Washing dishes

Ready, aim, wash

Ready, aim, wash

I’ve been using Seventh Generation dish detergent for a while now.  Mostly, I like it.  It suds up nicely.  I only have one qualification: when I wash a greasy dish, the suds disappear.  One greasy dish gets cleaned just fine, but the next one doesn’t.

Before I switched to Seventh Generation, I’d used Dawn for years and years.  It was great at cutting grease.  That’s what Dawn was known for.  After the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, the Dawn people even did an ad showing the waterfowl rescuers washing the birds in Dawn to get the oil off of their feathers. 
But the grease-cutting power comes at a price; the chemicals that make that possible are the ones that are bad for the environment.
According to this from Consumer Reports, people in Washington State are having the same problem.  The article is about dishwasher detergent, but it’s the same problem.  Here’s the gist of the story:
“After the ban on the sale of dishwasher detergents with more than 0.5 percent phosphate (some detergents have up to 9 percent) went into effect in the Spokane area last summer, many consumers in the city became unhappy with how well some eco-friendly phosphate-free products cleaned their dishes. So they’ve been making the quick trip east on Interstate 90 into Idaho, where they can stock up on the dishwasher detergents of their choice.” 
So people are driving to the next state to get around a ban on using dish detergent that will get their dishes clean.
IMHO, people are not going to switch en masse to environmentally friendly cleaners of any kind until they do the job just as well as the non-friendly ones do.  In some cases, the “good” cleaners that work as well as the “bad” ones already exist.  But in the case of dish detergent, either for automatic dishwashers or for washing by hand, apparently they don’t.

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