2014 Preferred Dishwasher Powders

chefwongJune 20, 2014

OK. DW detergent is a whole series in itself.

What are you go to DW detergents in your mix.

I rotate between Somat Tabs and Bandit Buddy. I like the Somats and bought 2 bags of the Bandit Buddy due to *phosphate blurbs*. The BB is bleh.....cleans, but doesn't have that zing that the Somat gives it.

Curious what ya'll are using. Is the current Miele formulation tabs decent ?

How does Quantum compare to Somat.

Never did try Quantum. When I looked into Quantum and Cascade Platinum, I believe Cascade was more preferred and Quantum cause less friendly on Clad Pots in the DW

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I use Method Smarty Dish Tablets most of the time. It's gentle on the environment and my dishes, and a lot of the time I don't have that much crud to eliminate. My dishes come clean, and even sparkle. When I do have a real challenge, however, I will use Finish Quantum with Powerball tabs. They're overkill for my general use, and not available where I usually shop, so I keep a package for "special".

I rarely put pots in the dishwasher because there's no room and they don't fit well, plus I got some chipped enamel when I tried. My one multi-ply skillet, which is what I think you meant by "clad" does go in, but I don't think ever with the Finish Quantum with Powerball. It never needs scrubbing! It's Demeyere. I don't know if their silvinox finish does that, but then the worst crud I had was with aluminum and no dishwasher in the backside of nowhere. :)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 10:40PM
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So long as I add citric acid to the second wash, I've found that just about any DW powder (except Cascade) works fine in my Maytag DW. I prefer Finish powder but will use whatever powder I can find. Refuse to use those overpriced tablets & pre-measured packets. I like to be in control of the detergent. Less for light loads, a tad more for scummy loads.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 10:50PM
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I used to use Cascade Complete powder before they removed the phosphates. Since then, I use Quantum Finish tabs and they work great. I used to prefer powder but initially after they removed the phosphates all the powders were getting bad reviews so I tried Quantum Finish which was the best rated, it worked fine and I've never seen any reason to switch.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 11:06PM
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My husband decided to use Dawn while I was out tonight. I came home to a "sleeping in front of the TV husband" and bubbles all over the kitchen floor! I had left CLR sitting on top of the cabinet and at first I though that was what he had used. Thank goodness it was not!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 11:55PM
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My go to for loads with baked on stuff and all clad and Staub pots and pans, is the Somat powder. Tabs don't work as well as powder in my Miele and very, very soft water. On everyday loads that don't need the added power of PO4, I've been using Shaklee powder, with fine results. Otherwise I get foaming and build up in the machine, especially with any of the tabs.
I bought some Miele tabs recently, they don't do any better than the commercially available stuff, I used half on most loads and a whole one with pots and pans.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 12:17AM
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ssmassther -

Are you using the Somat Powder in the Box ?

I'm been meaning to order a box.
Actually, I'm waiting for a friend to head out East....I'm going to ask him to smuggle me a box of Somat 10
All I've been using is the Somat 5 tabs - either a full tab or half tab. I still have RA turned on the machine, so I was thinking about just plain *somat* that I could control dosage with

This post was edited by chefwong on Sat, Jun 21, 14 at 8:10

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 6:32AM
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musicteacher, I did that once when I was in high school. Instructions from my mom to run the DW and put everything away while she was gone. I couldn't find the DW detergent and squirted lots of liquid dish soap inside. Later walked back into the kitchen and the floor was completely under foamy water. It was a large kitchen. Battle stations!!! Fortunately there was a slider to the deck and I was able to push most of the water outside with a broom. My mother never knew what happened.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 10:27AM
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The powder comes in 60 load bag. I order it from productswithstyle.com. Its expensive but the site has offers free shipping for it. It's worth every penny!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 10:42AM
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I got some sample Finish Powerball tabs with my Bosch 800 DW and since hey've worked perfectly (and I put everything except wood in the DW), I've stuck with them. These are not the Quantum ones.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 11:19AM
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Firstly, congrats on the Miele Pro purchase. I know you will be as thrilled with it as I am with mine.

