can I use powder and no rinse agent in Bosch dishwasher?

paulmlemayDecember 1, 2007

I need to buy a dishwasher this weekend. I hear good things about Bosch. I am hoping to spend between $700 and $1100. I have a 10% discount from Lowes so on the high end I might get the Bosch SHX55M05UC which seems to be about $1199 .

I prefer to use a powdered dish powder made by Trader Joe's with no phosphates. The Liquid Cascase which presumably has phosphates tarnishes my silver, the Trader Joe's powder does not. I also prefer not to have to add more chemicals like jet dry. I do tend to run one load at least five nights per week.

Will my powder work, or will I need to either try a different manufacturer or use more chemicals?

The main reason to consider Bosch is my wife wants a Q U I E T machine.

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You probably won't get good drying results without a rinse agent. To some extent it depends on your water -- but these machines are (as are most newer dishwashers) designed to be operated with rinse agent. They simply won't deliver good drying results without the rinse agent.

I'm not convinced that phosphates were the source of our tarnishing problem. Were you formerly using a DW detergent containing chlorine? You might get better results if you switch to an enzyme-based detergent.

I wash silver in my Miele DW on a daily basis. I use Electrosol Tabs (an enzyme-based detergent) with Jet Dry rinse agent. I don't have any problem with tarnishing,and get excellent results. But then, I live in Seattle where the water is also very good.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 1:30AM
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I use Seventh Generation powder, which is simlar to TJ's, and no rinse agent, though my DW is American and over 10 years old. Jansesk's experience and other things I've found out recently, have convinced me to choose the KitchenAid for my new kitchen for exactly that reason. I don't like all those chemicals, and don't want to pay more for a machine that will force me to use them.

If you look at the detergent test thread you'll see that the Seventh Generation didn't fare well in the Miele. It made grit that stuck on the dishes, whereas mine come out sparkly and bright, and I don't get etching, spots, or anything. And it doesn't suit me to have a machine that will heat the water to scary temps, but doesn't use heat to dry the dishes. My house water temp is adequate for cleaning (no small children to protect by keeping the water heater set to tepid), and the supposed energy savings from condensation drying isn't worth the necessity of putting in all those chemicals.

Check out the Kitchen Aid U series. It's supposed to be very quiet. (Not an issue for me as I leave the room.)

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 3:00AM
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I have FP dishdrawers in NYC and I do not use rinse agent. In spite of what everyone says about needing it, I find that it drys adequately without it. Plastics are wet (aren't they always ?), mug bottoms collect water and occasionally knife tips need towel drying.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 5:39PM
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Much will depend upon your water-the harder your water, the more you will need a rinse aid. Some will depend upon the machine you buy (some combinations seem to work better than others). Most if not all machines these days recommend/require an enzyme-based detergent and a rinse aid. In general, powders work better than most gels or liquids, which are more likely to contain Chlorine than enzymes.

As a pro chef, I can tell you that rinse aids have been used in restaurants for more than 20 years with no known ill effects. They are used at very weak dilutions (something like 700:1) and most just runs off the dishes with the rinse water. Rinse aids are chemically similar to soaps, and while eating soap may not be tasty, it generally does no harm. I mean, Ralphie in A Christmas Story eats it every year!.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 7:11PM
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I didn't mean to imply that rinse aids are harmful. I don't like them because they make my glasses taste funny (probably like soap!) and kind of slimy feeling. But more than anything, I don't want to be bothered using it since my dishes currently come out so well without! And while I like the racks in the Miele I can't see getting a machine for that much more money which will give me less utility than I have with the Whirlpool which came with the house.

I assume Paulmlemay is in the same boat. Why use the stuff if the dishes come out nice without it?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 8:54PM
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I have two reasons for wanting to avoide a rinse aid.
1. I had a nice dishwasher last year (noisy) but did a great job cleaning with ordinary inexpensive Trader Joe's powder. (We all like to get back to a simpler time in our life)
2. Why buy more chemicals? I guess it's just what I'm used to.
Still leaning toward a Bosch. Quiet is important. Unless you experts can recommend a really great quiet machine for around a thousand dollars. I'd love to have controls on the top and a bar to hold a dish towel.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 1:19AM
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paulmlemay - if you're not going to use rinse aid, then I'd recommend against the Bosch - your dishes won't dry. I had a friend who bought a Bosch without realizing that it didn't have heated dry and she hated it. She initially didn't use rinse aid because she's "frugal" - but I convinced her that it wasn't that expensive and now her dishes come out dry.

