At first I thought it might be the soap, as we use the hippie stuff that doesn't kill baby animals. We switch between our homemade version and Seventh Generation. Both have their faults. The homemade version may not clean quite as well but the Seventh Generation does not rinse cleanly. We have to run two rinse cycles after a wash and still get some soap residue. In any case, we have been pre-rinsing our dishes to remove every single food particle and then throwing them in the dishwasher to.....I don't know, sanitize? Doesn't that seem like a lot of extra work to you?
So I started googling green dish detergents, hoping for a breakthrough. Perhaps I just needed to find the miracle product that would solve all my problems.
I came across this article which basically states that all green detergents are pretty much equal. So that wasn't helpful. I then read Katie's dishwasher detergent search at Kitchen Stewardship, and it dawned on me as I looked at her dirty dishes that I wouldn't dare try to wash, that perhaps it wasn't the soap that was the problem but the dishwasher itself.
I came to Mr. F. with my conclusions, and he looked at me like I was the slow, bumbling Watson who figures out the case 10 chapters too late.
So, I guess it would be a good time to mention that I don't think I have ever lived in a place with a decent dishwasher. Perhaps my parents' washer was o.k. but that was 15 years ago, and I am pretty sure washers have improved since then. I have no concept of what normal dishwasher capacity looks like. I mean, the idea that I wouldn't need to rinse off the food AT ALL? This blows my mind.
So, now that I have clued in to the fact that our dishwasher is complete crap, Mr. F. is all gung ho about upgrading. For kicks, we decided to look up our current dishwasher's rating and reviews to have for comparison. On one review site, our dishwasher averages 1.8 stars (of 5) out of 93 reviews. Apparently 21 of those reviewers can't think of anything they like about it. This is one of our favorite reviews although the language is a bit excessive:
I HATE this dishwasher. I now hate the people I rent from because they equipped my apartment with this dishwasher. It's slowly but surely destroying my piece of mind. F*** you, GE quiet power 3.
"Slowly but surely destroying my piece of mind?" Yes indeed.
Any glowing recommendations out there?