March 28, 2009
Spokane residents become smugglers for clean dishes

Citizens join the smugglers, just so they can get their dishes clean. Criminals! Watch your rear-view mirror for flashing lights. Now it only affects the Spokane area. In July, 2010, the entire state.

The Washington Lake Protection Association is proud that they got HB 2322 (pdf) passed in 2006 to prevent all of us from using effective dish detergents that contain phosphates. Are there effective low-phosphate detergents? Not their problem (pdf).

WALPA is asking that Spokane County residents keep trying different brands until they find one that works and more importantly to share that information with friends and neighbors.
Has anyone found one yet? WALPA hasn't despite their best efforts. See also KOMO TV.

Associated Press: Spokane residents smuggle suds over green brands:

SPOKANE, Wash. - 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.

But it's not easy to get sparkling dishes when you go green.

Many people were shocked to find that products like Seventh Generation, Ecover and Trader Joe's left their dishes encrusted with food, smeared with grease and too gross to use without rewashing them by hand. The culprit was hard water, which is mineral-rich and resistant to soap.

As a result, there has been a quiet rush of Spokane-area shoppers heading east on Interstate 90 into Idaho in search of old-school suds.
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."

One Spokane resident has found a way to get clean dishes: use a lot more hot water. Using more water and heating it? Doesn't that offset the benefits of getting rid of phosphates? "Oh, we didn't intend that," say the innocents who caused the damage.
For his part, Beck has taken to washing his dishes on his machine's pots-and-pans cycle, which takes longer and uses five gallons more water. Beck wonders if that isn't as tough on the environment as phosphates.

"How much is this really costing us?" Beck said. "Aren't we transferring the environmental consequences to something else?"

Posted by Ron Hebron at March 28, 2009 06:48 AM | Email This
1. I want all the names of the WALPA members so I can ask them all what they're now using in their dishwashers, and does it get their dishes clean? Good thing we have until 2010 so we can stock up until something effective comes on the market. However, you can be sure it will be twice as expensive, as it is "green".

Posted by: katomar on March 28, 2009 08:38 AM
2. If you just rinse your dishes before putting them into the dishwasher it doesn't matter whether your detergent is phosphate based or not. They get clean either way.

By not using phosphate based dishwasher detergent you help reduce the nutrients that promote algae in shallow lake during the summer.

Personally I prefer less algae in my local lakes and have no problem with rinsing my dishes or restricting sales of phosphate detergents.

Posted by: deadwood on March 28, 2009 08:51 AM
3. You've got to be kidding me! The hypocrisy and selfishness of some of the tree-hugging liberals knows no bounds! WTF?

Posted by: TJ on March 28, 2009 09:05 AM
4. Punitive legislation based on junk science will soon become the norm in this State, sadly to the joy of most voters. Since it will only be illegal to sell or distribute the product I will also be buying my dishwasher soap out of state. I can remember washing dishes by hand years ago and have no desire to revisit those days. I am looking forward to my annual summer vacations in Idaho.

Posted by: ROCKETMAN on March 28, 2009 09:08 AM
5. WALPA members are typical of of other state agency members that set rules and regulations for OTHER people. If the problem is hard water, we can be assured that all of these folks have water as soft as a baby's bottom. It's no different from the rural land-use regulations being set by the urban city-dwellers.

Posted by: Seabecker on March 28, 2009 09:34 AM
6. stupid liberals in this state pass laws without taking the time to consider the real-world consequences of their actions.

They lose their credibility for any decision making when they continue to do this.

I don't know where the tipping point is, but there will be the point to begin ignoring laws they pass. After you start ignoring the little stupid laws, then you are conditioning the public that it is OK to start ignoring the serious laws.

Or, just ignore them all except for the law that comes from the end of a gun barrel.

Posted by: dawg on March 28, 2009 10:14 AM
7. deadwood @2...Explain to me how phosphates from your dishwasher detergent enters the local lakes and ponds and in the Tremendous volumes that would cause out of control algae. I would very much like to know. This overly pumped up Crap from the Greens is just another dreamed up Crisis to have their say and sway over the lives of the American people. Another act of theft of our Freedom of Choice in the way we live and manage our Lives. You allow the Greens to keep calling the shots and you will soon be in Liberal Heaven...Walking and living in Mud Huts.