In your case you ought to get a KA - I have an "S" model which is very quiet.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 8:41AM
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Te rinse aid acts as a surfactant to reduce the amount of water that remains on the dishes.
This allows for the heat the items gained from the water to evaporate the moisture remaining on the dishes.
Plastics typically have a lower density than glass, ceramic, or metal.
Mass is the biggest driver for the ability of an object to absorb heat.
The lower density and larger size has more surface area to dry and not heat heat energy in the material.
The rinse aids save on energy costs.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 3:08PM
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So if I go ahead and start using a rinse aid and a powdered dish washing product with the Bosch, and I run the machine at 11:00 PM, will the dished be dry in the morning?

I wonder how Bosch has such a great customer satisfaction rating when I read so many posts about non-drying and bad smells....

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 7:37PM
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...because most people use rinse aid and don't have an issue with the dishes not being dry

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 8:00PM
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I've been using my new Bosch for about 3 weeks now and love it. No smell and dry dishes every time so far. (Yes, I use a rinse aid.) I have to admit I was very nervous after reading the threads with the problems, but so far, so good.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 9:23PM
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I have a Bosch, too, and so far have had no problems with smells. I don't mind the wet plastics. I generally run it at night but if I'm around when it beeps, I open it and pull out the top rack to help with the drying. (I use a rinse aid also.)

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 7:21AM
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I wonder how Bosch has such a great customer satisfaction rating when I read so many posts about non-drying and bad smells....

...because most people use rinse aid and don't have an issue with the dishes not being dry

because the dishes *are* dry. I use the minimum qty of rinse aid I can get away with in my DW and the dishes really are dry. I do need to mop up water pooled in the backs of mugs but that is about it.

I read about people opening their dishwashers to vent 'em to dry and I have to think that these folks are being penny wise (and even that bit is dubious), pound foolish. I wouldn't want to expose the cabinetry around the dishwasher to hot humid air escaping from the cracked DW every day for hours on end. That hot humidity can do more expensive damage to the cabs which would be far far more complex and expensive to correct than replacing a dishwasher. This DW really does dry the dishes just fine! either figure out how your installation is off nominal and address or else spring for a new one. There is NO way that pouring hot steam over your cabinets is the thinking man's solution! Really. And I'm being kind there! :-)

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 7:41AM
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No rinse aid no dry Bosch but its quite, all the new dishwashers are quite, there are only a few of the old noise makers out there and they are for builders (low low Price) but they all dry except Bosch now its going green so you will need a fig leaf to pat the dishes dry

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 2:12PM
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We have had a Bosch for almost three years now. Use Cascade without a rinse aid. No problems - a little water in the bottom of the coffee cups - no big deal.

No smell problem at all. I would recommend a Bosch without reservation.

Enjoy the journey.

eal51 in western CT

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 4:44PM
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Thanks so much for posting that. I hadn't really thought about the damage I was doing by letting that cloud of steam out of my dishwasher. No more opening the door at the sound of the beeps. I'm free!!!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 6:35PM
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Meg, not at all and thank you in turn for not bristling at my post which I'll confess was more than a bit sarcastic. There are a couple of things I've heard people here report (with Bosch's, sadly!)that surprised me and that, had I been told I was required to do to make my Bosch DW perform, I would return the DW stat and no buts about it: the opening to dry and increasing their hot water feed temperature to some ungodly (and unsafe number). The opening the door to dry is actually perhaps the lesser of the two sins. Some time ago, a few people came here reporting that they were told to increase their hot water feed temperature to their DW to - I don't recall but something quite high like 140 or 160deg. The safe limit for residential purposes is supposed to be 110 or 120degs as I recall, not to mention that in addition to risking an accidental scalding, one is burning fuel and money for no good reason than that the DW is not doing its job. And they did it! And then propounded it to others as the thing to do to enable the DW to clean or to dry or something nutty! Anyhow, both can cause so much self-inflicted injury (personal or pecuniary) that it gets me a bit excited. Sorry.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 8:07PM
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Thanks to all for the good advice. I wound up buying the Bosch Integra 55 something or other, it was about $1100.

I can't believe how quiet this thing is! It's beyond my wildest dreams. And to think they make one model even more quiet.

