Dishwasher Detergent Facts
- How do detergents work?
- Contents of dishwashing detergent
- What do enzymes do?
Most detergents are either enzyme-based or bleach-based products.
- Enzyme-based products are live creatures that "come to life" to help break down proteins in the dishwasher.
- Bleaches kill enzymes and are not compatible in a liquid format.
- Bleach works better for stains such as those from coffee or tea.
- It is best to find out what kind of clean is needed in order to recommend the best soap to clean with.
- Dishwasher detergents are strongly alkaline (basic).
- Inexpensive powders may contain sand, which can be verified by dissolving the powder in boiling water and then passing the solution through a coffee filter.
- Such detergents may harm the dishes and the dishwasher.
- Powdered detergents are more likely to cause fading on china patterns.
- Dissolves calcium and magnesium ions to prevent hard-water-type limescale deposits.
- Unfortunately, they can cause ecological damage, so their use is starting to be phased out.
- Phosphate-free detergents are sold as eco-friendly detergents.
Oxygen-based bleaching agents
- Older-style powders and liquids contain chlorine-based bleaching agents.
- Breaks up and bleaches organic deposits.
- Lowers the surface tension of the water, emulsifies oil, lipid, and fat food deposits, prevents droplet spotting on drying.
- Breaks up and dissolves protein-based food deposits, and possibly oil, lipid, and fat deposits. Proteases do this by breaking down the proteins into smaller peptides that are more easily washed away.
- Often sodium silicate, this prevents corrosion of dishwasher components.
- Foam interferes with the washing action.
- Slow down the removal of glaze and patterns from glazed ceramics.
- Found in granular detergent.
- Found in tablet-based detergents.
- Found in liquid/gel based detergents.
- Found in inexpensive powdered detergents.
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