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.