There's all kinds of dishwashing soaps out there, a broad assortment of brands and types.
You can still get the classic powder detergent in the box with the little flip out slot on the side from which to pour an 'appropriate' amount of detergent into your machine. That's hit or miss. Without a true measurement, you can put in too little detergent resulting in some dishes not getting quite clean enough. Or you can pour in too much detergent, resulting in the dreaded detergent residue on the dishes. Rinse aid be damned (and something else to buy, UGH). Rarely is the use of a box detergent just right. Yes, that was kind of a Goldilocks and the Three Bears reference there...
With liquid detergent, you have the same issues but to a lesser degree. Too little detergent and not all dishes get clean, especially if you didn't pre-rinse before loading. Too much detergent and you get the poor result of detergent residue. And about those rinse aids, unless you have a hard water issue, you shouldn't have to buy it. I don't know about you , but I don't have any residue on my dishes when they're hand washed, so it's a matter of finding the right detergent then, for the machine.
Measurement is key and that's why the pods are more effective overall than the classic boxed dry detergent or the liquid bottle stuff. Detergent pods (Cascade calls them "Action Pacs") dominate the field and in this category the product variations multiply ranging from pacs of dry detergent, to gels, to various scents, to segmented pacs of dry detergent and gel detergent combos with rinse aids included.
So out shopping one day and need of some dishwashing detergent, I picked up a package Great Value Dishwasher Pacs. I've tried a variety of pacs and to come back to the rinse aid issue, I don't like paying paying extra for it in the form of a segmented pac and I just don't see the point of buying a rinse aid separately if you can find the right soap and water combination to get the job done correctly in the first place.
I'm not a huge fan of the Great Value brand, but my experience with the brand is for the most part with their food products that usually ranks low on the list of food challenges. Their frozen pizza is less-than-stellar. So based on the food experience I didn't have high expectations of the Great Value Dishwasher pacs going into this review, it is after all just a basic dry detergent pac, kind of and entry level dishwashing solution if you will. Oh, sorry, it is scented, a notch above entry level pacs but I digress... That's an apples and oranges thing, we're talking cleaning product here and I've been searching for a cheaper detergent that can do the same job as the much higher priced Cascade, Finish and other brands.
When I load a dishwasher, I do pre-rinse dishes that need it, a lasagna pan for example. But I'm not one of those people that pretty much wash dishes before loading them in the dishwasher either, what's the point in that and talk about using too much water! If a plate has a little schmear of dinner on it, it's going in, not rinsed. If a coffee cup still has a couple swallows left in it, it gets dumped and loaded, not rinsed. If a fork has a few cake crumbs on it, it's going in, not rinsed. I think you get the picture.
I have to say, when putting the clean dishes away in completing this review, I was pleasantly surprised! All dishes were clean and there was no detergent residue, no rinse aid required! And this was a full load of dishes, minimal pre-rinsing before loading. Normal settings were used on the washer, no "Heavy Duty" or "Heated Rinse" settings were enabled.
Costing me $3.98 for a 32 count bag of detergent pacs, I'm giving Great Value Dishwasher Pacs 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars. I think I've found a simple, straight forward detergent pac giving my dishes the perfect soap and water mix to get clean. Great Value has done the job just as well as the more than twice as expensive jobs the Cascade and Finish have done.
$pend Wisely My Friends...
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