Green dishwasher soap doesn’t work; Encourages soap smuggling

March 30, 2009

The Associated Press reports that,

The quest for squeaky-clean dishes has turned some law-abiding people in Spokane into dishwater-detergent smugglers. They are bringing Cascade or Electrasol in from out of state because the eco-friendly varieties required under Washington state law don’t work as well. Spokane County became the launch pad last July for the nation’s strictest ban on dishwasher detergent made with phosphates, a measure aimed at reducing water pollution. The ban will be expanded statewide in July 2010, the same time similar laws take effect in several other states.


Real estate agent Patti Marcotte of Spokane stocks up on detergent at a Costco in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and doesn’t care who knows it.

“Yes, I am a smuggler,” she said. “I’m taking my chances because dirty dishes I cannot live with.”

(In truth, the ban applies to the sale of phosphate detergent — not its use or possession — so Marcotte is not in any legal trouble.)

Marcotte said she tried every green brand in her dishwasher and found none would remove grease and pieces of food. Everybody she knows buys dishwasher detergent in Idaho, she said.

Supporters of the ban acknowledge it is not very popular.

“I’m not hearing a lot of positive feedback,” conceded Shannon Brattebo of the Washington Lake Protection Association, a prime mover of the ban. “I think people are driving to Idaho.”

As the American Thinker put it,

It’s not easy being green.

From the dishwasher soap industry,

We’ve tried to market no-phosphate dishwasher detergents, but consumers flatly rejected them.”

2 Responses to “Green dishwasher soap doesn’t work; Encourages soap smuggling”

  1. michaelwsmith Says:

    And where is the evidence that phosphates from diswasher detergent are causing “water pollution”?

    More environmental insanity.

    • robthecomputerguy Says:

      It’s a long, long, LONG, established fact that phosphates in the water supply result in overgrowing algae which suffocate fish and plant life in any bodies of water that they are dumped in to. Do you really not know about that at all? Really? Never heard of that? Phosphates are banned from laundry detergents for 20+ years because of this, this is not a big secret, it’s something most people know.

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