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Lidl's Phosphate Free Dishwasher Tablets
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Post# 680825   5/24/2013 at 14:11 (430 days old) by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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I bought my mum a box of Lidl W5 Classic Dishwasher Tablets, numbering 60 tablets in the box. They removed tea stains from the teapot very well, but... they leave a fine, white, chalky residue over absolutely everything! Glassware looks hideous. A stainless steel fish-slice looked clean, but rubbing a finger over it revealed the white powder.

The dishwasher is run with salt and rinse aid in the relevant dispensers, and mum used to use W5 when it was phosphated in a box of 30. She had been using Finish Max-in-1 since before Christmas, without many problems - although the teapot stubbornly refused to give up its staining until W5 was used.

Now that I have seen the chalky deposits, I understand exactly what US citizens are experiencing.

Post# 680827 , Reply# 1   5/24/2013 at 14:56 (430 days old) by hotpointfan (West Yorkshire, UK)        
Lidl W5

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I bought some two weeks ago, I agree it is great on general muck and espescially tea stains, but I have never had the problem with glasses or Pyrex dishes or anything else! Could it be different water hardness? We have medium/hard so maybe soft water is to blame.

Oh, and I bought some Formil Colour for 6.35 for 65 washes, does a great job on light colour's but I think I will stick to Persil S&M colour liquid for darks. Oh, and hurry up if you want some, there were 65 and 60 boxes for the same price so they must be downsizing!

Post# 680837 , Reply# 2   5/24/2013 at 16:16 (430 days old) by washer111 (Australia)        
Tablets and Hard-Water

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It is interesting you noted the tablets had trouble getting the Tea-Stains out - especially considering they were Finish and one of the higher line tablets too. I'm also surprised, considering we have no issues with Tea/Coffee stains and use Finish Powder and the Delicate cycle...


Perhaps you need to purchase some STPP and mix a custom Phosphate powder? I understand that Finish powder after the reformulation is a bit of a disaster, and a similar occurrence happened to rp2813 in the "Thundering Thermador" with un-phosphated stuff. (So adding STPP is good!). Considering though that you were using the on-board softener, might the tablet have been too heavy a dosage for the water usage of the newer machines?

Post# 680851 , Reply# 3   5/24/2013 at 18:27 (429 days old) by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        

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to do with hard water.

It seems like people with soft water don't notice much of a problem with the white chalky film with non-phosphate detergents, but the people with hard water do. I think distilled white vinegar in the rinse aid dispenser will get rid of that film.

I think the non-phosphate detergents are slowly getting better though, at least the name brands in the US....I hear Cascade now makes some that got good reviews; I think someone on this site brought it up. Maybe it's called Cascade Platinum if I recall.

Post# 680970 , Reply# 4   5/25/2013 at 15:06 (429 days old) by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Nope, we definately have soft water. Scotland is primarily a soft water country. Our water is fed from hill-mounted reservoirs, lochs and the like.

The W5 Classic tablets are basic, meaning that they rely on the on-board water softener and the addition of rinse aid in the final rinse. The salt cap was on the dispenser securely and evenly; I'm obsessive about checking the screw thread for grains of salt which might cause misalignment. The salt cap is neither cracked nor split. The sealing washer is intact.

The machine is a 2004 Hotpoint FDW20, basically an Indesit in disguise.

Friday night's load was done with a Finish Max-in-One tablet, with the soluble wrapper. Dishes came out shining.

Anyway, I had the W5 box refunded at Lidl today, and purchased Finish All-in-One, which had an additional 100% free (52 tablets for the price of 26, for 5).

Post# 680990 , Reply# 5   5/25/2013 at 17:14 (429 days old) by Kenmoreguy89 (Valenza)        

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That's due to the soda and calcium build up residue of it, many manufacturers tries to replace STPP with Soda but obvioulsy with crappy results for ones having medium to hard water, I've tried these new ones and totally sucks IMO! They now have them made in Germany from a different manufacturer, the old ones were made in Luxemburg. I've not experienced the chalky residue strangely, I do have very hard water here, they just didn't wash at all! The dishes were so dirty....I still had dishes full of dried mustard and sauces from last day BBQ and always do the heavy soil cycle 65c for everything.
A total S**t!
I will no buy them anymore. But I found very good the ones sold at Eurospin (an italian discount chain), both tabs and powders do have STPP and are way cheaper than Lidl's ones, actually LIDL increased so much the prices over here and you do not save anymore a dime by going there, so I think I'll no longer shop there so often, as I was saying I though discovered this italian discount which have really low prices and even more quality than Lidl for certain types of merchandise ( such Cheeses,sliced meats, pasta and pretty much all the italian classics) also have a greater selection of each product category than LIDL, plus an internal butcher that cut and cure fresh meats, makes rolls, meatlofs, burger patties daily and pack them, a thing I never saw in a discount like that.
Also laundry detergents from LIDL looks changed, , both Formil and Maxi trat they're selling now looks they're overloaded with soda and fillers,also they does not have the scent they used to, are almost scentless. They didn't wash well like I remember they used to in the past, they are different and more expensive.
First I've noticed this difference in the XXL Saturdays boxes promotions they used to do, but I thought it was because of this XXL promotion trick and that they did put a lower quality product to upset the XXL 100 scoops size promotion for the same cost of the regular one, but the new regular powder box I bought recently was identical to the XXL one, so they changed them.
Also the Formil express handwash powder that I was used to buy more often did disappear from the shelves for some reasons. Also, Formil liquid now comes in the new concentrated form, once it was 2,99, now is 3,99 and is not paragonable to the previous regular liquid, I finished my bottle so quickly as it is not really concentrated and does not wash good, just Maxi trat comes in the regular bottle where formil once used to come.
Lidl lost so much points lately IMO, glad I found the Eurospin!

This post was last edited 05/25/2013 at 17:33
Post# 681144 , Reply# 6   5/26/2013 at 17:11 (428 days old) by mrx (Inactive profile.)        

There shouldn't be any issue if the water softener in your machine is configured correctly and actually working as there simply won't be any water-hardness to start with.

Also, the water softener in the dishwasher detergent (i.e. phosphates) is only active during the wash. There's none during the last hot rinse which is where the problems are caused.

It sounds more like they've reformulated them badly.

Check that your dishwasher's softener is setup correctly. There's usually some way of setting it to the water hardness level. If it's set very low, it won't really be softening the water at all.

Post# 681230 , Reply# 7   5/27/2013 at 15:06 (427 days old) by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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That machine only has three settings:

one, where you don't use salt at all;

the second setting is where salt is used and the arrow in the softener unit is pointing at the minus sign;

and the third is similar to above but arrow pointing to the plus sign.

Anyway, once again Finish cleaned to a chalk-free shine, this time with All-in-One. Therefore I conclude that "W5 Classic Phosphate Free" tablets are just not suitable.

Post# 681373 , Reply# 8   5/28/2013 at 13:30 (426 days old) by hoovermatic (UK)        

I first used Lidl W5 powder in about 2001 and stopped using it almost immediately because of this problem and also everything, particularly glasses had that awful 'fingers down chalkboard' feel about them, nothing shined and everything felt like it was coated with a very fine, baked on powder. I avoided it like the plague until about 2 weeks ago, when I bought a box of the W5 tabs and am very impressed, not only with their cleaning power but that awful dry/chalky feel on everything has gone. Everything sparkles and shines - I have no idea why some of you have the same symptoms as I had years ago. My water is already very soft due to a mains softenr but in spite of this I always keep the salt topped up in the machine. Maybe, as has been said, it is down to the softness of the water........

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