Maytag Miracle

For the past two or so years, I’ve been moaning and complaining about the fact that my not quite four year old dishwasher simply stopped cleaning dishes.  Granted, we use our dishwasher, fully loaded 2 (sometimes 3) times a day, but even under those tough circumstances, I think it’s fair to expect five years. 
I just gave up.  We let the dishwasher sit there and started doing the dishes by hand.  This isn’t that bad when you have six people pitching in, but I did notice our water bill went up noticeably.
The other morning, I saw on the local news program that I never watch because they are all far too perky and happy in the morning, a short segment on a recent surge on new dishwasher purchases.  The main complaint?  Foggy glassware, food left on dishes,  and oogy silverware.  Hello????  This was our situation entirely.  You can read the story here. Google if you want to read more.
I’m all for cleaner everything – environment, dishes, you name it . . . But, I’m also a fan of living in the 21st century and, for most of us, that includes a dishwasher.  (Can you hear the angels singing?  If not, trust me, they are.) 
I started reading more about this and decided to run a test here.  I added 1/4 c. of Borax to the bottom of the dishwasher along with dishwasher detergent in the regular thingie on the door.  Voila!!!!!  I have a working dishwasher again. 
It’s awesome and wonderful.  Really, you’d think we discovered fire based on the kids’ reactions.  I’ll be checking the water bill next month – I’ll try to remember to keep you posted. 
(I’ve also read great things about something called Lemi-Shine, but I haven’t tried it.)

9 thoughts on “Maytag Miracle

  1. Our four year old expensive LG dishwasher crapped out on us. Of course warranties were expired. We've been washing by hand then using the most expensive dish drainer we could! At least the dishes in the dishwasher are never dirty.

  2. Another Internet miracle — I never would've figured out that this was happening to other people besides me since I don't really are enough about housekeeping to discuss it in real life.

  3. BTW, I just mentioned this to my husband (Mr. Chemical Engineer/Business Man) who replied that the price of phosphoric acid has skyrocketed, and someone at P&G et al is likely driving this as a cost saving measure.

    Which mostly leaves me wondering why he knows this sort of thing off the top of his head.

  4. The WTM boardies discussed this a while back – something about the phosphates have been removed from the detergent…they are what hold the dirt, etc, in the water for removal. Without them, crud can just go stick back into the plates, etc. Folks who want to sell you an expensive new dishwasher won't tell you it is the detergent that is at fault. Something about protecting the environment. Like clean water is more important than clean dishes! 😉

  5. Oh, my goodness, you just saved my marriage. I keep insisting my husband hasn't fixed the dishwasher yet and he keeps insisting that we're not rinsing the dishes well enough before putting them in the dishwasher. I finally said that if I needed to rinse them anymore than I already was that I might as well be washing them by hand. And we have been. It's been working well for us but I haven't checked my water bill.

    There has to be a solution for this that doesn't involve killing fish or poisoning the water hole and yet still yields clean dishes.

    I'm ever hopeful.

  6. This has been driving me crazy too! Thank you so much for this information. I used to be able to run a water-saver cycle with a dab of detergent and I find myself adding more and more detergent and running longer washes. Ran my water bill up high last month.

    I remember as a kid growing up in eastern Indiana taking road-trips with my Dad to buy clothes detergent in Ohio when they still had phosphates and Indiana had banned them.

  7. I don't know how I missed this last week!

    I make my own dishwasher detergent with equal parts borax and baking soda.

    Once in a while I'll throw in some lemishine or lemon koolade.


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