December 29, 2008

a little test

We finally had to buy a new dishwasher. Our old one was not that old. Just prone to repair. It loved breaking and getting repaired. I decided to replace it with one that should last a good, long time and also is energy efficient.

Around the same time, I bought a new box of dishwasher detergent since we had run out. I bought a new brand since my favorite brand was out of stock.

See where this is going? Our dishes are not looking clean. The old machine with our favorite detergent did a better job.

I have heard from people time to time about which eco-friendly detergents they like and dislike. In my experience, it really depends on the situation (your machine, your water type, etc.) What works in my machine might not be the one for yours.

So, before I go complaining to the appliance store about the new machine I want to rule out the soap issue. I decided to buy a small box of conventional soap (gasp!) because that is what the manufacturer recommended. I'll be able to see the performance of the machine under these conditions. From there I can go back to my preferred brand of detergent (Seventh Generation) and see if the dishes are cleaning well.

I don't intend to use the conventional soap forever. It sure felt strange buying it - like I was breaking all the rules. I hope the experiment will point to either needing a switch in soap or a problem with the new machine (but please, please don't be a problem machine!)


Debbie said...

I'll be interested to see what you think. We've had the same dilemma with what soap to use (in our old-not-energy-efficient dw). I like the BioKleen powder, but can't always find it. In desperation the other day (dishwasher full + no soap in the house), I bought a small bottle of the Palmolive Eco stuff. It cleans okay but does contain bleach...ahh! I haven't tried the Seventh Generation dw soap.

For the laundry I also like my BioKleen powder and have been using Seventh Generation Baby for the baby's clothes. I didn't feel like the Seventh Generation free + clear got stuff quite as clean as the BioKleen powder. Hmm.

And, of course, I have to drive to 2 or 3 different stores to find any of this around here. But, you do what you have to!

Heather said...

I'm willing to bet it was the detergent. When we got a new machine I tried 7thGeneration powder. Oh my it was just awful! My dishes got cleaner by the dog licking them LOL. Once I switched everything was sparkly. I emailed 7th Generation about it. They were great. Reimbursed me with coupons above the cost of the product. Also shared that it is fairly common for people to not like the powdered dish detergent. They recommended trying the gel/liquid. I haven't been able to find it near me. Maybe that will work for you though.

mom go green said...

thanks for the feedback. the dishes came out really clean and beautiful with the cascade. i am a bit relieved that the machine is not problematic, but i hope i can find an eco alternative that works with this new dw. i tried the powder form earth friendly products and it did not work well :( couldn't even serve guests the dishes without re-washing them. i then tried the seventh generation gel, which was better, but not as clean as the cascade. i will continue to search for something that works and let you know. . .

Anonymous said...

I went through the same thing, but finally found something that seems to help.
I put white vinegar in the open compartment (not sure what that's called - the pre-wash slot or something like that - NOT the rinse aid place) and that magically seems to make my Ecover tablets not suck.
I had tried the Seventh Generation as well but hated it. Perhaps the vinegar would make that perform better as well, but now I use the Ecover which is cheaper anyway and easier to use.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I should mention that is was the liquid Seventh Generation that was so horrible for us; never tried the powder.

Anonymous because I can't get my sign-on info to work!

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to come across this- I have a very expensive DW and was a little suprised at how well I have to pre-wash my dishes for them to come clean, and I never even thought to blame the 7th Gen detergent!!! Thanks for posting!