Ask The Readers: What Happened To Dishwasher Detergent?

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine about dishwashers and dirty, spotty dishes. To be more exact we were talking about the fact that dishwasher detergent is not what it used to be.

The dishes do not come out clean? They have spots and stains that they never used to have? Even the inside of my dishwasher is turning all cloudy and nasty.

Has anyone else noticed this?

From what I can tell the reason behind this is the recent changes that companies have had to make to their detergents. They have had to remove phosphates from their detergents due to laws and regulations in many states and the newer ones without the phosphates do not work as well.

Now, I have no interest in debating whether or not they should be required to remove phosphates, but what I do have an interest in is clean dishes.

We dirty a lot of dishes in our house and I would rather not have to wash them two or three times in order to get them clean.

Several years ago when we discovered that my daughter’s asthma was triggered by smells and chemicals, I gave up basically all my cleaners and soaps and switched to more natural solutions.

However, after trying many alternative methods for dishwasher soap, I gave up and went back that green bottle at the store that we are all familiar with. It worked and the natural type ones did not. The more natural versions did not get my dishes clean.

I did think about making homemade dishwasher soaps, but all the versions I have heard about contained borax, and borax is one of the things that triggers my daughter’s asthma. I discovered this when I tried to make homemade laundry soap.

Borax has a very strong smell and is very powdery and it immediately triggers an asthma attack for her. So, that green bottle of dishwasher detergent is what I have used until now.

However, that green bottle of dishwasher soap that I have used and loved for years has not been working the same.

So, my question for today is has anyone else noticed this problem? If so, have you found a good solution? Are some brands better than others?

Is there something I can add to my soap to make it work again? Or is there a homemade version that really works and is safe to use (and does not use borax)?

I would love to hear your thoughts on dishwasher detergent.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. I’ve moved all over the country a lot over the past six years. I’ve found that every place we’ve lived I’ve had to use a different kind of detergent. Differences in the water quality and the dishwasher itself affect the cleaning.

    Some of the things I’ve read said that it really is best to use the brand your dishwasher recommends. However, my dishwasher recommends the green bottle and I just don’t think it works as well. Powders leave a horrible buildup. Gels cake on the dispenser container and I have a hard time shutting the door before I run a load.

    I’ve had to turn to using the gel capsule things made by the same company as the green bottle. I haven’t heard good things about homemade dishwasher detergent. I’ll be anxious to hear if anyone else has luck with the homemade stuff. Be sure to include if your water is hard or soft if you offer up a recipe. Thanks! :)

    • @CherubMamma, I agree about water. It does make a difference. That is a good point. I have lived in the same house for 6 years, so I think mine is a soap issue. But I am curious what others will say.

      • Mario Saccoccio says:

        You can thank the EPA and the bloated, over-regulating bureaucracy in Washington for this…
        Add 2~4 Tbl of TSP (Tri-sodium Phosphate, found in paint departments and paint stores) to your dishwasher and see the difference! Just add it along with your “green” detergent. Also, add 1/4 cup of TSP to your laundry detergent and your clothes will once again smell fresh and look great!
        “Guns don’t kill people, Governments kill people!”

        • @Mario Saccoccio, Yes, I do thank the EPA that there are fewer phosphates in our waterways, and our water quality is improved. There is a good reason phosphates are being phased out. This wasn’t done just on a whim.
          There are plenty of alternatives that work well.

          • Ummm – not really. Which is why most large industry still uses phosphates for critical cleaning, instead of the alternatives. At a home level, the average dish washer person uses much more water (either by hand or by machine) to get “clean” dishes. The EPA has not established how (or even if) phosphates, as a chemical class, enter waterways. It is now suspected that another chemical decomposes or reacts into phosphorus byproducts. Waste water treatment easily removes phosphorus, septic system do not leach it into waterways (unless they dump directly into a water body) – the supposed sources have a hard times getting to water…so now we use twice as much water to both flush new toilets and wash the dishes – that really helps those precious waterways…sigh.

        • Would you believe I simply added a TABLESPOON of TSP to the CHEAP liquid detergent. It was called Xtra and I was shocked at the results.My daughter had a nice blouse and she was upset because I could not get the stain out. I added the cheap detergent to the TSP in the wash machine.I let it swish around then added the clothing.The shirt was the last item I put in.I simply dipped it into the water then rubbed the fabric together where the chocolate stain was then simply threw it back in.I was SHOCKED that with no pretreatments and cheap detergent and a tiny amount of tsp added to the washer and not directly on the item worked so well in cold water to boot.
          As I type this I have a white hot water load of whites washing.I again added a tablespoon to the wash water and this time Members Mark like Tide liquid laundry dergent.I was so surprised to see how gray the water was. Has out detergent really got that bad?

  2. How old is your dishwasher? We had an older dishwasher that was doing a really bad job and when we got a newer one it was amazing how much better it did. Also we have hard water and the dishwasher repair man said to add a cup of white vinegar to the bottom of the dishwasher every so often before running. I use less but about every other load. I do believe that todays dishwasher detergents are geared toward newer dishwashers. Don’t know if any of that helps or not. :)

    • @JESSIE HILL, The dishwasher is about 6 years old, but it is a kitchen aid and it has always worked great. That might be it, but I am leaning towards it being the soap. However I could be wrong, which is why I am asking my readers. Your point about newer detergents being geared for newer dishwashers might be part of it though. A newer dishwasher might handle the newer soaps better.

      • I am hoping you find the “cure”… our kithcen aid dishwasher is almost 6 years old and my dishes are cleaner before going through a cycle. Our cooking utensils are black with a white film now :-( We’ve tried different soaps. pouring vinegar into the bottom & letting it stand overnight, and running the hot water in the sink before starting it (all google search suggestions). So far no luck.

      • no, it really doesn’t. I bought a new dishwasher and was (and am) disappointed about the outcome. ugh.
        i’ve used the little square capsules which work better than anything, but I completely agree with Chad. too much regulation and still don’t know what they’re doing ! i’m adding TSP after reading this site. thanks.

  3. I heard that powered is better than liquid. I have been using Lemi Shine with my detergent. I tried a load without it and the spots came back. All my other household cleaners are homemade/eco friendly, I just don’t know what to do about the dishwasher.

  4. It is the detergent. The formula was changed (at the same time they changed the packaging design) and it’s ruining the interior of my dishwasher, and leaves a film on my dishes, even when I use Jet Dry. I, too, have a Kitchen Aid which worked fine until I had to buy the “new” Cascade. I’m very curious to find out if there is a better brand out there now.

  5. I agree about the film. It’s horrible now with almost every detergent I try. I’ve put vinegar in the Jet Dry dispenser but found it didn’t work as well as Jet Dry itself. I’ll have adding the vinegar to the bottom of the machine.

    I’ve also used a cleaning product that did seem to get rid of some of the film buildup on my dishwasher itself. I don’t remember the name of it, but you run an empty load with just the bottle of cleaner on the bottom rack. Hot water melts a wax seal on the bottle during the wash cycle and the cleaning product goes to work.

