Recently I was sent both Cascade Complete liquid dishwasher detergent and Electrasol liquid dishwashing detergent to test side by side to see which one was a winner. For full disclosure, let me tell y’all a few things:
1. I haven’t used Electrasol in years because I thought it did a crappy job of cleaning my dishes.
2. I have a dishwasher that is a total piece of junk and should probably be thrown to the side of the road. Seriously, if you leave one speck of food on your dishes, you can rest assured that it will still be there when you go to empty the dishwasher, no matter what kind of dishwasher detergent you use.
3. It was Cascade who sent me this dishwasher detergent. They told me to be completely honest, so I will. If Electrasol had sent me this detergent, my review would be the same. No other compensation was given for this trial- just a full sized bottle of Cascade and a full sized bottle of Electrasol.
All that said, let’s forge on with how Cascade and Electrasol did with my dishes.
I decided to play with it, doing first one load with Cascade and one load with Electrasol. Because my dishwasher is such a piece of junk, I did the dishes as I normally do them and rinsed the heck out of each dish beforehand. Cascade did its normal fabulous job, and surprisingly, Electrasol did a good job as well.
“Hmm,” I thought. “I might start using Electrasol again. This isn’t so bad.”
Then I put it to the real test. I let the kids do the dishes. This changed things immensely. When my kids (14 year old son and 7 year old daughter) do dishes, I hear a whole lot of water running, but they are pretty haphazard about how well the dishes are rinsed. Sometimes all the food residue is rinsed off, but more often than not, they leave food on at least some of the dishes.
Cascade, again, did a fine job. A few specks of food were left on the dishes, causing me to have to rewash them, but nothing major.
I figured Electrasol would do the same job. Not so. The kids were “kind” enough to put the dishes away for me this morning, resulting in a big surprise when I went to get a bowl so I could eat some cereal. I pulled a bowl out of the cabinet and -bang!- it was still dirty. Not the usual speck or two that’s left, but that ugly nearly baked on, deep down funk. I set the bowl aside and pulled out another one. It was really funky as well. I ended up pulling out nearly every dish I own and hand washed them.
This leads me to a few conclusions. First, I really need to save up and buy a new dishwasher. The whole point of having a dishwasher, theoretically, is to save time. How much time, really, does it save when you have to completely rinse each dish beforehand, then load and unload the dishwasher?
Second, I believe I’ll be hand washing my dishes until I can get a new dishwasher. I think it’ll save water and it will definitely save a lot of time. Total time spent washing dishes by hand with my daughter after dinner tonight: 15 minutes. And it was a fun 15 minutes, at that.
Finally, in the case of Cascade vs. Electrasol, Cascade wins. At least it does in my household, with my crappy dishwasher. I gave the rest of the bottle of Electrasol to my mom, who has a good dishwasher and says she notices very little difference between Cascade and Electrasol. So, if you have a good dishwasher or you like to spend a lot of time rinsing dishes, either might be fine. But for me and my dishwasher, it has to be Cascade.
Or, I’ll just hand wash the dishes. Ha.