Cascade Complete ActionPacs leads the pack in Consumer Reports' new tatings of 35 dishwasher detergent tablets, packs, powders and gels, but rival brand Finish took three of the four top spots with its Finish Powerball Tabs, Finish Gelpacs and Finish Quantum Powerball Capsules.
Dishwasher detergents have come a long way in reliably producing clean loads of dishes and pots, according to the organization, but only Cascade Complete ActionPacs excelled in the group's pot-washing tests. How does CR test pot cleaning capability? It uses one-quart pots encrusted with cooked-on macaroni and cheese.
Cascade Complete Powder was also the top-performing powder in the tests.
Finish Powerball Tabs earned the distinction of being named one of the CR Best Buys.
Seventh Generation had the two best green cleaners.
According to Consumer Reports, two-thirds of the dishwasher detergents tested were excellent at resisting the buildup of the white film. Most detergents also aced CR's hard-water performance test. What separated the best from the rest was the ability to vanquish a baked-on mash of pudding, peanut butter and a dozen other ingredients from dishes, flatware and glassware, said CR.
The full report is featured in the October 2013 issue and online at www.ConsumerReports.org.