energy and water. Then:
• Load large items at the sides and back so they don't block water and detergent.
• Face the dirtier side of dishes toward the center of the machine.
• Keep dishes and utensils from nesting.
• Place glasses upside down on prongs so that they don't fill with water. e-mail | Twitter | Forums | Facebook
Essential information: If you're in the market for a new dishwasher, read our latest report and check out our free buyer's guide.
Very glad to see this report. I live in Spokane and my experience with the eco-friendly detergents hasn't been good; the stuff just doesn't work well. My wife and I have resorted to buying our dishwasher detergent elsewhere (we'll come back from trips to Seattle with bottles and bottles of detergent) just so we can have clean dishes.
"Place glasses upside down on prongs so that they don't fill with water."
In our household, plastic cups and dishes that flip over, fill with dishwater, then splash all over the clean dishes when you pull out the rack, are known as anti-dishes. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti_matter)
That's great, McLoffs. You're the only one who doesn't have to follow the rules so that you can live in such a beautiful place without it turning into Beijing.
" eco-friendly ... not as effective .."
Many of these newer, earth-friendly items are in the same league as those infamously-bad ~ ~ 1.2/1.5 gal/ toilets.
Even after several attempts, some Still don't get the job done! Or, that costly 'bladder' of those w/ power boost cost as much as a new, entire unit to replace!
What's the great "savings" IF all dishes should be fully-rinsed beforehand?
I was told (after complainig to Cascade) that all phosphates will be removed from DW detergents by 2010. "Cascade with Dawn" is a 'no phosphate' detergent. It doesn't work. My glasses are filled with what can be best described as silt and have to be rewashed after they are "washed" in the dishwasher. I suspect my water bill will be going through the roof as a result. What is the environmental savings if we all must use so much more water? The only other solution is to run many smaller loads with twice the amount of detergent and the rinse agent of course. This was a boneheaded and shortsighted move.
At everret and kate
The point of this was not to be "cost effective" no one ever said that and thats beside the point.
They are trying to see wether or not the ecofriendly ones can get the job done.