The dishwasher was designed to make quick work of kitchen clean-up. When it comes to the specific cleaning product you use in the dishwasher, the choice ultimately depends upon your personal preference. There are advantages as well as disadvantages between both powder and packets. Knowing the differences can help you figure out which will best work for you.
The dishwasher has a dispenser for cleaning products as well as other additives, such as rinsing agents. The manufacturer recommends which product to use for your model of dishwasher. The cleaner package also has instructions for use. The difference between the powder and the packs is the measured amount. You must pre-measure the dishwasher powder, but the cleaning packets are self-contained, and no pre-measuring is necessary.
The cost per cleaning cycle depends upon the brand of cleaner you use for your dishwasher. Store brand powders generally cost less than cleaning packets. For instance, as of 2011, Consumer Search lists the Cascade brand of cleaning packets as 39 cents per load and the Cascade powder as 20 cents per load. You can save money using the dishwasher powder.
The dishwasher packets dissolve completely with the high water temperature in the dishwasher. The powder may take longer to dissolve, not dissolve completely or clump in the holding reservoir. The powder may also leave a slight residue on the dishes if the granules did not fully dissolve during the cleaning cycle. The other disadvantage is that if the powder did not fully dissolve, the dishwasher may have problems removing any filmy residue on the dishes.
The advantage with some dishwasher packets is that the cleaning, sterilizing and rinsing agents are combined in one. With the powder, you must add a rinsing agent or sterilizer. The cost of using the powder cleanser increases when you add the price of any desired additives. Keep the cost to a minimum, when using powders, by adding bleach or vinegar to the reservoir prior to running the cleaning cycle.
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