Regarding DW detergent, the Miele Pro models come with one caveat: you cannot use tablets/pods as the cycles are too short to allow them to properly dissolve. This is clearly stated in the "Use and Care Guide."

When I first started using mine, I used "Bubble Bandit" because it contained phosphates and I didn't want that powdery film build-up that people were complaining about since DW detergents were reformulated. BB did a fairly good job on most things but burned on food in pots and pans would still be there at the end of the cycle and coffee stains would not be removed from cups. I requested the MSDS from BB and found that there were no enzymes and no bleaching agent. So back to the proverbial drawing board.

I was watching TV late one evening and saw a commercial for Oxiclean DW detergent. Read the mostly positive reviews online and bought some. I can't believe how good this stuff is. Removes dried on/burned on food, removed the stains from my cups and leaves NO residue on anything. It's now my "go-to" detergent.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 12:03PM
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So many old threads on this topic. Thing is, water is so different everywhere it's difficult to predict results. We have horribly hard water so there's a whole house softener. Plus we're on septic so I try to be greenish as these things go. DW has salt sensor de-programmed.

I've tried pretty much everything by now. And I was also one of the original "cutters," without apology since I had to cut back on the detergent due to the soft water.

Cascade Powder -- awful. It somehow etched my glassware. After that, I started trying various others. Somat rinse aid at the time didn't help. Also, I could not stand the smell of this.

Somat tabs + Somat rinse aid. Those were good but crazy expensive and not good enough to warrant the extra cost. Plus I had to unwrap them.

Miele tabs. This was pre-reformulation. Those worked great, could be easily cut and came in biodegradable wrappers so I didn't need to touch them. By the time reformulation came along and I ran out of these, I didn't bother going there again as there were complaints and fauxguy had the crazy sudzing.

About that time, Method tabs came up and Larsi, I believe, touted the Finish Quantum.

Method has a grapefruit fragrance tab that is the single best detergent from the standpoint of aroma IME. It doesn't leave the chemical smell that most do. They cut easily, go on sale and generally have been terrific. Half of a Method did a good job on my gold-rim dishes without worry. Also tried the plain no-fragrance ones which are OK. Somehow the grapefruit seem to do a better job -- even half. I have mostly Demeyere and Sitram so all my pots and pans regularly go in DW. If I have lots of pots, I use a whole Method.

Finish Quantum is by far the best. It's not the best smelling afterwards but it gets the shiniest results, remove coffee and tea stains (as someone else mentioned) and gets the pots cleaner than others. I cut one of these once but it wasn't useful. These say safe for septic but also warn they are poison -- don't ingest. I know someone will say the dishes are rinsed and rinsed (especially in the Miele) but the warnings make me nervous. So I only use these for heavy or difficult loads now.

So, I'm mostly using Method but go for the Quantum when needed.

One last thing. Great as the Pro DW may be, I will never go back to measuring/breathing in DW powder. It was the worst and daily. The tabs are far better for me.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 1:13PM
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Re water: Mine is a middling 6-8 grains hardness.

In my old DW, Seventh Generation powder was perfect, with no sheeting agent! Everything came out gleaming with cleanliness and I could touch it without getting a rash. It didn't do much with the newfangled machine. Major dud. As was Cascade, which does hurt my skin.

The great thing about the tablets is that they have just enough of their own surfactant without making the dishes taste soapy like the actual liquid rinse aid does. I could probably cut the Method tabs like Rococogurl does, but I don't care to touch them that long. I use the fragrance free kind, and they do a good job.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 4:07PM
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I wasn't too thrilled with Somat's powder. I used it for years and it eventually faded every glass and even plates with print on it. I thought it was normal. Two years ago, I switched to Quantum and also got new glasses - nothing faded. Even our consumer magazine recently commented on how much Somat powder fades certain items more than any other detergent.

