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Try This If Your Dishwasher Isn’t Washing Dishes

A man loading a dishwasher.
DUO Studio/Shutterstock

If your dishwasher seems to be having trouble cleaning all that gunk and grease from dinner last night, there might be a simple reason. And it actually has nothing to do with your appliance.

The fact is that detergents just aren’t as strong as they used to be. In 2010, manufacturers changed detergent formulas to prevent harsh chemicals from entering waterways and harming fish and plant life.

Unfortunately, when they did that, phosphates were removed, which were the chemicals that removed soap scum and made your dishes sparkle.

So, what’s the solution? A rinsing agent. While these secondary cleansing solutions are also phosphate-free, they’re surfactants, which means that they help remove stubborn bits of scum and buildup on your dishes.

But they also do all kinds of other things. Some even work as a dish detergent version of Rain-X to prevent water from getting back on dishes and causing marks. Others break down hard water to prevent a film from forming.

So, if you’ve been having issues with your dishwasher getting things clean, it might not be your dishwasher’s fault at all. Before you start tinkering with your appliance, try a rinse aid.

While you’re at it, you might as well clean your dishwasher, too.

[Via Apartment Therapy]

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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