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Is Cascade Platinum actually better?

Cascade Platinum is a premium dishwasher detergent made by Procter & Gamble. It first launched in the United States in 2001 and has since become one of the most popular dishwasher detergents on the market. Cascade Platinum is marketed as a high-end detergent that can tackle stuck-on foods and leave dishes sparkling clean. But is it actually better than regular Cascade or other leading dishwasher detergents? Let’s take a look at some key factors that determine dishwasher detergent performance.

Ingredient profile

Cascade Platinum contains several ingredients not found in regular Cascade that are designed to improve cleaning performance:

  • Grease-fighting enzymes – Cascade Platinum contains the stain-fighting enzymes protease, amylase, and mannanase to help break down and dissolve food soils.
  • Citric acid – Helps remove soap scum and hard water deposits.
  • Sodium citrate – A water softener and builder that prevents hard water mineral buildup.
  • Polyacrylate polymers – Prevent spots and improve shine.

The combination of grease-fighting enzymes, builders, and polymers give Cascade Platinum an edge over regular Cascade in terms of cleaning power. These ingredients allow it to be effective on stuck-on foods and baked-on grease.

Cleaning performance

Numerous consumer reports and product reviews have found that Cascade Platinum outperforms regular Cascade and other leading brands in cleaning tests.

In 2017, Consumer Reports compared the cleaning performance of several leading dishwasher detergents. They found that Cascade Platinum excelled at removing stuck-on foods like egg and spinach. It rated a 73 out of 100 in CR’s tough cleaning tests, compared to a 57 for regular Cascade.

Another dishwasher detergent comparison by CNET in 2020 also found that Cascade Platinum removed more food soils than regular Cascade based on before and after photos. The plates washed with Cascade Platinum had less visible food residue.

Several real-world reviews on sites like Amazon echo these test findings. Reviewers comment that Cascade Platinum gets their dishes cleaner and helps tackle baked-on or greasy messes that other detergents struggle with.

Spot and film removal

In addition to overall cleaning performance, Cascade Platinum appears highly effective at preventing two common dishwasher problems – spots and film.

The rinse aid in Cascade Platinum is formulated to quickly sheet water off dishes and glassware to prevent water spots. Consumer Reports tests found it to be one of the top-rated detergents for limiting spots.

The detergent is also designed to cut through any residual film left behind by hard water or food soils. Many reviewers comment that it keeps their dishes shine and film-free, even when washing in very hard water. The citric acid and polymers help dissolve and prevent buildup of hard water minerals.

Cost comparison

The biggest downside to Cascade Platinum is the cost. It typically retails for about $0.20-0.30 per dose, while regular Cascade can be found for around $0.12-0.17 per dose. This means you’ll spend about $30-50 more per year buying Cascade Platinum over regular Cascade.

However, fans of Cascade Platinum argue that the cost is worth it for the superior cleaning performance and benefits like reduced spots and film. If you wash delicate or expensive dishware, the added cost may be worthwhile to get items cleaner while minimizing the risk of damage from food buildup.

The Benefits of Cascade Platinum

Cascade Platinum offers several noticeable benefits over regular detergents:

Tackles Baked-On and Greasy Foods

The powerful grease-cleaning enzymes allow Cascade Platinum to penetrate and dissolve stuck-on or baked-on foods that other detergents struggle with. The enzymes break down proteins, starches, and sugars that make up common food soils.

If your dishes often come out of the dishwasher with visible food residue or require rewashing, Cascade Platinum can help get them cleaner the first time through.

Effective Even in Hard Water

Hard water minerals like calcium and magnesium can leave behind chalky film on dishes and glassware. Cascade Platinum is specifically designed to work in hard water, with ingredients like sodium citrate and citric acid that sequester minerals and prevent buildup.

Many customer reviews mention Cascade Platinum leaving their dishes spotless even though they have hard tap water supplying their dishwasher. It prevents the filmy residue hard water can leave behind.

Reduces Spots on Glasses

Nothing is more annoying than taking a glass out of the dishwasher, only to see it coated in water spots. The rinse aid in Cascade Platinum helps water sheet off smooth surfaces to prevent spots.

If you entertain frequently or want to avoid the unsightly appearance of spotty stemware, Cascade Platinum can help keep glassware and dishes looking pristine.

Fresh Scent

Cascade Platinum has a pleasant, fresh scent thanks to added fragrance. If you dislike the chemical smell of some dishwasher detergents, Cascade Platinum leaves behind a light, clean scent. Just be aware that the fragrance may be overpowering for those sensitive to scents.

Reputation for Reliability

As one of the top-selling dishwasher detergents made by a major brand, Cascade Platinum has earned a reputation for dependable, consistent performance. While off-brand detergents are hit or miss in terms of reliability, you can expect Cascade Platinum to deliver quality results wash after wash.

Many customers comment they’ve used Cascade Platinum for years without any variation in performance. The formulation delivers trusted results across a wide range of dishwasher brands and models.

Potential Drawbacks to Consider

While Cascade Platinum is a top-rated detergent, there are a few potential disadvantages to weigh:

Higher Cost

Cascade Platinum costs approximately 50% more per load than regular Cascade detergent. For a household that runs their dishwasher daily, that can add up to $30-50 more spent on detergent per year. The higher cost may not fit all budgets.

