“ Brand: Waitrose / Type: Dishwasher Tablets / Category: Cleaning & Disinfectant „
This is a review of Waitrose 5 in 1 Dishwater Tablets which I have had in the cupboard for a while now, our dishwasher has been out of action for just over a year so I have been waiting a long time to try these! Please, if you can, read my recent review on the Super Smeg retro dishwasher we use - if you are interested beyond these tablets. I can see that the previous and only other review really did not rate these tablets, I can only say my experience has been totally different to theirs.
In fact I have been waiting such a long time, I notice that Waitrose have totally changed the packaging on these now (although they remain the same 5 in 1 style tablet) but the pack I have are the same as the ones pictured.
Once we got our dishwasher through a cleaning cycle as it had been sat empty for ages, and filled up with the rinse aid and salt (and a few dirty pots) and it was time to go. I have run around a dozen cycles using these tablets since we reinstalled the dishwasher and have been pleased with their performance. Each tablet comes wrapped in its own little plastic wrapper which you tear off to reveal a blue, white and lemon coloured (tiered) tablet. This fits in the little drawer on the inside of the door and it flips it open to release the tablet when the cycle is ready.
I will just explain the five in one claim on the tablets so you know what you are getting for your money. 1. Detergent; 2. Rinse aid (we still use a separate one as well though); 3. Salt action (again, we use a separate one); 4. Glass protection (not sure our glasses warrant protection as they are ancient but still...); 5 Power clean action (well you would want this really!). Now I've written out these I can see I am not really benefiting from half of the extras these tablets provide. However, they do get the pots clean!
The dishes have been squeaky clean and lovely-smelling since using these tablets. It is so much easier and thorough than hand washing! I use these tablets on some quite challenging baked on bowls and pet food dishes and they come out sparkling.
A box of 45 tablets costs £5.40 which is around average for a premium dishwasher tablet. I usually wait for them to be on offer before picking them up. My box, however was bought from a branch of the Company Shop who are basically a warehouse food shop where the over-orders and missed deliveries are taken and sold off cheaply. They have one-off bits and bobs corners where I picked up these tablets and they marker pen the price on the box so I know I only paid £2.49 for them - bargain!
I would definitely buy the newly repackaged version of these in the future, even though I know I won't get them for the price I paid originally. I have used other brands of dishwashing tablets in the past (usually branded) and these are at least as good as, if not better than these
Let me first explain that until 5 weeks ago I had never owned a dishwasher and apart from the odd occasion when I have helped load dishwashers of family and friends the world of dishwasher tablets has been a mystery to me.
So as with anything that is a mystery you ask around and get people's opinions about the products they use and luckily for me I had been unable to find some of the suggestions made to me. In fact in the very first week of using our dishwasher I had been given a small pack of one of these elusive brands and loved it and so this made the fact that I couldn't find it locally really disappointing. So on my quest for a new brand one thing that had stuck with me was that some of the all in one products required you to use them on the less efficient cycles but to avoid the need to buy salt and rinse aid separately I should buy products that were at least 3 in 1 but better still 5 in 1. I was baffled but seemingly most 5 in 1 products for the uninitiated can have the following benefits - 1.Detergent 2.Rinse Aid 3.Salt Action 4.Glass Protection 5.Power Clean Action. So now you know - oh OK so it's still a bit of a mystery. The detergent I understood, the glass protection seemed fairly self explanatory and a good thing but what exactly is rinse aid and what is the salt action and what is a power clean action? Well I have found out that rinse aid (in layman's terms) puts a slight film into the water so that it doesn't form droplets/water marks on your crockery and cutlery and salt action softens the water essentially. There are some more official scientific explanations but this is a dishwasher tablet review and not a science lesson! Oh and I still am not quite sure what the Power Clean Action is - except at a guess I would say it chucks a few more chemicals into the environment to get at those hard to get off/burnt on stains!
So unable to find some of the recommended products given to me I decided when I went food shopping in Waitrose to buy their own brand 5 in 1 lemon dishwasher tablets on the basis that Waitrose always seem to offer good quality products and they were no more expensive than some of the other products on the shelf.
