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View Full Version : Why your dishwasher isn't working as well as it used to



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jlai
09-25-2010, 07:44 PM
Yeah. Just look at the way people cook and you see the difference. For example, in a BBQ for a US household, there's usually a decent-looking container to carry the cooked food with, but many households will transfer that food to a China dish or something. And then there's always the extra salad forks and dessert plates and what not.

So there's twice as much dishes to wash when you cook and dine that way.

PDilemma
09-25-2010, 08:13 PM
Yeah. Just look at the way people cook and you see the difference. For example, in a BBQ for a US household, there's usually a decent-looking container to carry the cooked food with, but many households will transfer that food to a China dish or something. And then there's always the extra salad forks and dessert plates and what not.

So there's twice as much dishes to wash when you cook and dine that way.

I might put food in a nice serving dish for company. But when it's just my husband and I, the pots go on the table. How do you know the people you have seen doing that are not the same as me? :rolleyes:

jlai
09-25-2010, 08:28 PM
I know that's how it's done, PDilemma. Some of my family do it that way. Since this is a global forum, I had no choice but add the "US" back in the post.

But let's set aside how you generate dishes as an issue. So let's say I'm slowly gathering dishes in the dishwasher over the week and then I run the dishwasher. Then there's the choice of washing the several bowls and and forks by hand every day. Who saves more water or energy?

ETA: Seriously, I don't know, hence my question.

pat c
09-25-2010, 08:52 PM
I know that's how it's done, PDilemma. Some of my family do it that way. Since this is a global forum, I had no choice but add the "US" back in the post.

But let's set aside how you generate dishes as an issue. So let's say I'm slowly gathering dishes in the dishwasher over the week and then I run the dishwasher. Then there's the choice of washing the several bowls and and forks by hand every day. Who saves more water or energy?


It all depends on how much water you use. :) I hand wash our dishes, as most of the time it's just 2 of us. And I use very little water, and if it's just 2 glasses and a plate, I leave them.

If you use a dishwasher and accumulate them over a few days, it probably is similar. But it's got to be a water efficient dishwasher or water saver setting.
Same with washing by hand, you don't fill the sink up for 3 glasses and 2 plates and cutlery. It's not which is better, it is which is the most efficient use of the water.

And how we wash dishes isn't probably the biggest water waster. It's do you let the tap run when you brush your teeth, do you always need hot water to wash your hands or will lukewarm and soap do the job? Same with getting a glass of cold water........put a water in the fridge don't let the tap run. yada yada.......

Anyway, I digress.

jlai
09-25-2010, 08:59 PM
But it's got to be a water efficient dishwasher or water saver setting.

Thanks.

another question: What does the normal cycle do that the "water miser" cycle doesn't?

Sorry, but I've lost the manual long time ago.

Schmeck
09-25-2010, 09:39 PM
Our dishwasher has 4 settings - hubby likes to use the regular wash (which takes an hour and 43 minutes to cycle???) and I use the 30 minute quick wash. When he leaves the room, I switch the cycle over to quick wash when he isn't looking...

We have a Bosch, which is super efficient, and we only run it when the washer is full, about every other day. I bring my lunch to work in reusable containers, and I made sure to get dishwasher-safe ones as I hate to wash salad oil off of plastic by hand. We buy our detergent in bulk, at our local warehouse store, and until Cascade changed the formula, could have it last a few months before we needed to buy more.

Now I'm halfway through the bottle, can't wait to use it up so I can get something that actually works. I'm too stubborn to throw it out!

Prancer
09-26-2010, 12:10 AM
My bf used my detergent once and he tossed in a whole capful and I was like, "Dear God why does it smell so strongly of Tide?" :rofl: I didn't criticize him tooo much, since the load he did included my comforter. :lol:

My husband is of the "more cleaner makes it cleaner" school of thought, which is why I don't let him touch the detergent if I can help it. I think if you can smell the detergent, you've used too much. If you can smell it, it's still in there.


It completely depends on the situation. As I've mentioned before, my roommate and I don't have a full set of anything so you bet it's more efficient to wash one bowl, one fork, and one cup by hand than to use the dishwasher. :lol: When we're cooking, we still only fill up our very small sink (and maybe the counter), which is about half the size of our dishwasher. To run a full dishwasher, we'd have to buy a lot more stuff, and we just don't find it necessary.

Well, sure, but for a family of five? I have a family of four and it's a very rare day that the dishwasher isn't completely full after dinner. When it isn't, I wait until the breakfast stuff goes in there (and it usually won't all fit) and run it in the morning instead. And I don't use special serving dishes, special forks or anything like that, either.

