Skip to comments.Put the Phosphate Back into your Dish detergent
Posted on 06/26/2011 12:13:10 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants
As many of you have discovered, you automatic dish detergent hasn't been working very well for the past year, leaving a white film on the dishes. Well, the reason, as usual, is the envirowhackos using junk science to claim that algae blooms in rivers are caused by the phosphates in your dish detergent. The phosphates in detergent do NOT cause the algae to bloom because the algae can't break down the trisodium phosphates. So, instead of check out the facts, the detergent companies were more interested in currying favor with the envirowhackos.
Well, there isn't much way to get them to change their mind, especially since it is actually cheaper for them to make phosphate free detergent (never mind it doesn't work), but you CAN replace the phosphates in your detergent. Just go to the cleaner section of your local hardware store and look for Trisodium Phosphate. Home Depot and Lowes both carry it. Just add about a teaspoon to every load and you will get your dishes clean again. This is the cheapest method.
You can also buy Cascade with phosphates from places that sell commercial grade cleaners. Restockit.com is one place. I am sure there are others if you search.
We’ve been using TSP (the real stuff) as an additive in our dishwasher and washing machine for about a month now. It makes a huge difference. Our dishwasher, which had begun to accumulate a black (and as I recently discovered, potentially dangerous) mold is now spotless. The dishes squeak again when you rub your fingers on them, and our white towels are once again, white.
These environmental scams are only possible because you have people too ignorant to know better, lacking any REAL critical thinking skills and devoid of morals, looking for a purpose to latch onto to make a difference. Environmentalism and all the scams surrounding it is how the liberal/secularist tithes.
TSP isn’t the best, as it can leave a residue. The stuff for detergent is Sodium Tripolyphosphate (STPP). It can be ourchased from a number of suppliers like soapgoods.com or http://www.chemistrystore.com/cart.cgi?group=100513&child=100614
Caustic soda is sodium hydroxide (NaOH), aka lye.
I wouldn’t add it to a clothes washer, and maybe not to a dishwasher. The reason it prevents film on glass in a dishwasher is because in hot water it attacks the silica and changes it to sodium silicate, which is water soluble. In other words, it actually dissolves a little of the glass each time by reacting with it. (It prevents film from building up on a substrate by removing the top layer of the substrate). The dissolution won’t occur perfectly evenly over time, so if used too aggressively the glass eventually will gain a slightly rough texture and after a long enough time it will have a slightly frosted appearance that is permanent. Sodium hydroxide does this even to the high grade borosilicate glass used in chemistry laboratories.
As for the clothes, sodium hydroxide will also break most natural fibers down over time via alkaline hydrolysis. If you’ve ever had a cotton shirt develop a hole in it over time from bleaching, the weakening of the fibers that leads to the holes isn’t caused by the sodium hypochlorite (which releases chlorine) in the bleach so much as from the sodium hydroxide added to bleach to stabilize the hypochlorite.
So yes, caustic soda is good for keeping glass looking good in the short term, and excellent for getting grease and oil out of clothes, but it damages both in the long term. It matters less with the glass because it removes very, very little each cycle, but it’ll damage natural fabrics pretty reliably in the long term.
Oh, my goodness. Do you know my husband? ;-) He said almost the same thing, but as an engineer he also drew pictures and wrote formulas.
All the crap I find in the store is PF.
Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)
LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)
Are you using it? If so how much for laundry and dishwasher? Shipping is a killer for me but other than that it’s not that much more than TSP. I’m trying to find it local.
I notice it’s food grade and very non-toxic too.
Another good additive is Lemi-Shine. Get it at Von's or Walmart. Finally, occasionally I toss a couple of cups of plain white vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher, and a half-cup of CLR.
If I didn't do all of this my dishes and glasses would be white, cloudy, and gross. I prefer CLEAN dishes.
I tried TSP and it was ok. Then I read you could put 1/2 cup vinegar + 1/2 cup water in a coffee mug in the back corner and run it as you always do. It takes the soap film off and makes the glassware sparkle. Even easier to set up.
Try places that sell janitorial supplies.
I’ve used CLR, too. We have a lot of limestone around here.
The poor dish-washing performance also uses more energy and water. When Cascade made their complete dishwasher soap with the phosphate, we very rarely prewashed our dishes. My son was so lazy about it he threw dishes in with corn and mashed potatoes stuck to the plates. Even so, they came out spotless. Now we have to prewash which uses more hot water and more energy. Chalk one more up for the environweenies. To them I give the all time Anthony Wiener Award.
I’m not using it. I had run across some forums discussing various homemade detergents.
More STPP info:
I was wondering why my glasses were looking so bad. Would vinegar or borax do the same thing as TSP?
I haven’t tried either in the dishwasher. I have used borax in the laundry and it does well though not as good as TSP.
It would most certainly be more gratifying !
Home Depot and Lowes both carry it.
Not our Lowes or Home Depot! We order ours from an Internet company. ( Sorry...my husband gets it and I don’t know the company name. )
I use about 1 tablespoon in with my clothes.
