Thread Number: 71790  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
Using modern enzyme detergent in old vintage dishwasher?
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Post# 949670   7/23/2017 at 17:29 (307 days old) by amyofescobar (oregon)        

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Hi there, I have a 70's Hobart KA dishwasher, and as much as I would like to continue using and STPP product, I'm kind of tired of paying for it. That Cascade boil out stuff aint cheap, and adding STPP isn't really that cheap either honestly (plus its another thing I have to mix up). Anyways, I was thinking: What if I just did a rinse and hold kind of thing where I got the dishes wet with water and enzymes, and let it sit for a while. I would prefer to just use a cheap power detergent. Then I'd go ahead and run the cycle.

Would this work out? I'm just trying to simplify life a little here. I'm also curious if anyone does this with laundry.

Also, I assume that modern powdered products contain enzymes, but I'm not actually sure. Any light on that? I'm also wondering about off brands like Kirkland, Western Family, etc.

Post# 949680 , Reply# 1   7/23/2017 at 18:03 (307 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        

In terms of what contains what, just check the box. It should usually say somewhere.

In terms of cycle: No, letting dishes soak won't really work. Water just runs off to quickly.
And that would kill the quick cycle time advantage you are supposed to gain from a oldschool DW (for all those taking offense to the last paragraph).

Not sure how the exact cycles go, but you need contact time and low enough temperatures for enzymes.
So one idea if the machine in question has a heat delay feature of some sort, just don't preflush the hot taps as one usually does and add some detergent to the prewash.
Longer time with detergent at lower temperature and slow increase.

Perfect would be a prewash wash sequence. Add a little powder to the prewash (on the door), and a slightly reduced dose to the main wash. Don't flush the taps.

That gives you a cool-ish first contact time. Then a fresh start with new enzymes, slightly warmer water and slowly increasing temperature. The forced heating delay would further prolong contact time.

(As a totaly out of place side-note\hit: If you are thinking you save a lot on detergent and are "to cheap" to pay for that, why are you using a DW that uses twice the water a modern unit would? A good modern DW - a Bosch for example - could probably produce better results on more dishes with pretty much every detergent using half the water or even less. Keep the Hobart as a colector piece, not a daily driver...)

Post# 949687 , Reply# 2   7/23/2017 at 18:35 (307 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

If you are using the "boil out" product, you don't have to mix STPP with it, if that is what you were writing. If not, I apologize for misreading what you wrote. I will say that a dishwasher is one place where an inexpensive product will really show up in poor results, so a cheap powder will perform like a cheap powder, enzymes or no. Does your 70s KA have an Enzyme Soak cycle? Those were basically long soak cycles without circulation so I would have to disagree that interrupting a rinse and hold to let the solution sit on the dishes would not be effective. I would stop it before it goes into the drain so that the load would benefit from the humidity of a sump full of water keeping things steamy.   If the KitchenAid is still in good shape and washing well, there is no reason to get rid of it. I admire your trying to come up with a way to keep it performing well.  You would have a hard time trying to buy a machine today that will dry as well, if that is important to you.

Post# 949691 , Reply# 3   7/23/2017 at 19:09 (307 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Cascade Complete.

Nothing works better in Vintage Machines.

Powder Rules

Post# 949696 , Reply# 4   7/23/2017 at 19:44 (307 days old) by amyofescobar (oregon)        

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We have a pretty vast water supply

Post# 949779 , Reply# 5   7/24/2017 at 06:45 (306 days old) by joeypete (Concord, NH)        

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I use the Fryer Boil Out in my 85 Hobart and it performs flawlessly. I find if I have really dirty pots or casserole dishes, I need to use more detergent and it works ok. Otherwise, yes, Cascade Complete Powder works great in these older machines. I had no trouble at all using it and it cleans very well. I was adding some STPP to it most times. Seems as though these older washers like the phosphorus. It's good for the seals too from what I understand.

I got a carton of 6 boxes of the Fryer Boil Out for around $55 including shipping. Still more than comparable Complete, but not bad.

This post was last edited 07/24/2017 at 07:09
Post# 949780 , Reply# 6   7/24/2017 at 06:54 (306 days old) by joeypete (Concord, NH)        

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This is where I get my Boil Out from...seems like they have the best price...and includes free shipping.


Post# 949781 , Reply# 7   7/24/2017 at 07:11 (306 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Use "modern" Finish "powerball" tablets in my vintage GE Mobilemaid all the time. Cleans well as the older Cascade versions (with phosphates and enzymes)one also uses.

However one is in the habit of stopping unit after main wash, reset for another then allow it to continue. The wash cycles on this machine are short and just aren't willing to risk things not coming out clean. Mind early on after first getting the thing up and running did use "normal" cycle as intended. Things came out clean enough, but some crusty bits and certain soils (cheese, oatmeal, cereals, etc...) were not totally removed.

