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nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
reply to Trimline

Re: [Appliances] Sharing My 99.95 Dishwasher Lesson

I've had dishwasher problems for years. It started when 'they' banned phosphate detergent.
After much reading, I tried Finish Powerball tabs, and had pretty good luck with them.
My wife brought home some generic 'pods' from the dollar store (Dollar General, I believe). They work even better than the Finish tabs.
All the other name brands I've tried in the interim (powders and tabs, never liquids) have been crap.
Last year a relative passed away and I found several boxes of old 'phosphate' dish washing detergent. Our dishes hadn't been that clean in years. I was sad when we ran out. I'm thoroughly convinced this is the problem.

My dishwasher does still require a good 'manual' cleaning from time to time to degrease it. This was never necessary "pre-ban".
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.

TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel
I had the same white film problem when detergents went phosphate-free. I was using Cascade brand which used to be fine but after going phosphate-free it always left a white film over everything.

Tried several alternatives and eventually found out the Finish tabs worked the best out of everything I tried. Still not as good as the old phosphate detergents but at least it didn't leave any white film behind.

Thankfully the dishwasher never clogged up during the short amount of time we had the white film problem.

As for putting the detergent tab outside of the manufacturer's intended dispenser, that depends on the dishwasher. Some have a short pre-rinse cycle before the main wash cycle and you'll just end up losing most of the detergent before the wash cycle.


Trimline
Premium
join:2004-10-24
Windermere, FL
Reviews:
·ObiVoice
·Bright House
·Callcentric
·voip.ms

1 edit
reply to nunya
To all searching for phosphate detergent, you can find on Amazon (my surprise) or here - »www.restockit.com/cascade-automa···%29.html (this is like a 5 year supply as you buy the case).

Edit: I bought the Cascade with phosphates, and it truly does get your dishes spotless. Expensive though, but so is a service call...

iknow_t

join:2012-05-03
said by Trimline:

To all searching for phosphate detergent, you can find on Amazon (my surprise) or here - »www.restockit.com/cascade-automa···%29.html (this is like a 5 year supply as you buy the case).

Edit: I bought the Cascade with phosphates, and it truly does get your dishes spotless. Expensive though, but so is a service call...

why not just add some Trisodium phosphate to regular detergent?? it's a lot cheaper that way..


Booost

@optonline.net
reply to nunya
Buy detergent with phosphates from Restockit. A case of 6 will last a couple years. Problem solved.


DannyZ
Gentoo Fanboy
Premium
join:2003-01-29
Erie, PA
Cascade with phosphates can be purchased at restaurant supply houses such as GFS. No need to pay shipping for most people


shinjuru
Premium,Mod
join:2000-10-29
West Coast
Reviews:
·SureWest Internet
I want to really stay on topic, but isn't there any alternatives to using products with phosphates? It's been a huge problem for treatment plants, lakes, and waterways. I can completely relate to the current dishwasher cleaners not being very good, but surely recommending the use of phosphates is counter-productive.
--
Data - Game-Tech - Nor*Cal

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
Reread my earlier post

iknow_t

join:2012-05-03
reply to shinjuru
said by shinjuru:

I want to really stay on topic, but isn't there any alternatives to using products with phosphates? It's been a huge problem for treatment plants, lakes, and waterways. I can completely relate to the current dishwasher cleaners not being very good, but surely recommending the use of phosphates is counter-productive.

hard water leaves a film, and calcium and other deposits, this is why you get spots on dishes and glasses and over time can clog the jets in the arms. using a water softener is one step.


Booost

@optonline.net

2 recommendations

reply to shinjuru
Residential dishwashers were never a real problem regarding phosphates. Just a scapegoat. The big source is agriculture. Also given that restaurants can still use phosphates should give you a clue that it's nothing to lose sleep over.


WhyADuck
Premium
join:2003-03-05
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to Trimline
I have a feeling that the OP must have some unusual combination of a specific type of water, bad luck, and a know-it-all repairman.

Regarding buying a case of dishwashing detergent, I have read in several places that you should use it within six months of purchase. Since I figure that manufacturers and random advice givers always move "use by" dates far ahead of where they really need to be, I've never hesitated to use up the last of an "old" box of the stuff, but rarely do I use one that's over about a year and a half old. Still, buying a 5 year supply MIGHT be asking for trouble; I have no idea how much the ingredients degrade over time.

The white film you occasionally see is a result of phospates being removed but it is harmless. People don't like it on their glasses but it's nothing that will hurt you. If I recall correctly, it's some kind of calcium-based substance that occurs naturally.

