As you may have read in a couple of my recent posts I’ve been selected as an Official Juror for The Finish QuantuMatic Public Trial, I’ve been trying the product out and this is my review of Finish QuantuMatic, and a few of you have asked if I get a sexy judge’s wig to wear. EH-UH (Family Fortunes, innit?) I said juror not judge, aren’t you familiar with our legal system? Pah! The jurors don’t get to wear wigs, shame eh? I like a good wig, as itchy as they are they can completely change your look and….um where was I? Oh yeah, I want one of those hammery things too, what are they called? Gavel? Is that right? A gavel? Yeah.
All of these photos were taken during the process of loading or unloading the dishwasher during our 12 wash trial. Anywhoo, I thought as I’d been yacking on about Finish QuantuMatic I’d show you how it actually works. I’d seen it in the supermarket and honestly looked at it, shook my head and picked up the brand of dishwasher tablets that were on offer that month (I have no brand loyalty when it comes to anything). It all looked a bit complicated, I’d call myself a Luddite but I’m speaking to you via the medium of these ‘ere interwebs so y’know, I’m not sure how that would work. Anyway, I’m rambling, it must be those four coffees this morning. So this is how it works.
You can buy a starter kit which has a dispenser and cartridge and once you’ve used that first cartridge up instead of buying a whole new dispenser you buy a refill pack which has two cartridges and they come in either original or lemon (am I the only person who isn’t a lemon dishwasher product fan? I think they must be a Marmite product, you either love it or hate it.) Open up the dispenser, pop the refill inside and twist the dispenser closed until it clicks. Put it in the top rack of your dishwasher, adjust the height and make sure it is straight, upright and not covered by anything. Then you’re all set, there it stays for 12 washes without you so much as having to look at it.
But how does it work inside? This is what all of us Jurors asked when we met with the Finish people in London. Is there a battery inside? What powers it? Actually there is no internal power source in it at all. It works by the power of water and wax meaning there is also time for pre-treatment. Let me explain a little further. You know when you turn your dishwasher on you can hear the water swooshing around inside and then about five of minutes later you’ll hear the clunk of the tablet being released (no matter how many times I hear it, it jolts me)? That doesn’t happen here. As soon as the water enters the machine it goes into the hole on the top of the dispenser meaning the detergent is activated straight away making full use of the cycle for cleaning.
There is a little ball at the top of the gadget which moves around after each wash letting you know how many washes you have left. I’m not likely to remember so the clever little ball is pretty helpful. If you’d like a little more technical explanation that doesn’t involve several dozen uses of the words ‘basically’, ‘so’ and ‘euh errm’ have a little look see here. You should find a video hiding in the sidebar that explains it better than I ever could.
I’ve put together two little videos. The first so you can see the state of the dishes before hand and the second so you can see them afterward. In both of them you can get a little looksee at how ‘the chap’ as we call the QuantuMatic works and a small but not very exciting look at my messy kitchen.
Or you can click to view it on YouTube.
Or you can click to view it on YouTube.
*I haven’t had to rewash a single thing. With tablets I’d have to wash between 5 and 20% of items in my dishwasher (and yes I do clean my filter) and my standards aren’t even that high. Meaning I have to use more electricity, water and another dishwasher tablet. I love my dishwasher but having to rewash is frustrating in the extreme, I’m glad to be rid of the frustration and monotony.
*Washing dishes is something that has to be done and it is as dull as erm – dishwater. Anything that makes it more of a mindless-don’t-have-to-think-about-it task is all good with me. I like not having to think about anything for 12 washes. I like not having to take out the dishes and having to check for dirty marks. It is mindless housewifery.
*Apparently even tablets, without any extra help, are supposed to get off even the most dried on food from roasting tins, baking trays, lasagna dishes, mashed potato pots etc. but not once has this happened for me. I usually presoak my really dirty dishes or chisel away at the burnt or dried on food before putting them in the dishwasher. I haven’t had to worry about this once with QuantuMatic, every tough mark that would previously need soaking off is long gone by the time I come to open the dishwasher door. No soaking, no extra hot water, no washing up liquid, no bits of dried on food slowly floating off the dish and to the top of the water, looking like sick and making me heave in the morning (I can’t be the only one who makes a strange ‘bleughhhh’ type noise when I have to clean these bits of food out of the washing up bowl?)
* You have to wait a while inbetween washes (2 hours max, I’d say). Usually for us this isn’t a problem, we tend to do a wash every other day (there are only two of us and we tend only to turn it on if it is full up) but if we have a lot of people round we tend to have lots of glasses or cups and there’s only so much room on the top shelf for glasses so one wash just won’t do. Because of the wax seal you have to wait for the dispenser to cool down before using it again.
*The price of the unit is a bit of a fighting point for me. The RRP is £9.99 which is quite a lot of money. That said since I’ve been doing the trial I’ve looked at prices whilst in various supermarkets and it has always been lower, often around half the recommended price. But weighed up with the first bullet point in my upsides list this could even out my price worries, almost.
*It takes up the room of one cup or glass in the top shelf and eats a little into the saucer rack too. After a coffee morning or drinks party we need every last inch of space for glasses or saucers.
* Whilst, according to my council, there is a facility to ‘occasionally recycle’ (whatever that means?) the materials from the refill cartridges in my local supermarket I am unable to currently put them out with the rest of my roadside recycling. This could vary from council to council but I know that that is the main downside for us here at Thrifty Towers. We will take it to supermarket to be ‘occasionally recycled'(?!) but how many other people will honestly go to that effort?
My Final Verdict?I think it is an excellent product in that it really, really works, but a difficult one to get your head around off the cuff. It is a different way of thinking about the oh so exciting (ahem) world of dishwashing. If you look at it in terms of a razor and new blades if makes sense but in terms of normal dishwashing detergents it is so totally different. That is no bad thing mind you! If my experience of dishwasher tablets in the year we’ve been using our dishwasher is anything to go by, they aren’t cutting the mustard and something else is required for one stop shove-it-in-dirty-take-it-out-clean washing.
I think we might slowly become dependant on Finish QuantuMatic (or as we call it ‘the chap’) here at Thrifty Towers whilst using up the samples we have left. I like things that make the dull tasks easy and basically invisible in my day-to-day life, however the price might just stop us from buying it as part of every shop. If there are discounts or other offers available in store I imagine we’ll take full advantage just because we know it is guaranteed to do the job and that makes our life easier. We’ll have to sit down and do the maths because if we factor in the cost of rewashing or presoaking (including water, extra tablets, hot water, electricity, washing up liquid, sanity) it might just even out. Perhaps it is a buy cheap buy twice scenario? I have problems with regular dishwashing tablets, and I know a lot of people get on with them just fine, I have to rewash so many items with even the most expensive tablets that I’d rather ‘invest’ in something that works first time.
It think, my friends, that’s a wavering thumbs up from me. I like to spend as little time as possible dealing with dishes and Finish QuantuMatic is the product that allows me do that. However I’d like to see the packaging (cardboard box rather than plastic?) and cartridges change to something that can be recycled with ease, then I could rest at little easier in bed at night.
Oh and news on the photoshoot? You (and us here at Thrifty Towers) won’t have to wait much longer to see them appear on the Finish microsite. I’m a wee bit nervous truth be told. I’ll let you know as and when they’re up.
P.S. You can get yourself a £5 off QuantuMatic voucher here, it is worth getting it and looking for a bargain in the supermarket aisles just so you can do your own trial at home.