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Dishwasher detergents

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Robin Graham29/03/2019 22:44:18
876 forum posts
265 photos

I've retired from the daily grind, but my wife hasn't, so there's been some role reversal and I get lumbered with the washing up. Being a chap I bought a machine. When you get a new toy you have to buy all the right stuff to go with it, so I went for top of the range Laser Lightsaber Atomic Powerballs (I may have made some of that up). Imagine my horror when the missus came back from Morrison's with an an anaemic looking package of 40 detergent tablets for £2. It gets worse - I couldn't tell the difference in the dishes between those and the £12 for 35 jobs - and I tried.

Has anyone found any benefit in the expensive ones? We're in a soft water region, so maybe that has something to do with it,


Bazyle29/03/2019 23:29:36
6042 forum posts
220 photos

The expensive ones have the important benefit of maintaining sales of high end BMWs for the advertising manager and chief accountant....

Hopper30/03/2019 00:38:32
5505 forum posts
137 photos

Listen to 'er with the Master's Degree in Advanced Domestic Management and never question her judgment on related matters. Been there. Done that.

I.M. OUTAHERE30/03/2019 03:46:21
1468 forum posts
3 photos

There have been a few reports here in Australia of some testing being done on name brand vs cheap detergents , particularily on dishwasher and clothes washing detergent . Some of the reports came back stating some of the high end detergents were no better than just using water by itself ! The more a product promises usually the less it delivers .For you own personal wellbeing - listen to your missus ,failure to do so ☠️.

Brian G30/03/2019 07:55:24
786 forum posts
34 photos

Aldi tablets always did* the job for us just as well as premium brands, and we found the same applies to washing powder. Regardless of what dishwasher tablets or powder you use, I would suggest washing glasses by hand unless you really like the etched glass look.

*We got rid of the machine a while back - it took so long to build up a full load that it was spending most of its time as a cupboard for dirty plates. Funny thing is that after 30 years with dishwashers, I discovered I don't mind washing up...


Mike Poole30/03/2019 08:02:18
3075 forum posts
72 photos

A friend washed his engine cases from his bike in the dishwasher, he was pleased with the result, he is still married as his wife took it in her stride. I don’t know what tabs he used and the manufactures don’t seem to advertise this activity.


John Haine30/03/2019 08:25:33
4189 forum posts
242 photos

I believe that Which? regularly rate Aldi tablets best.

Paul Lousick30/03/2019 08:28:42
1862 forum posts
661 photos

I'm not game to wash engine parts in the dishwasher for fear of the fallout but I do know that the detergent tablets are abrasive. They will blunten the sharp edge on kitchen knives. They are also corosive and ate away the aluminium rivets that held the handles on my quality brand chefs knives. Fortunately thay came with a lifetime waranty and were replaced.


roy entwistle30/03/2019 08:50:34
1411 forum posts

Paul I would suggest that if they corrode aluminium then they contain soda


Brian G30/03/2019 09:00:50
786 forum posts
34 photos
Posted by Paul Lousick on 30/03/2019 08:28:42:

I'm not game to wash engine parts in the dishwasher for fear of the fallout but I do know that the detergent tablets are abrasive. They will blunten the sharp edge on kitchen knives. They are also corosive and ate away the aluminium rivets that held the handles on my quality brand chefs knives. Fortunately thay came with a lifetime waranty and were replaced.


If I had put my wife's Japanese knives in the dishwasher she would have used one on me! She won't even let me use the same waterstones to sharpen tools. Global for example specifically exclude "Improper washing and cleaning e.g. dishwashing, drip-drying" from their warranty (as I heard explained to a customer who was complaining that his were pitted).


martin perman30/03/2019 09:36:22
2009 forum posts
83 photos

+1 for Aldi tablets, cant see difference with expensive ones.

Martin P

Circlip30/03/2019 10:27:39
1354 forum posts

" " The more a product promises usually the less it delivers ." "

Same as politicians.

Regards Ian.

SillyOldDuffer30/03/2019 10:44:02
7574 forum posts
1681 photos

We live in an uncertain world and it's all too tempting to seek security from an established brand-name or high-prices. This is based on the false assumption that these attributes guarantee quality, which they don't. It's equally untrue that unbranded cheap items must be crap.

Whilst there's a loose link between 'quality' and cost, and between 'quality' and brand-names the quality of the link is dubious. Is the original reason for accepting a brand-name still valid?

Brand-names rise and fall like empires. They might start by representing the best on the market and reappear decades later as a label on cheap tat. Or it might start as cheap tat and rise to become top of the range. Brand-names are bought and sold; they don't necessarily represent the original owner, or country, or even product. I own a Polaroid CD-Player. Marconi (British) only survives as a brand-name belonging to Ericsson (Swedish). Brand-names are unstable.

As technology improves, prices generally drop, especially when mass-production can be applied and there is a large market. Once upon a time making steel was difficult, high-skill and time consuming. In particular, the more work put in, the better would be the product; therefore the best steel was expensive. The process was considered magic and some locations mysteriously produced superior metal, while others failed. Brand-names and regions were trustworthy.

By the end of the 19th century, the chemistry and physics of steel were much better understood. The evil effects of Sulphur and Phosphorous in ore and coal; the effect of different concentrations of Carbon; the positive effects of Molybdenum, Manganese and Tungsten. How to measure how much of each was in the melt, and how to remove or add them. Then the efficient Bessemer process made quantity production of mild-steel dirt cheap.

