Monday 15 July 2013

Dishwasher dreams and multifunction foolery!

I’m ashamed of myself. I’ve willingly and knowingly embraced consumerism as a hungry dog facing a bowl of food.

For the first time in my life my home has a dishwasher. Have to say I wasn’t terribly excited by the prospect, because most of the time, it’s just easier to do the dishes by hand. Incredibly tedious sometimes, but fast and efficient. But when we have guests, or on my day off, I’ll sometimes just fill the machine and let it do its stuff.

Eeezy peezy lemon squeezy, you’d think, until Adley gets carried away with the purchasing of cleaning tablets for the bloomin’ thing.

When we first moved in I bought a pack of 30 Finish Powerball tablets, which lasted over a year. A couple of weeks ago I noticed that the Finish Powerballs were on offer at half price in the supermarket, so I bought a pack of 39, knowing that they’d last for ages.

Saturday is my day off from doing dishes, so last week I opened my new pack of dishwasher tablets to discover that each was wrapped in plastic paper.
Being a simple rather slow soul, I was confused.

Doesn't take much.

Uh-oh, these-ens ain't like those other ones. The front of the box confirmed that I’d purchased Finish ALL-IN-1 Powerballs, which had a heck of a lot of CAPITAL LETTERS all over it, as well as FIZZING ACTION offering a POWERFUL CLEAN due to a NEW FORMULA.

WOW in even more capital letters!! Surely you couldn’t ask any more of a single dishwasher tablet? Thankfully my life so far has been fun and frantic enough to allow me no time to ponder the merits of how much I might expect from a dishwasher tablet.

Looking at the wrapped tablet like one of monkeys staring at the black monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey, I turned it round and round, wondering whether I should take the wrapper off before I put it into the machine. Surely there were instructions on the box?
Yes! Now I was confronted by a wealth of information about how great this tablet was.

“The New Fizzing Powerball releases bubbles that disperse deep cleaning agents to wherever they are needed.”

Blimey! It sounds like the CIA!

“Markowitz and Shepherd - you’re our best deep cleaning agents, so we’re sending you into Syria tomorrow!”

“Sir yes Sir! We go where we are needed, Sir!”

More, they were:

“Dual layer tablets with powerful ingredients to lift off tough stains PLUS a rinse action to deliver a great shine.”

Can it get better than this? Yes! Pretty round icons displayed the tablets’ six power actions:

“Powerful clean; salt function; rinse aid function; tea-stain removal; grease cutting; machine limescale protection.”

Well that settles that then. Apart from solving the mystery of perpetual motion or coming up with a way to stop Greenland's ice sheet going into Critical Melt, these little babies did the lot.

But what’s this?

Having told me how superb their tablets are, the people at Finish are about to burst my fizzy action bubble. Just below all these features is a chart showing how these tablets compare with Finish QUANTUM and Finish CLASSIC.

Hey peeps, believe me, you never want to buy Finish CLASSIC Tablets. The poor wee things only have 2 functions, but as I examined the comparative lists, I realised that Finish had only been building me up to drop me down into a pit of dishwashing despair.

Never mind the 6 fantastic functions of my ALL-IN-1 tablets. I needed what I’d had before; the unwrapped QUANTUM tablets that had 2 more functions than my puny ALL-IN-1's measly 6. QUANTUM were ‘Wrapper free’ and offered ‘Amazing Shine’.

What? Had I just spent a small fortune (even at half price) on 39 tablets that didn’t even offer ‘Amazing Shine’?

All of a sudden the fizz went out of my tablet. I had 39 of the lesser buggers to get through, but I’d know the next time, several months down the line.

Except it didn’t go like that. Wandering around the supermarket a few days ago, I noticed that Finish QUANTUM Powerballs were now on offer at half price.
Why would I buy a packet of 30 more tablets when I barely used 30 in a year and already have 38 at home? Because I’d bought into the hype, and these were now the ones that I wanted. 

Even though I hardly ever use the dishwasher, when I do I want to be sure I’m using the best dishwasher tablets know to Man, because even though I rinse off the very worst dirt, I’m damned if I’m washing up the dishes before I put them in the machine, like my mum does. Then I might as well do the bloody dishes anyway, so yes yes yes, I’ll have them!

A fool and his money, easily parted.

Stashing the suddenly-redundant ALL-IN-1 box at the back of the cupboard, I looked with an equal measure of pride and embarrassment at my new pack of ULTRA SHINE technology tablets. No wrappers, 8 Power Functions, including the elusive AMAZING SHINE, with Apple and Lime Blast, able to tilt the planet’s axis and reconcile the North and South Koreans.

So I spent last weekend carefully packing the dishwasher with dishes, pots and pans, ran it and opened it up to find sparkly clean crockery and cutlery.

I’d taken time and trouble to make sure that everything had been stacked so that it could dry out properly, but as I lifted the saucepan out of the rack, the water left sitting in the U of its handle sploshed over the entire load.

Great. So I’d rinsed the dishes when I put them in and now I’m drying them before I put them away.

Great things, dishwashers.

I’ve got 67 dishwasher tablets left now, and a machine I can’t see the point of using.

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