The article I linked goes into quite a bit of detail about why it is almost (but not entirely) impossible to use less water washing by hand.

loopey
09-26-2010, 12:37 AM
This is just one of the reasons I love this board! Great information. I too have noticed my dishes are not as clean as they used to be. I have used Cascade for as long as I can remember. Now I understand!


I had noticed that my dishes weren't getting clean and I blamed our dishwasher, but then I picked up a Consumer Reports that rated dishwasher detergents and they put the Cascade Complete I had been using a good ways down the list. I went "Huh," and switched to their top recommendation--Finish All-in-One Powerball tabs. And by gosh, I do think the dishes really are cleaner.
I can't wait until my bottle of Cascade is gone. I will try the Finish. Have never heard of it.

And whoever above mentioned that Cascade also separates now when it didn't used to: Too True!

I am done with Cascade!

zhenya271
09-26-2010, 01:12 AM
This is just one of the reasons I love this board! Great information. I too have noticed my dishes are not as clean as they used to be. I have used Cascade for as long as I can remember. Now I understand!


I can't wait until my bottle of Cascade is gone. I will try the Finish. Have never heard of it.



Finish used to be called Electrosol.

mmscfdcsu
09-26-2010, 01:18 AM
I'll try the Finish Powerballs (although the name makes me giggle!) after I use up this crappy bottle of Cascade. I have to shake the bottle before I use it now, as the contents keep separating (sp?) and I get a watery mix with clumps of goo if I don't.

Those Powerballs are terrible. I still have some left, but use them only if I run out of the good Cascade things with the liquid and powder in them. The Powerballs leave everything looking icky, with lots of streaks. The Cascade things are the best thing ever. :)

Flatfoote
09-26-2010, 01:38 AM
I used Cascade for the dishwasher, and Dawn for the "hand dishes" religiously for years. Then Dawn switched to that awful new bottle that I can't hang on to when my hands are wet, so I switched to the local generic store brand. Then when Cascade started adding that "with Dawn added" feature (I use the liquid detergent), I noticed the gel-like consistancey turned to water consistancy after opening it, and didn't clean very well, so I switched to the local generic brand for that too.

I noticed the dishes weren't as clear and clean as I'd remembered, and wondered if it was because of the cheap brand. Now I figure I'm in the same boat as everyone else, that it's just the formula. Glad to know, switching to yet another brand is bothersome too, cause I don't really want to experiment with so many brands.

Anita18
09-26-2010, 08:07 AM
Well, sure, but for a family of five? I have a family of four and it's a very rare day that the dishwasher isn't completely full after dinner. When it isn't, I wait until the breakfast stuff goes in there (and it usually won't all fit) and run it in the morning instead. And I don't use special serving dishes, special forks or anything like that, either.

The article I linked goes into quite a bit of detail about why it is almost (but not entirely) impossible to use less water washing by hand.
Right, but not every household contains a family of five. :) Obviously you'd need way more servingware than we do.....

PDilemma
09-26-2010, 04:33 PM
? I have a family of four and it's a very rare day that the dishwasher isn't completely full after dinner. When it isn't, I wait until the breakfast stuff goes in there (and it usually won't all fit) and run it in the morning instead. And I don't use special serving dishes, special forks or anything like that, either.

The article I linked goes into quite a bit of detail about why it is almost (but not entirely) impossible to use less water washing by hand.

I am a bit confused about where the food these people are eating is coming from if they only have a couple of plates and forks to wash after a meal. Since I cook everything from scratch, there are knives, pans, spoons, spatulas, baking dishes, mixing bowls, etc... that also need washed. (And I don't always put my pans in the dishwasher, but sometimes I do because I am lazy)

BigB08822
09-26-2010, 06:47 PM
Thanks! I noticed my dishes had almost like a film over them beginning a couple of months ago. I knew we bought the same detergent but couldn't figure out what was going on. Maybe this is the answer!

Prancer
09-26-2010, 09:15 PM
Right, but not every household contains a family of five. :) Obviously you'd need way more servingware than we do.....

Right, but I was responding to orbitz's post saying that any family of five or less should handwash dishes because it is more efficient.


I am a bit confused about where the food these people are eating is coming from if they only have a couple of plates and forks to wash after a meal. Since I cook everything from scratch, there are knives, pans, spoons, spatulas, baking dishes, mixing bowls, etc... that also need washed. (And I don't always put my pans in the dishwasher, but sometimes I do because I am lazy)

I don't know what anyone else does, but left to my own devices, I would eat sandwiches, yogurt, fruit, cheese, bread and cereal most of the time, and wouldn't have many dishes to clean. When it was just my husband and me, we didn't have a dishwasher and there were days where we didn't have a lot of dishes--although I cooked quite a bit even then and so there it was pretty rare to just have a couple of plates and things.