So you have never, ever had issues with your dishes getting clean in the dishwasher. When you hear about other people’s woes about hard water, you simply scoff and pity them. You think it’s a figment of their imagination, a domestic aberration generated by those who do not clean as well as you.
But wait….what’s this? Lately, your dishes are covered in *GASP* hard water film! Hide your dishes less the neighbors find out.
Take a look at your dish washing detergent now. It probably has a drastically reduced amount of phosphorus – and that is a big deal to your dishes.
In July, 16 states (Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin) imposed bans and limits on the mainstay cleaning ingredient to curb its leakage into waterways.
It is important to know Canada has imposed similar federal sanctions as well.
Major brands like Cascade are expecting more states to join in on the legislation and have begun removing phosphates from products sold in the rest of the country as well.
So what’s the big deal about this new regulation?
“Phosphates are substances containing phosphorus and oxygen molecules. In dishwashing detergent, phosphates help suspend particles so they don’t stick to dishes. Phosphates also soften water, helping suds form. Before the ban, phosphate concentrations in some detergents were as high as 8.7 percent; with the ban, certain cleaners have levels as low as 0.5 percent.”
To simplify, detergents heavy with phosphates acted as liquid water softeners. Without phosphates, hard water is attacking your dishes , even if you have never had a problem with hard water before.