Really smart dishwashers, were are you?

Necessary things should NEVER be this difficult.

Really smart dishwashers, were are you? /img/bob-dishwasher.jpg

Staying clean is an environmentally dirty, energy-hungry business. So it is good when dishwasher makers like Daan.Tech promise to keep the environmental footprint of their “Bob” mini dishwasher as small as possible. Bob is, according to an owner “quiet, water-efficient, fast, compact, looks great, requires no plumbing, and perfect for small homes. “.


One of the ways in which the Bob mini dishwashers are environmentally friendly is a system that

“is not only particularly convenient to use, but also avoids the use of disposable plastic. All Bob Cassette can be reused, i.e. as soon as Bob has used the detergent in perfect portions for 30 rinses per cassette, Bob’s owner sends the cassette back to the Daan Factory and we refill it with detergent there. It is then returned to the market and can be used again by Bob the mini dishwashers."

Besides being expensive, and while still an improvement over disposable bottles, cassettes shipped back and forth for hundreds of kilometers just to keep a dishwasher going are hardly “green”. Let’s then see why it is needed, that is why you couldn’t refill those cassettes yourself, and how to fix that problem for good.

The good part: you can save a lot

Strictly speaking, it seems that you may just ignore the cassettes and add detergents manually. However it would make using Bob much less convenient, and a source of limestone and waste, quoting from here:

  • dosing can be tricky, as most tablets, pods, and liquids are for full-size dishwashers.
  • multi-stage dosing impossible, can’t add rinse aid after main wash

Luckily, some enterprising hacker not only found, but fully documented a way to reuse and refill those Bob cassettes at home, with detergent that you could buy in bulk at your local market, for “1/60 the cost of buying new”. Isn’t that great? If that hacker did it and explained how he did, everybody else could do the same, right? No, wait.

The bad part: the stupidity of all this

Of course, following the instructions in that page, you too can use the Bob mini dishwasher spending sixty times less than declared to refill its cassettes. You just have to redo yourself everything that guy did, that is:

  • be good at electronics, and have all the right equipment
  • have time to spare (that may be the least of your problems)
  • repeat the research he did, to find which of the many detergents that are publicly available where you live could be used

This is terribly, sadly inefficient, that is: quite stupid. But is a problem that can be only solved by changing regulations, not with hacks accessible only to a tiny minority of people.