Low phosphate detergent leaves film on dishes

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Editor’s note: This segment originally aired Oct. 15, 2010.

Have you noticed your dishes recently started developing a white, dusty film on them after they come out of the dishwasher? Don’t blame the dishwasher, it’s actually the detergent itself.

Detergent manufacturers have had to reformulate their detergents to meet new stricter standards for phosphates in 17 states. It turns out phosphates are great for cleaning dishes, but not so good for the water supply, hence the change.

So what to do? Should you wash dishes by hand after you wash them in machine? Well, the dishes are not dirty, they just look a little dirty with the white, dusty film. So that really isn’t necessary.

Consumer Reports recently test phosphate-free or low-phoshpate detergents and couldn’t find a single one they really recommended, though 7 were deemed to be of acceptable quality. Obviously, the detergent makers need to go back to the drawing board with their formulas.

Just remember, it’s not the fault of your dishwasher. It’s the fault of the detergent!



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