I saw that they sold the tablets in boxes of 30 and 45 so opted for the bigger option on account of knowing that my new novelty item would be well used at least twice a day (until the novelty wore off or we worked out a more efficient way of loading the dishwasher). This pack of tablets cost £5.99 when I bought it but I have noticed on Ocado that they are £6.79 now.
For those that are interested this is what each blue, white and yellow rectangular tablet contains:
Less than 5% Non Ionic Surfactants, Polycarboxylates.
15 - 30% Oxygen Based Bleaching Agent.
More than 30% Phosphates.
Enzymes, Perfume, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal
Now I am a stickler for following instructions - my husband is happy to ignore instructions and then ask "why has this happened?" or "why doesn't it do this properly?" but I need to know exactly what I should be doing and what should happen and then when it doesn't I'll moan about it! So having read the instructions I could see that this product required no special treatment to work properly. I always remove food scraps, I always rinse anything with burnt on stains or very dirty dishes/pans, I always load the dishwasher as per the dishwasher instructions. I always check items to make sure they are dishwasher safe and when in doubt I wash it by hand. I never crush the tablet before putting it in the dispenser - I remove it from its wrapping, put it in the dispenser and then I set the dishwasher cycle according to load and dirtiness of the load.
Now for some reason I expected the results of these Waitrose dishwasher tablets to be the same as the original brand I had tried. The original brand made the cutlery gleam, the glass sparkle, there was no residue and it did it all at the economy wash level usually which was at a water temperature of 50 degrees. Occasionally it was 60 degrees but that was usually after a casserole where the dish really needed some heat on it. I was quite pleased to see that this Waitrose product helped to prevent limescale build up though as this was a concern for us and I just thought it would produce overall the same results. The only thing that was vaguely the same was the smell - they were both lemon scented but like many "lemon" scented procuts this is very much dependant on your view of how a lemon should smell. This has a citrus like smell but it is quite stale - not overly pleasant but it's not a perfume, it's a dishwasher tablet so i can't really complain too much.
Unfortunately (and I can't believe I am writing this about a Waitrose product) it didn't produce the same results at all. Glasses has traces of salt/grit in them. Cutlery had a milky dusty layer on them and some were incredibly scratched, cups would come out tea stained, pots were very rarely clean. Occasionally as well you could smell a lemon fragrance on cups and once or twice I had to throw a cup of tea or glass of juice out because it tasted chemically. Of course I thought that perhaps that this was because it was being done at 50 degrees like the original product so I increased the temperature to 60 degrees. Initially I saw an improvement on the first cycle after the temperature increase. Then it went back to the way it was. Items were often wet and the top rack items would drip onto the bottom rack leaving water marks. So I tried it at 70 degrees. A better result it must be said but not brilliant. I still had to repeat wash items or buff them by hand more. But the most worrying thing was how it scratched the cutlery and had started to remove colour off dishwasher safe products. After 2 weeks I changed products. Luckily my Mum sent me a rescue package of the original product and although it can never undo the damage already done it is doing what it should do on a day to day basis without residues or further obvious scratching.
I am really disappointed with this product. I know there is an argument that dishwashers are not the best for keeping your cutlery and crockery in the best condition. I accept that and anything really precious to me will never go on the dishwasher but I expect it to clean a load of washing up and I expect there to be no residue, no need for me (except on rare occasions) to double wash or finish off items by hand). I won't be buying it again and I won't be recommending it either.
But should you decide you want to give it a go and hopefully have a better experience than we have then here are some safety things to consider.
Always wash your hands after use and if you have sensitive or damaged skin don't allow it to come into prolonged contact with your skin. It is also irritating to your eyes so try not to get it in there. But if you do rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice. Oh and don't swallow the tablets. If you do seek medical advice immediately and take the container or label with you to show the doctors. This sounds daft but these tablets are quite small and they could look quite appetising to young children so it is quite important to keep out of the reach of the young people of your household.
Detergent; Rinse Aid; Salt Action; Glass Protection; Power Clean Action.