Phosphate Free Detergents
Basically phosphates are minerals added to dishwashing detergents because they suspend food particles and keep soapy film from clinging to your dishes. They really are important if you want the food and soap to wash down the drain with the water. The problem comes when all those phosphates get into the natural water system. Phosphorus is greeted with a warm welcome by algae. Algae need phosphorus to survive. When the mineral is so amply supplied there is no control in the algae's growth. It then grows into villainous green slime filling up our lakes and streams. It slowly takes over, indulging on all the oxygen and blocking the sunshine needed by the rest of the underwater community.
To try to restore some balance, the detergent companies are saying good-bye to those long used phosphates. This creates the next problem. Dishwashing detergents without phosphates leave much to be desired and food on the dishes.
It's not your dishwasher ..... it's the detergent. There is no subsitute at this time for phosphates, but you will find lots of laundry boosters and dishwasher cleaners at your local grocery and hardware stores.