Rinse Aids for Your Dishwasher – Good or Bad?

Eating or drinking from streaky dishes and glasses isn’t a health hazard, but most of us prefer our tableware clean and sparkling. So we use rinse aid to prevent things like spotting on glasses. (This is caused by droplets of water drying and leaving behind dissolved limescale minerals.)

Here’s a dirty secret about cleaning products: the formulas are currently considered government-protected trade secrets. Manufacturers aren’t required to disclose their contents to consumers. So they don’t. While rinse aid formulas vary brand to brand, conventional versions typically contain some mix of ethanol, citric acid, sodium, dyes, and acrylic acid polymers. There’s a lot of unknown there—not to mention VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that are spewed into the air during the hot water wash cycle. Rinse aid residue can remain on dishes post wash.

Some rinse aids may also contain phosphates, which can cause excessive algae growth, polluted drinking water, and marine dead zones. Phosphates were actually banned for this use in 2010, but some bottles with old formulas containing them still exist on store shelves.

 Thanks to PracticallyGreen.com

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