How to Add Trisodium Phosphate to Laundry Detergent

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Trisodium phosphate was once commonly found in dishwasher detergents, but some states have restricted the amount of the substance that can be used in detergents. The reason for the ban of higher levels of trisodium phosphate is the fact that the disposal of this substance can cause overgrowth of algae and aquatic weeds. This, in turn, depletes oxygen levels in bodies of water, which can harm fish and other aquatic organisms.


Trisodium phosphate is a caustic substance and should be handled with care. Protect your skin, eyes and respiratory system when using this substance.

Trisodium phosphate may discolor colored clothing; if in doubt as to whether a fabric is color-fast, refrain from using trisodium phosphate on this item.

Trisodium phosphate will help to make your whites brighter.

If you are not satisfied with the cleaning power of your laundry detergent, the addition of trisodium phosphate may be the remedy for you. Trisodium phosphate is a type of phosphate that is classified as an orthophosphate. This chemical substance, which you can find in many local hardware stores, is a cleaning agent that helps to loosen dirt and grime. Adding trisodium phosphate to your regular laundry detergent will boost the effectiveness of your clothes washing.

Step 1

Add the normal amount of your regular laundry detergent to the washing machine.

Step 2

Measure 1/4 cup of powdered trisodium phosphate to the washer as it is beginning to fill with water.

Step 3

Add your laundry to the washer and wash it on the cycle that is recommended according to the directions on the clothing labels.

Step 4

Dry the clothing as you normally would, in a dryer or on a line or drying rack.


Charlotte Johnson

Charlotte Johnson is a musician, teacher and writer with a master's degree in education. She has contributed to a variety of websites, specializing in health, education, the arts, home and garden, animals and parenting.