Dishwasher Victory

Image by jhenning_beauty_of_nature from Pixabay

Friends, I have prevailed. A dishwasher victory has been celebrated. And though you may not care a whit about it, I’m still writing to tell you. If you remember my past two articles “What’s That Smell” and “What’s That Smell: Part Two“, I regaled the slimy tale of the awful smell and super gross junk that lived in my dishwasher.

I went on and on about how I took it apart, cleaned it, and then had to do it all over again thinking that just cleaning it was the solution. I. WAS. WRONG. I was just cleaning up a symptom, and this symptom would return. And, it was at the point of dismantling my dishwasher for the third time, I realized that the dishwasher could not handle my disassembly and reassembly one more time.

Defeated, I slumped down against my cupboards. Critical thinking skills were employed. Cleaning helped only for a time. Yes. The food particles and grease were not leaving the dishwasher, but piling up and attracting mold and bacteria, which left the smell. Yes. There, that was the problem. The food and grease were not being dissolved. But, why?

It’s all in how you DuckDuckGo!

With this thought, I ran to my computer, hopped onto DuckDuckGo, and madly started typing. My keyword was “dishwashing enzymes” and I struck pay dirt with an article from Jill Cataldo! Jill wrote “The Clean Dishes Challenge: Battle of the Dishwasher Detergents”, in February of 2012. It was one of her most popular articles. If I could have kissed my computer screen, I would have, but it’s a touch screen, so you can see how problematic this would be.

Jill revealed “Back in 2010, many states enacted a ban on phosphates in detergent, both laundry, and dishwasher, under the guise that the new formulations were better for the environment (more on that at the end.) But, as phosphate-free formulas began to hit the shelves in 2011, many consumers were less than thrilled with the results..”

To phosphate or not…

AH HA! That’s it. They removed the phosphate from the dishwashing detergent. Phosphates help remove food and the calcium that bound them onto the dish. These phosphates were thought to cause algae to bloom when “grey water” was released from cities into open freshwater.

So began an environmental crusade to remove these phosphate scoundrels from dishwashing and laundry detergents. Not only did my dishwasher stink so did my washing machine. This was all beginning to make sense!

Jill went on to say:

“A Minnesota study determined that the amount of phosphates generated from home use that were actually reaching bodies of freshwater was about 1.9%. And, in 2011, the University of Washington released a study that determined that phosphorous runoff from detergents, even when discharged directly into the Spokane River, never worked as an algae fertilizer: “Effluents making their way into the river contained phosphorus in complex molecular forms which are not bioavailable. Algae lack the enzymes necessary to break down this phosphorus, meaning it is essentially harmless.”

So, even in a situation where phosphorus-based detergent runoff is emptying directly into freshwater, the phosphorous doesn’t cause an algae bloom. But now that science has proven otherwise, will the ban be lifted? Not likely. “Detergent phosphates are bad for the environment” has become a common belief among environmentalists and many consumers alike… even without any factual evidence. On the contrary, studies exist showing that this kind of phosphorus is not an issue.”


Cascade to the rescue

Photo credit Michele Bruxvoort

Man, do I love Jill. Jill did a wonderful job scouring the market for dishwashing detergents that still contained phosphorous. Back in 2012, Jill found Cascade® had a Cascade Professional Line dishwashing detergent with phosphorus. Yay! But then they discontinued that product in 2014. Boo! However, she discovered that the Cascade dishwasher detergent still existed but under a new name, Cascade® Professional Fryer Boil Out. Yay!

I clicked the link button and was on my way to environmentally safe, full of phosphorus, dishwashing detergent! I added it to my cart and in seven days I would have peace and harmony in both my dishwasher and laundry machine. Ah! I was giddy.

Poor Brad. I went on and on, ad nauseam over the adventure of finding all this information and the delight of discovering there is a phosphorus dishwashing detergent. Nuts just looked at the word meter. I’m out of time! But fear not, the story will continue…

Till next time. Here is to good food, good friends and a very good life!


About Michele Bruxvoort

Michele Bruxvoort is sure to draw you in with her delightful sense of humor and love for living life.   She enjoys reading, repurposing,  as well as remodeling the family home with her husband. Drawing from her life experience as wife, mom, and follower of Jesus, Michele brings you a very honest and real perspective on life.  When you don't find her writing, you can find her mowing lawns, stocking shelves, taking care of her grandbaby and tackling her latest life adventure. Wisconsin native and empty-nester, she now makes her home with her husband of 27 years in the South West Prairie plains of Minnesota.

View all posts by Michele Bruxvoort

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