Dishwashing Detergents

April 12, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Most of us don't jump at the chance to do the dishes, but unfortunately it's a job that has to get done.When it comes to dishwashing detergents, store shelves are full of them. So how do you pick?

Consumer Reports just tested 12 hand-dishwashing detergents to see which clean the best. Most were liquid, but there was one foam cleaner.

To test, Consumer Reports takes glass coated with a mixture of flour, egg yolk, sugar, and evaporated milk then puts it in an oven for ten minutes in order to simulate baked-on food.

After the glass cools, testers place it in this scrubbing machine with warm water and one teaspoon of detergent. A counter tallies the number of scrubs it takes to remove the food.

Steel panels are dipped in beef fat and left to dry to test for grease removal. Consumer Reports' Kimberly Janeway has the results.

"Our testers found that even the lowest-rated product will get dishes clean if you scrub long enough, but it turns out that the most expensive one we tested, Dawn direct foam, got our dishes done the quickest."

Another quick cleaner is Ajax lemon dish liquid. It performed excellently in tests and costs much less than Dawn.

Dish duty will be a little easier with either of these detergents on hand because, after all, you don't have one of these at your house.

Consumer Reports also tested several green detergents. One came in just behind the top-rated Dawn direct foam and costs a little less. It's Ecover Ecological.


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