Sunday, August 24, 2014

At Wall's I found dishwashing detergent that works for half the price of modern stuff that doesn't

Four years old and full of
delightful, effective phosphate!
    Regular readers of this blog know that when I grocery shop I stock up on deeply discounted sales items -- in a big way. As a result I manage to save a good bit of money on groceries, and if the Earth is ever hit by an asteroid folks at my house will still eat for a few weeks.
    Yesterday Jinny and I went to Wall's down in Grenada. Going to Wall's is a crap shoot, and this trip was proving to be unproductive -- until I spotted the bags of Cascade Action Packs on the back wall (at Wall's).
    The packaging looked rather old, so I turned the bag over and found a disclaimer assuring the customer that the product contained no more than eight percent phosphate. I hit pay dirt!
    Phosphate -- usually in the form of Sodium Tripolyphosphate, or STPP -- is the magic ingredient that makes soap work. Liberals passed laws against phosphates in laundry detergent years ago even though they did little if any damage to the environment (almost all phosphates in rivers and streams came from and still comes from agricultural fertilizer, not laundry soap). But dishwashing detergent still contained some phosphate until 2010.
    A few states passed additional laws against phosphates and so the big corporations decided to punish all Americans by depriving us of phosphates. Most people didn't know about the changes until they noticed that their dishes were no longer getting clean.
    The "old" Cascade that was on sale at Wall's cost $1.99 per bag of 20 wash packs. The new-and-much-worse version of the same product was on sale for $3.99 at Kroger yesterday. So I was able to buy dishwasher detergent that is twice as good for half the price. I bought 35 bags, or enough for 700 dishwasher loads. We have about 10-12 dishwasher loads per week, so that's about an 18-month supply.
    For those of you who can't find any old detergent that works, The Chemistry Store online sells buckets of sodium tripolyphosphate. Just add a tablespoon to cheap dishwashing detergent and your dishes will get clean. Add two tablespoons as a laundry booster and your clothes will last longer and stay cleaner.
    Best of all, phosphates work as fertilizer. So if you have a septic tank like us, every time you do a load of laundry you'll fertilize your yard as well.
    Without phosphates Erma Bombeck never could have penned her best-seller, The Grass Is Always Greener over the Septic Tank.

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