  6. I pour about a 1/2 – 1 cup of white vinegar into the machine before running it, and since I started doing that my dishes come out very clean without all the white spots. The while buildup inside my machine is gone, too.

    • @Mandi, Mandi, do you just put the vinegar in the bottom of the machine, or do you put it in the rinse agent spot?

    • @Mandi, I too use white vinegar and dishes, glasses and utensils come out clean, no spots! I fill the rinse agent reservoir every third run with it. Best part, white vinegar is very inexpensive. I never use powdered dish detergent, cakes up- I only use the little tablets (the liquid filled ones not the powdered) or liquid gel type detergent, and usually store brand!

  7. I use the powerball tablets, and the same problem started happening to me recently. I am unhappy with this. We may have to go back to hand washing and drying everything… Which is unfair and a lot of work!

  8. I too use the green box and it has changed. I was having a problem with spots and a film on my glasses especially. I started running my washer on the hottest setting with vinegar and forgoing soap for every other load. It seems to be helping. You have to rinse your dishes really good before doing this though. The hot water helps kill the germs.

    • I can’t find a solution to my dishwasher. Glasses always have a film on them. I have used jet dry, changed soap. used vinegar. Dishwasher is less than 1 yr old. Tried different things and ways. help

  9. I’m glad this isn’t just me! Our dishes have been coming out terribly for awhile now. I’m going to try using some vinegar and see if that helps. Thanks, everyone!

  10. We had no problems while we were in South Carolina, but when we moved to California with its NAAASTY water, my dishes were almost more disgusting after they had run through the washer.
    After asking around and talking to a few people we found a few products that seem to help! I will take a few pics of them and post them on your facebook wall along with some instructions!

  11. I agree with Mandi, but I have the white vinegar in a spray bottle. After loading the washer I spray everything lightly with white vinegar and put in half the amount of suggested dishwasher powder. It has made a huge difference. I also cleaned the inside by spraying with the vinegar and using a non-scratching scour sponge to remove the remaining white cloud. My dishes and glassware sparkle now and we have well water, which is very hard.

  12. Here is the answer to all your problems: Lemi Shine. I not only promise, but I guarantee it will work and you will love your dishwasher again! You can get it at WalMart.

    • I heard the same good things about Lemi-Shine!

      My understanding is that the phosphates were removed from the detergents – BUT not out of commercial-grade detergent. SO if you have a restaurant supply store, you can still get the old stuff.

      We have white dishes and our water is REALLY hard. I use the Finish tablets with the powerball and occasionally throw a glug or two of vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher.

      I tried using the eco-friendly stuff and it didn’t work at all!! I still have a bit left and tried using it again the other day. Hubby noticed right away!

  13. I have soft water, but have had the same problem. I have cut the dish soap in 1/2 and always use Jet Dry. For the most part it’s much better.
    Also I have not done it, but I understand that the vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher does work. My family has tried it right in the bottom of the dishwasher running it a full cycle with nothing else in there.
    The green box, powder…is all that seems to work for me with the Jet Dry. Prior to that I always used liquid…many/any brand on sale. Not any more.

  14. It’s the new regulations which are a bit ironic when you think about it. To save the environment, they outlaw something that causes you to use 2x or 3x the water to combat the problem that taking the ingredient out causes. It’s the law of unintended consequences, I guess.

    Anyway,I have heard that adding Citric acid to your load (which can be as easy as lemonade UNSWEETENED Koolaid powder. I haven’t eaten through my stash of dishwasher detergent to start seeing a problem, but I also have a dinosaur of a dishwasher which is on its last legs anyway. :)

  15. Elizabeth says:

    My family uses the Seventh Generation natural dishwasher soap in a box, and we have a problem with it leaving our dishes cloudy after the dishwasher is finished. We have very hard water, which might make the problem worse. Our solution is to put about 1/2 cup of vinegar into the dishwasher. I tried putting it into the rinse agent compartment, but that releases too slowly and leaves the dishes with a vinegar smell after the dishwasher is finished. Now, I start the washer, let it drain out the excess water, and wait until I hear it swishing (I do my hand-washing in the sink while this is happening so I don’t have to remember to come back later). Then I open it up, pour the vinegar right on top of the dishes, and close the door. It works really well for us.

    • I have just purchased the 7th Generation in Powder form, advised by Consumer Reports and we have a water softener which I hope will take care of any “cloudy” problem as you have. The only complaint about the detergent was that it did not always clean dirty pots and pans well. I have special cooking pots so I do most all my pots and pans by hand anyway, and since the balance of the magazine’s review was wonderful, I decided to try it. Anxious to check it out.

  16. OK Ladies First of all try this test – Start your dishwasher, but do not put in ANY soap. Let your dishwasher fill and cycle for a few minutes then pop open the door and look in the bottom. What are you looking for you wonder? SUDS! If there are any suds in the bottom chances are you are using too much detergent. Another way to tell is look at your glassware – if its cloudy take a paper towel and some vinegar and wipe the surface if the cloudiness disappears – too much detergent is being used, (if it doesn’t its time to get new glassware ). If excess soap is part of the problem throw some cooking oil in your dishwasher. Weird idea I know, but it will help break down the soap that is built up. Also do a cleaning cycle with your dishwasher using either a product like Dishwasher Magic or this works too, one of those plastic containers of frozen OJ concentrates – pop the top put it in and run your machine. This a good thing to do on a regular basis, btw, as it helps maintain the machine and eliminate odor.
    Once your machine is clean – lets talk soap. First and foremost, Please do not use those little plastic capsules of detergent! Why? Because, despite the manufacturers’ claims that it dissolves, those things get caught up in the dishwashers pump and then you have a costly repair. Second, disregard the sop manufacturers’ amount recommendation and get yourself a measuring spoon. That’s right, you will only need a TEASPOON of detergent! Remember detergent companies want you to consume their product so you will buy more so the more you use the faster you will do so. Supposedly you only need to put it in the main compartment but I divide mine so I end up with 1/4 tsp in prewash and 3/4 tsp in main wash. Also, leaving some food particles on your dishes will help activate the detergent.
    Also, remember if your dishwasher’s discharge also goes into a garbage disposal and you forget to run the disposal on occasion until you see or hear that gurgling water back-up – you might as well cancel and rewash the whole load because the dirty water didn’t get pumped out like it should have. I am guilty of forgetting about my disposal sometimes that why I mention it.
    Why do I recommend these steps? Because my Husband does Appliance Service and Repair for a living. He says the majority of calls that he goes on when a homeowner says their dishwasher or washer aren’t performing the way it should is simply because too much soap is being used. Also, the average life of a dishwasher is 10 years if it is being used once a day. If it is being used more often it will wear out faster plus machines just aren’t being built for durability anymore. Hope this helps!

