What does it take to get your dishes clean?

Recently, the New York Times reported that some customers of low phosphate dishwasher detergents are not satisfied with the cleaning that the greener product is doing:

“My dishes were dirtier than before they were washed,” one wrote last week in the review section of the Web site for the Cascade line of dishwasher detergents. “It was horrible, and I won’t buy it again.”

“This is the worst product ever made for use as a dishwashing detergent!” another consumer wrote.

Like every other major detergent for automatic dishwashers, Procter & Gamble’s Cascade line recently underwent a makeover. Responding to laws that went into effect in 17 states in July, the nation’s detergent makers reformulated their products to reduce what had been the crucial ingredient, phosphates, to just a trace.

While phosphates help prevent dishes from spotting in the wash cycle, they have long ended up in lakes and reservoirs, stimulating algae growth that deprives other plants and fish of oxygen.

Michigan’s statewide ban on the sale of dishwasher detergents with phophorus also went into effect in July. We’d like to hear from you if you’ve noticed the change to low phosphate dishwasher detergent. How well did it work for you?