What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dishwasher Detergent Does Expire

We have had a dishwasher ever since our first home purchase where we splurged at the second-hand store for a $25 portable, avocado green dishwasher.  The thing was a blessing with a growing family and the amount of cooking I do.  Back then I don't recall anything other than powdered dishwasher detergent and if there was we wouldn't have bought it unless it was less expensive than powdered.  Fast forward to 2011 where we have a dishwasher at our vacation home and just bought one for our new home.  My husband was being quite helpful setting up the dishwasher to run at our vacation home during our spring visit.  The next thing I saw was the full container of dishwasher gel sitting in the garbage.  When questioned he said there was something quite wrong with it.  The gel had separated to the point that even shaking it did not help.  The solids had congealed to the point he thought it could cause problems with the dishwasher.  This is a valid concern.

I did a bit of research to find that dishwasher detergent does indeed expire, losing it's cleaning effectiveness.  Powdered dishwasher detergent can be further affected in humid locations.  The problem is, some dishwashers can be a bit picky about their detergent.  I was using a Bosch dishwasher at our last house where the only detergent that worked well was the new dishwasher tab.   I tried gel and powder a couple of times and the Bosch simply would not perform well.  Our new dishwasher at our main home is a Whirlpool Gold that came with Finish dishwasher tabs.  That was fine with me because that is the brand I had been using in the Bosch.  The dishwasher at our vacation home is also a Whirlpool, new when the house was constructed in 2007.  My husband did a minor repair on it but other than sounding like a tank when it runs, the machine does clean well.  The pillow style dishwasher tabs do not fit the dispenser well and obviously the gel is not going to work so I bought a small box of powdered that worked good.  Next trip I will try the Finish tabs.  

The commendation for dishwasher detergent, regardless of what version you use, is to not buy any more than you will use within a three month period.  Unless you are using your dishwasher daily (full load) or more those gigantic containers of dishwasher soap are not the bargain you expect given that over time the cleaning effectiveness is reduced.  Even though you may save on the actual cost per unit on the detergent, any savings will be lost on re-washing dishes that weren't washed properly the first time.  

Garden Gnome