September 10, 2007

Cascade Dish Detergent versus Electrasol

The note accompanying my Fed-Exed dishwashing detergents urged me to compare the two enclosed brands to see for myself if Cascade Complete dishwashing detergent did indeed outclean the competition (Electrasol Advanced). I haven't done a product review in a while and was eager to see how the detergents compared.

Load #1: Cascade Complete
The bottle of Cascade boldly declared across the top of the bottle, "cleans so well no need to pre-wash!" For the first time ever, I loaded the dishwasher without rinsing any of the dishes. I grew up in a home where the plates had to be spotless before putting them in the machine so this was pretty hard for me to do. After the cycle was complete, the dishes were clean except for a few spots of oregano stuck to some bowls. I was moderately impressed.

Load #2: Cascade Complete
Encouraged by my initial attempt, again I loaded the machine with no washing, this time not even bothering to scrape the chunks of dinner off the plates. Salad, pasta, and chunks of bread all went in the machine. Midway through the cycle I saw water creeping across the kitchen floor. I opened the machine and found I had somehow broken the whole contraption. I was not at all impressed.

Load #3: Electrasol Advanced
I somehow managed to drain the water from the machine and tried again to wash the load. After the cycle completed, I looked inside to find the dishwasher still flooded and the plates filthy. I called the plumber in shame.

Load #4: Electrasol Advanced
Twentyfour hours later, the plumber had cleared the chunks of food from the pipes and I was ready to go. A bit wary of using the Cascade again, I rinsed the dished thoroughly, put in the generic brand and started the load, watching for signs of dishwasher failure. The dishes came out fine. Phew!

Load #5: Cascade Complete
Emotionally ready to try Cascade again, I did a minimal rinse job and loaded the machine up again. Although the glasses did have water spots after the cycle, I had no question the plates were at least food free and sanitary. Because of my recent negative experience on the Cascade load, I wasn't going to celebrate just yet. One more load just to make sure...

Load #6: Electrasol Advanced
Minimal rinsing, regular cycle. The plates were covered with nasty globs of food when the cycle was complete. Although I have to admit I was rooting for the underdog, ultimately, in the Cascade vs. Electrasol deathmatch, Cascade decimated the competition. But please be aware that Cascade has the unfortunate side effect of causing false confidence. Lest you are tempted to feed your dishwasher the leftovers, please be aware the while Cascade does clean well, its chewing and digesting powers are woefully inadequate.

23 comments:

Summer said...

LOL!
Okay, how do I get people to send me stuff to try out for free?

Silly Marie said...

We have the Cascade complete and hate it. We do rinse our dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. While our dishes come out clean, we noticed that our glasses and water bottles have film of soap bubbles from when we fill them up after washing them.

As for the pre-washing, I don't think they mean "no need to rinse your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher." I think they mean you don't need to fill the little pre-wash cup in the dishwasher next to the main load cup for decent results.

However, if you notice on the back of the bottle it says, "For best results fill both the pre-wash and main wash cups completely." When a bottle says "no need to pre-wash" on the front and then on the back says "for best results fill the pre-wash cup", it annoys me a little.

I surely won't be buying Cascade Complete again.

AzĂșcar said...

I love Cascade; it's the only one that will clean the dishes and make the glasses look right. Electrosol can bite me; it never works.

Amy said...

My philosophy is "if the food didn't come off in the dishwasher, it's not going to come off into the next meal I put on the plate."

Sarah said...

I'm totally with you on that, Amy! But I'm too chicken to actually say that out loud and be given dirty looks by my dinner guests...

Silly, I was wondering about that pre-wash thing. I read those instructions as well and was left scratching my head. "No need to pre-wash." "Fill the pre-wash cup" Cascade has a few issues of their own.

Summer, I'll email you the email address of the woman who does the promotions. She's told me in the past to let anyone else who wants to do reviews to contact her. Anyone else want it? Email me or leave a comment with an email address and I'll send it your way.

Jill Davis Doughtie said...

We're pretty big Cascade Complete fans in our house. We scrape/knock most of the food off the dishes, but don't go over them with a sponge first, and almost all the time the dishes come out very clean. (When they're not, we wash them again.)

Jenny said...

I use the Sam's brand and think it works just fine. What is the difference between the powder and the liquid?

I want to get free stuff. Can you send me that lady's email address?
jennyfosdick AT gmail DOT com

Melissa said...

I love the picture at the bottom :) Very clever! We had one dish washer that was so awesome that we could put in bowls with dried oatmeal and they would come out clean. Didn't have anything to do with the soap... we tried out several different kinds. It was just an awesome dishwasher. Sigh... I miss that piece of machinery

Karla said...

I do believe that if your dishwasher wasn't equipt to handle large chunks of food, i.e. a disposal in the dishwasher, you still have to take that off before placing in the dishwasher. Glad to know that it still does a great job! We have such hard water here in AZ that my glasses, no matter how much jetdry I use, will NEVER look fantastic. Any suggestions?

chanel said...

so I confess I didn't read this, but just like my preschooler, Im gettign the jist from the pictures and ain't that the truth! Electrosol can't clean nuttin!

You know what works great?!?!
Store brand at Krogers- dude its magical!

kaff said...

I'd be very willing to try out free stuff mailed to my house :) I do use Kirkland brand dishwashing detergent, but its such a good deal!

Lenny said...

Does anyone know where to put the dishwashing detergent on/in a dog? He does a nifty job of "cleaning" all dishes with his tongue.

emma jo said...

Noted, Cascade it is. I simply have to rinse dishes thoroughly before washing them...really really really clean is better than really clean, right?

Janie and Andrew said...

I too have been much happier with Cascade than Electrasol, although now I'm cheap and buy the stuff at Costco. I would like to have the promotion lady's email too. :)

o escritor said...

Don't you hate it when you are reading a post that makes you laugh out loud, and then you have to admit to everybody around you that you were reading a blog when you were supposed to be working.

Yeah. That just happened. Thanks for the post.

Annie said...

Cascade and Tide. I never stray. I am loyal to these products.

Andrea said...

I usually use store brand stuff, but I think I have the Cascade powder right now. My dishwasher isn't good (we rent), but I have found that putting in some vinegar with each cycle keeps the gunk from the previous tenants off (not from us--I get all the food off before I put them in) and the glasses spotless. My mom told me about that. I don't measure, just dump some in. Much cheaper than stuff actually meant for the job.

Anonymous said...

I am with Annie. Cacade and Tide all the way.

Silly, it might be hard water that is keeping your dishes from rinsing well.

I scrape off the food and load the dishes in without ever letting water touch them. They come out extremely clean with Cascade complete every time. I am totally sold.

I am always surprised at people who unnecessarily rinse. I have heard that it is one of the biggest ways to waste water.

Abby said...

I knew it!

Abby said...

BTW, I think this approach would work nicely with the food critic thing. You could pit two eating establishments against one another and provide a rockin' illustration, etc. What d'ya think?

Sarah said...

Speaking of the food critic thing, I'm REALLY nervous about my first gig this Thursday night. I have a feeling the chef will see right through me when I gag at his offering of foi gras. I hope I don't have to eat veal, caviar and asparagus to get the job done.

o escritor, my goal is to get someone fired from their job for losing control while reading my blog. Don't expect me to let up! I'll get you my little pretty...

Silly Marie said...

Nope. Not the water. When we used regular cascade the dishes were left clean but not soapy. It's the cascade complete that leaves them soapy.

liuyanqiu918 said...
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