    • BeingJennifer says:

      Fantastic advice!! Quite the list.
      I only use a little bit of detergent and have lovely, shiny dishes. I recommend that one for sure. The others I’m not sure I need, but I’m copying them for just in case!!

  17. Lynn, I am with you, it is the change in the dishsoap. My dishwasher is only a few years old and is a high quality dishwasher. It is just my husband and I, so we don’t have alot of dirty dishes. I pre-rinse everything before I put it in the dishwasher. We do not have hard water. I regularly clean my dishwasher. I do not completely fill the soap dispenser, so I am not using too much dishsoap. I use a rinse aid in my dishwasher. My dishes and the inside of my dishwasher only started becoming cloudy after the change in dishsoap.

  18. My family has experienced the same thing. We have hard well water, and thought maybe our water softener was the problem. After that checked out okay, we thought maybe our dishwasher was getting old. All of the dishes were completely cover in white film and even hand washing the dishes after being in the dishwasher was not removing the film. We use the green bottle detergent, too, because it has been the only detergent that has worked the best for our hard water. Like a few of the other ladies who have left comments, we decided to try Lemi Shine. It is wonderful and took away all of the white film on the dishes that I wasn’t sure we’d ever get off. I’m not sure what the ingredients are, so I don’t know if it would trigger your daughter’s asthma or not, but it did wonders for our dishes.

  19. The same thing happens to me, I feel like my dishes always look dirty. I thought it was my dishwasher, but we had bought a new dishwasher and the same thing happened. Homemade soaps may be the way to go!

  20. (I tried to post this earlier, and it didn’t go through. Maybe I did something wrong…) Anyway….I was told to buy a box of Trisodium Phosphate at Home Depot or Lowe’s. It is sold in the paint department, and is used to clean walls. You only have to put 1/2 tsp of this powder in with your regular detergent. My dishes came out super clean! This is the chemical that was taken out of dishwasher soap, and why dishes are not getting clean anymore. I figure if it’s still alright to use this to clean walls, it’s alright for me to put 1/2 tsp of it in my dishwasher! A box costs under $4, and will last a long time! You can go to and put trisodium phosphate in the search box, and it will come up for you to see. It’s a red & white box.

  21. the only thing i’ve found that works lately is the cascade complete gel packs. (the gel in the bottle does not get my dishes clean). so even though it’s pricey i buy it consistently.

  22. I read somewhere recently that the industry has regulated dishwasher soap and remove the phosphate. That’s what is causing your cloudy film. Cindi said pretty much what the article I read said.

    I use LemiShine occasionally, but find the Trisodium Phosphate just as effective and much cheaper.

  23. We’ve had the same trouble, shortly after we got a new dishwasher, they changed the soap….grrr. We just hand wash and prewash a lot more now, which I don’t like, so I’ll try the vinegar and the LemiShine if I can find it around here. Thanks for posting about this!

  24. I use a dishwasher mix that uses baking soda and borax–plus vinegar in the Jet Dry compartment. I read recently, though, that if you have soft water you don’t have to use the borax and can use straight baking soda.

  25. I second the recommendations for LemiShine. (It is just powdered citric acid.) We use a little bit in each load along with the regular detergent. It makes a world of difference for our dishes!

  26. A tip that I don’t see on here, we have to pull out our filter and clean it after each load. The filter is on the bottom of my washer and gets a lot of build, which putting Dawn and scrubbing with a bottle brush or just letting it sit and rinsing with hot water will help it become clean again.

    Ditto to leaving food on the dishes so the detergent has something to cling to.

    THanks to the repairman’s wife for the tips!!!

  27. Ecover tablets! Work awesome! I have to get mine in the natural food section and I am not sure if they contain borax but they’re worth looking into!

  28. I thought I was nuts. I have a kitchenaid about 8 years old and we have gone through everything from checking the drain and filter, running it with cleaner, prerinsing, rewashing, to bad language, and it still does not do a very good job unless it’s a hi temp scour. It seemed to just suddenly not work properly any more, and I am going to guess now that it does have something to do with a new detergent formula. I have never been brand loyal, and have used pretty much every (non-lemon scented) brand available in my area including generics. I found all to work equally well until fairly recently, and now find all work equally poorly. I am going to follow the instructions given by the appliance repairman’s wife. I think her logic is sound, and I have a bit of an issue with the detergent companies predetermining the quantity I will use when they don’t have the first clue about what kind of load or what kind of water I have . No fear that I will ever use the little pouch things – anymore than I will use laundry “tabs”. They tried marketing those in the 60′s or 70′s. If that doesn’t work, I will just grab a pair of rubber gloves and fill up the sink. I know that works and is probably more environmentally friendly than running the same load through the machine repeatedly. Then I can store my canning equipment in the dishwasher.

  29. We have lived here for two years. I have always purchase Aldi’s dishwasher detergent. When we moved here, this Aldi’s soap just didn’t do the job. I had to start buying more expensive detergent at Walmart or Target. Aldi’s soap left a film on my glasses. Since I bought a better brand of soap, it doesn’t do that anymore. That means it isn’t the dishwasher OR the water – at least for me.

  30. wow, so glad to read this. I also have a Kitchenaid about 5 years ago with the exact problem. and I thought it was just me.
    I will try some of these tips and hope I get some relief. At least now I know it is not just my imagination.

    I had been using the green box but am almost done with a box to the pillow things that I got with coupon. I have tried to buy deteregent with bleach as it seems to be the only thing to clean the coffee and tea off of white cups.

    I thought the reformated detergent was just in “green” states like Oregon though. It never occured to me that in Oklahoma we got the same stuff.

  31. Thank you all for your postings. Because after 38 years of marriage, we purchased our first dishwasher to find the the dishes did not get clean, and left a film using Cascade and I went back to hand washing. I also have allergy triggered asthma so anything without an odor is fantastic. I am going to try the vinegar and I will look for some Lemi Shine, anything to get rid of the powder residue and get the dishes clean!

  32. I’ve had some success with using the dishwasher tablets—the “powerball” kind. The tablets are convenient (my kids literally FIGHT to drop one in) and while I still have some cloudiness and residue, it’s much less than when we used the green bottle. I do not know if they have borax in them, however.
    I’ve been experimenting with vinegar, too. So far, I’ve learned that vinegar in the jet-dry dispenser does nothing, as does adding it to the bottom of the machine. I’m going to try some of this Lemi Shine and see how that works.

  33. @TKeep123 says:

    Here’s an interesting article about the changing formulas, lots of different problems people have experienced,…and some interesting suggestions.

  34. My husband pretty much tends to the dw. We use powertabs, add a tiny bit of powder, lemi shine and then lastly he sticks a little vinegar in the tub. Sounds like alot, but we never have spots or have to rewash anything.

