I blogged about white film on dishes from dishwashers about a month ago, and the post has gotten an unusual amount of hits.
And then I read in the New York Times that dishwasher users complain new no-phosphate dishwashing detergents are causing dishwasher film.
Which is funny, because we’ve often suggested environmentally friendly cleaning products, such as Seventh Generation dishwashing detergent, to customers because we’ve foundits lack of phosphates actually prevents cloudiness and etching.
(For what it’s worth — maybe not much — Consumer Reports found that seven phosphate-free detergents worked pretty well.)
Residual proteins from leftover foods activate the detergent’s cleaning enzymes. So if you’ve cleaned all or most of the food off your dishes, the detergent can’t activate and stays in its crystal format, scratching your dishes on a microscopic level.
4. Before starting your dishwasher, run the tap water until it’s hot
Not only does this save energy, but older dishwashers don’t run as long as new dishwashers — better designed for less-harsh detergents – – and so every minute counts. Don’t waste it with lukewarm water that’s being heated up.