Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop




Liquid Cascade

Posted 23 July, 2008 at 10:47am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Cooking For Engineers, Life)

I've always used the dry powdered dishwashing detergent. It just seemed more economical and easier (since I didn't have to keep making trips to buy more because each box of the powdered stuff holds more loads than a typical bottle of liquid). So, I've never actually tried the liquid dishwashing detergent until now. I got a bottle of Liquid Cascade and I really like it. We run the dishwasher fairly often (especially when I'm preparing something for an article on Cooking For Engineers or just testing recipes) and sometimes when I'm in a hurry and the box if full, it's easy to spill some of the powdered stuff onto the ground (got to make sure your hands are dry before you try to pick up powdered detergent!). But the liquid stuff seems so easy to pour and control quantity - just squeeze until the right amount is in the cup and you're done! The powdered stuff is a bit harder to control the flow of. This seems like a silly reason to switch, but after running a couple dozen loads with liquid, I'm seriously contemplating sticking with the Liquid Cascade for my dishwashing needs from now on. Also, I noticed that I don't seem to need a rinse aid anymore - the Cascade seems to rinse of by itself really well even though we've got hard water.


4 comments to Liquid Cascade

Carolyn, July 26th, 2008 at 12:57 pm:

  • Hi Michael,

    Just recently begen reading your website and love it! But . . . as an engineer, you must realize that the quantity of detergent you use, as well as the type of detergent used really depends upon the type of machine you own. Most dishwashers used in the States are terribly inefficient - waste huge amounts of electricity and water, and typically use way too much detergent. Read the instruction manual that came with your dishwasher! If you are using an Asko, Miele or Bosch, these machines use far less water, less electricity and require much less detergent. My Asko (the basic model, no bell or whistles) uses only one half a teaspoon of regular dry Cascade detergent. There is a separate small place for the JetDry liquid, but it only gets filled about once a month (with regular use). For these machines to operate properly, one should never pre-rinse the dishes (I think this is true for most dishwashers, but most people ignore this and waste tons of water of out habit). Just scrape the biggest items (bones etc) off into the trash (forget the disposal - that's another waste of water) and put the dishes straight into the machine. As an engineer at Asko explained to me, the machine is designed to clean DIRTY dishes. The detergent works best if the dishes are actually dirty. If the dishes have been pre-rinsed, or if too much detergent is used, then excess suds are created. This situation will burn out the machine. Why? Because the suds sit in the bottom of the dishwasher and the sensors in the machine confuse the suds with excess water. The machine then tries to pump the excess "water" (actual suds) out of the machine and in doing so you burn our the motor. Long story short. Follow the instructions that came with the machine. Lastly, the base model of an Asko, Bosch or Miele dishwasher is all anyone truly needs. All of the extra wash cycles on the more expensive machines are really unnecessary. These base models are amazingly energy efficient and so an excellent job cleaning the dirtiest of dishes. Please - get one of these when you are in the market for a new machine. The price is worth it. These machines are much quieter too! Lastly, a stainless steel interior is the best! Not for looks. It traps the heat of the hot water and helps dry the dishes when the wash and rinse cycle is finished. Basically the dishes dry via consensation, a much more energy efficient process. Sorry for the long post, but if people think gas prices are bad now, just wait until everyone realizes that water is the resource we should all be worried about. Water is the true liquid gold and most people waste far too much of it. BTW . . . I am not in any way affiliated with any of these dishwasher manufacturers. I'm in clinical research and a chef in my spare time. Keep up the great work - love the website!

Susanne, July 28th, 2008 at 12:33 am:

  • Hi,

    never seen liquid cleaner for dishwashing machines and went looking for it. The cash & carry market had some and its about the same costs as the powder. I gave it a try and the dishes look good - plus the smell is much nicer. So - I ll give it a try :-))


Ann W, August 9th, 2008 at 11:47 pm:

  • Hi Michael,
    Just stumbled onto your site while searching for a good homemade mayo recipe. Ask Vickey Kaz about liquid detergent. Her handyman (the guy who fixed her dishwasher after it stopped working) says to never use the liquid stuff. We use one-two tablespoons of powder detergent. Special brand, available online.

Austin Reader, August 22nd, 2008 at 4:13 pm:

  • You don't need expensive fancy Euro washing machines - surprisingly to some, they operate using the same principles aand laws of physics as American dishwashers. (There's also little to no difference in the amount of water used - Euro snobbery does not make a better washer!)

    Almost of the advice given above applies to *all* dishwashers. In my 1999 GE Profile dishwasher, I've found the liquid detergents do clean better, but I've also discovered that they work best when used in much smaller quantities than the soap manufacturers recommend. (I usually fill each cup only about 1/3 full.) I'm not positive about the reason, but I suspect given Austin's notoriously hard limestone water, that adding more soap winds up saturating the water, since I've verified that less works better for powdered soaps, too..