  35. I have found that powdered cascade does the best for me.

  36. This is actually on a radio talk show last week my husband was listening too. The companies have taken the phosphates out of the detergent and more people are complaining about it. I don’t have much trouble with this as we completely rinse off our dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. I know a lot of people don’t do this however. We had a neighbor growing up that had the first dishwasher in the area and she did not rinse her dishes off before loading them in the dishwasher. Her dishwasher looked horrible. It had food and stains throughout. Thus, rinsing the dishes off completely prior to loading the dishwasher.

  37. I was just talking to my MIL about this the other day. She said that if you add lemon juice to your detergent it will take away the film that is left by the new formula of detergent. I am curious to try the lemonade Kool aid powder that someone else mentioned…that would be a lot cheaper than using real lemon juice! I do use a cup of vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher (run it empty) about once/month to clean it. This has helped a lot! I’m going to try the orange juice concentrate mentioned by “the repair man’s wife” above. Thanks for posting about this! There are a lot of good tips here!

  38. We have experienced the same nastiness in our DW and thought it was time to get a new one. So, several weeks ago, in the hopes of saving $$$, DH and I tore our dishwasher apart (really tore it apart) and gave it a good cleaning. This was an all day event, we used bleach and vinegar (not together) on the insides and scrubbed every nook and cranny. There was gunk and nastiness in places I never imagined, not to mention the lime build-up in the visible spots that we just hadn’t dealt with. The baby was sparkling clean after.

    Now it does a much better job, I am not prewashing the dishes anymore (or running them through twice and then handwashing). We are using the pacs (whatever is on sale) of dishwasher detergent. I am also pouring about 1/2 cup of vinegar in each time to prevent (or at least slow) any more lime buildup and it’s cutting the filminess that we didn’t even realize was building up on our dishes.


  39. Hi all, I have very soft well water. Have used less d/w detergent for years . After Oregon legislated no phosphates in clothes soap I have added Tri-sodium poly phosphates to the clothes washer . Since they took it out of the d/w detergent, I’ve found that a little bit helps in the d/w too. I’m not sure of this, but TSP from home depot may be more caustic. Grandma used it in her dishwasher without dishes to clean the inside. I think it might start eating the plastic dishes.

    Any chemists out there that can give me a definite answer”

  40. Nichol Mattson says:

    I have to agree with everyone who mentioned Lemi Shine. I have had all these problems and found that Lemi Shine works great for the film and spots, but I think it is EXTREMELY expensive. So…I started putting 1/2 of a lemon kool aid packet sprinkled right on top of powdered electrosol (liquids, gels, and tabs usually stick the detergent lid closed). The lemon kool aid works great! I also put the machine on an extra rinse cycle when the whole thing is finished (but I think it’s just me being paranoid about chemicals on the dishes).

    In addition to trying the dishwasher cleaning and maintenance tips mentioned, try lemon kool aid. It is cheap and works.

  41. Debra McDowell says:

    I switched from the Green Bottle Item to Finish Tabs. I have used both the Quantum and the plain as well as Citrus ones. Haven’t had any problems so far, but it may be the water. We live in Northern DE. The product is easy to use. You just pop the tab in where the detergent goes and w/some products the rinse agent is built in. So easy. Just have to make sure the detergent area is dry before inserting them.

  42. I’m so glad to know this is not just me! I first blamed my aging dishwasher, then our water department (when my cousin told me that she was having the same problem).

    My first thought is that I am glad to finally know what is causing the foggy dishes, followed closely by thoughts of hitting salvage stores in search of a lifetime of the “old” Cascade.

    When I first thought it was my dishwasher, I started setting a small glass full of white vinegar in the top rack of my dishwasher before running a load of dishes. It really made a difference and I noticed it continued to improve over the next several loads of dishes. HTH

  43. I have just read an aritcle about hydrogen peroxide for all sorts of uses. I have inquired of the blogger about adding it to the dishwasher. I will let you know once Ihave hear back. If you google uses for hydrogen peroxide it is amazing what you will discover and it is a GREEN product …;all natural.

  44. When the dishes in my dish washer would always come out dirty I tried everything I could think of to clean it out (thinking maybe it was clogged since it worked great when I first moved into my rental) and nothing would work, they still came out dirty. UNTIL someone told me to check my jet dry compartment. Put a little jet dry in (I think I used the store brand kind) and it worked like a charm again.

  45. Why are “we” addicted to dishwashing machines? Hands can do a remarkable job. And they’re given by God.

  46. I had the same problem and I solved it with Lemi Shine. You can get it at Wal-Mart. Google this product and it will tell you how to use it at first. I use it almost every time I wash my dishes. I put it in the door with the lid. I think it is the rinse cycle. You will be surprised with the difference this product makes with your dishes. I enjoy your blog. Thanks.

  47. I haven’t noticed a difference. We use the Powerball tabs (they always seem to be on sale for buy one, get one plus coupons) We have found that it works better to put the tab at the bottom of the dishwasher instead of in the dishwasher cup (it gets stuck) I just looked at the box and they are phosphate free.

  48. We have had the same problem with cloudy , spotty dishes. We began adding lemon oil with each load and it has been solved. You can get it where you find dish soaps called something along the lines of Lemishine. If you make your own detergent add lemon essential oil to it.

  49. I wrote to the Cascade folks and they told me too bad, and it’s all because of the phosphates, but they sent me a coupon-yay! Anyways, now I use 1 tablet in the dispenser and a little less than 1 tablespoon of Lemi-shine tossed in the bottom of the machine. Dishes and glassware look great.
    Also note…don’t put anything aluminum in your dishwasher like square cake pans, or cookie sheets or saucepans, because they will turn dark/black due to the no phosphates deal.

  50. We’re dealing with the same issue. Hubby is now adding TSP to the green box in a 1:3 ration. It seems to be helping. :o)

  51. Having not read all of the 50 comments…

    I ‘think’ I live in the same area of the country you do, and we are having the same problem. I know it is directly related to the phosphate issue in the detergent. The best luck I’ve had so far is the generic liquid brand that they sell at the chain that is named after the family that starts with R.

    My husband wants to see if we can find commercial detergent, because I think it still is allowed to carry phosphates. We don’t know where to get it.

  52. I have noticed the same thing…. was going to use vinegar to help, but then found out from several friends that vinegar ruined their dishwasher, and they had to replace them argggg! The ONLY thing I have found that gets my dished clean and shiny (and I mean REALLY nice shine on pots and pans) is Cascade complete. IF it is the “new and improved” Cascade it does not work. It’s hard to find now, I order it on the internet. I called them, most store are refusing to carry it (going green) but you can still get it online and they have no intention of canceling it. According to the company cascade complete is the “old version” with all the normal ingredients…

  53. I don’t have a dish washer but have tried doing this in other peoples as I was even having problems with the dish soap I used to hand wash mine. Try adding a little bit of White vinegar I put it in where you would normally put jet dry. Its amazing the things vinegar can help get clean I’ve even used it in greasy laundry works better than soap and I’ve never noticed a smell afterwards. Vinegar is a natural cleanser and steriler. I use it on counters and floors too, I spray it on let it sit a minute or two wipe or mop off then get a clean hot wet rag and rinse off once more, I always do this step as I’ve seen the residue flim that other cleaners can leave behind. For this part I normally do either open a window or have a fan on at least when I first spray it. I have really bad asthma and allergies and can clean with this all day long without having a problem.

