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What's the best dishwasher detergent?

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: September 25, 2013

Consumer Reports is out with its new ratings on dishwasher detergents. The winner: Cascade Complete ActionPacs.

I doubt many of us paid much heed to the quality of our dishwasher detergent until three years ago, when phosphates were banned from the products. Suddenly we started discovering food particles still stuck to our supposedly clean dishes, milky film on our glasses and sometimes tarnish on our silverware.

Consumer Reports amped up its testing after that change. In its newest round, it gave its highest marks to these products, in order:

  • Cascade Complete ActionPacs
  • Finish Powerball Tabs
  • Finish Gellpacs
  • Finish Quantum Powerball Capsules

Finish Powerball Tabs and Finish Gellpacs were rated as best buys because of their lower prices – 18 cents and 21 cents a load, respectively. By comparison, Cascade Complete ActionPacs cost 29 cents a load, and Finish Quantum Powerball Capsules, 24 cents.

However, only Cascade Complete ActionPacs excelled in Consumer Reports’ pot-washing tests, which involved cleaning pots encrusted with cooked-on macaroni and cheese.

The full report is in the October 2013 issue of Consumer Reports magazine. Subscribers to its website can also read the report online.



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