Posted by: Daniel on March 28, 2009 10:24 AM
8. I'll just buy in bulk when I go to Oregon. Added bonus is no sales tax revenue for WA.

What's next? No toilet paper must be on some enviro-facsist "to legislate" list.

It's all good. The more they overreach, the more likely voters are to lash back.

Posted by: Jeff B. on March 28, 2009 10:55 AM
9. I think it's important that we learn nothing as human beings and continue to pollute unnecessarily because we want to remain dolts as witnessed by you idiots posting above.

We've pulled phosphates out of laundry soap, lead out of gas, bad additives out of our food, on and on, as we've gotten smarter as human beings (well, at least some of us).

I understand rinsing your dishes when you put them in the dishwasher requires a higher level of brain function, but if it results in cleaner lakes and rivers it is still too great a burden.

Clearly no one here is an outdoor person, fisherman, boater or hunter that sees first hand the results of what we're putting into the water. I trust you're all driving cars without airbags too - that will help.

Do you run across the border to buy melamine laced foods too?

What a happy group.

Posted by: BA on March 28, 2009 11:21 AM
10. BA wrong. Some things are harmful, some things are not. And some things are harmful, but the danger of not using them is far worse than the danger of using them. What matters is not blanket scare tactic policies as proposed by Dems, but sensible polices. Yes, it was good to get the lead out of gas and have pollution regulation. But banning plastic bags and phosphates is not going to do a bit of good, and there are unintended consequences. If people use more water to hand clean their dishes, or use longer dish washing cycles, that ultimately might have a greater impact than phosphates. There's a lot of junk science, like Global Warming floating around designed to scare us in to action. But do we need to focus on the Sound rising a couple inches in the next 100 years, or Cancer, Heart Disease, workable long term energy production, etc.

The Dems are busy chasing plastic bags while Rome burns.

Posted by: Jeff B. on March 28, 2009 11:43 AM
11. Try using black plates. The dirt does not show up on them, and you will never know the difference.

Posted by: travis t on March 28, 2009 11:48 AM
12. I didn't mention plastic bags, global warming, rising ocean levels, etc. etc.

The topic is phosphates, where a reduction in the water has positive consequences.

This of course doesn't apply to those folks that don't transfer their waste waters to others and therefore can do what they want with their own water.

Posted by: BA on March 28, 2009 12:00 PM
13. Funny. I just read about this at American Thinker

Take the pledge: Let there be light tonight! ... and radios, TV's, computers, blenders, ovens, hair dryers, DISHWASHERS...!

And NO CANDLES: Parafin will emit 10 grams of carbon - a CFL bulb in California only 5 grams.

P.T. Barnum's competitor had it right: There IS a sucker born every minute... along with someone to take advantage of it... and our pet lefties regularly prove that to us all.

What a hoot.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on March 28, 2009 12:01 PM
14. 10. BA wrong. Some things are harmful, some things are not. And some things are harmful, but the danger of not using them is far worse than the danger of using them.


DDT prevented 500 million deaths by 1970 and the banning of its use in poor countries has resulted in millions of unnecessary deaths. Since 1972, over 50 milion people have died from this dreaded disease, malaria.

The Malaria Clock: A Green Eco-Imperialist Legacy of Death

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on March 28, 2009 12:09 PM
15. Rags, I guess you just don't get it! In the grand liberal scheme of things, PEOPLE don't matter. Even a slug is worth more to them than a human life.

Posted by: katomar on March 28, 2009 12:48 PM
16. They should post the names of all WALPO members and all politicians and lobbyists who supported this measure on the internet. Along with their addresses. They have done a disservice to their own society with their actions and deserve confrontation and to deliver explanations about their irresponsible activities.

Posted by: Yogi on March 28, 2009 12:57 PM
17. #13: AT missed the mark: this is a state law, not a county law. But Spokane is the first guinea pig to suffer. It applies to all of us in July, 2010. And it was posted here first.

Posted by: ron Hebron on March 28, 2009 01:54 PM
18. And surely it hasn't escaped notice that the "eco-friendly" products are way more expensive.

