Pros:Premeasured and easy to use, clean very well
Cons:Waste of money - we have a water softener and can use 1/2 the amount
The Bottom Line: A nice choice if you don't have soft water because they really do clean exceptionally well
We have a well that produces very hard water. For years the best dishwasher detergent for hard water was Cascade and it is what I have mainly used. When we installed a water softener I could still use Cascade, but I used only half of the amount called for.
When my daughter and family came to stay with us, she had two packages of Cascade ActionPacs. The one I have recently tried is Cascade Fresh Scent with Dawn. I have mixed emotions about this detergent, but mainly due to the fact that smaller amounts of detergent cannot be measured out since these come already packaged in small plastic sacks.
The packs measure about 1/14" by 1 1/2" and contain Cascade powdered dishwasher detergent, but there is a small layer of blue Dawn detergent which helps fight grease. It's been a well known fact that Dawn detergent really does break up grease. When the Exxon Valdez oil tanker spilled thousands of barrels of crude oil here in Alaska, those who rescued birds and otters washed them with Dawn!
The packs contain a "Shine Shield" formula that claims to provide excellent shine for glasses, and it does a pretty good job. The packs are convenient but you do have to handle them with dry hands because if the thin outer plastic gets wet it will start to dissolve.
Even though the cleaners are packed inside plastic these still outgas and I can smell them in my cupboard even when the zipper closure on the bag is closed tight.
As far as cleaning ability goes, these do a nice job of cleaning pots and pans, glassware and even plastics. My granddaughter eats from some plastic dishes and drinks from plastic cups with built in straws. Her items always come out squeaky clean.
The only down side to using these, that I can see, is that I am wasting my money since I only have to use 1/2 the normal amount of detergent in my dishwasher, due to our soft water. Using half the amount of boxed powdered Cascade produces the same clean dishes. The ActionPacs are more expensive than the powdered versions of Cascade, and therefore are not economical for me. If you have soft water this is definitely something to consider.
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