Anyway, they included a small bottle of jet dry, so I used it and it does a great job cleaning. I have used the Trader Joes powder and that works fine, and I have used the liquid Cascade (with no silverware) and that works great.

We are very happy. No bad smell at all. Takes a little longer, about two hours but that's ok because it's so quiet we can run it while we are in the kitchen and not even notice it.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 1:20AM
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I would NEVER buy a Bosch , ever, again...I was SO excited when I had it installed....It was the top of the line, $1100 4 years ago...From day one it has NEVER, EVER, EVER dried my dishes...I have used every rinse aid on the market and it makes no difference whatsoever...I have had Sears out 9 times to try to fix it and they finally said, sorry, can't do anything else for ya....So, I get to wash my dishes in a $1100 dishwasher, then get up and hand dry them...What a waste of money...I have spoken with others who have the same problem...DO NOT buy a Bosch unless you want to be disappointed...

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 11:34PM
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We got a top of the line Bosch when we moved into our new house a month or so ago. The only way I know that it is running is the little red light that shines on the floor. It is simply an amazing machine and I'll never own another brand.......

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 12:27AM
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guadalupe said:

"No rinse aid no dry Bosch but its quite, all the new dishwashers are quite, there are only a few of the old noise makers out there and they are for builders (low low Price) but they all dry except Bosch now its going green so you will need a fig leaf to pat the dishes dry"

I agree that most new DWs are a lot quieter now than they used to be, but there is still a noticable difference between the ones with and without the "food grinder". That, IMO, useless grinder makes a noise throughout the whole cycle which can get pretty annoying.
Where did you gather the "fact" that Bosch is "going green" now? The European style DWs never had the heating element for drying dishes AFAIK.

I own a Bosch DW, the bottom-of-the-line model, and am very pleased with it. The dishes dry just as good as they used to in the old GE. Most plastic dishes are dry except for the items where the water can pool in rims and such. Those have never been dry in the old DW either, but there was a risk (and it did happen ocasionally) of melting them.

I would definitely buy a Bosch DW again.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 12:04PM
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looser - I have a KA with grinder and it's very, very quiet - not as silent as a Bosch or Miele, maybe, but definitely not noisy. I didn't buy it because of the grinder and really don't care about the grinder, but frankly the only noticeable noise is the water sloshing, not the grinder. One of the reasons I bought the KA was because of the heated dry - I want my dishes dry without having to go through lots of machinations to make it happen.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 12:45PM
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I have not listened to the whole range of American DW, so I guess there may be some quiet ones out there that have the grinder. My in-laws just replaced a Kenmore DW that was priced at $500-600 and was a rebranded KA wit a Bosch. I have seen and heard their Kenmore DW and the food grinder noise was definitely audible. It wasn't as noisy as our builder's grade GE, but it was definitely not quiet.

I didn't want to spend a fortune on a DW and after rebates and sales I ended up paying $440 or so for my Bosch DW. Like I said, it is very qiet (even though more expensive ones are even quieter), it cleans very well and with using small amounts of rinse aid the vast majority of dishes are completely dry. So mky DW does everything I want it to do and I think it is a very good value.

It is okay for you to prefer a heated dry. There is a wide variety of different appliances out there and everybody can choose what fits his or her needs best.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 1:19PM
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It takes all kinds. We picked a Bosch mostly because it doesn't have a heated dry. Our previous DW had an unheated drying option, but every so often it managed to get reprogrammed. Now we don't have to keep checking.

Maybe it's that our water is fairly soft, or that most of our dishes and silver are smooth so they don't hold water. Or that we generally run it at night and empty the following morning. Or that in the old days when we were in a hurry and used heated drying, the dishes came out too hot to handle. Or that we or our plastics had too many accidents with a hot coil. But long ago, well before the current high prices, we just couldn't see expending so much energy essentially for speedier drying.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 10:33PM
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big bosch fan here. always have used cascade powder and jet dry with great success.

drying is not an issue. dishes always come out completely dry. one thing i've discovered is that when the dw issues the first set of beeps, that doesn't mean the cycle is done. leave it alone and it'll beep again. and then once more.

not sure what each of the beeps indicates, but if open the door after the first set of beeps, the dishes will be damp. after the third set, they're bone dry.

i used to do that thing where i'd open the door to hasten drying. dumb, dumb, dumb. best thing you can do is run the thing after dinner and then just empty it in the am.

not sure what my model number/name is, but we paid right around a thousand bucks both times (we put one in our last house and another in this house.) we actually could've had a miele for the same price as our current bosch, but chose to go with a known commodity. if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 10:51PM
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Mindstorm you are going to hate the new Miele that is coming out which automatically opens the door to promote drying.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 10:00AM
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The new Miele models were released last year in other parts of the world and I think the door opening is an option that can be turned off if you don't want it.

