Imagine you are throwing a dinner party and as your guests sit down, they can notice a thin film on their dishes. While you know you washed them, it could come off to those guests as dirty. No one wants to worry about this or any similar situation, and no one wants to spend time hand washing dishes that the dishwasher should have taken care of.

Previously, manufacturers of dishwasher detergents and other soaps would add phosphates to their formula to help with the annoying film left behind by hard water. As one woman stated in an online article, she thought something was “wrong with the dishwasher,” and called a technician to inspect it. She said, “Everything had a powdery film on it.” After the technician had reviewed the dishwasher and found nothing wrong with it, he advised her to contact her local water company. The culprit? Hard water, which had suddenly become more evident after phosphates were being eliminated from dishwasher detergents.

The reduction of those phosphates is part of an effort to prevent pollution, and phosphates are one of the biggest nutrient pollutants around. This change will also relieve wastewater treatment plants, according to the article, that are designed to remove the phosphorous. Dishwasher detergent companies have began producing the phosphate-free products in accordance with state bans, though consumers would have preferred more warning and say in the matter.

Maryland is just one of more than a dozen states who have now banned phosphates, and their recommendation is to experiment with different brands and types of phosphate-free detergents to find which works the best in your hard water. But with so many other things going on (like company who shouldn’t have to eat off dishes with a film), there is an even better solution for residents with hard water issues – a water softener system.

Water softeners for the home are an affordable and eco-friendly solution that doesn’t require any “experimenting” and will guarantee that you won’t have to deal with that annoying mineral film left on your dishes.