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Apr 15, 2014 02:18 PM

dishwasher detergent

Have never been a "brand name" buyer and have been satisfied with store brands untiil recently?? Clear, glass & plastic stuff is just NOT coming out CLEAN? It's kinda "clean" but seems to have a coating on it. Dishwasher or detergent problem??

What brand do you use and SWEAR by for great results?

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  1. Most likely it is the lack of phosphates in the detergent. Use a rinse aid and a spoonful of trisodium phosphate, available at a good hardware store. If your state does not allow TSP to be sold, get it from Ebay or Amazon.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Enigma3

      The laws about not using it in dishwasher detergent are there for a reason. I don't think any states completely prohibit phosphates because they are very useful for lead paint remediation. Now thanks to your advice millions of housewifes will circumvent environmental regulations, forcing state legislatures to outright ban TSP to save our waterways, thus reducing the incentive to fix lead paint problems, leading to more children becoming lead poisoned. See what you've done!?

      Just kidding!

      1. re: Fin De Fichier

        Detergents containing phosphates have only been banned for consumer products. To my knowledge, none of the 16 states banned it for commercial dish and laundry products.

        Clearly, we (home cooks) need better lobbyists.

        1. re: DuffyH

          I used to be still able to get it at Home Depot, but now they only have an artificial version.

            1. re: coll

              I did but all I found was Lemi shine. Since we have soft water, that didn't help at all. But as I said below, the Finish Quantums seem to be working nicely. Fingers crossed.

              1. re: coll

                I did some experimenting last year, hoping to reduce aluminum loss in my clad stainless pans. I tried Bubble Bandit, but my dishes were just meh. Not as shiny as I was used to with the Quantum, and that goes for pans, too.

                A blogger ( likes the old Cascade a lot. I didn't try it.


                As for me, I had to replace my pans when I installed my induction range, and chose to go with disk bottom pans with a nice thick disk for my saucepans. I can toss them in the Bosch when I want to, there's no exposed aluminum for the Quantum to eat, all of my stuff sparkles again. I'm a happy camper.

                1. re: DuffyH

                  I always used Cascade, since the 1970s, but it's just not the same anymore.

                  1. re: coll

                    The one I linked to above is supposed to be essentially the same as the old consumer formula. It's got the phosphates we all loved. That's what makes it different from the stuff available today in supermarkets.

                    1. re: DuffyH

                      I only use the dishwasher when I have company mostly, so it would take a LONG time to go through it. I just threw out a BJs size bottle because it was getting old and starting to crust up, so that's something I have to consider too.

                      I used to sell restaurant soap but 5 gallon tubs were the norm. I wonder who's buying such little bottles, besides homeowners? And I wonder why Finish comes out so sparkly clean, what is their secret?

      2. I use the Finish tabs with rinse aid included; it's the brand recommended by my dishwasher's manufacturer. They're not inexpensive compared to bargain or store brands, but easy as can be to use and get the dishes and glassware clean every time.

        6 Replies
          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

            I stock up on the Finish tabs when they go on sale and there are frequently coupons for them in the Sunday paper too.

            They wee recommended, and a sample was provided, when I got my new DW a couple of years ago. I've been very happy with the results.

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

              I use the Finish tabs too. They sell them at Costco and the price is pretty good.

              1. re: valerie

                I stock up on them when CostCo has them on sale. Weirdly, I had a tiny leak from the DW when I used Cascade tablets--called the repair service guy, and he said ONLY Finish--never any leakage with them. Doesn't make sense, but I'll stick to Finish. Altho' I still use the liquid Jet Dry, even tho' the Finish supposedly has a drying aid.

              2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                I also find the inside of my dishwasher seems cleaner with the Finish.

                1. re: CanadaGirl

                  I was using my dishwasher as storage space because it wasn't able to get the dishes clean, then I read about Finish here. I got the Quantum tablets. Whoa boy, not only clean but unbelievably shiny. The shine even lasts after a few handwashings....I don't know what it is and I don't want to find out. I am so happy I can use my relatively new Kitchenaid dishwasher as intended finally.

              3. Could be both. . .

                I use the Kirkland gel kind, the Costco brand. It works well most of the time with my almost 2 year old Bosch dishwasher, the only time I'm not thrilled is if the rinse aide is empty, or I try to stuff too much in it. My biggest problem is when I stuff the top rack full of plastic containers. They just need some space I've found.

                We used to have a Kenmore in this house, and we just had issues with it cleaning well at all. I wasn't too upset when the motor died. Mr Autumn (after grumbling about buying yet ANOTHER dishwasher) was impressed with how clean stuff was suddenly.

                1. Is this a new development? Is your water hard, and did you get a new dishwasher?

                  Yes, try a rinse-aid, which seems to be mandatory with dishwashers now. I use one and half a Method tab and it works fine.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: PegS

                    Not a new washer and gradual development of problem. Not something I'm losiing sleep over but would like "clear" stuff to be more CLEAR??

                    1. re: kseiverd

                      Is it possible that your glassware etc. has been gradually becoming less clear over time and it has only recently become noticible? Would a brand new glass come out clouded after just one wash?

                      1. re: kseiverd

                        Same issue we had before switching detergents. My Dad also ahd this issue with his Bosch. Switched from powder and the issue cleared up.

                        1. re: kseiverd

                          You might also try my monthly "trick"--pour about 2 cups of white vinegar in the floor of the DW. Let it sit 'bout 1/2 hour, then run at least the rinse cycle. It'll smell yucky for a day or so, but helps to clear out any grunge that might have collected. A repair guy said doing this should extend the life of the DW.

                          1. re: pine time

                            I just had my repair guy (he works for the local electric company, so he has no reason to mislead me) and he said the exact same thing. The vinegar, he said, works better than any of the dishwasher cleaners.

                            1. re: helou

                              Yeah, this DW (Kitchen Aid) doesn't have one of those removable gunk traps that you can clean out, so the vinegar trick really seems to work well. DW is now 6 years old, runs as well as day 1.

                              1. re: pine time

                                I have started pouring a big glug of vinegar into the bottom of the machine before running it, and also using it in the rinse dispenser. It's a great sanitizer.

                        2. re: PegS

                          they are "mandatory" because newer machines use less and less water for rinse cycles, so the so-called "rinse aids" have to be there to disguise the fact that the machine really isn't rinsing
                          kinda hilarious, isn't it
                          capitalism and environmental regulation: working they said in twin peaks: "health and industry go hand in hand!"

                        3. I use Cascade Complete and have no problems. For what ever reason, I've had no luck with powder and the newer dishwashers. Even using a rinse agent.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: mike0989

                            We use the Cascade Complete (tabs in our case) and have been doing so for I think about 4 years now. We have them on subscribe and save from Amazon and basically haven't given a thought to dishwasher stuff for about 4 years until I read this thread. It's got a rinse aid built in.