Why is it that everything the left does is more expensive and less convenient? I don't think our lefty friends could name a single enactment by the left that didn't result in more money being extracted from our wallets.

I can hardly wait for "cap and trade".

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on March 28, 2009 02:29 PM
19. Follow the money too. No doubt there's a green detergent company doing quite well off of this legislation. And they are probably sending some Olympia Democrats on some nice junkets as well.

Posted by: Jeff B. on March 28, 2009 02:35 PM
20. Hmm, I suppose that this explains why the daughter going to school in Spokane is using so many paper plates. Do you think the burn barrel behind the apartment building would be an unintended consequence?

Posted by: Red on March 28, 2009 02:37 PM
21. Yes, prewashing your dishes means you don't need to use phosphates in your soap. However, what about the extra waste of water? Doesn't that become an issue? Double the amount of water needed to wash the dishes...

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on March 28, 2009 03:55 PM
22. Slightly off-topic... still enviro-hypocrisy... with a teensy warning for coarse language...

Why hasn't Bambi saved Fargo? *

So, apparently Fargo has been flooding. News to me. Supposedly, the Red River rests around 13' - and is now over 40' and looking to crest. I've seen a few photos - flooded streets, destroyed houses, etc. Terrible, terrible stuff.

But you know what? I'm a little ticked off with the citizens of Fargo. I mean, my god man - quit trying to steal the thunder out from the Hurricane Katrina victims. This year is about CHANGE. We VOTED IN OBAMA. Don't come crying to us with your sob stories about ineffectual government prevention of natural disasters. We only pull that shit on Republicans.

We all know that within a day or two, Obama is going to fly in on his magical unicorn and use his superpowers to pull them out of whatever predicament they're in. At least, that's what he promised us in his campaign speeches. And Democrats always tell the truth.

I mean, it IS the President's job to prevent this sort of thing, isn't it? We absoultely reamed Dubya for it, right? So, where's Bambi and his endless supply of FEMA teams? Heck, where's Kanye West accusing the President of hating white people (Fargo IS primarily white, isn't it?) Isn't Bambi's complete inaction ABSOLUTE PROOF of his clear and overt racism? Or is that just asinine in and of itself?

You might think I'm being facetious - but I'm really not. Now, granted, I gave up following the news for Lent, so I haven't really been paying attention - but this is actually the very first I've ever even HEARD of flooding trouble in Fargo, threatened levees, etc. And I can't help but wonder why.

When it was New Orleans, you couldn't flip through the channels without getting at least four of them reporting on A) the terrible calamity about to occur; and B) the failure of the Executive Branch to do anything about it (even though it's not their job.) Today, the Top Stories on MSNBC are with regard to the Space Shuttle and (I shit you not) "Diners can 'have a ball' at testicle festival." Front page at the New York Times? Immigration and health care. The headline on Yahoo's front page is about Miley freakin' Cyrus. Where are the 24-7 live-feed videos of the floodwaters over people's homes? Where are the left-wing celebrities decrying the failure of the federal government?

Don't you find it just the least bit odd that when floodwaters are rising and people are in jeopardy, that the nation, the president, and media outlets are suddenly silent - when only less than half a decade ago, people wanted to see someone from the national administration hang for it?

Why is it that when people's homes and lives are threatened by natural disaster, it's OK to blame Republicans for it; but when it's a Democrat sitting in the big chair, we barely even know it's happening? To add insult to injury is the fact that your fledgling, doe-eyed president made so much reference to the "suffering of New Orleans" in order to gain the pity vote. Yet, I don't see him out there bailing water with a bucket, do you?

"Change," he said. Yet, from where I'm sitting, it looks like exactly the same thing.

*Disclosure: Yep, I am related to the handsome author.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on March 28, 2009 04:20 PM
23. Funny, this same law has actually been in place for over a year in Whatcom County, but it never made the national news. In an effort to save Lake Whatcom Bellinghams drinking water supply, from phosphates it was forced on the whole county. Never mind that the increased levels of phosphates occured when the GP tissue mill was shutdown and an emense amount of water that was being drawn through the lake every day suddenly wasn't anymore.
On the subject of rinsing your dishes before putting them in and having the new detergent less detergents still do a fine job of cleaning....Bullcrap! After over a year of trying to find something that works, we've found nothing.

