I Took the Finish® Challenge and Sent Cascade® Packing

Have you ever used a cleaning product for years and were not entirely satisfied with its performance? That’s my story here. I used Cascade® for 18 years because it is what my Ma used. I continued to be pretty disappointed with how my dishes came out of the dishwasher, often with stuck-on food from last night’s dinner, but I settled with it anyway because I wondered if any other product could do any better. As a food blogger I can spend an entire morning cooking, photographing, writing, editing, then running out to pick my children up from school. Those dishes from that morning may sit there until after dinner, or worse, then next morning. Hey I am keeping it real here!

When I was contacted by an agency (ooh very Washington DC- I was intrigued!) asking if I would “blindly” challenge their dishwasher detergent, I agreed. Why not? I had nothing to lose, and questioned if this product would do any better than Cascade®? Now, you all know I am a Science Teacher, so I put my Lab Coat on and ran a series of Trials using the Scientific Method on this “Top Secret” product. I tested hypothesis after hypothesis by hitting it with every dirty dish nightmare I could dream up, like a roasting pan I “forgot” to line with foil, or cheese microwaved to a plate, or dried on peanut butter or sour cream, hot cocoa mugs, dried on oatmeal, or very greasy dishes, or… well you get the idea. I was baffled and amazed that the dishes came out very shiny, spot free, and clean. You see, the electrons of the detergent broke the hydrogen and oxygen bonds of the water molecules, which breaks the surface tension of the water and lifts dirt… oh wait, too much information, huh? OK, fast forward and with blindfolds off I found out that Finish Quantum® was the “Top Secret” product I was challenging! After using Cascade for 18 years, Finish Quantum® and I sent it packing.

As a productive food blogger, Science and PE Teacher, wife, and mom of three children, I need my products to work and work well. My favorite seven little words on Finish Quantum’s® package are “So Powerful No Need to Pre-Rinse.” Less work for me means spending more time doing what I love. Now that’s a miracle.

Take the Finish® Challenge. Hit it with everything you’ve got! I did.

Pop on over to The Finish® Dishwashing YouTube Channel to view the commercial.

Disclosure: Opinion expressed prior to disclosure of manufacturer and product “Finish Quantum®”. Appeared in a TV commercial after product use. Compensated for endorsement.


  1. Rob
    Posted May 6, 2011 at 8:00 AM | Permalink

    You did this whole thing blindfolded? That's amazing! How many dishes did you break, or put in the oven instead of the dishwasher, attempting that? 🙂

  2. Robin Sue
    Posted May 6, 2011 at 8:08 AM | Permalink

    Rob- Ha! I did break a nail, does that count?

  3. Jessica
    Posted May 6, 2011 at 8:44 AM | Permalink

    I had the same issue with cascade and found Finish about 6 months ago and I loove it because there are days that my dishwasher is not run but it is full of dirty dishes and when I run it everythign comes out spotless.

  4. amy grace
    Posted May 6, 2011 at 8:45 AM | Permalink

    i usually go for the cheapest possible!! and we practically clean our plates completely then put them in the dishwasher (it's an old machine). i will have to try! 🙂

  5. A Year on the Grill
    Posted May 6, 2011 at 9:22 AM | Permalink

    dishes don't wash themselves… I have to check with my wife, I just assumed.


  6. Mimi
    Posted May 6, 2011 at 12:15 PM | Permalink

    Great commercial!

  7. nancy@skinnykitchen.com
    Posted May 6, 2011 at 1:44 PM | Permalink

    I've use Cascade for years. You've summed up my disappointments too.
    I'm going to give Finish a try!

  8. Kelly
    Posted May 6, 2011 at 1:44 PM | Permalink

    I saw the commercial on TV this morning! I thought it was you so had to come visit to check it out. Cool!

  9. Viperslate
    Posted May 7, 2011 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    This commercial is great exposure for your blog.

  10. Miri Leigh
    Posted May 8, 2011 at 1:58 PM | Permalink

    This is great! Haha, thanks for posting!

  11. Anonymous
    Posted May 8, 2011 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

    I totally agree! Years ago a repairman told us that we should use Electrosol and we never had a problem. Couldn't find Electrosol anymore and started using Cascade and was less then pleased. Finally saw that Electrosol had changed names to Finish and I gladly made the switch back!

  12. Biz
    Posted May 9, 2011 at 4:24 PM | Permalink

    I'll have to check that out – we just installed a new dishwasher, and are amazed at the difference already – maybe the right detergent will be great too!

    Happy belated Momma's Day!!

  13. BEFFY!
    Posted May 10, 2011 at 3:30 PM | Permalink

    Hey Robin! Just saw your commercial on TV (right between Dora episodes on Nick)!
    I was like "I KNOW that lady!" Even though we've never met. You're my hero for your Jalapeno Popper Dip recipe…it's made me famous in Alaska.
    Congrats on the commercial!!!

  14. Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer
    Posted May 11, 2011 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    These things are always nice to know, any help in the cleaniing department is always welcome.

  15. Mary
    Posted May 11, 2011 at 1:10 PM | Permalink

    well I will definitely be giving this new product a try! I too use cascade on and off depending on the sales, and like you I must admit to leaving dishes out way past their "wash by date", and basically having to wash them again once they come out of the dishwasher!…thanks for posting this review, it's great info!great blog!

  16. trayceetee
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

    I saw this commercial today and immediately went searching for your blog. I've signed up for RSS feeds, so I'll always get your updates. Am thrilled to have found your blog!

    I'm with you, on Finish vs. Cascade. Isn't it funny how we just get used to using something because it's what our mother used?

    Posted May 26, 2011 at 8:20 AM | Permalink

    We just saw you on national TV! I was screaming "I know that lady!!!" Have switched detergent and love the results – thanks so much for the tip (and to think I thought our new dishwasher was crappy for a whole year!)

  18. Kelly
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 6:17 PM | Permalink

    Just saw you on the HGTV Secrets of a Stylist! Congrats, you are famous!!!

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