Testing Cascade’s claim: Do you really not have to rinse your dishes?


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It’s an age-old argument between couples: Do you actually have to gently scrub and rinse a dirty dish before placing it in the dishwasher? Stereotypically, I was the one who always insisted it was necessary to rinse off most of the mess before loading up the dishware, and when I saw Cascade’s latest commercial for Cascade Complete dishwasher detergent, I scoffed at them.

And then I decided to test their claim. In the commercial, which you can watch below, the guy starts to place a dirty cupcake tray in the dishwasher when his wife stops him, saying “Sweety, you have to scrub it first.” The obvious argument ensues, until a woman with Cascade Complete detergent pops into the scene and says, “He’s actually right — with Cascade Complete. See, Cascade Complete packs work like thousands of micro-scrubbing brushes to help power away tough foods, even in corners and edge.” This was around the time I made a dismissive noise and let out a sarcastic "Right."

I don't enjoy being wrong — or admitting I was wrong — but, Cascade, I was wrong. And I apologize for doubting you.

Last night, I tried a little experiment with my new bag of Cascade Complete. Into the dishwasher went:

This metal bowl, which I had just finished using to mix a salad before I loaded the dishwasher:

This identical metal bowl, which my boyfriend had kindly put in the dishwasher completely unrinsed after finishing a salad about 24 hours before I turned on the dishwasher:

This plate, which had been lazily scraped of leftover pasta with tomato sauce:

This small bowl, which had been holding some homemade salad dressing for the past four days:

This spatula, which had been used for cooking sausage:

Plus a whole bunch of other dishes, so the dishwasher was at its maximum capacity.

As you can see, everything was spotless — or almost spotless, since there was some tiny, unidentified remnant of something on the spatula. But I have to say, I’m impressed — and sold on Cascade-brand dishwasher detergent.

Bonus: You’re saving water by skipping the step of rinsing and/or scrubbing your dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. Click here for 15 other easy ways to save water.