I try to take care of the environment. I do my best to not be wasteful of water, food, gasoline and heat. But lately I must admit that I miss the phosphates that used to be put into the dishwashing detergent.
Over the past few months I have tried different types off dishwasher detergent. I have had several good coupons such as $2.00 of Cascade or $2.00 off Finish Quantum tablets. In trying both I have been very disappointed as they have not cleaned the dishes very well.
About 2 weeks ago when I was shopping at the grocery store I happened to see the gentlemen that runs a local appliance store. We buy our appliances from him. I asked him what was the best detergent on the market for my dishwasher. I also asked him which was best - tablets, gel or powder. His response was interesting. He stated that since phosphates had been taken out of the detergents, that they just don't clean as well as they used to. He said it didn't matter if it was the tablets, gel or powder that without the phosphates they didn't work as well as before. His suggestion was to start the faucet in my sink until the water ran hot and then to turn on the dishwasher. Also vinegar was the best rinse agent.
I have since discovered that not only does this work the best but that the cheapest powdered dishwasher detergent gets my dishes just as clean as the very expensive brands. In fact the cheapest detergent that I use can be found at the dollar store. It's not the detergent that gets my dishes clean but its the fact that the water is hot when the cycle starts. Also, vinegar does turn out to be the best rinse agent.
Our water is not hard water and I know that this does vary from place to place. So for the time being I am sticking with the cheapest powdered dishwasher detergent I can find along with vinegar as a rinse agent. I also admit that starting hot water in the faucet first makes a big difference.
With two more people in our household I am running the dishwasher a lot more and I need to know that the dishes will come out clean. I also think it was a matter of fate to run into my appliance guy when I was shopping that day. He has saved me a lot of money in the long run.