Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Anyone Have an Answer....

...to the problem of dishwasher detergent?

You've all heard the rumors that I have 3 dishwashers. I do. There's one in the breakfast room:

(Yes, there are 2 coffee pots, plus both a can of Folgers and a coffee grinder on that counter. There's a lot of coffee consumed hereabouts.)

And there are two in the kitchen.
For 30 years, I happily used Cascade powder. My dishes were clean, even when I didn't wash them carefully, and I was a happy camper. All of that changed in the summer of 2010. And I have tried everything to get my dishes clean again.

Powders leave white residue and icky films all over my dishes, and sometimes I can get it off using steel wool and soap. Sometimes I just throw them out (especially glasses). The liquid or gel detergents don't clean the dishes. I have a big flowered mug I keep filled with tea all day, and it's stained, of course, at the end of the day. Cascade powder used to clean it without any work on my part. Nothing today does.

So, does anyone have any solution?

All this comes to a boil because my dearly beloved has agreed that the dishwasher in the breakfast room is a great big (string of expletives deleted), and should be replaced. But if I can't get my dishes clean because detergent is now (more expletives deleted), what's the point? I could have my son build a lovely cupboard front to match those already there, since I already have to wash my dishes by hand before I put them in the dishrinser.

So, talk to me, everyone. Tell me what to do about the magical cabinets into which I used to be able to put in dirty dishes, and an hour or 2 later I'd have sparkly clean ones!

18 comments:

SissySees said...

Sadly, all I can say is I thought it was just here, with our new dishwasher...

rottrover said...

I got a Bosch dishwasher a couple of years ago (Craig's list!) I've been using the Cascade Complete packets which seem to work great - even if the dishes haven't beet pre-washed.

Benny and Lily said...

Mom said hands and rubber gloves, BOL
Benny & Lily

STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Hi Marjie, we have one dishwasher and I must admit we don't use it much cause it has never seemed to clean as well as we do ourselves. Have a good day. No worries, and love, Carol

Mary said...

Three dishwashers... wow. I would hate to even load and unload that many! Personally, I would build a cupboard to replace the broken one. However, I'm not a huge fan of dishwashers to begin with. I'd rather wash the glasses I care about most by hand and just ignore the dumb spots on the others. I replace the glasses as needed, when I simply can't stand it anymore. I use my dishwasher, but I don't have any great advice for getting rid of spots.

That said, we left a spectacular Fisher Paykel behind in our last home and I miss it dearly. Two independent dish drawers, never a spot or a mark left behind. Oh, and it ran silently. Absolutely silent. I'll never pay that much for a machine again, but it sure was glorious while we had it.

Debbie Cook said...

The problem is that now DW detergents are phosphate-free. I've seen lots of complaints on the interwebs. Try Finish or Dishwasher Magic, both sold by the DW soap.

Dotty said...

Try a restaurant supply house for cascade with phosphates. If they don't have it, try adding a small amount of vinegar to the water in the dishwasher as soon as it fills up.
You could never have enough dishwashers!
Dotty

Claire S. said...

I should be beaten with a wet noodle - I've failed you miserably !

Debbie, got right to the heart of the problem, as we both know. I'm still looking though and coming to the end of my phosphate Finish tabs box. .5% is the best I can find now.

I just scrolled down the comments to take another peak at what Debbie suggested and saw Dotty's comment - we've got a restaurant supply store in Montreal. It's out of the way, but I think I'll go check it out.

In the meantime, I'm watching the suggestions with interest.

Mango said...

Uh oh, might be time for a new dishwasher...

We got a medium grade Kenmore about five years ago and it cleans super duper well. I use liquid detergent and never even rinse. Even crusty icky stuff that has been in there for a few days comes out sparkly clean.

Mango Momma

Faye Lewis said...

Would you believe that I've never owned a dishwasher?

Pam said...

I didn't know you had two stoves - your kitchen just ROCKS Marjie!

In regards to dishwasher detergent... I don't have any special brand that works either - it drives me nuts!

Sarah said...

Has your water changed? I am now living in an area with very hard water and until I got the water softener working, I could not get clean dishes with my dishwasher. Perhaps a water softener would do the trick. I am using whatever is cheapest at the store.

Anonymous said...

I use cascade with dawn in it and it cleans great..I put about 2 cups of vinegar in the bottom of our new kitchenaid and run it on regular every 6 months, it gets all the gook out of the bottom and sides..that might help a lot..vinegar gets rid of a lot of build up..they have dishwasher cleaner on the market by finish but it is really just vinegar and a blue solution..Hope it helps, 3 dishwashers sounds great to me, you always have your dishes and cutlery and other stuff clean..Hope this hint helps you out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!luv your blog...

Katherine Aucoin said...

I had the same problem and thought maybe the water was too hard and I tried adding Lemon Shine and that worked for a while and then again with the dishes having a gritty thing going on. I switched to Finish with the Powerball and have been a happy camper. Good luck!

Pam said...

I have had good results with CitraDish.

Lydia La La said...

I use plain Bi Carb soda in the detergent dispenser and white vinegar in the rinse dispenser. Clean....Sparkling....Cheap in a Fisher and Paykel drawer dishwasher.

Cheers

Bobbi Jo said...

I was told by a repair guy that we need to run a cup of white vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher (alone) once a month to keep the soap from having a build up. He also said to do this once a month in our washer just add a cup of white vinegar in a empty load and it will keep things like Oxyclean and powder soap from getting a build up that can break them down. Hugs, Bobbi Jo

Barbara B. Solbrig said...

I got a new dishwasher last year (after not having one for several years) and it came with a sample of FINISH® POWERBALL® Tabs so I gave them a try. The dishes came out great, but of course I wasn't sure if it might just be the new machine. I tried the Cascaid that I had used years before and the dishes weren't nearly as clean, so I have happily gone back to the Finish.
http://www.finishdishwashing.com/product-all-in-1-finish-powerball-tabs.php