“ Brand: Asda / Type: Dishwasher Powder / Category: Cleaning & Disinfectant „
When I buy a product, I have certain standards I feel the product should meet before I give it my blessing. This is especially true of cleaning products, and one of the iffiest areas of that market is dishwasher products. I think we have all bought detergents that left powdery residues, gritty remnants, soggy food, or plain just failed to even rinse simple grease off even in a very hot setting. Even more distressing is when you find you have etched looking glassware, pitted tableware, or odd light spots on coloured items.
I like to think I have reasonable standards. I want a detergent that:
1. Cuts through grease.
I dont want to have to prewash greasy pans and plates in the sink with washing up liquid first. It defeats the whole object of having a dishwasher!
2. Leaves cups, glassware, and tableware sparkling and doesnt pit, scratch, or do anything else damaging.
3. Dissolves properly.
I dont want to have to rinse grit, powder, or gravy remnants with detergent residue in it off of already washed once plates. I would not tolerate this in a clothes detergent, and I wont in a dishwasher detergent.
4. I prefer it to be an all in one to save me time and even possibly money as I dont have to buy three or four, or even five separate products. I hate faff!
5. It has to not be so expensive that hand washing looks attractive due to cost of buying the detergent!
I dont care that you have a brand name or not, £5 every two weeks to wash dishes is RIDICULOUS! I want a reasonable price, for a product that performs the way it should do for the task at hand.
6. The product should not have a strong chemical odour.
Yechhhhh at those strong bleach smelling detergents. I like a nice, pleasant, light scent please.
7. It should work equally well at the new lower eco wash temperatures (35-40) as it does at 70 or above.
One of the reasons for getting a dishwasher these days is to be green. A newer dishwasher washes safely at lower temps, uses less water than hand washing, and uses less energy to do the entire task than it does to heat water for hand washing. It defeats the object if I then have to use a long super hot intensive wash for even a lightly soiled load or get grit, grease, and so on!
8. It should be easily available.
I dont want to have to trek down the motorway to the next largest city to visit an eco market, or join a warehouse club, or have to order by internet from Timbuktu and wait 4-6 weeks for my amazing detergent.
9. I prefer biodegradable or recyclable packaging.
Ok, this is part of my trying to be a greener household. But it bears thinking about, as it is something I buy regularly, and so do a lot of others, so the packaging really adds up if added to landfill.
10. It has to be convenient to use.
I dont want to have to squeeze the sides while twisting a lid and hopping on one foot. I dont want a little bag that I cant get to tear open if I want a tablet out. I dont want a jelly bag that splats open and smears everywhere if I drop it on the floor or makes an ungodly mess if one happened to have leaked in the container.
~~~~How this measures up~~~
Up until recently I had been using the 4 in 1 and 5 in 1 tablets from Finish and Aldis own Magnum. Quite frankly, while they scored well on most points, the cost, and the questionable environmental toll of those faffy little bags the tablets come in, put me off. Thus when I saw Asda had a 5 in 1 powder that came in a flip top, recyclable plastic bottle, I decided to give it a try. I figured for £1.72 for a 1 kg bottle, it was not the end of the world if I had to get my usual to replace it, and I might have found a bargain if it worked.
First thing I did was put my dishwasher through its bi monthly dishwasher cleaner cycle. I only do it bi monthly as I do a max of 1 load a day, and usually not greasy or heavily soiled. Afterwards I loaded in an atypical load that WAS greasy. I had done a rare fry up for lunch, and our evening meal was a casserole, so I had well browned bits on a crockery dish to get out, as well as plates, cups, glasses, and tableware. I then got out my jug, and read the instructions. First off, it told me to use about two tablespoons a load, unless it was a lightly soiled load, in which case I could use half as much. It said this would equal the mark in the drawer of most dishwashers, so no need usually to measure. Mine does not have said mark, but I know by eye what that looks like. Being a heavily soiled load that I intended to wash on 50, I decided to use the full amount.
Now, as this meant I had to open the lid, this is where it first earns kudos from me. It has two places on the collar to squeeze, while you flip the cap up. Normally this is a difficult task, but someone thought this out carefully. The squeezy bits are NOT rigid plastic, but stiff enough a 2 or 3 year old should not be able to manage the task. So even I with my sometimes arthritic hands can open this first time. Not to mention said preschooler would have to be VERY dextrous to manage to pop the lid AND squeeze as the cap is designed so that an adult sized hand can pop the top with a thumb while the fingers are squeezing. So it passes my no gymnastics or body building container opening experience criteria, and the no faffy little bags or splatty gel cubes either!
Upon pouring this out, I was greeted by a very old fashioned looking powder. It looked just like the sort of detergent I had used happily for years, since the late 70s to late 80s, back in the day when you added rinse aid and no one even thought about salt! It had a faint aroma of citrus that was quite pleasant and very non chemical smelling. I did not detect anything harsh and grainy in the powder to give me pause, it all being a finely textured powder. It SAYS the salt, rinse aid, cleaning booster, and glass protection are all there (that being what 5 in 1 means) and unless in a severely hard water area, you should not have to add any more salt. So, as it looked the same as more old fashioned products, I was beginning to feel faint twinges of doubt. I used the recommended amount though, shut the compartment, and put it on a 50 degree eco wash anyway and hoped for the best.
This is where the real test lie, as it finished its cycle and I opened the door. I have to say I was VERY impressed. My glass bowls and cups shone, my stainless steel tableware gleamed, my pans were shiny, unwatermarked, residue free, as well as grease free. The crockery casserole dish was also immaculate, and the plates had no traces of gravy or egg yolk left upon them. The plastic cups and bowls in the load also came out without a greasy or slimy feel, and there were no odd light spots where the colour had been leached out. There was also a faint citrusy scent lingering, and the inside of my machine also still gleamed without any greasy residue being on the door, about the sills, or filming up the drain and filter at the bottom. So it passed my test on all these points as well.
A month on, and my glassware and tableware are still unpitted and unscratched as well. This tells me it is unlikely to occur, as the last time it did, I saw it within 3 weeks of using a cheap 3 in 1 I picked up at the corner shop. This tablet left actual scratches in my Pyrex bowls after only 5-6 washes in the dishwasher, but I had no such issues here.
As the month passed, I have used this on an almost daily basis, and with most loads being lightly soiled. I have therefore used it on a 40 degree cycle, using half the normal amount as suggested. My dishes have come out just as clean, and I have been very pleased. A quick glance shows me I still have a good further fortnights worth of use, so it is going a lot further than the minimum 30 washes it gives on the front, which appears to be based on the two tablespoons for heavy loads. The bottom reveals it is indeed recyclable, so once empty I can take it to our local collection point with all my milk jugs from the month, so it also meets my minimum standard for greener packaging there.
My final criteria that it needed to meet was ease of obtaining it. For me, and most persons, this is a breeze. Being made by Asda, it is available at any Asda supermarket. I can get it in store, or have it delivered after completing my internet grocery shop. The low price makes it a lot cheaper than similar products in tablet form and cheaper than the leading 5 in 1 brand of detergent by being less than half the price, while performing equally as well. It also is immensely cheaper than buying all separate components. All in all, I give this my hearty approval, and you can guess which product for dishwashing will be in MY cupboard from now on!