I was sent a couple bottles of dishwasher detergent recently – Cascade and their leading competitor Electrasol. We decided to stage a detergent contest to see which one we liked better. Currently, we use the Cascade 2-in-1 Action Pacs and they do an awesome job getting the dishes clean without leaving a funky film residue on everything. T thought that when we tried the Cascade liquid we didn’t like it, but I figured it couldn’t be that different from the Pacs. Luckily, we go through a lot of dishes (which is amazing since it’s just the two of us) so I knew we’d be able to run different loads while still remembering what the other detergent was like.
To make the whole process more scientific, I could say I recorded the number of plates vs. cups, plastic vs. glass, but I didn’t. We loaded it like we always do – as we dirty things. It’s usually a good mix of coffee mugs, drinking glasses, Corell and melamine plates and bowls, and the reuseable Ziploc/Glad plastic containers. I do rinse everything before placing them in the dishwasher because I just don’t trust that the machine and/or detergent is going to leave me with clean dishes rather than clean dishes with bits of crusty food dried on. Maybe one of these days I’ll test that out, but probably only if I’m really bored. I’m not a fan of having to rewash things if the experiment fails.
We shelved our beloved Action Pacs (btw, have you heard Method is coming out with detergent tablets again?) and started with the Electrasol. Things came out squeaky clean, it smelled fine while running, and neither the glasses nor the plastic containers had a film on them.
The next load we did, I used the Cascade, filling the detergent cup to the top, just like I did with the Electrosol. The dishes came out fine, but there was an odd film on the plastic ware. The glassware came out clean and sparkly, though.
Over the next few weeks, I alternated between Electrosol and Cascade (I have no idea which one T used when he started the dishwasher). Interestingly enough, while the Electrosol seemed the winner in the beginning, the more I used it the more it resembled Cascade in performance. Sometimes it was perfect, other times it would leave a slight film on the plastic and/or glasses. I’ve resorted to only filling the detergent cup 3/4 full with either detergent and that’s seemed to solve the problem. Unfortunately, it doesn’t give me a clear victor in the detergent battle.
So, I guess I’ve determined that you could buy either Electrasol or Cascade liquid detergent, whichever one is cheaper or on sale and you’ll get sparkly clean dishes. However, for convenience sake, we’ll keep buying the Action Pacs. No matter what, all we have to do is toss in one Pac and our dishes come out film free.