Post# 949900 , Reply# 8   7/24/2017 at 20:05 (306 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        
Made for your KAID-----

Contains Phosphates and Chlorine---- does a GREAT job. Much cheaper per load than the lame "supermarket" brands. BUT water temperature is critical for proper dishwashing. You MUST have HOT water. If your water heater is cranked down to the "trailer setting" your machine is already crippled. Just 'sayin.

Heres the link:

Post# 949904 , Reply# 9   7/24/2017 at 21:07 (306 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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I tend to use the old school stuff with chlorine in it in my KUDI23.....either Walmart or Palmolive brand gels or the fryer boil out and I have zero problems.  Anything else with the enzymes just foams too much in my machines.  For one, my water is WAY too HOT for enzyme dishwasher detergents and I refuse to turn my water heater down.


Joe thanks for that link for the boil out, that's cheaper than I've found it.


Steven I may have to try what you found on worldwidejanitor.  It's more product than I will use quickly but I could split it with my mother as she has the exact same DW I have.


Post# 949955 , Reply# 10   7/25/2017 at 08:48 (305 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
How we get great performance out of our late 1960's

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Hobart made KA:

1) Lots of really hot water to begin with.

2) TSP works better in the dishwasher than STTP (not least because of the alkalinity). We throw in two tablespoons for the very worst icky stuff.

3) Modern enzymatic detergents, even the Walmart brand clean really well with hot water and TSP.


So, yeah - you can do it. Soaking is a trick KA used, so I don't see why you shouldn't try it.


Now, for the Imperial Queens who are poised to screech the horrors of TSP...just what, exactly, happens when you put TSP together with fatty acids under heat?  Oh, happens. Gosh, maybe that's why it is used instead of the (for washing clothes, superior) STTP in dishwasher detergents...


Henrik, when one has a Type 5 or better sewage system and electricity costs 1/5 what it does in Munich, why should one be so obstinate about 'saving energy'? You know, about this time of year back home, all my friends and relations who were appalled, simply appalled that my Eigentumswohnung had air-conditioning would start showing up...the 95% relative humidity and the 24ºC heat sure seemed to lead to a lot of them visiting me in the afternoons and evenings...and quite a few making use of the guest bedrooms during the dog days of August. People who insist on owning automobiles although they aren't necessary in German cities are precisely like people who throw rocks but live in glass houses.

Post# 950043 , Reply# 11   7/25/2017 at 18:31 (305 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

You will really like their products. A pail of the DW detergent lasts me nearly two years. I go through two pails of laundry detergent a year. Great stuff as we have hard water here.

Post# 950049 , Reply# 12   7/25/2017 at 19:00 (305 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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I wonder how they will work with a water softener??

Post# 950053 , Reply# 13   7/25/2017 at 20:31 (305 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

If you already have soft water you may be able to reduce the amount of product used per load. That would really make it inexpensive to use.

Post# 950311 , Reply# 14   7/27/2017 at 15:19 (303 days old) by dosxxpapa (Oregon)        
Cascade Complete KD-10

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I have a 1949 KD-10 gravity drain in my kitchen that I have been using for over 4 years now. I normally run two to three loads per-week, depending.

Cascade Complete has worked great in my vintage machine. Dishes get clean every time. It may cost a little more but worth it.

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Post# 950362 , Reply# 15   7/27/2017 at 20:01 (303 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Re vintage Kitchen Aid DWs

They will clean without any detergent..LOL..So far ahead of anything new it isn't funny!30 minutes of 50 gallons a minute beats 2 or 3 hours of peeing on dishes anyday, 10 to 15 gallons of water is not really all that much, much less than hand washing.

Post# 950364 , Reply# 16   7/27/2017 at 20:16 (303 days old) by dosxxpapa (Oregon)        

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Best machine I have ever had. Would stack it against any new dishwasher today.LOL

Post# 950370 , Reply# 17   7/27/2017 at 20:45 (303 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        

And they only use 9 gallons 0f water!!!!!

Post# 950387 , Reply# 18   7/27/2017 at 22:23 (303 days old) by dosxxpapa (Oregon)        
Yes Yes......

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It does use a whole lot less water. It was very green for its day....

Post# 950551 , Reply# 19   7/29/2017 at 06:25 (301 days old) by joeypete (Concord, NH)        

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They are excellent cleaners no doubt. But I have no problem buying a modern dishwasher. My 2014 Frigidaire cleaned as well as the KitchenAid honestly. I just love the vintage light bill has gone up quite a bit since, but worth it in my opinion.

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