I tried Somat 10 recently and liked it. There is now also a 12 version available, by the way.

Have you looked into Miele's range (or recommendations) of Pro detergents? The Pro dishwasher can dose commercial liquid detergent by itself.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Somat 10 Review

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 6:34PM
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I use gloves when I'm cutting up the tabs. My only issue with using the Method tabs at all is that they have to be touched. The halves roll out of the container pretty well though.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 8:46AM
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Somat 12 ! Hmmm. Interesting. Somat 5 is only available here stateside. My primary reason for having BB in my stash is that I sometimes just want a *powder in a bag* so I can control dosage - even though I do the full tab/half tab routine. Like if I'm putting in a full load of just glasses/cup that are not soiled at all.

I have not looked into their Pro detergent yet..

Re: Finish Quantum. Just short of having multiple types of DW products in the cab, I try to stick to 2. One tab and one powder.

There was a thread on Quantum and it's etching factor.
If memory recalls, the OP who observed the ethcing on his clad pans *SS/alum/SS* sandwich. He went as far as buying a *brick* of aluminum and ran controlled testing of Quantum versus various other tabs at that tab, and the Quantum was most def. eating up *more* of the alum

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 9:24AM
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I agree with rococogrul,
When I got my Miele Diamante Plus four years ago, I used the Miele tabs and Miele Rinse aid. After about 8-12 months, they reformulated the Miele tabs, and I was getting a large amount if suds, even when using half.
I then tried the Finish Quantum, which cleaned well and removed tea stains from glass mugs, but was too strong that plastic items started to discolor, and there was some chemical smell.
That was when I got the Method Smarty tabs and would cut them in half. I've been using them for 3 years now with no problems. They do leave some tea stains, but it isn't a big deal, as everything else comes out clean.
I do wish that Miele would look at redoing their tabs so they don't make so much suds, as I would go back to using those. I even stopped at the Miele showroom back then to buy rinse aid and salt, and one of their Diamond models was washing a load. I opened it up, and was full of suds in the bottom.

This post was edited by fauguy on Sun, Jun 22, 14 at 13:50

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 1:49PM
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I use Method Smarty tabs in my Miele DW. I think rinse-aid is essential, so I also use the inexpensive Jet Dry. My water is just slightly hard - the Miele technician said it's not quite hard enough to need to use the Miele built-in softener, but it is a bit hard.

I use the Method Smarty tabs unscented version. I really like that Method Smarty tabs do not have bleach--I do not want the smell of bleach that is found in some other DW tabs. I find that a Method half-tab works great for a typical load of dishes. For a barbecue ribs dinner or something like that, I use a whole tab. There have been reports that if you use too much detergent, you will have etching or a white residue on dishes and glasses. I buy Method Smarty tabs at Target or Whole Foods, but they can be bought cheaper in bulk on Amazon.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 1:57PM
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Whirlpooltrainee -

Interesting read on your experience with the Somat powder. I've had such good results with the tabs - I presume it's the same formulation in the tabs that are in the powder, minus the missing rinse aid and softening agent you get in the tabs. Hmm, maybe the *extras* is what makes it so special ;-)

In my case, I have soft water, don't use salt and always use Rinse Aid, whether I'm cleaning with powder or a tab that has RA. What difference do you see between 10 and 12, if you do see a difference ?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 3:56PM
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It's interesting how varied opinins can be of the same product. Granted water softness, are the items pre-rinsed, etc, etc come into play.

Not only in this thread but a couple of older ones, I've read praises on the Method. When I went online to look at the item/pricing - more than a couple reviewers had etching with the Method

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 1:31PM
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Whirlpool -

All I can saw is WOW. I could never place like how you placed in my Miele.

In the KA's I have in my office, yes.

