Did you ever wonder why everything is dirtier? Wonder no more!

I’m old enough to have a vague memory of clothes so white that they were called bright. This happened despite the absence of additives — the ridiculous varieties of sprays and bottles and packets that festoon our cabinets today and that we throw into the wash to try to boost the cleaning power of our pathetic machines and increasingly useless laundry soap.

Then, the other night, I experienced an amazing blast from the past. I added a quarter cup of trisodium phosphate (TSP) and otherwise “treated” nothing. The results were nothing short of mind-boggling. Everything was clean — clean in a way that I recall from childhood.

Next came my confrontation with the local dry cleaner, which I’ve used for years. I explained what happened and how puzzling it is that by using TSP I was able to clean my clothes more thoroughly and perfectly than his commercial service.

He was not shocked. He completely agreed, though sheepishly.

They don’t want you to know what the problem is.

Read it all and weep.