Posted by: whatcompolitics on March 28, 2009 05:00 PM
24. Worry not about the cleanliness of your dishes but more carefully focus on that of your soul. You are one with the earth for now, lest not you forget. Treat it with respect as you would your own body. Remember to diminish all things electrical from the hours of 08:30 - 09:30 pm tonight and reflect on how to improve the world in which you live. Your pettiness about phosphates or lack thereof is a diversion from the importance of life's substance. Surely we can all do better.

Posted by: Pilgrim on March 28, 2009 05:08 PM
25. * removed *

Posted by: Crusader on March 28, 2009 05:30 PM
26. Maybe the liberals should worry less about the phosphates and more about liberals that cruise around in their powerboats dumping sewage. Hypocrites. Once again, another example of do as I say and not as I do.

Posted by: Thomas B. on March 28, 2009 05:32 PM
27. Pilgrim, keep your fascist liberal religion to yourself. Soon we will deal with the Marxist government and chains you and your kind are wrapping around our throats. It will not be pretty. Freedom above all to hell with Gia worshipers and their anti human - anti life agenda.
John Galt.

Posted by: Sulaco on March 28, 2009 05:33 PM
28. #27 I shan't warn you again! Please adhere.

Posted by: Pilgrim on March 28, 2009 05:35 PM
29. Actually, I've been using 7th Generation dishwasher detergent for quite some time, because I got tired of the chlorine fumes coming off of the other brands. I haven't had any problems with food being encrusted, or dishes not being washed adequately. I think my dishwasher heats the water extra, so maybe that is helping. (But it's a Bosch, and I don't recommend that brand, because the stupid thing breaks every two years or so. I had a GE for 12 years and never had a bad day with it until it died.)

Posted by: Michele on March 28, 2009 05:55 PM
30. This reminds me when they banned the older style toilets because they used too much water. The newer low flow toilets did not do the job. People had to flush 2-3 times to get the job done (defeating the purpose of saving water). Plumbers were happy though, as there were a lot of incidents of pipes bursting because of backup. The toilet would flush, so you thought it was ok, but the waste did not make it all the way to the main sewer line. That happened in my building, and it was ugly. Many people would go to Oregon, Idaho, or Canada to buy better toilets.

In time the newer toilets were improved and now do a much better job. I would hope that they would wait on the ban until the "green" detergents can be proven to be as effective as the current ones before they enforce the ban.

Posted by: Brian on March 28, 2009 06:23 PM
31. Yup, Brian. Those stupid flow restrictors on your shower head was another idiotic liberal idea that was supposed to save water. So everyone who didn't remove the dumb things simply ended up taking longer showers in order to rinse all shampoo and soap off. They don't exactly think things through, but their silly ideas make them feel better.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on March 28, 2009 06:36 PM
32. Why does Ford seem to hate America?

Ford Spokesman Mark Schirmer(

"I agree with you about the rantings of the hopelessly pig-headed Mr. O'Reilly, recognize that I am just an innocent bystander in this email letter silliness. I work at Ford and support Ford, but have no idea how the decisions are made on where we advertise. Frankly, as a mainstream company, we advertise everywhere there are good ratings. That is not an endorsement of the show -- that is recognition that people are watching the show. Don't know why they watch that mindless ranting. But they watch in droves. Welcome to America, I guess."

Email Ford Global Public Relations Director Jon Pepper ( and tell him that, as a mindless rube, you are too stupid to purchase a Ford vehicle in the future. Then, sign the petition:

Posted by: Karl Yundt on March 28, 2009 06:47 PM
33. The Old America:
Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

Posted by: ljm on March 28, 2009 09:44 PM
34. Is there a shelf life for dishwashing detergent? I may start stocking up now, so I can beat the rush in 2010. I don't expect the idiots in the legislature to risk the ire of the idiots who push this kind of inane law, so I figure I need a lifetime supply stored away in the garage.

