Issue Date: April 4, 2011
The article on automatic dishwashing product problems after the elimination of phosphates was particularly timely (C&EN, Jan. 24, page 12). Although my wife and I had historically been satisfied with a particular brand of detergent—Cascade powder or gel—we had been experiencing increasingly poor performance of our dishwasher, with increasing cloudiness, streaking, and detergent residue. My wife was convinced the dishwasher needed repair.
I began to suspect the detergent when I washed all of the dishes by hand and then ran a cycle with the detergent. The previously clean dishes, silverware, and glasses looked awful. Then I read the article of formulation problems sans phosphates. I purchased one of the brands that you described as highly rated—Finish—and was amazed at how much better it worked. It worked even better as I went through the box, gradually removing the film left by the old detergent.
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