Thread Number: 74875  /  Tag: Modern Dishwashers
Who uses rinse aid?
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Post# 986793   3/15/2018 at 22:34 (188 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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Who uses the rinse aid dispenser on their AW dishwasher? Not sure how typical it is, but I do not use rinse aid. Never had to and see no reason in doing so.

Post# 986794 , Reply# 1   3/15/2018 at 22:35 (188 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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*At least in my case. Not speaking about other people :)

Post# 986799 , Reply# 2   3/15/2018 at 22:55 (188 days old) by Joe_in_philly (Philadelphia, PA, USA)        

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I have a Bosch dishwasher which uses condensation drying and have always used rinse aid. The manual says it is important for drying, and when I first used the dishwasher and saw how shiny and spot free everything came out, I never thought not to use it. My dispenser is set in the lowest setting of “1,” so I only need to refill the dispenser a few times s year.

Post# 986800 , Reply# 3   3/15/2018 at 23:10 (188 days old) by GELaundry4ever (Killeen tx USA)        
I do...

I use rinse aid in my dishwasher all the time.

Post# 986801 , Reply# 4   3/15/2018 at 23:31 (188 days old) by philcobendixduo (San Jose)        
I've used "Jet Dry"....

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.....ever since I got my first dishwasher with a rinse aid dispenser - a Kitchenaid KDS-18.
Moved to a Maytag "Jet Clean" dishwasher in 1994 - also has a rinse aid dispenser which I keep filled.
Rinse aid allows water to "sheet" on glass items rather than "spot" (lowers surface tension).
I remember when Jet Dry came in tiny little plastic bottles for a BIG price.
Now, I get a HUGE bottle at Costco for a LOW price and it lasts me for YEARS!

Post# 986804 , Reply# 5   3/15/2018 at 23:51 (188 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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We have hard water and rinse aids are a help.  No machine I've ever owned has so reliably rendered sparkling glassware as does my current Miele, and I have it set to dose with only 1 ml of rinse aid.  I buy what's on sale. 


I found Lemishine rinse aid priced reasonably at Target once, but the next time I needed some, they didn't carry it anymore.

Post# 986807 , Reply# 6   3/15/2018 at 23:55 (188 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Always use it.  For years in all the various GE DWs I had and now the new KA.  The KA was using way too much, I was filling the tank every 2-3 weeks, dropped the setting down a bit, results still great, less need to refill.

Post# 986808 , Reply# 7   3/15/2018 at 23:56 (188 days old) by sq9series (seattle)        

Same as Joe in Philly. I have a Bosch dishwasher that requires it for proper condensation drying. I have it set to extra heat for the final rinse to aid in drying. I believe rinse aid may leave an invisible residue because when I fill a glass with water after using a high rinse aid setting, I saw small bubbles. For that reason, I also use the lowest setting (the Bosch has 4 settings, none, low, medium, and hi rinse aid). I prefer condensation drying because it makes all racks dish washer safe for items that are normally intended for the top rack. I dont have to worry about a wooden spoon falling and catching fire.

Post# 986828 , Reply# 8   3/16/2018 at 06:04 (188 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        

on the minimum dispense setting dial in the resivoir. Depending upon your water's hardness, you may need more.
I think in India, etc. where a dishwasher is still a luxury, they have to add salts to the detergent dispenser or the machine.

Post# 986830 , Reply# 9   3/16/2018 at 06:30 (188 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
I Don't Use It

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I have tried it and it does make light weight plastic items dry faster, however all our glassware, plates, stainless ware SS pots and pans just sparkle and come out dry [ on air-dry I might add ] in our two WP 1987 DU8000 DWs.


I like to keep life as simple as possible so not buying something that has little benefit for us makes our life better, I am also slightly concerned about ingesting the stuff since the bottle says not ingest and to keep away from children.


John L.

Post# 986831 , Reply# 10   3/16/2018 at 06:31 (188 days old) by GELaundry4ever (Killeen tx USA)        
I use Cascade...