Now, there is nothing special about most steel. Given suitable plant, it can be made anywhere. The big issue making structural steel isn't technology or skill, rather because big is efficient several square kilometres of cheap land near  the raw materials are needed. As the materials are heavy and bulky, the plant will be far more economic if coal, iron-ore and limestone are all local. A serious problem is the plant also requires large quantities of fresh water. Because the output is itself heavy, the ideal steel works would be in a sea-port, and it doesn't matter where it is or who operates it provided it makes a profit.

Today, the link between brand-names and quality is mostly broken for almost all manufactured items. Most small cars are similar, however they are badged. There are exceptions: high-performance steels are made in small quantities by electrical processes, and these are still best bought from specialist makers.

Brand-name turbulence is most obvious with high technology: not long ago buying a mobile-phone from Nokia was a very safe bet. The firm failed to maintain momentum, and now there are superior alternatives.

I suggest it's never sensible to buy products simply because they have a recognised name and are reassuringly expensive. It's always worth checking. More important, I think, is buying from a source who will stand by the product in the event it's a dud. Worth trying cheaper alternatives; if Aldi dishwasher tablets do the job, why not? My mother-in-law worked in a factory making food items. The only difference between the expensive version sold by a 'quality' shop and the ordinary super-market brand was the packaging...



Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 30/03/2019 10:48:43

HOWARDT30/03/2019 11:29:54
780 forum posts
28 photos

+1 for everything Aldi. Have been a regular shopper there for 20+ years. Detergents are all very good.

Mick B130/03/2019 14:04:59
2023 forum posts
117 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 30/03/2019 10:44:02:


Brand-names rise and fall like empires.



"Tinier than empires and more quick" (apologies to Andrew Marvell) I think.

I can remember when Mitutoyo were regarded as up-and-coming cheapies.

I can think of quite a few brands that started off that way and are now regarded as the bees' knees, but it's much harder to think of a once top-class brand that's now languishing at the downmarket end - usually decline is quickly followed by termination. Ah, your Nokia example might be a candidate.

Lidl sell a brand (maybe an own-brand) of cleaning stuff called W5, and their dishwasher tabs have worked well enough for us for a few years now. I can't remember the exact price, but it's not very much for 40-off.

Edited By Mick B1 on 30/03/2019 14:07:22

martin perman30/03/2019 15:04:57
2009 forum posts
83 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 30/03/2019 10:44:02:

Today, the link between brand-names and quality is mostly broken for almost all manufactured items. Most small cars are similar, however they are badged.

Sadly what a lot of people dont realise is that there are manufacturing plants around the world manufacturing one item, for instance I used to fit Robots onto Injection moulding machines to remove the plastic mouldings, one factory in Sunderland and another in Dublin made TV sets and they were all identical until you saw the assembly and packing departments where they were labelled with different manufacturers badges and boxing, I've seen food processing plants where M&S, Tesco's and ASDA all get their food, Vauxhalls in Luton build vans, designed by Renault and badged Renault, Vauxhall and Nissan, the reason is that tooling to manufacture a van body costs millions of pounds to produce so they have to join together to get the cost down, the same goes for virtually everything produced today. Unless you can afford to buy a Lotus, Ferrari, or Aston Martin but even then they will have Toyota, Fiat or Ford parts in them, I think it was the Jaguar X type which was a complete Modeo with a different body fitted.

Martin P

Steve Neighbour30/03/2019 18:44:18
108 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by martin perman on 30/03/2019 15:04:57:
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 30/03/2019 10:44:02:

"I think it was the Jaguar X type which was a complete Mondeo with a different body fitted."

Martin P

Definitely, it has 'Ford' embossed inside the fuel filler 'flap' !!

I used to own a Landrover Discovery '3' it had a 2.7 litre V6 engine made by Ford, the gear box was German, and most of the electrical stuff was made in Slovakia or Poland - but . . . it was marketed as a British thoroughbred vehicle !

And the 'van' story - Fiat make the Ducato (familiar to most motor home users) which is also sold as the Peugeot Boxer and Citroen Relay - only the badges are different !

So, going back to dishwasher tablets they are probably all made in a factory in China, next door to the one that makes all the mini lathes for all I know !!

Brian Sweeting30/03/2019 18:58:11
453 forum posts
1 photos

Haven't tried Aldi but swear by the ones from Lidl

Robin Graham30/03/2019 22:28:43
876 forum posts
265 photos

The Morrisons Saver ones are actually made (or 'produced' at least - maybe there's a subtle distinction) in Manchester.

I take the points that the proof of the pudding is in the eating and that you don't always get what you pay for, but in this case, because the the vast difference in price (a factor of nearly 7) I had a nasty attack of cognitive dissonance. The evidence of my eyes was at war with a belief that you usually get what you pay for. I have a Rohm lathe chuck which cost about 3 times as much as the equivalent size generic Chinese job, for example, and it's certainly a better product.

Anyhow, I shall cede victory to the other half in this case, which, as has been noted upthread, is often (always?) the wisest course.

Obviously I should get out more, but I looked at - you bung in the barcode for the detergent and it tells you what's in it:



So mostly washing soda, then a buffer, then a bleach, not sure about sodium sulphate, Aqua (why don't they just say water?), a binder, a chelating agent, but then my Chemistry runs out until we get to amylase which breaks down carbohydrates.

Sadly I'm going to have write down the barcode for the posh (Finish) ones next time I'm in a supermarket so I can find out what's in them. Unless anyone has a box under the sink and can save me the trouble and potential embarrassment?








Edited By Robin Graham on 30/03/2019 22:31:50

Paul Lousick30/03/2019 22:52:01
1862 forum posts
661 photos

Link to Finish Powerball dishwasher detergent:


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