Posted by: Micajah on March 28, 2009 09:50 PM
35. This is on a par with low water use toilets that need to be flushed multiple times to clear the bowl.

Posted by: Paula on March 28, 2009 11:20 PM
36. If they really wanted to make some difference, they would outlaw those sickeningly scented dryer sheets, that belch strong perfume stench out of people's dryer vents as the dryer is running, all over the neighborhood. yeccchhh. Now that's some kind of air pollution.

Posted by: Michele on March 29, 2009 12:21 AM
37. I read the link to HB 2322. Looks like phosphate laundry detergents have been banned in the entire state of Washington since 1994. I don't see anyone complaining much that they can't get their clothes clean with non-phosphate laundry detergents. If hard water is a factor, the water going into a washing machine is just as hard as the water going into a dishwasher in the same house. So why can't non-phosphate dishwasher detergents do an equally effective job?

Posted by: Richard Pope on March 29, 2009 12:24 AM
38. #37 There was mention that the problem was their hard water in Spokane. In Seattle and the surrounding areas server by Seattle much of our water is flow of the stream and doesn't spend much time underground & is soft. So we can expect less problems.

But the WLPA doesn't seem to care if their actions cause problems. Their intentions are pure.

Posted by: Ron Hebron on March 29, 2009 05:33 AM
39. Add phosphate detergents to the list of excellent products we can't enjoy any longer.

Off the top of my head, here are a few others that are gone or soon may be. In each case the benefits of their use outweigh the risks when considered carefully.

Driving a car is extremely dangerous, but we all take the risk since the benefit is so great.

Why are we so skeered of the things below, but happily willing to fly our four wheeled missiles only a few feet away from each other in opposite directions down the highway?

Because sometimes we aren't logical or practical.

FREON: The most efficient refrigerant BY FAR, non toxic, non corrosive, totally non combustable and once very inexpensive. Banned. Twenty years after the ban, Ozone Hole not affected. Human and animal deaths are already recorded from the replacement refrigerants. No deaths from Freon.

CHRYSOTILE ASBESTOS: Non carcinogenic, best coating binder and high temp stable brake matrix. Goodbye Challenger crew. Hello brake fade. Replacement is pig hair.

DDT: Story already covered.

ALAR: Excellent insecticide. Banned. Goodbye Washington apple crop in the 90s.

PCBs: Best high temp cooling and insulating transformer fluid by far. PCB workers at GE have lower than typical cancer rates. New transformer oils have a high rate of contact and relay set failures. Hello brownouts.

GASOLINE: Highest power density fuel for motor vehicles. Soon to be banned?

COAL: Cheapest widely available source of power for electricity generation. Evil, evil, evil, but we use it.

NUCLEAR: Cleanest source of power. Fewer deaths than are associated with coal mining, lead mining, lithium mining or wind turbine tower construction.

YUCCA MOUNTAIN: Pinnacle of human engineering. Empty repository.

2-4-D: Best defoliant. Diabetes association in question.

LEAD 50 TIN 50 SOLDER: Nothing flows better. Banned for home use and electronics in most circumstances. Human risk has NEVER been verified.

Please add your own favorites.

Posted by: Bart Cannon on March 29, 2009 05:54 AM
40. Oops. Probably no one cares, but....

Typing too fast off the top of my head.

Alar is not an insecticide. It's a fruit conditioner allowing enhanced production by extending and unifying harvest time for crops.

It also makes a prettier apple.

Just looked it up in Micheal Fumento's "Science Under Siege".

Posted by: Bart Cannon on March 29, 2009 06:04 AM
41. I'm confused.

Is the water from homes being pumped into streams and lakes?

Posted by: Vince on March 29, 2009 07:07 AM
42. No Vince, gravity is involved.

Posted by: BA on March 29, 2009 08:23 AM
43. @22: I'm amused that you've started quoting from a dating website. Is that all the conservative movement has left?

Posted by: demo kid on March 29, 2009 08:49 AM
44. I'm with Vince. Don't we have either septic tanks, or sewers? If that dishwashing soap is getting into streams and lakes then it follows that other far more unpleasant waste products from our homes are getting there as well.

