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Do Vegetarians Have Cleaner Dishes?

Posted by at 5:44 AM | Permalink | Comments (10)


Do Vegetarians Have Cleaner Dishes? by kerry AnderlikWe were thrilled when the ban on selling high-phosphate dishwasher detergents went into effect in our county, Spokane County, Washington, last July. We had worked hard to help get this law passed because it is a win-win law: Phosphate-free dishwasher soaps are better for the environment, and the companies that produce them are also frequently cruelty-free! This ban will help stop pollutants from entering our aquifer, lakes, and rivers, and at the same time, it will save animals from the nightmare of animal testing.

The ban began last July and is scheduled to take effect in all of Washington State in the year 2010. And we have already seen a 10 percent drop in phosphate levels in the water flowing into Spokane’s wastewater treatment plant.

So, what’s been the reaction of our residents? You would think that people would be thrilled that a simple thing like using phosphate-free dishwasher detergent was having such a big impact, but there has been an uprising of people wailing about the ban. They are actually smuggling the high-phosphate dishwashing detergent from across the border in Idaho. Why? They’re complaining that the low-phosphate detergents do not get their dishes clean enough!

I can report that the Anderlik family has been using cruelty-free, phosphate-free detergents in our dishwashers for many, many years, and we have never noticed a single problem with our dishes getting clean. Maybe it’s because our dishes are not covered in greasy, cheesy animal fat that sticks to dishes like it sticks to the insides of veins and arteries.

It’s hard to understand how people can be more concerned with their dishes than they are with their health, the safety of our drinking water, or the health of our rivers, lakes, and streams.

Have any of you PETA Primers had experience using phosphate-free detergents in your dishwasher? Have you had any problem getting your vegetarian dishes clean? I would love to hear about your experiences.

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10 Comments

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    Janna says...

    June 20th, 2009, 4:22 pm

    I’ve found that Method’s tablets work best. Like Allison, I’ve found that I prefer them over the Seventh Generation liquid or powder. The 7th Gen leaves marks on my glassware like the etching from the harsher animal-tested brands/companies, and doesn’t get my dishes (especially flatware) as clean. Method will even clean my omnivore husband’s animal oils and dried eggs off of plastic and glassware. So of course it works fantastic on my daughter’s and my vegan dishes.

    Kim says...

    June 21st, 2009, 1:54 pm

    My dishes always go into the DW without food particles. My two vegetarian dogs take care of that. My understanding is that if you run the DW only when it is full, you use less hot water and resources than if you wash by hand.

    John says...

    June 21st, 2009, 7:36 pm

    “Phosphate-free dishwasher soaps are better for the environment”. So why all my next door neighbors who are farmers use tons per acre are not following the same rules?

    Shellie says...

    June 22nd, 2009, 1:18 pm

    I love the Ecover dishwasher tablets and dish liquid. A lot of times the dishes that don’t get clean for me is due to my own laziness. I don’t always get them rinsed and in the dishwasher as soon as I should. The phosphate-free products are great and do a good job whether you are a veg or not. I am a veg and the worst things that stick for me are black beans and salsa, both vegan products! Have a grateful day!

    Kat D says...

    July 24th, 2009, 1:35 pm

    I’ve been phosphate-free for years – hand dishwashing, dishwasher and laundry. I have never had an issue with things not getting clean. I do a quick rinse with cold water right away and pop dishes in the dishwasher. Have never had to put anything back in. And I love the fact that I am reducing the impact on the environment!

    Suzie says...

    July 24th, 2009, 2:34 pm

    I do find that soy milk does not get clean, but I’m not changing.

    Jacob Dijkstra, MD says...

    July 24th, 2009, 3:56 pm

    We use Seventh Generation, are vegans and have clean dishes and clean arteries. Enough said.

    Debbie Zelano says...

    July 24th, 2009, 11:20 pm

    I have had no problems with the phosphate free detergents. They work great. Dishes come out fine (and I’m the only veg in the house). I have one pan that seems to react to them and comes out darkened. I’ve just decided not to use that pan very often (not sure what’s going on there). I use the Method and Seventh Generation dish and laundry products.

    Holly says...

    July 26th, 2009, 4:15 pm

    Per John’s comments – It takes more water to clean dishes by hand, than in the dishwasher. As for the farmers, well they should be following the rules. They are a big problem in the effects of our waterways.

    Christina says...

    August 1st, 2009, 1:05 am

    John says…
    June 19th, 2009, 10:23 pm
    Christina says..”My dishes aren’t ever really that dirty. I can usually just rinse them off with hot water, and don’t even need to use a sponge before popping them in the dishwasher.”…. Why don’t you wash dishes by hand and save the planet. Do you know that you use about 2000 watts/ hr to heat the water in a dishwasher rather than 500 watts by hand?

    Thanks for the info! When I have my own place and my dishes are only used for veg-food, I will do them by hand. For now, I feel more comfortable with the dishwasher as far as sanitization.

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