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Dishwasher Detergent


GlorifiedRice
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I can tell you the Kroger store brand does not work worth a flip. My dishes were awful. I ran a bunch of clean-out stuff through the DW and got some Cascade. Works much better. Agreed on the JetDry.

 

The remaining Kroger store brand is reserved for boiling in pots that have stuck-on or burnt-on food. And the drip pans for my stove.

 

 

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My experience may not be useful. I pre-wash all items that go into my dishwasher which is a Bosch. I use the 1 hour Express Cycle. Jet Dry is a must because I live in a hard water area.

 

I use Cascade Advanced, a gel, plus Lemon Shine. 1/3 Lemon Shine, 2/3 Cascade. I am also careful to not overload the machine; I want to know everything is going to get water/detergent sprayed on it; the least critical items go in the corners. I am very happy with this combination.

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1 hour ago, chileheadmike said:

Cascade works for me. Not as well as the leaded stuff though.

 

I'm ok with slightly cloudy glasses if it means I'm not dumping phosphates into the water.

 

Most public sewer treatment plants remove phosphates. The major problem with phosphate contamination is farming runoff into streams and rivers.

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2 hours ago, GlorifiedRice said:

 

Most public sewer treatment plants remove phosphates. The major problem with phosphate contamination is farming runoff into streams and rivers.

most wastewater plants attempt to remove phosphates.  They do not do a terribly good job, and phosphate removal is expensive, increases sludge volumes (which is expensive to dispose of, and has other expenses).  There are biological methods, but they're not wide spread, and much of the phosphates in detergents are not readily available for biological processes until they've broken down.  That happens slowly, and after the effluent has been discharged. 

 

Use a better rinse aid, and use less detergent.  That goes a long way towards reducing cloudy dishes.  

 

 

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I've used Finish powder for decades and decades with no rinsing agent.  Works perfectly for me and my local water.  No cloudy glasses.

 

I used to work for a company that manufactured a phosphate replacement that worked as well as phosphate in detergent but admittedly was more expensive.  Then president Reagan announced phosphate was OK to use after all and I was laid off.

 

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Finish works okay for me too, but not as well as the old school phosphate brands. I have to do a lot more hand scrubbing and polishing to get it to work. I have a box of Dollar General brand that is horrible, and I'm trying to get some use out of. The presoak idea for heavily soiled pots and pans provided by @kayb is very useful. I hate to waste things.

 

Also I don't go to the beach anymore, but for those who do and collect sea shells, automatic dish detergent was very effective at removing barnacles from some intact whelks I found at Atlantic Beach in NC when we debarked from our charter fishing boat and were walking back to our vehicle. Nothing else I tried worked.

 

I don't even use the Jet Dry samples that come with a new dishwasher. I can't wrap my mind around why I should be applying chemicals into the final rinse of my dishes which I'll be eating from shortly. Yes, I know that the municipal water I have no choice but to use contains chlorine and or/ammonia (both poisons, and stinky). Seems like plenty of poisonous chemicals to be ingesting to me. *Shrug* Plus, both chlorine and ammonia are gases, and from my time in the lab, I'd expect them to evaporate completely.

 

It didn't help when I got a recall notice on my particular model of dishwasher for a wiring fire hazard that only applied to people who had used the Jet Dry dispenser.

 

If anyone wishes to enlighten me on why I would want to apply expensive chemicals to my dishes in the final rinse, I'm willing to be enlightened.

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Years ago, a good friend who worked as an appliance salesman advised me to use Finish - in his view it is much better than Cascade. Except what I heard was that I should use "Finnish dishwasher soap". I asked him what brand of dishwasher soap was imported from Finland. I thought he would never stop laughing. 

Finish works just fine for me. I once bought a box of a local supermarket (Tops) brand. It was useless. I threw it out. 

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I also use Finish pods. No rinsing, no pre-soak, no special treatment, no Jet-Dry, no problems. My dishwasher is an elderly Kenmore portable, so it's not as if the machine's raw power compensates for any shortcomings in the detergent. 

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Another Finish user here. I first saw Finish tablets when we stayed in one of those extended-stay hotel rooms that has a kitchenette with a dishwasher, and they provide you with everything you need including the dish soap. At the time, I looked down my nose at it. But then I read a review of the various dishwasher detergents in Consumer Reports, and they rated the Finish Powerball as #1. It's available reasonably inexpensively at either my supermarket or my warehouse club, and it seems to work well in my dishwasher.

 

The Finish pods seem to be a powder that's pressed together into a lozenge. Many of the other pods are a skin that's filled with liquid or other stuff. I like the idea of just pressed powder, with nothing else there that needs to somehow get dissolved away.

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22 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:


@kayb

 

If anyone wishes to enlighten me on why I would want to apply expensive chemicals to my dishes in the final rinse, I'm willing to be enlightened.

 

There's a bunch of delightful chemistry in a rinse aid.  First, there are a collection of surfactants (detergents are surfactants, as well) which reduce the surface tension of the rinse water, so it sheets off your dishes better, and a thin layer of water evaporates faster from hot dishes then the same amount of water in big drops.  Second is citric acid, which binds with calcium ions; calcium both forms spots, and interferes with the surfactants.  There's usually a second agent for mineral removal, EDTA, which works on other polyvalient ions; again, if they're not in the water, they can't be making spots.  Then there's some real magic chemistry, 'sodium polycarboxylate', which is a whole range of potential chemicals, the exact composition of which varies from brand to brand, and is probably trade secret.  sodium polycarboxylate is a anti-redeposting agent; it keeps crud that's been removed from being put back.  It's one of the big reasons that modern laundry detergents work as well as they do, as well. 

