Anyone else notice that the dishes don’t come as clean in the dishwasher as they used to?
In the area where the Damsel lives, a key ingredient was removed from dishwasher detergent. Phosphorus has long been included in all sorts of cleaning products, but it’s been determined to be harmful to the environment. So they’ve taken it out.
Whether you’re happy or sad about such a thing being done, the problem remains. We’d still like to drink out of a glass that looks clean. It’s nice to use silverware that you don’t feel compelled to rub with your napkin before putting it in your mouth.
The basics of life, you know?
Enter vinegar. Again.
Vinegar does much the same thing as Jet Dry. Add some to the dishwasher, and you’ll notice a marked improvement in water spots, haze, and overall gunky look.
But how? Some people put it in the Jet Dry compartment and feel perfectly fine about things. But the Damsel has had less than spectacular results from that. The amount of vinegar released isn’t enough to deal with her problem. The Cottage has very hard water, and now no phosphorus. A whole cup of vinegar, however, does do the trick. Thankfully, the stuff is cheap.
The best time to add the vinegar is during the rinse cycle. If you can manage to remember to be right there, in the kitchen, at the appropriate moment, you can just open the dishwasher door and pour it right into the bottom of the dishwasher.
But. Rare is the time this has happened at the Damsel’s house. She can hardly remember her own name, let alone when the dishwasher is starting to rinse. You could run a separate rinse cycle after the regular cycle, but that seems wasteful.
An Old School student offered a suggestion, and the Damsel tested it a few times. She is happy to report that it WORKED GREAT. Simply set one of your glasses right side up in your top rack, instead of inverted like usual. Fill with a cup of vinegar and start the machine as you normally do. Over the course of the cycle, the vinegar gradually mixes with the water and does its thing.
The Damsel doesn’t know exactly how, but doing it this way seems to delay the vinegar’s dispersal enough that it works pretty much like adding it during the elusive rinse cycle.
You can do this even if you aren’t having a phosphate withdrawl problem. By doing the vinegar trick, you can skip putting Jet Dry in your dishwasher. Really.
No nasty phosphates AND clean dishes. Solved with a cheap, natural substance. Win/win.