Product Type: Waitrose household products
Newest Review: ... but the pack I have are the same as the ones pictured. In use Once we got our dishwasher through a cleaning cycle as it had been s... more
It's a (dish) wash out
Waitrose 5 in 1 Dishwater Tablets Lemon
Member Name: Suzela
Waitrose 5 in 1 Dishwater Tablets Lemon
Advantages: Can't think of any
Disadvantages: You often need to wash items again or by hand
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.
Summary: 5 in 1? more like 1 in 5 chance of cleaning your dishes