I like someone to explain this.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on March 29, 2009 09:30 AM
45. Liberals are like a swarm of locusts swooping into an area and spoiling it then moving on. Many of the Seattle liberals are California refugees. Once they screwed up their state, they migrated North.

Posted by: Liberals are Locusts on March 29, 2009 10:35 AM
46. Dumbo Kid - no woman other then obese ones will even look at you. No wonder you are filled with such hate & rage for your fellow man!

Posted by: Crusader on March 29, 2009 12:14 PM
47. Like just about everything in life, blanket solutions overkill the specificity of circumstances. Most septic systems, if properly functioning and in certain soils, do a good job of removing phosphates from their discharge.

In some soils septic systems can't treat the phosphates sufficiently and they migrate in the groundwater to nearby water bodies. I suspect that the soils around Spokane might be why they were chosen as guinea pigs for this new regulation.

I can't speak to sewage systems, particularly ones that discharge into salt water, because I focus on my own septic system since I also have a well for domestic water. We'd all probably pay more attention to things like this if we had to live more directly with the results of our actions.

That said Bill, these treatment systems deal with different substances with varying success, so phosphates being a problem in some circumstances doesn't have to mean the systems aren't doing their job with organic waste.

I'm told that a more interesting problem now is the pharmaceutical's that are getting past the treatment plants, and finding their way into fish and wildlife, and might work their way up the food chain. You might just get that dose of Viagra needed from eating salmon...

Posted by: BA on March 29, 2009 01:25 PM
48. This Phosphate Smuggling story has pretty much gone viral on the net. I love it.... ashamed yet chrissy queen?

And as far as toilets go... I intend to take mine with me should I move... or smuggle some in from Canada. The big problem is finding the correct innards for the old efficient toilets.

Re:43 commentting about 22... You are sure quick to judge, oh 'tolerant' one [/guffaw]. It's also a very prolific BLOG with intense, intellectual debates on a wide variety of subjects. (Even I, married nearly 30 years have been known to participate and post.) I doubt you'd find a home there.

Further, that particular post (written by my handsome son [so tread carefully little Koolaid drinker]) was linked and quoted elsewhere in the blogoshere.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on March 29, 2009 01:29 PM
49. Has it been mentioned that phosphate is an essential ingredient in soils and that it is natural fixated by soil organisms?

Has it been mentioned that the amount of phosphate from fertilizers in agriculture and lawns must greatly SWAMP the amount issued from detergents?

Lets make a law that radio-isotopes be used to code the sources of the things we don't like.

Thousands of employees for the new agency.

Green Stimulus Jobs !!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Bart Cannon on March 29, 2009 01:53 PM
50. My family and I all use phosphate-free Shaklee dishwashing and laundry products. We find them to be just as effective as the major brands. In fact, the Shaklee Dishwash Concentrate is the best dishwashing liquid I have ever used.

Posted by: Lana on March 29, 2009 05:01 PM
51. #50 is a blatant advertisement.

Posted by: eyago on March 29, 2009 07:17 PM
52. Sorry, I guess that is an advertisement. This was my first post. I just saw at the top of this it says "Has anyone found one yet?", and this is one that really works. So, just look up Shaklee Automatic Dishwash any place you can find it, not necessarily through my link. That's the same as someone saying that Seventh Generation is good.

Posted by: Lana on March 29, 2009 07:46 PM
53. Well, it doesn't effect my family very much, since I come for a long line of germ-a-phobes who insisted that every dish be hand washed before going in the dishwasher.

I was so well trained in dishwashing that I long ago discovered that I did a better job than the dishwasher machine- even with the use of phosphate soap.

So I'll still be washing mine by hand.

That said, it seems rather foolish to me, as I would think that fertilizer is a more likely source of phosphate getting into the local water supply.

Posted by: Cicero on March 30, 2009 08:55 AM
54. Whatcompolitics is right in that those of us in Whatcom county have also been made involuntary subjects of this experiment. I wash our dishes before I put them in the dishwasher - I have to or crud sticks up inside glasses and is difficult to scrub out. As far as the laundry goes, I'd like to try detergent with phosphates to see how the clothes come out. I don't have anything to compare nonphosphate detergent with.

