The Good: Cleans glass and freshens dishwasher, Lasts a long time, A better scent than mold!
The Bad: Scent does not endure/matter, Sample pack does not go far.
The Basics: The standard lemon scent for dishwashers sells this rinse agent which does what it is supposed to, then disappears.
A few weeks back, I started to worry about my dishwasher being funky and I picked up some Jet Dry rinse agent and wrote a review of it. That was the Green Apple Vinegar scented Jet Dry (reviewed here!) and what I did not mention in that review was that it was not the first time I had used a rinse agent. I had actually found a sample pack of lemon scented Jet Dry on clearance prior to finding the Green Apple Vinegar!
Having smelled a yeasty smell that might indicate something as terrible as mold from my dishwasher, I felt compelled to give a rinse agent a try. No, I am not a slob living in my own filth and if there is any mold, it is somewhere down in the drain or beyond my ability to see (mold doesn't have cloaking technology, right?). I am a single person who only generates enough dishes to fill a dishwasher about once every eight days. That means sometimes I have dishes sitting in the washer for a week and that is where I suspect the smell comes from. Mentioning this to a friend, they recommended I use a rinse agent.
Rinse agents, for those not fluent in the lingo (hey, I'm still learning dishwasher jargon, so this is new to me, too!) are a fluid or gel used in automatic dishwashers that have a slow release. The stated use of a rinse agent is to dissolve the last bits of matter or detergent left on glassware and make it sparkle. Like using aspirin to prevent heart attacks, rinse agents have a secondary use and that is that they are what cleans the dishwasher. I have a pretty incredible dishwasher (reviewed here!) and like many dishwashers, the manual explicitly states not to clean it with bleach (it denatures the plastics in the frame). Jet-Dry seemed to be the right product to start with to attack my mealy scented dishwasher.
I started with Jet-Dry Lemon because it was cheap. Honestly, I'm getting pretty tired of lemon (my dish detergent is lemon-scented), but finding the sample pack inexpensive made it worth getting. The 2.68 Fl. Oz. bottle of Lemon scented Jet-Dry was only $1.49 on clearance!
Using a rinse agent is a simple, thoughtless process. Virtually every dishwasher has a compartment for rinse agents. Usually, there is a reservoir where one must twist something off and then pour the rinse agent in. In my dishwasher, the reservoir is a small compartment with a twist-top that is little wider than the top to the Jet-Dry bottle. Fortunately, the flip-top lid has a small hole that allows one to open it up and squirt the Lemon Jet-Dry rinse agent right into the reservoir opening.
My first fill of the reservoir used up the little bottle of Jet-Dry. The regular sized bottle is not cheap and while the dishwasher uses very little of it at a time, I had no idea how much my washer would consume each washing. After a month of use, the reservoir was still over half filled, so my dishwasher uses very little of this. The sample bottle lasted me three and a half months (approximately fifteen loads of dishes).
So, how does it work? I've no idea. None what so ever. I put the rinse agent in, it is discreetly added to the mix at some point and I have to refill the reservoir from time to time. For all I know this is a microorganism that colonizes virulently with steam and scrub the crap off my glasses and dishwasher to leave it smelling clean.
The scent to the Lemon Jet-Dry is the same, generic lemon scent that oh so many detergents are made to smell like. This is the entirely mass produced lemon scent we have all become accustomed to. Coming out of the bottle, it smells fine. Here's the thing, though: once it is in the reservoir, there is no scent. It is sealed up, out of sight, out of mind, out of nose. When the dishwasher runs, no scent.
And when one opens up the dishwasher after it is run: no scent.
The whole point of the lemon scent appears to be to sell the product at the consumer stage and not actually offer any benefit during the process of it working. That's fine, but if one is hoping that their house might smell like lemons or detergent every time they run the dishwasher or that the dishwasher might keep a fruity smell, they are in for an unpleasant surprise. The scent washes away with the dishwater.
The plus sides to this are that it works and it does not change the taste of any food or drink that they are used on. First, the dishes do come out truly spotless. I have a great dishwasher that I'm convinced I could put sand in instead of detergent and it would make the dishes clean (I'm truly that happy with my dishwasher!) and I've not actually ever had a real problem with spots on glasses, but I have noticed in the past few weeks that none of the glasses have even tiny spots on them. Nothing. It does exactly what it promises as far as eliminating spots on glasses (and silverware, I've found!). For its secondary purpose - cleaning my dishwasher - it seems to be doing that. From the very first wash using the Lemon Jet-Dry there has been no scent. No lemon, no mold. I can live with the former because the latter is true. My dishwasher is now odorless and it's hard to complain about that.
There appears to be no residue, no remnant of the rinse agent and food has not in any way been altered in taste after being placed on dishes cleaned with this product.
It is, however, still expensive for what it is. It might be more necessary in places where there is hard or sulfurous water (I have neither) but unless your dishes or dishwasher are beginning to smell funky it's hard to say this is a necessity. It does manage to do exactly what it promises, no more, no less, so if you need a rinse agent, it's hard to go wrong with this one.
For other dishwashing products, please be sure to visit my reviews of:
Jet Dry Turbo
Cascade Complete Pure Rinse 2-in-1 Dish Detergent
Cascade Complete Citrus Breeze 2-in-1 Dish Detergent
For other kitchen product reviews, please visit my index page on the subject for an organized listing!
© 2011, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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