5 On Your Side

Are you using the right dishwasher detergent?

Posted June 7, 2018 7:47 a.m. EDT
Updated June 7, 2018 7:48 a.m. EDT

— If you are sick of dirty dishes coming out of the dishwasher after the cycle has completed, it could be the detergent you are using.

That's because the right detergent can make a big difference.

Consumer Reports baked on a serious mess for a series of tests of dishwasher detergent. The magazine used 17 different ingredients, including peanut butter, egg yolk and other sticky foods to see which detergents would perform the best.

“The best detergents will remove the soil completely, there will be no food deposits on the plates and there won’t be any water spots,” said Joe Pacella, an editor at Consumer Reports.

The magazine's recommended detergents included familiar names like Finish Powerball Tabs and Cascade Complete ActionPacs with Dawn. The publication said both were excellent at removing caked-on foods.

But Consumer Reports says you can get clean dishes and save money.

The top performer was Kirkland Signature Dishwasher Pacs from Costco. They cost less than half-per-pod as the Finish or Cascade detergents.

Sam’s Club members should try Member’s Mark Ultimate Clean Dishwasher Pacs, which also received high marks from Consumer Reports.

Testers found if you have hard water, they’re also great for resisting water spots.

Many of today’s dishwashers have soil sensors so they actually perform better if you leave the food ON!