Phosphate-free dishwashing detergent

  Most brands of dishwasher detergent that you find in the store contain phosphate. Phosphates are the main cleaning agent in many detergents and household cleaners. Phosphates break down grease and remove stains but are difficult to remove in waste water and often end up in rivers and lakes and increase algae growth, choking lakes and streams, suffocating salmon and other aquatic life. Algae in lakes use up oxygen in the water that fish need.

  People are buying dishwasher detergent with phosphate in it where it has been banned, like in the State of Washington, because the eco-friendly, phosphate free detergents do not clean dishes very well.

  There are three new phosphate-free powders—Kirkland Signature (Costco), Great Value (Walmart), and Up & Up (Target)—in dishwashers loaded with plates and pots coated with a baked-on blend of 17 foods. Each product costs 7 or 8 cents per load. we expect most dishwasher detergents to be free of phosphates as quickly as possible, which can boost algae growth in freshwater.