Thanks to some bad (and mostly Democratic) decision-making over in Washington state, major dishwasher detergent manufacturers had to drastically cut its phosphate content; which is why your dishwasher recently and suddenly stopped working properly. You see, phosphates soften water, making it easier to clean… but it also promotes algae growth, and the city of Spokane was already facing a ‘crisis’ over their local phosphate levels in the water (which, thanks to a Sierra Club lawsuit, was hampering future growth). Rather than fix their problem, they simply had phosphate dishwasher detergents banned in Washington state. Rather than make two separate products, detergent manufacturers simply gave up and started making substandard dishwasher detergent. In other words: you can thank the Sierra Club, the city of Spokane, and the (mostly Democratic) Washington State government the next time you have to run the dishwasher three times to clean your dishes properly.
Both Erick and I ranted on this topic a while back, but I don’t think that either of us were aware how just how quickly it was going to get this bad. Repairing this will probably take some doing; in the meantime, I suggest that people start purchasing Finish Glass Magic Dishwasher Performance Booster: 16 OZ, as it is (I believe) still roughly 20% phosphates, and should thus supplement your regular dishwasher detergent handily. It costs more, true, but as compensation using it makes environmentalists cry – particularly if you make it a point to mention that you’re adding it at least partially to spite them.
Hey. They got rid of the phosphates in the first place mostly to spite you.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: Turns out that phosphate levels in the Spokane river haven’t gone down at anywhere near the levels expected by the ban. And that there’s some question of whether high phosphate levels were actually the problem that they were portrayed as being in the first place. As the Weekly Standard article notes:
Last month the University of Washington released a study suggesting that some of the phosphorus being discharged into the Spokane River never actually worked as fertilizer for algae to begin with. It seems that not all phosphorus is alike. Some of the 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. The study was a useful reminder that all science is settled. Until it’s not.