02 April 2008

Choice Goods Wednesday!

This choice goods story starts with our dishwasher. Our house originally had no dishwasher. We found someone willing to give us a free one and so we managed to squeeze it in our existing kitchen footprint. This freebie had only one problem. It leaked. Just a little bit, but you couldn't run a load without first putting a towel under the door. We didn't have high expectations. That little guy did his job and that's all we asked of him. As time went on, though, I noticed he wasn't doing his job as well. And pretty soon he wasn't doing it at all. The dishes as a whole were emerging just as dirty as they went in. It was time to fork out some actual moolah.

After some discussion, we decided to buy a top of the line dishwasher. (Ours looks like the one at right but has the features of the linked one.) We have a large enough family that we run up to three loads a day. We didn't want to waste money on something that couldn't hack that kind of abuse. So what does that mean? Well, my dishes can not get cleaner with another dishwasher. We bought the best so the only variable that can increase the cleanliness of our dishes is the dishwasher detergent.

And that is my choice good for today: Trader Joe's ...Next to Godliness Environmentally Sound Automatic Dishwashing Detergent For Sparking Clean Dishes. Whew! That's beyond a mouthful.

I had read a Consumer Report's article on dishwasher detergent and found that dry detergent works better than liquid. This is because the enzymes that eat away the food are activated by water. They are in suspended animation in the dry powders. The liquid detergents just can't keep the enzymes from releasing their mighty powers before they are in the dishwasher.

Trader Joe's was ranked excellent in cleaning power and at only 19 cents a load, was only slightly more expensive than Costco's Kirkland Signature. But Kirkland Signature doesn't have the environmentally friendly aspects like being phosphate- and chlorine-free, no added fragrances or dyes and having biodegradable surfactants.

Before I used Trader Joe's I had been using Kirkland Signature's Liquid and when that was gone I had splurged on the Cascade Complete Gel. They both worked fine, but nothing spectacular. Finally, I finished the Cascade Complete bottle and got to try my new Trader Joe's. It was amazing! I could immediately tell a difference. The dishes were cleaner, especially the glasses. Even the copper bottoms of my pots are getting more copper-y again. They used to be really darkened but Trader Joe's detergent is reviving the copper a little more with every wash.

For me, the cleaning power, the lesser environmental impact and the relative inexpensiveness are a perfect combination for me.

Trader Joe's Automatic Dishwashing Detergent...it's choice!

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