Be careful it may bleach dark colors.
Get Sodium Tripolyphosphate at The Chemical Store - I put in one Electrosol tab and fill the rest of the cup with it in my dishwasher. Works like a charm. And a small amount in the washing machine - about 2-3 tablespoons does it. TSP is not so good.
I thought my old dishwasher was needing repaired or replaced, lol. Thanks for the tip. (Geez, I wish the government would butt out of my household — cleaning products, paint, toilets, bathtubs, lightbulbs, insecticides...GRRRRR!)
You want STPP not TSP - Sodium tripolyphosphate. From the Chemical Store, online. TSP is NOT as effective and can be damaging. Interestingly I was called by Fox News a few months ago about this because I had posted on their site about it. However, they never ran the story. They had been asking in a poll about it and I posted the answer to use STPP and they told me many others are doing the same. The real kicker is that hotels and restaurants are REQUIRED to use phosphates and they are far bigger users of the detergents than all households combined. Damn this government to HELL! And DAMN the EPA!!!
Customers better smile for the camera when they pick up lye at the big chains. Since all transactions at the cash registers are filmed, all Big Bro has to do is ask the stores for the copies. Lye is an ingredient used in making meth. God forbid you have allergies and need a decongestant. :)
One thing I’ve started doing is putting a squirt of Palmolive had dish soap in the closed door section of the dishwasher, as well as the Cascade/Finish/whatever powder, and it seems to work just fine, phosphates or no.
I have never tried Borax in the dish washer. 20 mule team borax is a wonderful cleaner and deodorizer, so I make a laundry detergent using borax and washing soda, granny's lye soap or castile soap.
20 mule team borax is made in the USA. My castile soap is made in Kentucky, lye soap is made locally. Where ever possible I try to support USA products.
Thus, if some bozo is going to make methedrine, in theory he should have no trouble whatever making sodium hydroxide as a precursor. Filming purchasors of NaOH in order to prevent the manufacture of methedrine must be one of the grossest examples of wasting time and money.
Note to would-be manufacturers of NaOH: prefer making it outdoors, absent a top-quality ventilation system, and definitely be well-masked and -gloved. And make sure you combine the reagents DOWNwind from yourself. Wouldn't want to cough up a lung, now would we?
In short, only a competent chemist should try making NaOH; it's easily done, but one MUST know what one is about or else suffer severe physical damage. If someone isn't up to snuff here, buying NaOH will hold similar risks. You could ask the Drano people for a real-life, and very expensive, example of this.
lol I’d give you the formulas and diagrams but it’s hard to draw freehand in FR’s posting system ;)
I don’t think so, it won’t touch that, get thee some STPP. The glasswear was horrid, thought something was wrong with the dishwasher.
It came out sparkly clear in just one washadding a heaping teaspoon of STPP. Works great in the laundry too.
TSP works too, but prefer STPP. Both products will degrade over time and exposure to air. A 15 pound container of STPP costs about $50 shipped, but should last a year or so.
Had to have the pump replaced in our 15 year old dishwasher recently. We asked the fellow who was installing the pump his opinion on getting dishes clean. His recommendation was to use granular dishwasher detergent in one of the “holders” and granular Lemi-Shine in the other one. We already use the Cascade with phosphates, and this half and half mix works very well.
Any idea what’s in the lemi-shine, besides lemon oil? Their MSDS lists the ingredients as ‘proprietary.’ I’m guessing citric or lactic acid, more likely the former.
How can they even call it TSP when there's no "P" in it?
It's tri sodium without the "P".
Borax is also good for termite control.
My front loader takes liquid detergent only. Does TSP come in a liquid form? If not, I suppose I could just put the powder directly on the clothes at the start.
Good to know. Thanks.
Saved me a trip with that tip. Menard's is where I usually buy those type items.
For the dishwasher, try and keep it around a quarter tsp....we’ve been doing that for about two months now and our old cheap silverware sparkles like new - unbelievable.
“Make certain that it is REAL tri-sodium phosphate, not the phosphorus free substitute.”
Hee Sodium free sodium phosphate (the name Tri-sodium phosphate is commonly used but wrong according to current chemical nomenclature) What a nation of self-deluded mnorons we’ve become.
Na3PO4 without the P is not Sodium phosphate. What a crock for a manufacturer to say there is such an animal.
not insulting the poster agreeing with him.
Thanks. I bought a box for my mom, I’ll tell her to back off on the amount.
Be very careful with the caustic soda (sodium hydroxide).
I work with the stuff. Get a few crystals on your skin and it will blister you if not washed off immediately. Be especially careful to not get it in your eyes!
Sodium Hydroxide is what is in Drano - definitely dangerous.
Boric acid is used in some ROACH killers.
What is STPP????
I’ll have to try that. Right now I use arm and hammer and add bleach when I do my sheets and towels.
It says it is poisonous. Can it be used in hand dishwashing soap?
I have found that for dishes the TSP works the very best with liquid cascade. The laundry has also never been cleaner.
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