  54. I live in California and just ordered Melaleuca cleaning products which are green, non-toxic, and the rep I spoke to says she saw a tremendous difference in her dishes since she started using their detergent. We’ll see what happens; I have seen a deterioration in cleanliness, too, because of the phosphate change. I am game to try less detergent (which is touted by Melaleuca) and vinegar, too. Thanks for all the comments.

  55. I was just complaining about this very thing last night! My pots all have white spots/layers all over them that I have to chip off. We have very hard water and I thought this was the problem. I guess not! It is SO annoying, esp with a brand new dishwasher.

  56. I am so disguted by this whole issue. We had a maytag dishwasher that only worked for about 1 1/1 years. Over the next 1 1/2 years we had them out 3 times to try to “fix” our problem and were finally told that we probably had gotten a bad batch of detergent. The next time I called Maytag, they would no longer come out even though we had a five year warrenty. They said there was not enough information to make a claim. We just had to break down and get a new new dishwasher. I was so mad. The guys who installed the new one said you really can’t use the powder anymore. They said we could only use the Finish Quantum Powerball kind. Expensive, but it’s nice to have clean dishes. I had to replace all my glasses because they were ruined.

  57. Glad to know it’s not just me. Used Kroger’s Everyday Living for awhile because it got good reviews and worked well with our new machine. Eventually, it didn’t so we now use Wal-Mart Great Value and it seems to do okay. I did have a friend tell me don’t use Lemon versions of any kind – the acidity damages the dish finish.

  58. SO glad I saw this last night! I thought it was my stinky dishwasher! We, too, have hard water and have had a repair guy out. Sounds like “repair guys” are saying every end of the spectrum, but ours said DON’T use those little gel capsules, which made me terribly sad, because those seemed to actually clean my dishes. Ever since we have had cloudy dishes that I assumed would be ruined they were etched so badly.

    After reading this last night, my husband dumped 1/2 c. of vinegar in the bottom of our dishwasher before he turned it on: our dishes look brand new! I simply cannot believe it! Yay! I may finally get clean dishes after all!

  59. The filter in the dishwasher will get clogged with hard water deposits. New dishwashers will work better because there are no minerals. I have tried everything also including homemade. With my homemade, I do add citric acid to the mix and vinegar in the rinse. I have found that if you buy Finish glass magic and use it off and on that it gets the glasses real clean. I doubt if it’s natural but once in awhile I don’t seem to have much choice. I also periodically will clean the dishwasher empty with CLR to hopefully get the filter clean and demineralized.
    Now I don’t know if this will work, but it did for my daughter. I arrived in time to see her getting upset over her filmy dishes, it was awful. She had no dishwasher soap in the house left. I took whatever dishwashing soap she had, put it into the soap receptacle, just a little or you will regret it, maybe a tsp though I didn’t measure. She couldn’t believe how nice and clean her dishes came out. She gave me the credit for being a lifesaver. But I honestly have to say, I was just experiementing at her expense, I got lucky and it worked.

  60. My sister in law had this problem. She solved it using “finish” or something like that (and also, leveling her dishwasher).

  61. We had this discussion recently in our neighborhood e-mail. Here is the information that was gathered from that discussion.

    Given the shift in so many states, many manufacturers have reformulated their entire product lines for markets across the country, so even if you don’t live in one of the affected states you might be getting dishwashing detergent with a lot less phosphorous as well. Consumer Reports tested 24 of the leading low-phosphate dishwasher detergents to see which ones got dishes cleanest. The top finishers were Cascade Complete All in 1 pacs (at a cost of 28 cents per load), Ecover tablets (27 cents), Finish Powerball Tabs tablets (22 cents), and Method Smarty Dish tablets (21 cents), but other brands and formulations also performed adequately if used properly.
    Consumer Reports also provides tips on optimizing the performance of your dishwasher and dishwashing detergent no matter which brand you use. For starters, load large items at the sides and back of the dishwasher so they don’t block water and detergent from reaching other dishes. And place the dirtier side of dishes towards the center of the machine to provide more exposure to the sprayer. Also, try to prevent dishes and utensils from nesting within one another so that the water can reach all surfaces.
    More Tips from this site: Cascade dishwasher Detergent problems

    • Add 1 cup of vinegar to the wash cycle once the initial fill up begins. Do this along with using your dishwasher detergent. This seems to do the trick.

    • Suggestions from readers of this site:
    It was suggested to mix cascadevwith one half baking soda to soften the water. Detergent would be less but the soft water would make it more effective.
    • Cascade Complete Gel seems to work fairly well. To get glassware and utensils sparking again, go to any Pharmacy and ask for Citric Acid. Use it like dishwashing detergent occasionally. It works great.
    • If you are up for making your own detergent, for pennies.. here is a recipe. In my opinion, slamming Cascade is pointless – they are following state laws banning phosphates, to protect our environment. p.s. My late mother-in-law used to run TANG beverage mix through her wash cycle to clean her dishwasher… maybe it was the citrus thing…
    • From a blog….. Missy says:
    October 3, 2010 at 7:38 pm
    I have used the following recipe in my dishwasher since January 2010.
    It works fabulously and costs me only pennies a week.
    1/3 cup Borax
    1/3 cup Washing Soda (not baking soda)
    1/3 cup salt
    4 envelopes lemon kool-aid, unsweetened ( or citric acid)–each envelope only costs 8 cents
    Using a funnel, add the above ingredients to a 32 oz plastic bottle with a lid (I use an old white vinegar bottle). Add just enough warm water to cover ingredients, cap and shake well. Mixture will foam–release lid to let Co2 escape. Add more water, shake. Continue until bottle is full. Mixture will smell like a lemon drop. Fill dispenser with the mix; shake before each use. I use white vinegar in my rinse aid dispenser.
    Sparkling clean dishes for pennies a week!

    • @Kim, I don’t think anyone is slamming Cascade, we just don’t like the new law.

      • I am sorry if it sounded like I thought someone was slamming Cascade. The one statement that said that was written by someone else in their comment about the subject. I guess I should have proofread all the comments better.

        I was just hoping to pass along some information that I got from another discussion on this subject because I found it useful and hoped it could help someone else.

        • @Kim, I appreciate you leaving the information. It is not Cascade’s fault they had to change because of the new law’s, they are just the brand that we are all familiar with and that so many people use, but I did not think you were slamming them. Thank you for taking the time to share that information. I enjoyed reading it.

  62. We just purchased a new dishwasher one year ago, and we have been battling the same thing! To this day I thought we bought a really crappy dishwasher that we paid a lot of money for. I am so happy that you brought it up. I am so sick of having to re-clean all of my silverware and plates/bowls.