What I really miss, though, is that Easy Off Bam stuff - the degreaser that comes in a spray bottle. That was the best stuff for cleaning up pans and cookie sheets. Why was it pulled, does anyone know?

Posted by: PeggyU on March 30, 2009 09:43 AM
55. Thank goodness for Amazon:

Posted by: Rey Smith in Spokane on March 30, 2009 10:17 AM
56. There are dishwashing liquids and automated dishwasher powders/tablet that are phosphate free and work great.

I use the Dish Drops brand and find that it works better than most others I've tried that have phospates in them.

Posted by: Douglas Aldrich on March 30, 2009 10:34 AM
57. #49 and 50 No problem.

#53: Of course, the solution is to not put anything dirty in your dishwasher. Then it gets everything clean. With a great waste of water and energy.

#56: Are you in a soft-water area? That would explain your success, while Spokaneites are driven to smuggling. The WALPA that caused this whole mess haven't found anything effective in Spokane.

Posted by: Ron Hebron on March 30, 2009 11:01 AM
58. The unseen (or ignored) consequences of this type of scattershot law making is going to make it worse for the environment. Because of the inefficiency of washing without phosphates, more water will be used to get equal clean. As Lomberg, author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist" and "Cool It" says, ample water supplies world-wide are much more of a problem than Climate Change™ (or Global Warming™ or whatever they are calling it now). Additionally because of the diminished cleaning capability of phospate free soap, you can expect more sickness further stretching resources. When nationalized health care arrives, less people will be served because of the overload.

The beauty of the markets is that all of these things had been taken care of already and now that we wish to ignore the signals, in favor of central planning, the problems pop-up elsewhere. This smells a lot like the start of the DDT ban years ago, going off half cocked with bad science that got us a total ban. Now without it, millions are succumbing each year to borne illness.

But to the eco-wackos, this is OK because man is the "breakout species."

Posted by: G Jiggy on March 30, 2009 11:18 AM
59. #57: I am currently in a medium-to-hard water area (Graham). It also worked well for me when I lived in South Florida where the water is very hard.

Posted by: Douglas Aldrich on March 30, 2009 11:58 AM
60. G Jiggy, the beauty of the markets does work, if in fact they reflect the full costs and benefits of each action being priced.

The problem is that many costs are externalized from prices and therefore we miss market signals that might influence our behavior in rational ways.

Anything with a tail pipe or a drain is often by definition externalizing something.

This means that some costs of pollution are picked up by society in general, and subject to over-regulation because regulation often doesn't price the costs in a rational way or assign them appropriately to the creators. Remember the "tragedy of the commons"?

That's probably what's happening with phosphates.

Solution? How about making everyone responsible for their own waste products and require that nothing leaves their land, including water, different than when it arrived?

Is that a liberal, or conservative, approach?

Posted by: BA on March 30, 2009 12:03 PM
61. Don't forget you are running out of time to stock up on a lifetime supply of incandescent light bulbs - if you don't want the mercury containing (hazardous waste) CFL types. The incandescent ones won't be sold after this year, I believe.

Posted by: ajday on March 30, 2009 01:36 PM
62. Interesting paper on phosphates in detergents here.

Posted by: Smoley on March 30, 2009 10:31 PM
63. Pssssst hey miss wanna buy some P? I got the good stuff the Cascade a lil electrosol..for an extra dime I'll sell you some industrial P...

F*** O** Washington I will use what I want when I want...

Posted by: hellpig on March 31, 2009 11:06 AM
64. Green effective cleaners dish/laudry/others are available here

Posted by: Fred on March 31, 2009 03:04 PM
65. Green effective cleaners dish/laundry/others are available here

Posted by: Fred on March 31, 2009 03:05 PM
66. Selective enforcement - call their bluff - keep using phosphate detergent. Civil disobedience is the only acceptable solution.

The government is irresponsible when it comes to NOT enforcing existing immigration laws. That point should be made. They have made a mockery of the Constitution. So when they try to oppress us into taking away detergent with phosphate, let's lawyer up and sue their collective asses... Time to out-leftist the leftists...

Posted by: KS on March 31, 2009 09:20 PM
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