Thread Number: 71971  /  Tag: Modern Dishwashers
DIshwasher Detergent Reccomendations
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Post# 952000   8/7/2017 at 17:56 by maytaga806 (Brighton, MI)        

Hello all, so Ive been having an issue with these Cascade Action Pacs, and they really seem to over suds and it makes my machine surge, (Yes, that issue is long gone, it was a faulty food chopper that was put together wrong, that issue is long gone and corrected). I really don't like using the powder or the liquid, but I really dont like using the Action pacs.

Any recommendations for good scented detergents that aren't too concentrated?

Post# 952065 , Reply# 1   8/7/2017 at 21:45 by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

Water quality seems to make a huge difference.

It's been my experience watching people here and on the web in general, that people who complain about Cascade end up preferring Finish better and vice versa.

And, sometimes, when there's a formulation change, you may need to switch brands. Again.

Another suggestion, stop pre-rinsing dishes if you're in that camp. Just scrape the excess food or very large pieces (bones, toothpicks etc) out. The food on the dishes is necessary and most people who have trouble with detergents oversudsing in dishwashers are either pre-rinsing and/or under loading the machines. You can safely wait a day or two until you run the dishes.

If you are in a hurry to run the machine, I *promise* you, nothing fills up a dishwasher faster than pots and pans. Load them up.

In any case, there are several brands of dishwasher detergents that I have not tried in the past several years and others will surely have their opinions. Given that I'm the kind of person who wants and likes to try every new brand/formula, it was hard for me, but I decided not to do that until things settled after the phosphates removal. There were several brands that dragged their feet and put out bad formulas just to make the users complain to congress.

Back then, Finish seemed to have been the first one to decide to make it work and it did work better than all others back then. Then P&G decided that being second on Consumer Reports did not look so good and made their formulas work better too. Now all others seem to be trying to catch up.

Here's the nasty detail hiding behind my mostly blasť attitude: my dishwasher has a built-in water softener, and that's a thing I personally think *all* dishwashers should come equipped with. It's been standard issue since, I dunno, the 70's or 80's?, in the rest of the civilized world.

So, yes, my dishes did not suffer so much during the transition, what I noticed is that the machine worked a bit longer and on a bit higher pressure with the crippled detergents, but it's now back to normal. (No, I did not have to *do* anything, that's what fuzzy logic is *for*, the machine automatically adjust(ed) to varying water hardness, temperature, detergent etc.)

Either way, the very ugly truth for over 50 years is that dishwasher detergent used to be almost anything and everything *but* detergent. It was mostly phosphates and chlorine bleach for a while, then they removed chlorine in some brands/formulations and substituted peroxide, a few brands had very little actual detergent. But basically, it was all a very expensive, very heavy box/bottle of materials that did not cost even a dollar in bulk being sold for several times that amount.

So, finally, after all this time, we had to remove phosphates to make them actually research and develop something that has *detergent* in it, and antisudsing agents, enzymes etc.

I think it's progress. Finally, some things that used to be hard to remove in dishwashers are coming out clean (Rice, cereals and other starches, I'm looking at you) -- mind you, those were not hard to remove by hand washing, nothing like you had to scrub or anything, just a little water and detergent would take them right out, unlike say, burned on lasagna. Which is the reason I thought the entire situation was beyond shameful and I'm glad I was not in the industry to feel even remotely responsible for it.

But I suppose that's how things work when the clients are the investors, instead of the public who buys the products. Who cares that people have been doing dishes with phosphate-free hand washing detergents for decades with no problems, as long as the investors can have the extra cent or two in their pockets at the end of the quarter, right?

†††-- Paulo.

Post# 952172 , Reply# 2   8/8/2017 at 12:55 by Whatsername (Boulder, CO)        

Love the Costco store brand pacs. They are very lightly scented and they do a good job.

Post# 952179 , Reply# 3   8/8/2017 at 14:15 by marky_mark (Sitges, Barcelona)        

marky_mark's profile picture

I know you said that you don't like using liquids or powders, but I have to say that one US detergent that I find works really well and doesn't cause foaming/surging/cavitating is Cascade Complete powder.  I use rinse aid and my dishwasher has soft water.  I never pre-rinse by hand.  Of course you may have a different experience in your machine with your water chemistry and food soils etc.


I find that both Cascade Platinum ActionPacs and Cascade Complete ActionPacs can foam up with light soiling.  But they do still seem to produce good results nevertheless.

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