(WMC-TV) - It can be tough to scrub food off your pots and pans, and the dishwasher may not always do the trick. But Chief Consumer Investigator Andy Wise uncovered the best dishwasher detergent to get your dishes squeaky clean.
Whether you use powders, pods, or liquids and gel in your dishwasher you want your dishes to come out clean and shiny. Consumer Reports tested 35 dishwasher detergents to find the best.
Awilda Cruz challenged the detergents to some tough tests. First she makes a sticky batter of 17 ingredients, including egg yolks, cheese whiz, peanut butter, and rice. It was all blended together, and then spread onto glass plates in measured amounts.
The plates were baked in the microwave and left to sit for an hour before going into the dishwasher. Pots were brushed with macaroni and cheese. Once it was cooked on, the pots went into the dishwasher next to the dirty plates.
Not all the detergents could get the dishware sparkling clean. Testers also check for white film buildup. That plate on the right used to be clear.
"When companies switched to phosphate-free detergents that are better for the environment, a filmy white buildup was a real problem. Our latest tests show detergents have gotten much better at preventing that," said Bob Markovich with Consumer Reports.
But the problem has not totally evaporated. The clear plate turned white after 20 cycles when washed with BabyGanics Dishwasher Detergent.
In the end, only one detergent rated excellent for cleaning pots: Cascade Complete ActionPacs.
But if cleaning pots is not a priority, you can save some money with Finish Gelpacs, a Consumer Reports Best Buy at 21 cents a load. It did a terrific job on the dishes.
Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.