Earlier dishwasher detergents are mixed with phosphate. Phosphate helped dishwasher detergents to cut through the grease more effectively. However phosphate is hard to separate from water and as a result, water that came once from dishwashers deprived lakes and rivers with oxygen and induced algae growth, threatening the lives of fishes and marine resources. Surfactants like phosphate are deadly to fishes by interfering with their ability to absorb oxygen through their gills. This reformulation of dishwasher detergents was introduced in 2010. Look for the label “phosphate-free” to be sure.
Most detergents are formulated with fragrance. Since the individual ingredients used in fragrance cannot be disclosed and is protected by the law, there has been very little research about fragrance ingredients. What is known is that they belong to phthalates, a group of chemicals anticipated to be carcinogens. Just like any soap products, take care that the dishwasher detergent doesn’t get into your eyes. They can also be irritating on the skin if you have sensitive skin. Additionally, they should never be ingested. In case of dishwasher detergent poisoning, call your local emergency hotline e.g. 911. Keep the packet for the list of ingredients so authorities could reverse the poisonous chemical’s effect.
But there’s a downside: cookware would be left with a thin white film especially if you use hard water on your dishwasher. Hard water contains a high mineral content, usually calcium and magnesium. This film would be visible on clear glass. This white film is absorbed by food and will accumulate in your body. To get rid of the white film on clean glassware and dishware, use cleaning kits with citric acid or just citric acid. Some users add citric acid together with the dishwasher detergent itself. Another safe alternative is using vinegar instead of citric acid. However silverware should be cleaned using citric acid or vinegar. Phosphate alternatives include zeolite (too abrasive), sodium carbonate, citrates, and sodium silicate. The ban against phosphate in dishwasher detergent only applies to 17 U.S. states, Canada, Japan and some countries in the E.U.
More and more consumers are beginning to be health conscious and prefer green brands over cheap dishwasher detergents. Look for EU Ecolabel in the packaging. Depending on your water supply, some green dishwasher detergents may gum up drains and hoses.
Dishwash Sanitizing Tablet
Liquid Clean & Green Dishwashing detergent 4x1 Gallon
Joy Liquid Dishwashing Detergent 25x14
Palmolive Dishwashing Detergent 24x16 oz
Palmolive Dishwashing Detergent 12x25 oz