    After using MANY different types of detergent, the only one that got our dishes clean (and I didn’t have to re-clean any of them) is the Finish Quantumatic system (i had a 4 dollar coupon, and kroger had is on sale for 3.99) . It went through more than the 12 cycles it is made to do. The only problem is I can not find the refills for it, anymore. If you see the Quantumatic, GET IT! I absolutely LOVED it…only if they could keep the refills on the shelf!

  63. We used the homemade detergent with Borax for a long time, and it worked great, but with a couple of temporary moves going on I got lazy. We started having the same problem with a couple of different detergents, and fiddled with things for awhile. Totally by accident, I found our solution. Don’t use as much as the manufacturer says to use. That did the trick. I buy the Aldi brand dishwasher detergent, use about half as much as they say to use, and everything comes out sparkly clean. Love the fact that my cheap detergent now costs half as much.

  64. I read an article not long ago. It talked about the problem.
    Our government wanted to go GREEN, they said something from the detergent which is not GREEN for the earth. So they don’t allow the companies to use it in their products. So that’s what we get in the end. Green and dirty dishes.

  65. We have started adding some vinegar and it has helped out dishes out a lot. I just open the lid , tip the bottle upsidedown in the bottom of the dishwasher and tip the bottle right back up. No measuring neccessary and it has helped clean my dishes with a generic dishwashing detergent and no more hardwater spots or film left on my dishes.

  66. I have tried many different kinds of dishwasher detergent from the little brick with the ball in it to gel/powder packets to homemade. We have lived in our home for over 10 years and have well water. Last year we finally found a detergent that works PERFECTLY . . . Diamond Brite from Melaleuca. Super clean and shiny dishes with no build up anywhere and eco-friendly too.

  67. While i haven’t noticed any issues here, if Borax and similar items are irritating your daughter’s asthma (and you too, though you may not immediately tell) that may not necessarily be the active ingredient in many household dish-cleaners. Sodium Borate is made of Boric Acid, which if I remember correctly is pretty darn caustic.
    Sodium hypochlorite phosphate is cleaner not unlike the ingredient in Borax, except it is not as caustic/harmful. It may be useful to check different ingredients in different detergents to decide which to use – in this case, the trisodium phosphate and sodium hypochlorite combine to make the powder, but I believe the phosphate is phased out (I could be wrong though!).
    I get my info from: In-laws own their own line of chemical pool disinfectants, and my father is partially working on FDA approved chemicals to clean table eggs in the poultry industry. And I get to hear about it ALL the time!
    An idea to try – I don’t know if they make a machine detergent, but Axion is an EXCELLENT dish soap, they come in paste, bar soap and powder and last FOREVER. Just a thought – I HATE hand washing dishes, but this stuff cuts through grease so well and makes the process to clean so much easier.

  68. I had a 30 minute conversation with Kitchenaid tech support on this issue. She said to:

    Run the dishwasher empty (long cycle, NO HEAT DRY) with only a dish on the bottom rack with 2 cups white vinegar and no detergents. (I ran it twice with vinegar). This will clean out the deposits.

    Run a long cycle NO HEAT DRY with nothing.

    Run a long cycle with just detergent. This will restore your dishwasher to a “clean” state.

    Always use a rinse aid in the dispenser.

    The detergents they recommend are:

    1. Finnish Quantum
    2. Finnish All in 1 Powerball Tabs
    3. Cascade Complete All in 1 ActionPacs
    4. Cascade with Dawn ActionPacs (I use these)

    My dishwasher was very clean after all those cycles, but the Cascade with Dawn ActionPacs don’t do much better than the cheap “reformulated” ones.
    So I went to Home Depot and got the 4 pound box of TSP. I put in 1/4 tsp. in each cup with the ActionPac and it was somewhat better. I am running a load right now in which I put in the ActionPac and filled the cup the rest of the way with TSP and the other cup with TSP as well. We’ll see how that works and back down from there.
    What the knuckleheads in government don’t realize is life is like an equation. If you unbalance the equation by taking out all the phosphates in dishwasher detergent, for example, you need to balance it by washing your dishes 2 or 3 times to get them clean and waste more water and energy to heat that water.

    Perhaps we should rebalance the equation of government with fewer knuckleheads!

  69. I had to start using the Cascade complete capsules to get our bottles clean. Also I liked the one with bleach alternative. This has been the only thing that works for us.

  70. It took me quite a while to find one that I’m satisfied with. Citra Dish made by Citra Solv is what I use. I tried 7th Generation, Ecover, and several others, before finding this one. I originally found it at our local Ingles grocery store (in their organic/green cleaners section. But now I order it wholesale from Frontier Co-op.

  71. Anita B. says:

    We, too, have had issues with our dishwasher not working well since they’ve taken out the phosphate. What I’d like to know is why more people don’t complain to the dishwasher detergent companies and let our voice be heard over those who don’t want phosphate in theirs. With the law only being changed in a couple a states, we’ve got to have more people wanting phosphate than not. Maybe if we all let our opinions be heard, we’d be able to get them to change back to phosphate. I’ve put in complaints at the places I purchase the detergents and at the detergent’s websites. Hopefully, you will too!

  72. New dishwasher detergents are now lacking PHOSTATE in the ingredients according to FOX news. All you need is to add a teaspoon of lemon juice to break the calcium build-up according to the professor.

  73. I too have a new dishwasher and noticed white film on my glasses about 6 months ago. As you all probably know by know Phosphates (a water softener) has been banned in 16-17 states because is causes algae blooms which lead to bacteria which cuts down on the oxygen in the water for fish. So EPA is trying to get it banned everywhere. Research phosphate yourself and make your own decisions on the remedy for the lousy dishwasher results. The best remedy is to get some TSP (Tri Sodium Phosphate) at Lowes, Homedepot, hardware or paint store. I add a tablespoon into my dishwasher cup (both sides) and then add 1 TBS of TSP to each cup and give it a little stir. There are recipes out there on the net of how to mix the TSP into your bottle. You basically put the phosphate back into the detergent. That white film on your glasses are on everything that comes out of your dishwasher you can just see it better on the glasses. That white film is actually limestone. Limestone is a hard sedimentary rock, composed mainly of calcium carbonate or dolomite, used as building material and in the making of cement. Think about what 20 years of consuming that will do to a human. By the way, it has been banned for consumers only, Restaurants and Commercial kitchens still use the phosphate formula. If your dishes and glasses are really filmy you may need to use a little more phosphate in the mix in order to get the film off and then use less and less until the film comes back and then back up to to least amount that you used with no film. You can also use vinegar, lemon juice, or a product called “Lemishine”. If you get the phosphate TSP be sure that it is not a phosphate-free type. But think about it. It will take about a cup of vinegar and or lemon juice to start and they are not cheap. The detergent itself is expensive and the rinse aid is expensive. TSP costs about $11 for 4 lbs. With it you can buy the cheaper detergent. Your dishes will be cleaner and you will save money, PLUS you won’t be filled with rock.