I use Cascade rinse aid in my dishwasher. In fact, I've always used their rinse aid ever since I had a dishwasher with a rinse aid dispenser since 1999. I use the highest setting, and it makes no difference. It does a great job.

Post# 986835 , Reply# 11   3/16/2018 at 07:25 (188 days old) by RE563 (Fort Worth, Texas)        

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A lot of it has to do with your own particular water. When I lived in PA, I had naturally soft spring water there and never had to use a rinse aid and could use a minimal amount of detergent. Here in Texas the water is hard so I use rinse aid now .

Post# 986849 , Reply# 12   3/16/2018 at 09:48 (188 days old) by jakeseacrest (Massachusetts)        

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Currently I am but I do go through periods when the reservoir runs empty and I ignore it. I've noticed that the last few loads I washed weren't as dry so I will fill it up today

Post# 986857 , Reply# 13   3/16/2018 at 10:36 (188 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Though dispenser long ago began leaking

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Thus is out of commission, have no choice but to use rinse aid in the vintage GE Mobile Maid. Otherwise even with the heated drying cycle (which one hates using), there often will be water about even if things are left to sit for a few hours.

Now with the old Kenmore (built by Frigidaire) 18" could get along without rinse aid, and still use energy saver (no heated drying). That was because the DW has a thermostat and held wash times until it was satisfied. Thus dishes were pretty hot and convection did the drying.

Mobile Maid like many other vintage dishwashers has a heater but does nothing more than really (attempt) to hold water temperatures. It wants *HOT* water (140F or above)for washing and especially rinsing.

Few times cheated and poured a kettle of boiling water into final rinse. Things flash dried but still had to use rinse aid.

Post# 986870 , Reply# 14   3/16/2018 at 12:20 (188 days old) by lakewebsterkid (Dayton, Ohio)        

I use it in my Whirlpool PointVoyager machine. It is set to the lowest setting, and causes a lot of issues with oversudsing in the wash. So I typically mix it half and half with water so there are no issues. It does certainly help with drying glasses, plastics, and silverware with our moderately hard water. We do not use the heated dry, so it helps quite a bit.

Post# 986873 , Reply# 15   3/16/2018 at 12:30 (188 days old) by nmassman44 (Boston North Shore Massachusetts)        

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I use it as well. The new LG dishwasher that I have recommends it and the results are spectacular. I have never had a dishwasher that can dry plastics as perfectly as this one does. It uses a hybrid fan system that is quite efficient and dries the load in about 30 mins. I am using Cascade rinse aid. I have also been using Somat rinse aid and that does quite well I might add.

Post# 986879 , Reply# 16   3/16/2018 at 12:58 (188 days old) by johnb300m (Chicago)        
Soft water and Rinse Aid

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Great topic, as I've been experimenting to no end lately.

I have VERY hard water (25gpg) that's mechanically softened, and without rinse aid, my dishes are left with tons of salty spots. They're much easier to buff off than hard water spots, but they are prevalent.

I've been also experimenting with different detergents with or without glass protection, and in different doses, because my soft water has been causing A LOT of glass etching issues.
I've recently tested my water after the softener with an aquarium kit, and learned that my water is very alkaline. 8.0ph or more.
I also learned that high alkalinity is what hastens glass etching with soft water and high detergent doses as well as high heat.

Therefore, with the salt spotting and high alkalinity, I desperately need rinse aid even with the soft water. I have it set around 3.5/5, and any less, seems to bring etching back in mere weeks time.

I originally was using JetDry for a few years, but, recently switched to Cascade Platinum rinse aid. It seems to work a little better. AND, it's more cost effective.

Post# 986882 , Reply# 17   3/16/2018 at 13:15 (188 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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Great replies thus far.

I am with combo52, similar results and philosophy, but maybe I am just lucky on my water hardness. One down side to me my water however is iron, everything including the toilet bowl turns red.