With my Miele, I have to baby it. Place everything to make sure water is hitting not. A casserole dish like that. I would never put it vertical. Either it's going to get hand-washed or it will be put flat - eating up a ton of space in the basket on the Miele. It would never be clean if I placed it how you have done.

Hmmmm...Maybe it's time to try new soaps....

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 2:22PM
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I sometimes have small loads to do, for which I prefer a powder instead of breaking a tablet. When our old box of Finish powder ran out recently, I bought a box of Cascade "Complete - Dawn Fresh Scent". (The grocery store had no Finish powder, only Cascade)

I had an oversudsing problem with an *old* box of Cascade powder when we got our Bosch DW 18 months ago, so was rather leery of this, but took a chance on it.

This Cascade 'Complete' powder is not sudsy, at all, and seems to work fine. I even pour some in on top of the Finish Quantum tab when I've got a Really Full Load.
IMO it gets the job done by itself and with a Quantum tab.

We don't use the water softener that's built into our Bosch because our water runs around 4 grains.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 6:27PM
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I have a Miele and use the Miele tabs - I don't chop them. Our water is an 8 and I put the rinse aid on 1.
I keep wanting to try some others, so fun to see what works.
Occasionally, I toss a bit of lemon shine powder in the load if the DW needs a bit of a shine.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 8:21PM
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@ Chef,

The Somat 10 tabs did way better than the regular powder in the same test when it came to fading. Somat 12 claims to add Extra Soaking Power and the Power Of Pril* on top of all the functions Somat 10 has.

(*Pril is Henkel's washing-up liquid, similar to something like "Cascade with the Power of Dawn")

Miele also makes a powdered detergent in Europe. It's expensive, though. Even in Germany, the shipping alone costs me as much as a box of Quantum.

Load that dishwasher up! As an inspiration: a load in the Bosch at my mom's house. :)


Here is a link that might be useful: Dishwasher Detergent Powder 1.5kg

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 10:40PM
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Interested read Whirlpool. I'm not a guru some like some of ya'll but in laymens terms, the powder does the cleaning, the rinse aid helps on the etching and well, there is the bleach that aids in cleaning up stains like coffee, and such. I guess the trifecta creates a different chemistry than just straight powder....but since I've had such good results with Somat tabs, I figured their powder was just as good.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 12:08AM
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I'd be interested in trying the Miele powder to see how it cleans and if it suds as much as the Miele tabs...to bad they don't sell it in the US.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 7:53AM
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"the rinse aid helps on the etching"

Rinse aid is a surfactant that helps with the drying. The cause of etching is soft water, heat and too much soap. Nothing to do with rinse aid.

The "too much soap" problem is solved by tabs.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 8:48AM
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but since I've had such good results with Somat tabs, I figured their powder was just as good.

Henkel, just like most manufacturers, won't put much money into developing powdered detergents, when tabs have a by far bigger market share. :-/

The Miele powder contains phosphate, while the tabs don't. Maybe this is a reason why it's not sold in the US.


Here is a link that might be useful: Tried the Miele power before

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 9:45AM
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OMFG Alex.

I would Never attempt that in my Miele. Not without soaking and a light scrub beforehand. And it would have to lay flat and not the Ambitious Verticals on how you lay those crusted dishes.

I suspect that while I *think* I've made a good decision on the detergents I'm using, there is better detergents I must surely be missing out on !

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 10:43AM
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Would your Miele not have cleaned that? Maybe you should give it a try!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 11:35AM
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Ecover Dishwasher (in powder form).

We have very soft water, and suffered etching on our glassware with every "supermarket brand" of dishwashing soap, whether tab, liquid gel, or powder, until we switched to Ecover powder; and from that day our etching problem went away -- completely.