    • @Carol, It’s amazing to me… You state clearly why phosphates are being banned, then think it’s perfectly OK to go ahead and re-add them yourself? What’s next… are you going to add lead to your house paint so it spreads better?

      • Which is why she said “Research phosphate yourself and make your own decisions on the remedy for the lousy dishwasher results”.

  74. I discovered “LimeFresh” at Sears Canada. Is a dishwashing detergent booster, I no longer have to hand wash my dishes and can once again use my dishwasher. They do have a website for the U.S. “”

  75. Because of the dishwasher problem, I started doing the dishes by hand. We have soft water.
    I noticed that even handwashing the dishes doesn’t yield the instantly clean results I’m used to seeing. This is not my imagination: The silverware remains cloudy, even after using the rough side of a sponge and a Brillo pad (as well as adding vinegar to the water). The glass ware looks okay after putting the vinegar in with the dish detergent, but I am bewildered as to why the silverware looks cloudy, smudged and, generally, still unclean after a thorough washing, rinsing and drying.

  76. I thought my dishwasher was not working as my dishes were not getting clean and the glasses had a film on them. Then one day while shopping at Costco a lady that was handing out free samples told me of the FDA’s recent changes to dishwashing detergant and she suggested I try her sample of ‘finish’ with a powerball talbet. I was amazed at how clean the dishes were and also the glasses were shinny once again and only after one cycle.

  77. There is a reason phosphates are being phased out. Look it up. If you want clearer dishes, try actually cleaning & drying them by hand.

  78. Wow, I never knew your blog could attract such a firestorm of comments, but I guess this, like many environmental issues, is a hot-button one. I went for 10 months without a dishwasher and hated every minute of it because I feared my dishes were not being “sterilized” since my the hot water in my sink was unlikely to match that of a dishwasher. Given the date of my move and the slow speed stores cleared out their inventory of the phosphate stuff, I actually missed the entire “why are my dishes not getting clean” dilemma until just a few months ago. After trying a bunch of different brands, Cascade, Finish, Walmart-store brand, I’m planning on trying the following (non-borax) recipe: 7.5 pound bottle of gel type dishwasher detergent, half of 1lb box of trisodium phosphate (TSP), half-cup water (optional for thinning). Recipe from I’ll try to report my results.

  79. I just found this recipe. I have not tried it yet but it looks promising and does not use borax.
    1 1/2 Cup Lemi-Shine (12 oz)
    1 1/2 Cup Washing Soda
    1/2 Cup Baking Soda
    1/2 Cup Kosher Salt

  80. It definitely is the new formula without the phosphates that causes my problem with Streaks, white film and nasty looking glasses, dishes, and silverware. I have a new kitchen aide that worked very well with the old formula. Adding Jet Dry and others did not help. Adding back the phosphates has solved the problem.

  81. I just put in a new kitchen with a stainless steel dishwasher tub. The dishes and glasses smelled like eggs. Terrible. It seems that they took out bleach from the green bottle. If you read the small print it says do not add bleach because it interferes with the enzymes. I think that this is the problem with the smell and the spotting. I do know about the phosphates being taken out.
    So, I add about 1/3 cup bleach to bottom of tub and bingo, dishes come out smelling clean and sparkling.

  82. I use cascade dish washing powder in the prewash and wash trays and add 1 tbsp citric acid to the wash tray. The dishes are as clean as ever no film and the buildup on the inside of my washer is gone.

    I purchased the citic acid from amazon
    NOW Foods Citric Acid Powder Bulk, 5 Pound Tub – Now Foods
    Shipped from: ProbioticSmart

    expensive out lay but at a scant tbsp per load it should last a while
    I also use vinegar in place of jet dry

    If you have some ascorbic acid you could try that to see if it works for you.

  83. I use something called Diamond Brite and its awesome!!! There are no pthalates or harsh chemicals in the dish washing cleaner but it definitely gets the job done. Its better than any other mrs. meyers, 7th generation, green product Ive ever used in the past 12 years. Its safe for people, the planet, AND cleans the dishes. It is not sold in stores but ordered straight from the manufacturer which helps keep the cost down. Email me for more info and I’d be glad to help! Hope this helps. Kelly

  84. Put vinegar in with the detergent? Nonsense. Vinegar is an acid. Detergent is a base (alkaline). What happens when you mix an acid with a base? They react and produce water and salt. In other words they neutralize each other. This is very basic chemistry and easy to look up. If adding vinegar to your detergent improves your results, it only proves you’re using too much detergent. Now, adding it as a rinse agent makes sense, because the acid will eliminate the remaining base (detergent) and should reduce or eliminate residue if it was caused by using too much detergent.
    And somebody said it was better to leave some food on the plates because it “activates the detergent” – how ridiculous. Detergent’s only “action” is to break down the food and release it from the plate so the water can wash it away. It’s fully “active” all the time and does not need to be, nor can it be, “activated”. Please people, look into things and figure them out before spreading disinformation and confusing and misleading other people.

  85. i have found that Sun & Earth cleans just as well for me as the chemical products. totally natural and smells nice, too – citrus scent.

  86. I have noticed a foul smell in my Bosch dishwasher. It is very upsetting and even makes the whole kitchen smell when I open the dishwasher. I have used a dishwasher cleaner that did help some but did not completely eliminate the problem. It did however, eliminate the white cloudy haze from the stainless steel interior. I’m glad to see that it is the product and not my Bosch.

  87. After reading about Lynn’s frustration, I thought I’d share a couple of my favorite products from Melaleuca. They are safe for home and your health. Check out Diamond Brite dishwashing detergeant and Lemon Brite liquid dish soap. They are amazing and worth checking out! For more info on how to get these products, send an email to

  88. I too have found this. I used the crystal dishwasher soap from Costco for years and my dishes were mint. Then they stopped making the crystals and only had the liquid. It didn’t work as well so I tried Cascade, it’s didn’t work either. I tried adding baking soda to soften the water, made a mess and reacted funny with the dishwasher soap and was even worse. I then read you could use vinegar instead of a rinsing agent and it didn’t work. I thought maybe my dishwasher was clogged up so I used CLR to dissolve any hard water calcium, didn’t help. I would like to have the old crystals back, but I agree there must have been something changed for the environment because Sears doesn’t sell their crystals anymore either. I’m scared the white deposits left on my dishes will do more damage to our health than whatever was in before at least I knew it was all rinsed off, now it’s a fine film coating, how is that healthy?