Post# 986959 , Reply# 18   3/17/2018 at 08:28 (187 days old) by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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I use it in my 2003/2004 Bosch, otherwise glassware ends up with spots and streaks. The 'Extra Drying' option is activated too, where the final rinse gets a slight boost during heating. Stainless steel tank throughout. This machine seems to require handling with kid gloves; it is very sensitive to conditions being 'not quite right'.

In my parents' 2013 Bosch, same as above, but we noticed that when we tried to reduce 'Extra Drying' to 'Normal' and/or reduce rinse aid to a lower setting, the crockery was still very wet the next morning. I put this down to the use of a polypropylene 'Polinox' wash-tub base, attached to the stainless steel walls. This machine dries very well with 'Extra Drying' switched on, and the rinse aid set to the factory default setting. Wash results are very, very good in this bottom-of-line machine.

Regarding rinse-aid testing, the German consumer group, Stiftung Warentest ( tested rinse-aids last October (see link). Google can translate.

The article is partially subscription-locked, but the main information is on the first page. Results are not available, but
reveals their rinse-aid to be a good performer.

The general info, is that the surfactant level needs to be 5-15% in order to be effective. Less than 5% is no good, apparently.

Courtesy of
"Tip. Look for the list of ingredients on the bottle label. The tested rinse aid with less than 5 percent surfactant content is not recommended. The good ones in the test declare 5 to 15 percent."


Post# 986962 , Reply# 19   3/17/2018 at 08:44 (187 days old) by GRWasher_expert (Athens)        

I always use rinse aid in my 2009 Bosch dishwasher, with "extra drying" option turned on.I prefer to buy the cheap lidl brand rather than expensive ones( e.g. finish) as they do exactly the same job.All crockery come out completely dry ,except the plastic bowls which have a few water droplets left on .I always have the rinse aid setting on 2, except when washing fine glassware when I set it on 3 or 4.

Post# 986965 , Reply# 20   3/17/2018 at 09:07 (187 days old) by IowaBear (Cedar Rapids, IA)        

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When I starting using a dishwasher in my first apartment I did try it and noticed the glasses came out less spotted.  Definitely an improvement.


However most of my glassware is just tumblers so I never bothered again.  On the rare occasion that it matters I just hand dry the items with a towel.

Post# 987013 , Reply# 21   3/17/2018 at 15:12 (187 days old) by Maytagbear (N.E. Ohio)        
I have always

used rinse aid, in my 45 years of automatic dishwashing,

Now, with this new apartment's Elux-idaire, my first with a stainless steel tank, it's even more of a must, with the almost hard water here.


Post# 987016 , Reply# 22   3/17/2018 at 15:20 (187 days old) by jerrod6 (United States of America)        

I have a Miele DW and the factory setting dispenses 3 millimeters of rinse aid at the beginning of the Final Rinse. The drying period lasts 21 minutes and the drying with this is fine so I have never bothered to change the setting. I use regular Finish Jet Dry.

Post# 987104 , Reply# 23   3/18/2018 at 06:54 (186 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        
Everybody in the EU, basicly

Some get along with detergents with a built-in rinse aid.

But it is basicly always cheaper to get plain detergent, rinse aid and (as typical in the EU) salt for the water sofetner seperatly.

A bottle of rinse aid isn't even 1€ IIRC, same with a 2kg pack of salt isn't 1€ either, and cheap and good detergent tabs can be had for less then 3€ for 60 or so loads.

So 5€ get you usually through almost 2 months.

Post# 987114 , Reply# 24   3/18/2018 at 09:24 (186 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Always use it. Things dry better with it.

Post# 987235 , Reply# 25   3/19/2018 at 09:08 (185 days old) by mrsalvo (New Braunfels Texas)        

"A lot of it has to do with your own particular water. When I lived in PA, I had naturally soft spring water there and never had to use a rinse aid and could use a minimal amount of detergent. Here in Texas the water is hard so I use rinse aid now ."
Ditto. Texas has really hard water and the rinse aid does help. I use Cascade. Still wash some dishes by hand, esp. dark coated cookware as it has a tendency to rust on the lips of the edges. I have a 3 year old Kitchen Aid HE dishwasher with long cycle times.