If you don't want to buy detergent containing phospate, one alternate approach is to buy just the phospate itself and add it to each load. According to some pages I read about a year ago, the stuff you want is called sodium tripolyphosphate. Do NOT confuse this with TSP (trisodium phosphate) nor TSP-PF (trisodium phosphate WITHOUT the phosphate), the latter two are available at most hardware stores but are poisonous, and even if you take the approach that you're going to rinse it off the dishes anyway, neither works as well as sodium tripolyphosphate. You can buy it in various sized containers at one of these links:

»www.chemistrystore.com/Chemicals···ate.html
»www.soapgoods.com/Sodium-Tripoly···267.html

One of the pages I saw suggested using about a teaspoonful to each load. That may even be serious overkill, since originally phosphates were only about 1/20th of the total volume of the detergent (in dishwashing detergent, it was 0.7 grams per tablespoon, or about 5.3% phosphates, though that was probably a low phosphate formula. A regular formula would have about 9% phosphate).

But here is the thing that I found totally ridiculous: This stuff was removed from both dishwashing and laundry detergents BUT if you are running a commercial establishment like a restaurant or hotel, not only can you still buy commercial grade detergents with this stuff, but according to some web sites they are actually REQUIRED to use them by law. So it's okay to screw the environment (supposedly this stuff contributes to algae growth, which in some roundabout way kills fish) if you are a big business, but not if you are an individual that just wants clean dishes. And most restaurants run their dishwashers several times a day, every day, whereas an individual that doesn't do much cooking may only run the dishwasher about once a week, and even a typical family will rarely run it more than once a day.

There is an article about this fiasco here:

»www.weeklystandard.com/articles/···opager=1

I must confess that I have not personally tried the sodium tripolyphosphate; once I found out that the white film was harmless I just didn't care as much. But for those that want the film gone, but don't want to buy a five year supply of detergent, this might be the way to go. Plus, you did not hear this from me, but I have read where some environmentally irresponsible people have started adding this stuff to their laundry detergent to once again get whiter whites and brighter colors, as the old detergent ads used to proclaim. Personally I would only consider doing that if you live in the middle of a desert, many miles from any source of fresh water, but definitely not if you live in one of the great lakes states or near any freshwater lake - that really would be irresponsible. Still, I wonder if hotels, motels, hospitals, prisons, etc. in those areas are still using the phospate-laden stuff in their laundries.


WhyADuck
Premium
join:2003-03-05
kudos:1
reply to iknow_t
said by iknow_t:

why not just add some Trisodium phosphate to regular detergent?? it's a lot cheaper that way..

Yes, and it's poisonous (though if your dishwasher rinses really well, maybe not enough will be left to affect you). What you need is sodium tripolyphosphate, which is a different substance entirely. See my previous post above.

garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
reply to WhyADuck
Thanks for the information about TSP vs sodium tripolyphosphate. I did try TSP in my dishwasher right after the phosphate ban went into effect and saw no improvement in the "white film" issue. I've since gone to store-brand "pods" of detergent that seem to work better than the powders. I've wondered why the TSP didn't seem to do anything (and I'm glad I didn't poison the family!) and now I know.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
reply to WhyADuck
I still use the old style Cascade powder and have no issues with white film. Glassware is crystal clear.


Trimline
Premium
join:2004-10-24
Windermere, FL
reply to WhyADuck
Great informative posting, thanks.

I looked up the Cascade formula and found "This Cascade formula averages not more than 7.0% phosphorus, which is equivalent to 0.9 gram per tablespoon"

iknow_t

join:2012-05-03
reply to WhyADuck
said by WhyADuck:

said by iknow_t:

why not just add some Trisodium phosphate to regular detergent?? it's a lot cheaper that way..

Yes, and it's poisonous (though if your dishwasher rinses really well, maybe not enough will be left to affect you). What you need is sodium tripolyphosphate, which is a different substance entirely. See my previous post above.

except that it's NOT poisonous!. it's used in detergents and as a food additive, and for exercise performance!. »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trisodium_phosphate

AVonGauss
Premium
join:2007-11-01
Boynton Beach, FL
reply to WhyADuck
said by WhyADuck:

Do NOT confuse this with TSP (trisodium phosphate) nor TSP-PF (trisodium phosphate WITHOUT the phosphate), the latter two are available at most hardware stores but are poisonous, and even if you take the approach that you're going to rinse it off the dishes anyway, neither works as well as sodium tripolyphosphate.

I always knew those Cheerios were going to be bad for me...

Beezel

join:2008-12-15
Las Vegas, NV
I never use heated dry, since I use hi-temp wash and rinse. There is enough heat in the cabinet to let it dry on it's own. I use the Finish Power Tabs with Finish Rinse Aid. Never have any white spots or problems with dishes or glassware.


Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
reply to iknow_t
In trace amounts it may not be an issue. On the other hand, don't use it to bake a cake.

TSP MSDS
downloadTrisodium ph···hate.pdf 96191 bytes
TSP MSDS


Many products also list sodium hydroxide as an ingredient. Sodium hydroxide is not something you want to ingest either.
--


mix

join:2002-03-19
Utica, MI

1 recommendation

reply to WhyADuck