  89. I too find that most detergents leave a film now. I used Smartydish for a while but it was hit or miss with my hard water. I then started experimenting with making my own dishwasher detergent and so far so good. I make a Two Step Dishwasher Detergent with 5 Ingredients: Place in each cube of an ice cube tray (in order): 2 Tsp WASHING soda, 1/8 tsp 98% natural dish washing soap, 1 Tsp hydrogen peroxide. Let bubble a bit, stir a tad and freeze. Once frozen add 1/2 tsp Lemon juice and 1/4 tsp vegetable glycerin in each cube (the glycerin helps salts slip off dishes). Freeze again. I use 2 per load. Always choose the air dry cycle option. Also, use 1/3 c white vinegar in cup on top rack to prevent film. I hope that works. If not, substitute the lemon juice with LemiShine.

    • Btw, you can use citric acid with alkaline based washing soda. An effective amount is no more than 4 parts washing soda to 1 part citric acid.

  90. We’ve had the exact same issues that everyone else has posted about. Today we had a repairman out to look at our double drawer Kitchenaid dishwasher. The water has been pooling at the bottom of each drawer and in the soap dispenser. The machine is eight years old and we clean the interior with white vinegar and run a supermarket brand dishwasher cleaner through it monthly. The traps were all clean so we couldn’t figure out why it was having this issue. The repairman said in the past year every dishwasher he’s seen has had the same issues due to the removal of TSP from the detergents. He said that the new formulas need a water temp of at least 140 degrees in order to break down the soap. Otherwise the detergent is just getting swished around in the machine. The real issue besides the dishes not getting properly washed is that because the soap does not dissolve it cakes up in the bottom of the machine and clogs the drain. I encourage everyone to take their dishwashers apart and take a look. I just debunked mine today and it was a hard, soapy mess! Now that it’s back is working order I’m going to go out and get some TSP! Thanks for the article!

  91. Yevgeniy BURDA says:

    The best and safest product is from Amway ,clean fresh and no Cilicia send in it.

  92. I realize that this thread is a little old, however for the past year I have been buying my dishwasher soap at GFS (or Gordon’s Food Service). If there is one in your area you can buy industrial Cascade that still contains phosphates. I also find it interesting that the foodservice industry still uses cleaners with phosphates because they’re the only things that work to clean, but consumers aren’t.

  93. I have tried many dishwashing products. However, my favorite product, is Sunlight Dishwashing Detergent. It is getting harder to find, but works better than any others I have tried. There is another product called “Sun”, but it is not the product that I recommend. Recently, I have been buying the Sunlight Dishwashing Detergent at Big Lots, which is a lot less expensive than buying it at grocery stores (also get a much larger bottle, too). Perhaps this is an older version that still contains phosphates, but it gets dishes very clean and doesn’t etch glass, like some brands do.

  94. I’m having the same problems. Were you able to find a solution?

  95. Does anybody have problems with grease in the dishwasher filter? I have been using Ecover tablets for years — always love the product until recently. After a few washes, my filter gets caked with greasy, smelly, stinky gunk. I rinse all my dishes and just can’t understand where the grease is coming from. Guessing that Ecover can no longer dissolve the grease.

  96. SoCalBohoGal says:

    Dish detergents probably haven’t changed much, but our waters have!

    The addition of flouride & chloramines are awful & unhealthy IMO.

    It is said that iodine neutralizes fluoride & citric acid neutralizes chloramines.

    I quit using a dishwasher years ago because even the best commercial dishwashing detergents available still left a white, nearly impossible to remove film on everything & I even found some of my more expensive glass even has some etch marks on it!

    Furthermore, the copper pipes & even faucets have been eaten away by just the city/ county tap water, and have had to be replaced as a result. Needless to say, I avoid drinking tap water (unless these chemicals have been removed.)

    There are systems that can remove them, yet are generally very expensive, yet so is adding 2 cups of citric acid to every bath along with adding nontoxic iodine.

    Many bottled waters are simply city waters that have gone through filteration & ironically at least one bottled water manufacturer got into trouble for apparently having levels of ch loramines that were, “Too high to be safe for human consumption!) AND I was told their fluoride levels were also too high (although far less than the tap water from the same source!

    Aquarium & pond stores sell products that neutralize the chloramines as they are almost immediately deadly to fish, yet we continue to have very higlocalh amounts in our local tap watYou can look up your local community tap water chemical additives amounts on your lal ul waanotheristrict’s web site in many if not most areas OR ask for a report in writing.

    If your water smells extraordinarily strong or have color change, I would talk several samples in sterile, airtight containers, find the local regulatory body responsible for managing your local water AND contact your city and county council. Ask for an open hearing & get as many people and press there as you can!

    Bring a copy to each council member and copies for the press, water district board members, and yourself and not corresponding to water district reports or at high-end or outside of legal or safe limits.who have had problems, including the bill for any test kits and professional water testing.

    Be sure to have copies of the water district’s reports, ask the head of the water district (in writing either via certified, head of water district has to sign it (restricted delivery through USPS or another carrier. Just be sure the water.

    district head has to see it, and that it is documented. This way he or she can’t claim they never saw it. Email return receipts you’d think would be sufficient… They are not! Generally older

    of the water &/or testing you might do, or continuous video of a professional taking samples and their on-sitetesting, AND (if they allow), video of their testing they may do in a laboratory, get their report, especially if levels of additives are above allowable limitsHighlight any are regulated).

    I would send the written reports to your local city & county board of supervisors with pictures of your dishes (& fixtures if you have buildup or corrosion to your fixture & pipes (or at least receipts if you’ve had to have them replaced, along with any water damagIf you have a water bottling company in your district or using the same water sources get their data both pre and post filtering. Be sure to ask for an appropriate remedy (in government-speak ask for 2-3x what you feel is reasonable to keep your daughter safe to drink and ise tap water for a lifetime (sorry, the text jumped again. Im sure youll get the idea.)e due to caustic water being piped into your home.

    I apologize for typos & mixed up text/ sentences. This site isn’t set up for mobile use.

    Anyhow, if values are unhealthy for human, pet or pipes, invite the press, local & national news stations & experts in the effects of chloramines, flouride, etc. You may want to interview them on camera to explain what theresitheresilts mean. You may also want an attorney that is not only familiar with water quality standards, but who has won casee against these cases before, and is willing to take on a class action should your water be unhealthy, weather within or outside the local or state or federal standards.

    Taking these measures may seem a bit “overkill but I assure you they are not!

    Be sure to have testing done not only at your home, but another home or two in the water district along with schools/public sources.

    Best of luck!

  97. I too am having this problem and after reading this site i am going to try adding the TSP .

  98. Richard Brown says:

    Beware that the Costco brand dishwashing detergent (not only cleans bad) also eats up the dishwashers rubber seals and sump , I just took mine apart and all the rubber in the sump melted away dumping water all over our kitchen, I asked the repair parts place why the rubber would fall apart like this on a 3 year old dishwasher, he said “Costco dishwashing detergent”

  99. I have been using FINISH, the liquid form. It seems to work. That doesn’t mean that it has never crossed my mind that I might need a new dishwasher. So I guess that I am wondering why I should have to wash my dishes before I put them in the dishwasher. So obviously, there are still issues of partially cleaned dishes. So I guess that I don’t really have the answer.

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