 

rinse aid is used in pretty small amounts (my dishwasher seems to use about 10 ml per load, if I turn it all the way up), and lead to cleaner dishes, require you to use less detergent, and save me from having to use the electrically heated drying cycle.  it costs something like a nickle a load, which is nothing, if it keeps the dishes looking good longer.

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2 hours ago, dscheidt said:

 

There's a bunch of delightful chemistry in a rinse aid.  First, there are a collection of surfactants (detergents are surfactants, as well) which reduce the surface tension of the rinse water, so it sheets off your dishes better, and a thin layer of water evaporates faster from hot dishes then the same amount of water in big drops.  Second is citric acid, which binds with calcium ions; calcium both forms spots, and interferes with the surfactants.  There's usually a second agent for mineral removal, EDTA, which works on other polyvalient ions; again, if they're not in the water, they can't be making spots.  Then there's some real magic chemistry, 'sodium polycarboxylate', which is a whole range of potential chemicals, the exact composition of which varies from brand to brand, and is probably trade secret.  sodium polycarboxylate is a anti-redeposting agent; it keeps crud that's been removed from being put back.  It's one of the big reasons that modern laundry detergents work as well as they do, as well. 

 

rinse aid is used in pretty small amounts (my dishwasher seems to use about 10 ml per load, if I turn it all the way up), and lead to cleaner dishes, require you to use less detergent, and save me from having to use the electrically heated drying cycle.  it costs something like a nickle a load, which is nothing, if it keeps the dishes looking good longer.

 

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful response, dscheidt.

 

I had to look up EDTA, and I have to say I wasn't impressed at all. Anything that has an LD50 in rats is something that I'd prefer not to have around my food. Of course salt can be lethal too, but it's a nutrient as well in small doses.

 

"Side effects[edit]

EDTA exhibits low acute toxicity with LD50 (rat) of 2.0 g/kg to 2.2 g/kg.[6] It has been found to be both cytotoxic and weakly genotoxic in laboratory animals. Oral exposures have been noted to cause reproductive and developmental effects.[12] The same study by Lanigan[12]also found that both dermal exposure to EDTA in most cosmetic formulations and inhalation exposure to EDTA in aerosolized cosmetic formulations would produce exposure levels below those seen to be toxic in oral dosing studies."

The citric acid is something I actually cook with, but it's quite expensive at the one place I ever found it.

Thank you for confirming my suspicions, and if my dishes get too spotty, I will resign myself to washing and polishing by hand. :) I practically do that now anyway, but I like the higher temps the dishwasher can achieve.

 

 

Edited by Thanks for the Crepes (log)

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Okay, look, growing up I never saw my mother "wash dishes" before putting them in the dishwasher.

We just loaded the dishes from the table. So its foreign to me to have to prewash dishes prior to

putting them in the washer, and quite frankly I do not see the point. It is a dishwasher.

I have never prewashed dishes and dont intend to.

Years ago Cascade Complete came out and their motto was "No Pre Rinse Needed -- Powers Away Stuck On Food".

That was pre-phosphate ban.

It worked fabulously with no rinse aid.

 

Look, I was at my neighbors house one day. She opened up 2 cans of Coke and poured them in a glass, then rinsed the cans out and put them in recycling.

I mention this because I wonder if all this prewashing of dishes and rinsing of recyclables is wasting water and adding more gunk to the sewer treatment systems. I mean if I were to use legal detergent, Id need to use a rinse aid (according to you all) thats MORE chems in the sewer system.

 

So I choose not to prewash or rinse.

So I guess Ill still be ordering the illegal stuff.

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I have hard water and lots of white spots on glasses. A repair guy told me to put a custard cup of white vinegar on the top shelf before I started the machine.  The vinegar gradually overflows during washing and rinsing, and I have no spots now.  Some people put vinegar into the bottom of the machine before washing--waste of time, because the dishwasher pumps out all liquids from the sump (which prevents sewer gas from coming up) and that vinegar is just pumped away.

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29 minutes ago, sparrowgrass said:

I have hard water and lots of white spots on glasses. A repair guy told me to put a custard cup of white vinegar on the top shelf before I started the machine.  The vinegar gradually overflows during washing and rinsing, and I have no spots now.  Some people put vinegar into the bottom of the machine before washing--waste of time, because the dishwasher pumps out all liquids from the sump (which prevents sewer gas from coming up) and that vinegar is just pumped away.

I posted before about this, but my mom does the vinegar-on-the-top-rack trick, as well. Works great.

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I think this has been written about before, but I use plain white vinegar as my rinse aid, in the rinse aid dispenser. And Cascade powder as the detergent, but I use much less than the "recommended" amount. My dishes come out sparking clean, and no etching from too much detergent. 

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My FIL (who is not iving in his home at the moment) has a Kitchaid dishwasher with the dual-section soap dispenser. His choice was to ignore the first wash and put a Cascade nugget and some Lemon Shine in the  main compartment. I found a box of Cascade Complete powder under the sink and decided to use it up first. There is Jet Dry in the rinse aid dispenser. Well, I was getting powder dust on the "finished" dishes.

 

Being who I am I am now putting the powder in the first wash compartment and the nugget/Lemon Shine in the main compartment. No powder dust.

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  • 1 month later...

Yesterday I ran my Kenmore Elite d/w on the 'fast wash' setting; normally I use the 'smart' setting.

i happened to be sitting in the adjacent room while it was running and I could smell this bad, spoiled food odor.

i've never had this before and I've no idea where it came from.

I got up and ran the disposer when I first smelled it but there was no odor from there.

i checked the d/w when the cycle was over but there was no more smell.

any idea what was going on?

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