However, fans argue the enhanced cleaning performance is worth the investment, especially if you wash high-end dishware or glassware. Improved cleaning power reduces the need for rewashing or hand scrubbing stuck-on foods.

May Contain Allergens

Cascade Platinum contains fragrance, which may cause irritation for those with scent sensitivities. The enzymes could also cause allergic reactions in some individuals, though this risk is low. As with any cleaning product, discontinue use if any irritation occurs.

Not Designed for Hand Washing

Cascade Platinum is formulated specifically for machine dishwashing. The polymers and rinse aid components make it less ideal for hand washing. For manual washing, a regular liquid dish soap often works better.

Must Avoid Overuse

While Cascade Platinum is highly effective, using more than the recommended dose does not improve performance. In fact, overuse can lead to detergent residue and filming. Be sure to follow the dosage directions based on your dishwasher’s capacity.

What Customers Are Saying

Thousands of customers have provided reviews of Cascade Platinum on sites like Amazon, Home Depot, and Walmart. Here is a summary of the most common feedback:

Positive Reviews:

  • “This stuff is amazing. My dishes come out cleaner than ever before.”
  • “Great for getting off baked-on and dried food messes. Glasses always come out crystal clear.”
  • “Does a fantastic job even with my hard water. No more spots on my dishes.”
  • “Smells so much better than regular Cascade. Fresh, clean scent.”

Critical Reviews:

  • “Too expensive in my opinion. Not sure it’s worth paying double over regular Cascade.”
  • “Did not seem to remove grease fully from my pans with baked-on residue.”
  • “Caused cloudiness on my glassware after a few washes.”
  • “The scent is overpowering. Gives me a headache.”

As these reviews demonstrate, experiences with Cascade Platinum are overwhelmingly positive but the product does not work equally well for everyone. The most common complaints involve the high price and fragrance being too strong for scent-sensitive individuals.

How Does It Compare to Other Premium Brands?

Cascade Platinum faces competition from other premium dishwasher detergents that also advertise extra cleaning power and benefits. How does Cascade Platinum stack up against the following major brands?

Cascade Platinum vs. Finish Quantum:

  • Both detergents contain similar enzymes and ingredients to cut through grease and stuck-on foods.
  • Cascade Platinum considered slightly better at preventing water spots.
  • Finish Quantum better at preventing clouding of glassware.
  • Cascade Platinum has higher customer satisfaction ratings overall.

Cascade Platinum vs. Electrosol Quantum Pro:

  • Electrosol Quantum Pro better at removing tea and coffee stains.
  • Cascade Platinum better at removing baked-on cheese and greasy foods.
  • Cascade Platinum leaves a cleaner scent according to most reviewers.
  • Both detergents effective in hard water.

Cascade Platinum vs. Seventh Generation Professional:

  • Seventh Generation better for environmentally conscious buyers, as it is plant-based and made with natural ingredients.
  • Cascade Platinum gets dishes cleaner overall according to most customer reviews.
  • Cascade Platinum contains fragrances and dyes, whereas Seventh Generation does not.
  • Seventh Generation is comparable in price to Cascade Platinum.

While other premium detergents can outperform Cascade Platinum in specific areas, Cascade Platinum remains a leader when evaluating the full spectrum of cleaning performance, spot prevention, scent, and customer satisfaction. The brand recognition of Cascade also accounts for the loyalty many customers exhibit.

Tips for Using Cascade Platinum

To get the best results from Cascade Platinum, consider the following usage tips:

Use a Cascade Platinum Booster Once Per Month

Using Cascade Platinum Boost once a month helps remove any accumulated film or hard water buildup in your dishwasher. The booster contains citric acid to dissolve mineral deposits and enhance cleaning power.

Skip the Pre-Rinse

Cascade Platinum is formulated to work best on dishes that have not been pre-rinsed. Scrape off any chunks of food, but don’t rinse away stains and soils that the detergent could help break down.

Make Sure Dishes Don’t Overlap

Arrange dishes so water can fully reach all surfaces. Avoid nesting bowls or overlapping dishware. Proper loading helps the detergent work most effectively.

Allow Time for the Dry Cycle

Cascade Platinum’s rinse aid needs time to sheet water off smooth surfaces to prevent spots. Run the full dry cycle and avoid opening the dishwasher prematurely after washing.

Use Jet Dry Rinse Aid

While Cascade Platinum contains a rinse aid, you can supplement with Jet Dry for maximum spot and film prevention. The dual rinse aids work together to enhance sheeting action.

The Bottom Line

Is Cascade Platinum worth the added cost over regular Cascade detergent? For most households, the answer seems to be yes.

Thousands of customers swear by Cascade Platinum’s cleaning power on stuck-on foods and greasy messes that leave dishes less than sparkling clean with regular detergents. The performance bump is noticeable.

The detergent also clearly outperforms in terms of leaving dishes spot-free and reducing hard water film buildup. If your tap water is on the hard side, Cascade Platinum can help restore glasses and dishes to a polished look.

The premium price may be a turnoff for some buyers. You’ll spend $30-50 more annually to use Cascade Platinum over regular Cascade. But fans argue the benefits outweigh the small added cost, especially if you entertain frequently or own high-end dishware and glassware.

While no detergent can solve every cleaning woe, Cascade Platinum comes closer than most. For deep-cleaning power and spotless results, Cascade Platinum ranks among the top dishwasher detergents available today.