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This could be called the sorry saga of my dishwasher! We have an old Bosch dishwasher, when I say old my husband bought it in 2004. His words were - it's a Bosch, so it has to be good, doesn't it? Well apparently not. It's given a few problems over the years - Bosch had to come out while the dishwasher was under warranty, then we had another engineer out when there was a recall and a component had to be replaced. More recently, the dishwasher went on strike completely and refused to do anything other than gurgle at me. Bosch were going to charge £98 just for coming to the front door so I called a local repairman out.
Local repairman duly arrived. I have to say he was extremely helpful but my heart sank when he took one look at the machine and said 'You should have got a Beko'. Apparently, Bosch went through a bad patch around about 2004. It seems our model is the result of that bad patch - model SGS45E08GB in case you're wondering. It seems that this particular model is 'over-engineered'. In practice this means that it has more piping than it really needs with lots of narrow twists and turns where food and other debris can get stuck.
A large quantity of descaler later and the dishwasher was back in action. Now, I know this is not a dishwasher review so here we come to the Tesco dishwasher cleaner. I had periodically used a cleaner to make sure the dishwasher stayed hygienic and smelling fresh but on reflection I think I should have been doing this much more regularly. I had a Finish cleaner in the cupboard and used that with good results - it left the machine sparkling clean and smelling fresh.
I set off to my local Tesco to get some replacements but spotted their own brand on the shelf. For the price of one Finish cleaner, I could get two Tesco ones ie £4. It's exactly the same drill for use. You put the bottle upside down in the cutlery basket or lodge in a secure position in an otherwise empty dishwasher. You then run the clean cycle or a wash programme that gets to 60°C or higher. You just remove the label from the cap not the cap itself and the cleaner is automatically released when the dishwasher reaches the right temperature. As far as I could see, the results were exactly the same too - sparkling clean and smelling fresh.
The bottles each contain 250ml of cleaner and for those who like to know this sort of thing, it contains amongst other ingredients: 5-15% Non-Ionic Surfactants Dimethylol Glycol. All I know is that if it keeps my dishwasher going for a little longer, it's money well spent! So 5 stars from me.
This product is sold in a twin pack of 250ml bottles for £1.98 by Tesco and is designed to clean your dishwasher.
Until I had a dishwasher of my own I did not realise that they need regular cleaning. It still seems strange to me that a machine with the sole function of cleaning dishes, does not end up clean at the end of the cycle. However, now that I have a dishwasher of my own I have discovered that residue food gets left in the machine (no matter how often I tell the kids to scrape their plates completely, one of them always leaves something behind) and this tends to smell if not cleared away shortly after the cycle ends. Similarly, the filter of the machine gets clogged, the sprinkler hose heads store rice grains and the walls of the machine quickly collect a greasy residue. Hence, the requirement that the machine is cleaned with a proper dishwasher cleaning fluid on a regular basis.
The dishwasher must be emptied prior to using the cleaner and using it is extremely simple. All you have to do is peel away the label from the cap, remove the cap (throw both peeled off label and cap away) and place the bottle upside down in the cutlery basket or other secure position. Once the bottle is in location you run a normal wash programme at 60 degrees C or higher (only the prerinse is lower than 60 degrees on my machine, I'm not sure about other machines though). During the wash programme the cleaner is released when the dishwasher reaches wash temperatures.
Once the wash cycle is completed (and your machine is cool enough to handle the contents) take out the 'empty' bottle and recycle it (or throw in in the household waste if you aren't environmentally conscious). Now, you'll note I've put 'empty', that is because the last bottle I used did not disperse its entire contents into the dishwasher during the cycle. once the machine had finished there was still about a third of the contents left in the bottle. The machine, however, was sparklingly clean as per usual.
I generally run a cleaner wash every couple of weeks but decided to reuse the bottle within a week to get the final third out. Sure enough the dishwasher came up lovely and clean again. Maybe Tesco put too much cleaning fluid in the bottle and a smaller dose would surfice, maybe I keep the machine clean enough not to require a 250ml dose. I'm not sure, either way I recommend this dishwasher cleaner because it gets rid of nasty odours and slime that can remain in a dishwasher after regular use. Don;t forget you will need to clean your filter manually too (this should be cleaned after every cycle, but I often forget), and the water hose heads will also require manual cleaning to extract any residue food particles.