We have a glass of wine with supper every night, and each of our crystal wine glasses get washed with Ecover powder in our Miele dishwasher about 150 to 200 times per year, and they have been enduring that for six years since we switched. No etching, and our dishes get sparkling clean. (We use Somat rinse aid, FWIW.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Ecover Dishwasher Powder

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 2:15PM
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Cascade tabs (from COSTCO) in my GE dishwasher = perfect results!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 3:07PM
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Fori is not pleased

Is detergent like fashion or sedans? We have yearly releases? =D

I get whatever is on sale and can't tell the difference between Trader Joe's (that's the "oh *%@# I'm out of dish detergent" choice) to Cascade to Finish to Target generic. (I don't use tabs because I have a drawer DW and must use less detergent per load.)

All the same. Work fine. Sometimes my water supply gets weird and I have to also toss in some citric acid (Lemishine) for a week or two.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 4:24PM
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Not yearly releases but for me, between brands/types, I can notice

Difference in

- Cleanliness
- Whether it's going to etch my stuff or not
- Smell

Smell being somewhat of a important factor IMO. Some are too fragrant, some is just mild/on the verge of clinical mild, some just smell like *laundry hung sunshine clean*.

For the GW forum members who are even participating in this thread, we are just *enthusiasts* that probably represent .00001 percent of DW owners out there who share a similar opinion like Fori

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 4:32PM
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~~~ Dishwasher Cleaner ~~~~



Who uses the *dishwasher cleaner*. The ones where you put the whole jug in , etc.

Are you in a Hard Water environment or to rephrase, is it meant for people who have hard water ?

I've never run a dedicated cleaner in any of my washers at all, but then again, sometimes I am using powder with phosphates..

I just googled it. If these cleaners are just citric acid...

I use Sodium Percarbonate in the laundry washing and every 8 or so I will do a Santize wash with Citric Acid *powder* I bought in bulk.

I'm somewhat careful on this citric acid, as it can possible stain/leave a orange tinge, I've observed when handleing the stuff.

However, whenever I run it through the laundry, the grey front gaskets are still grey and not some obscence color.

Would you guys say it's safe to use the citric acid direct on a pots/pans cycle.

This post was edited by chefwong on Tue, Jun 24, 14 at 17:52

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 5:27PM
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"Would you guys say it's safe to use the citric acid direct on a pots/pans cycle."


These dishwasher cleaners or conditioners are really just glorified citric acid. Miele also offers a powdered "cleaner" that is stronger than the "conditioner" and, naturally, not sold in the US. At first glance, the formulation looks like phosphates mixed with oxy clean.

Miele Conditioner

Miele Cleaner

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 9:42PM
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I bought the Miele cleaner sold here in the US, once. It's 20$ for a single dose of citric acid........
I like the conditioner though, it does seem to help. I use very 3 or 4 months.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 9:48PM
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Oxy Clean=Non Chlorine Bleach= the stash of Sodium Percarbonate I use in the FL.

Aside from just making the tub shiny, the damm tub looks shiny already without it, in my usage patterns.

Alright. I'll run the DW like I do for a year, without this special cleaning process. Then I'll run a Sanitze load with the Sodium Percarb. Then I'll run another load with the Citric Acid. We'll see if there is difference on how the glides on the basket runs, more output of the sprayer heads, etc etc.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 4:15PM
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I run the LemiShine (citric acid) through our DW maybe every 6 - 9 months. Probably once a year is all we really need. But I do it with an empty DW.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 5:33PM
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I use one Cascade Platinum Tab in my KA dishwasher. Cascade advertises these tabs as "Our best clean, sparkling silverware & dishwasher." I also use a clear rinse aid "Nature Clean", which is Made in Canada, not sure if it is available in the US.

I only rinse off major food/gunk before putting in the dishwasher, and use the one hour/heat dry cycles. Very happy with this product.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 9:54AM
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When dish detergents were reformulated in my area because of phosphate pollution (which is a HUGE environmental issue, so reformulation is GOOD), my dishes, especially glasses, looked awful. However, recalibrating the water softener fixed our problems. I use Finish powerball (or will when my kitchen is back together, these days my dishwasher is my husband).

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 12:56PM
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