Showdown: Cascade vs. Electrosol

A couple weeks ago I was sent a bottle each of Cascade liquid and Electrosol liquid dishwasher detergent, and was asked to compare the two products. We have a fairly tough dishwashing situation here at the Owlhaven. We run our dishwasher two or three times a day. The dishwasher is routinely loaded by kids — kids who often don’t see the need to scrape dishes, let alone rinse. AND we have hard water. We have struggled over the years to find a dishwasher detergent that works well under those difficult circumstances.

I discovered awhile ago that both Cascade and Electrosol dishwasher tablets worked pretty decently- better than the powder, anyway. I’ve resisted buying the liquid gel type of detergent because it costs more. But I happily tried it for free.

I could not believe how ineffective the Electrosol liquigel was. It honestly crossed my mind that maybe I’d been sent a fake (the trial was sponsored by Cascade, after all.) But I felt bad to have such a cynical thought. And once I tried the Cascade liquid gel, it worked so much better than anything else I have ever used in the dishwasher that it didn’t really matter how other products work.

Honestly, each time I open the dishwasher or the cupboard these days, the sparkle of my dishes amazes me. I have yet to price the Cacade in the store. But honestly, the gleam off these dishes has me convinced that I will be buying Cascade from now on no matter how much it costs.

There. How’s that for a review? (smile)

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  1. I swear by Electrosol tablets. I don’t buy the gel-packs (too costly), but I absolutely swear by the tablets. No other brand works for us! I’ve never tried Electrosol liquid, though, so I guess my review isn’t quite fair. Do you have soft or hard water? I have very soft water with large amounts of sulfur! I suppose water-type makes all the difference, too.

  2. Mary, do you get the same shine when you wash the dishes in the sink with liquid detergent or soap?
    I’m wondering if that lovely shine is the original glaze on the dishes or something (sheeting or ?) that’s in the Cascade.

    That’s not a rhetorical question…I would love to know the answer. I suppose that one way to check it would be to see if you could wash off the shine.

    About 30 years ago, a friend of ours was an executive working for one of the large soap companies. He explained that the detergent added ‘tiny mirrors’ to the clothing, thus causing them to sparkle and look cleaner, brighter, whiter. It was actually an illusion.

    I wouldn’t care so much with a clothes detergent, but I would not want something extra from the cleaner to be left on my dishes.

  3. FWIW, we have very hard water and we can get our dishes that clean with a careful hand-washing….but we just don’t want to hand-wash…


  4. that is quite the review- you might have this wal-mart brand only dishwasher soap mama convinced to try the cascade. 🙂

  5. Arm yourself with coupons, my friend! We buy Cascade or one of the other “high-end” brands when I have coupons and it’s on sale. I totally notice the difference . . . in both my bank account and on the dishes! 🙂

  6. Well that was an enthusiastic conversion!
    I have noticed the same difference with our hard water, and always thought Cascade was the best. Due to health issues, we’ve tried in recent years to limit the chemicals we use as much as possible. Dishwashing detergent was a prime target, as the chlorine even wafts through your home, but it’s been tough to find something that works as well with our water. Bio Kleen has been the best in that category.

  7. I was recently reading an issue of Consumer Reports that graded Cascade as the best, hands down, by far. Looks like you agree!

  8. I don’t know if I can use the tablet/gel type product in my machine.. but I’ve been a fan of the Cascade powdered detergent after experimenting with a couple different brands. 🙂

    We have hard water too.

  9. When we moved into this house (owned my my in-laws) my MIL promptly told me that NOTHING BUT CASCADE was to be used in the d-washer.
    I internally rolled my eyes, because I’ve priced the blasted stuff and always use electrosol=cheaper.
    Now that I only use cascade…I doubt I would ever go back. I will just have to suck up the cost somewhere else.
    good review

  10. We also run our dishwasher at least 2-3 times a day and have hard water. I hated to spend so much on dishwasher soap but finally tried the Cascade and it does make all the difference! Now we use nothing else but the Cascade! ~~Pam

  11. How exciting! (My life is pretty pathetic that I would get so excited about dishwasing soap! :-)) We’ve been so sick of not quite clean dishes that have to be hand washed after washed in the dishwasher. We’ll have to give this one a try for sure!

  12. I use coupons to buy the Cascade gel ever since we bought this dishwasher in 2005. Cascade was recommended by the manufacturer and the maintenance man for best cleaning of the dishes. I like the Baking Soda Fresh Scent the best.

    My mother cannot use it because of her house in the country with a private septic system and phosphates biohazards.

    We have city sewer connection, so I trust the engineers at the water treatment plant.

  13. I refuse to buy Electrosol liquid ( the tablets do work), but Cascade is a bit expensive for me :^). I like Sunlight liquid.

  14. Yes, but will it put the dishes away for you? I think not.

  15. isn’t it funny? usually i’m big on the brand = best and don’t hesitate to spend a few extra cents/dollars for something i like. i grew up in a Cascade home. i use Target brand dishwashing detergent, or Publix brand, or Electrosol. i just don’t care.

    my new big shout-out goes to Oxy Clean brand spray on stain remover. this really WORKS!


  16. Randi Grogan says:

    I use to swear by Electrosol Gel packs, however, i’ve noticed film on my coffee pot and espress carafe. I used Cascade and noticed the film was completely removed when I did the next load of dishes. I guess more investigation is needed is it the gel that causes the film or is it the product, hmmm.