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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Efficient but Lousy

I'm starting to wonder if the words "energy efficient" are really code for "extremely crappy product that costs more and works less." I recently "upgraded" to an energy efficient dishwasher, not even waiting for the cash for appliance scam, I mean program, to arrive in Virginia.

My old dishwasher was making all sorts of loud noises. It was so loud I couldn't put it on and then go to sleep because it would keep me up. Then some of the glasses and coffee pot started looking grungy and filmy. My family said it was my doing because I packed the darn thing to the very brim. I had it about ten years and paid a pittance for it so was surprised it even lasted as long as it did. I couldn't have my soon to be arriving cousin drinking out of scuzzy looking glasses so I thought I would just buy a more efficient, quieter and better working model. So, as I always do before buying anything, I do my research on the product, which includes which one is in stock that I could bring home immediately. I decided on a Maytag with all the bells and whistles and a good efficiency number. And, as always happens after I do my research and buy the product, I make the wrong decision.

Luckily I have a husband who is not only as one of my cousins remarked once, the best thing that has ever happened to my car, but also the best thing that every happened to my house. He pretty much can do just about anything around here. Thank God for that...That's a post for another day. Anyway, he got the old one out and the new one in fairly quickly, almost too easily. We fired her up and she sounded much more quiet. I'm not thrilled with the inside design. The bottom doesn't have wide enough spaces on the sides of the rack to fit casserole dishes. The utensil holder is too big and takes up a good inch or two too much. I think it may be designed for baby bottles. Come to think of it that's probably why there's a sanitize setting. Yeah, those days are over, so didn't really need that.

I was perplexed why the glasses and coffee pot didn't come clean. They still looked grungy. I took a brillo pad to them and nope, the white cloud won't come off. I figured they were cheap glasses so went to Tuesday Morning and bought a new thicker and more expensive set. Those glasses washed fine and came out looking good, but I noticed something else now happening. My pots and bowls are coming out with a white hazy filmy look. They look worse after getting washed than they do going in.

Any ideas on what could be causing that? Is the dishwasher crap or is there something else going on here...something with the water? I wonder if the hardness of Roanoke County's water has changed. I wonder if anyone else has noticed anything. I don't really understand the whole "hardness" concept, but think it has something to do with the calcium buildup on my son's aquarium.

I've done some more research, now on the problem, so I'm sure whatever decision I make to fix the problem will be the wrong one. First thing I'm going to try is to make it a heavy duty wash and add finishing rinse. I never use that. If that doesn't work on the stained stuff I'm going to put a cup of white vinegar in the machine with them. What if the problem is that the machine is energy efficient in that it controls the flow of water and there's just not enough of the wet stuff swishing around? Think low-flow shower heads and low flush toilets, efficient but crappy.


  1. I know with some new washers you need HE detergent. Maybe you need a new detergent for it?

  2. I had a problem last year with our dishwasher making all of my glassware milky white. We have a water softener and also use recommended soap and rinse for our dishwasher, so none of this should have been the issue. I even contacted Proctor and Gamble about my ruined glasses and they had someone pick up a few of my glasses and take it to their so called 'Lab' for testing. Well, of course the problem was not with their soap but rather that my glasses had over time become etched from the water. I bought new glasses and we will see how long it is before the problem occurs again. I now do all of our wine/better glasses by hand. Sometimes technology stinks.

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  3. Try soaking your stuff that has a white film on it in a vinegar solution (vinegar & water) for a little bit before you put it in the dishwasher, then give it some elbow grease.
    We had a similar problem when we were trying to switch to eco-friendly dishwasher detergent (which detergent do you use?). Things were coming out worse than when they went in.
    Turns out Salem also has fairly hard water. Now we just use those Cascade tablets. The dishes that had the build-up I did the soaking method on and between that and using the tablets, we're back to all good.
    Good luck!