Post# 987352 , Reply# 26   3/20/2018 at 01:29 (184 days old) by thomasortega (Los Angeles - CA)        

If my dishwasher had a rinse aid dispenser I'd set it to dose only "3 gallons per load"

Water here is so hard that it looks like milk coming out of the faucet.

And of course the landlord won't even consider installing a water softener.

Post# 987356 , Reply# 27   3/20/2018 at 05:12 (184 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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I just took a syringe and sucked out the rinse aid in my KA.  It was as thin as water.  I don't know if the gasket on the fill plug is bad or what.  It was barely even blue.  And I've noticed it leaking lately.  When it foamed out under the door last week during final rinse that was the final straw, hence the reason I just sucked it all out!

Post# 987374 , Reply# 28   3/20/2018 at 08:47 (184 days old) by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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@Askolover: It's probably the internal plunger seal that has gone.

Depending on the design of dispenser, the design of the seals can vary quite a bit. My Bosch has an Elbi dispenser, with a silly one-piece convoluted silicone gasket (not available as a separate spare part). Cost about 50 quid to replace the complete dispenser unit.

I had tried tightening the cam/plunger return spring, but it only lasted a few days before it leaked again; the rinse-aid is very good at finding any gaps in the seals.

Post# 987802 , Reply# 29   3/23/2018 at 16:48 (181 days old) by cornutt (Huntsville, AL USA)        

We have moderately hard water and have always used rinse aid. We also have been using the Cascade for the past year or so and seem to be getting better results than with Jet Dry. Our Bosch oddly does not have a no-heat dry option, so we usually make it a point to open the door for a moment during the dry cycle to let the steam out.

Post# 987819 , Reply# 30   3/23/2018 at 19:23 (180 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

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Bosch DWs do not have a dry heater, so a no heat dry option is unnecessary.

Post# 987868 , Reply# 31   3/24/2018 at 09:25 (180 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

Same as the other Bosch owners. Bosch DWs do not have heated drying. For condensation drying to work, rinse agent is needed. We have hard water. A setting of "2" seems to work fine, no spots ever.

There is a sticker decal on the inside door rim that says "Bosch recommends Electrasol tablets (2001 model DW) and JetDry (now Finish)" I followed the directions and have had 16.5 years of flawless service. Had to replace the lower basket due to rust, but mechanically it's never had any service issues.

Post# 987869 , Reply# 32   3/24/2018 at 09:33 (180 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        
ps to cornutt

Bosch does not have heated drying, so there is no button to control dry options: it's always condensation drying.

When the "clean" (= cycle finished) light goes on, I open the door and pull out the upper rack 3-4 inches, then push the door forward until its forward motion is stopped by the rack. This creates an opening several inches wide to allow steam and moisture to escape. Half hour later, all is cool and dry. You can also roll up a dish towel to use as a "door stop", but the upper rack accomplishes the same purpose.

Post# 987904 , Reply# 33   3/24/2018 at 12:47 (180 days old) by lakewebsterkid (Dayton, Ohio)        

That's a great idea. I have just been opening mine to the point until it stays open. Our new Bosch performs far bettter than our Whirlpool in cleaning and drying. Plus, it's nearly silent.

Post# 988161 , Reply# 34   3/25/2018 at 21:15 by cornutt (Huntsville, AL USA)        
Well, I'll be darned

The Bosch DW must be fairly well insulated, then, because if I don't open it until after the end of the cycle, it's still hot inside. The Kitchenaid we had previously, if you chose no-heat drying, the interior was cool by the end of the dry cycle. We do have to open the door on the Bosch, though, especially in the summer; if we don't, it doesn't dry.

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