I also see that you can use vinegar or something else instead of rinse Aid if you don't want to use the chemicals in that, so perhaps you can use the door opening feature when using a "non rinse aid" product.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 12:18PM
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Got the top of the line Bosch for quiet reason. you can hear the water sloshing and you definitely know it is running. It is more quiet than my old one but I do know that it is on-not like the person said only knowing it is on because of the light. My niece has a GE profile and you don't hear it at all so I was surprised I can hear mine and was miffed that I could. It is supposed to be the quietest dishwasher made in America. so I guess that means all of the other quiet dw are made elsewhere. The dw cleans great but does leave spots on the knife tips or wet tips. You do have to leave the dishes in there awhile and they come out dry except for cup puddles and knife tips. I put my knives in tip down. Don't like the basket. I would like all of the compartments to be deep. No spots on my glasses-use jet dry and cascade complete powder. smell comes when you leave your dirty dishes in the dw too long. that is common sense. dishes, etc do not smell after washing but there is a slight smell of like rubber for a minute but goes away by the time I am done unloading. It is a machine so it is going to smell like one-kind of like your leather seats.

I am apprehensive about the little soap dispenser door that slides closed over the dw soap. It has to click to close and seems fragile.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 2:12PM
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Water does not condensate properly on any stainless tank. Bosch further complicates this by not having a heating element. The only solution for drying is rinse aid. When combined with steam, rinse aid inhibits condensation

On a positive note, the Bosch unit is extremely energy efficient due to the absence of a heating element

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 8:13PM
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I love my new Bosch dishwasher that I have had now for about two months. It is amazingly quiet. But there is one thing that really concerns me. The Bosch directions seem to have you simply attach the air vent hose to the side of the dishwasher and then leave the other end of the hose open there. Is this really correct? It means that all the hot moist air is being vented next to the cabinets. Can this really be right? The one writer was worried about the hot moist air coming out when you open the door, but I am worried about it the rest of the time when it comes out my drawer and cabinets next to the dishwasher! I am going to have my contractor vent the thing to the basement below, unless someone can tell me I have overlooked something really obvious here.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 11:20PM
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We just had our Electrolux dishwasher installed last week. It's very quiet, can't barely tell it's running. That's very important for us as our kitchen is open to the family room and both are small. But we were shocked at how wet the dishes came out. We too tried to avoid adding more chemical to our dishes so we experimented with different options on the DW and I think we've come down to an acceptable level after a few tries. First, both Electrolux and Bosch, as well as many other new models out on the market, do not have exposed heating element. It dries dishes by condensation. Water condenses on the wall of the DW and drips down to the pan. That's why glass and silver wares (which get hotter during wash cycle) dry better than plastic. We still don't use any rinse agent, just powder dishwasher detergent. Our water heater is set to the lowest temp setting. We loaded the plastic on bottom rack to avoid water dripping down to dryer dishes. When the DW is done, keep the door close for a couple of hours (to trap the moist air in so it condenses on the DW wall). Most items are dry with the exception of plastic but we're ok with it as we expect to use less and less plastic as the kids grow older. Still love our new DW as it's so quiet, no bad smell and is supposed to use much less energy than our old one.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 1:34AM
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I got a middle of the road Bosch two years ago. I wanted a quiet machine after having a very noisy manual one in the kitchen. You couldn't hear to talk in the kitchen, breakfast room or hallway. It was a 7 year old GE.

Anyway, I got mine on sale at Sears and I do use Kirkland powder dishwashing detergent and I have just begun using JetDry because I wanted to see if it really helps. I hardly ever use the regular setting but always use the Quick Wash because it is done in about a half hour. Half the time I never open the dishwasher because I forget about it and half the time I will cock the door open about 1 1/2" by pulling out the top rack. Either way my dishes come out clean.

There is some water at the bottom of the coffee cups because I turn them upside down and there is a lip. I do have most of the plastics with water still left on them but I simply shake them over the sink and quickly at dry and put away in the cupboard.

I like the quietness of the Bosch and have had absolutely no problems with it at all.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 8:47AM
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