Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dishwasher soap comparison: Cascade vs. Bright Green

I don't know about you, but I don't wash anything by hand. Everything goes in the dishwasher. Glasses, plates, pots, pans, knives, wooden spoons, Everything. Ok. 95% of it goes in the dishwasher. The only things I don't put in the dishwasher are my wooden cutting boards, my cookie sheets (because they don't fit) and certain metal pans because it does something weird to the metal, so they have to be hand washed. Bottomline, I stink at washing dishes. So I count on my dishwasher and the detergent to get those dishes clean.

For years, and years, and years, I used Cascade dishwashing soap and had squeeky clean dishes all the time. Then all the organic and earth friendly products started getting introduced so I switched to the Bright Green brand of dishwasher soap. It felt like the right thing to do.

All was well for a while. Then I started noticing that my drinking glasses were getting cloudy. The glasses looked terrible - all spotty and streaky. Just awful. So I added Jet Dry hoping that would clear things up. Nope. That didn't help.

Finally, I couldn't take it anymore, so I bought Cascade again. And ta da the problem is all gone. The glasses are clean once again. Here are two glasses side-by side. It's hard to tell in the first photo. But the Cascade glass is crystal clear. The other? Not so much.

Cascade                         Bright Green

You'll be happy to know that all the glasses are sparkling once again.

But now I'm wondering if our dishes were actually clean. Because once they went through the dishwasher with Cascade they were clear again. Ewwwwww.

And what about our clothes?  We use Bright Green laundry detergent, and fabric softener and bleach. They seem clean. But are they?

And who makes Bright Green anyway? The back of the container says Lucerne North America LLC, based in Pleasanton, CA. I thought Lucerne made dairy products like milk, cheese and butter. And isn't Safeway based in Pleasanton? Is this a Safeway brand? I wonder. Anyone know? I'm confused.


  1. bright green is the safeway store brand

  2. Hi, Kris,

    I'm the brand manager for Bright Green. I'm sorry to hear that you had an unpleasant experience with Bright Green Dishwasher Detergent. We heard that some customers in areas with hard water were experiencing similar results, so we reformulated the product to address this concern. The new product is about to come out very soon. I'd love to send you the improved version to try - should I send it to the address provided on your Contact page?

    1. Hello, Cristina: I really like Bright Green dishwasher liquid. It works well, and it doesn't leave any scents or residue on my dishes; and I don't have any reactions to it. (I'm allergic to soy, and I react to a lot of "natural" products.) Unfortunately, I'm on an extended business trip right now, and there aren't any Safeway stores within hundreds of miles. Does Safeway distribute any of its brands through other stores? I'm mostly interested in the Bright Green dishwasher liquid, O Brand frozen foods, and Open Nature ice cream. Thanks, Wendy Schnegg

    2. The wrap around each packet dissolves in the dishwasher to let the detergent out. What does it break down into? microplastics? chemicals? nutrients?

  3. Hi Christina! Thanks for leaving a comment. I would love to try the reformulated version. And yes, you can send it to the address on my contact page. I look forward to receiving it and giving it a try.
    All the best, Kris

  4. I just got the first sample and will send it out today :)

  5. I wish I found this blog before I switched to Bright Green! I was using Cascade and then I tried Bright Green. I am using Bright Green right now and I totally have the same results as yours. Even if I wash the plates twice, the dirt just wouldn't come off. I am totally switching back to Cascade!

  6. I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.

    Glass Dishwasher

  7. Intending to be "green" with my dishwashing, I tried Bright Green too. I had been using Cascade or Finish before. After three washes with Bright Green, I've switched back to Cascade/Finish.

    The first time I used Bright Green, several plates and bowls had dried white films on them, and glasses were a bit cloudy. Most importantly, the inside walls of my washer and the surfaces of the spray arms were coated with food stains. Before I started the wash, the spray arms - my washer has 3 spray arms - and washer floor had ice cream drippings from cups I placed on the upper rack. I thought my washer was broken and the spray arms were not turning because I found it hard to believe that a dishwasher detergent wouldn't be able to get very water-soluble food off dinnerware and the washer walls/spray arms.

    Tried Bright Green a second time - same results (food stains inside washer). Third time - same results.

    I finally switched back to Cascade. The inside walls of my washer, the spray arms, plates, and glasses got cleaned with no whitish residues/film nor any residual food stains.

    Bright Green was a waste of money. What's the point of a detergent being "green" if it doesn't clean at all? Safeway/Dominick's should have a money back guarantee for customers who are not satisfied with their product.

  8. Thanks for posting this information. We were using Bright Green and had many of the same problems. So, no more purchases of Bright Green and we will be more skeptical of other Safeway products from now on.

  9. My name is John. I live in Streamwwod, Illinois (NW suburb of Chicago WITH hard water). I had the same issues with my dishes and glassware --- white film and streaks (with Cascade). I broke out the manual and cleaned the dishwasher using vinegar. Same results. I ran "Jet-Dry". Same results. I called the dishmasher manufacturer. They recommended "Dishwasher Magic". Same results. I, again, called the dishwasher manufacturer. They dispatched a service technician to check out my dishwasher. The technician found the problem. THE PROBLEM IS NOT WITH THE DETERGENT --- THE PROBLEM IS WITH A CLOGGED FILTER (BURIED BELOW THE INSIDE BOTTOM OF THE DISHWASHER). My filter was clogged with Calcium deposits. The technician removed and cleaned this filter over running water then re-inserted the filter back into the dishwasher. The technician recommended cleaning of this filter every 6 months and showed me how to access the filter. He recommneded "Bright Green". I have been using "Bright Green" for 3 months. PROBLEM resolved. BOTH DETERGENTS ARE GOOD. I will probably return to "Cascade" due to fact that the store chain which carries "Bright Green" are closing one-by-one. Thus, lack of availability.

  10. Thank you so so so much for sharing this! I have hard water and it is ruining all of my glasses. I am going to have to try this. Hopefully it works, wish me luck!
    Ruth James |

  11. When purchasing a dishwasher there are a few factors that should be thought about, for example, the size, limit and brand. For instance the Miele Optima which is a worked in dishwasher is ultra calm and is a high limit machine.Best dishwasher dishwashers


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