Briefs / Non Food Reviews

Consumer Reports Tests Store Brand Dish Detergents

October 17, 2013

Consumerreports.org recently tested store-brand dishwasher detergents from Costco, Kmart, Target, Trader Joe's, Walgreens, Whole Foods, and other retailers. It found some left a lot to be desired, while there were “a few respectable choices in the mix.”

“We put store brands through the same worst-case conditions concocted for CascadeFinish, and other national-brand detergents,” said the article. “That includes dishes smeared with peanut butter, pudding, and other gooey ingredients and pots and pans that are left out overnight with a layer of baked-on mac-n-cheese. These torture tests are too much for many store brands and name brands alike. For example, Green Mission Organic Dishwasher Gel, a Whole Foods Market exclusive, flunked our dishes and cookware tests and also left behind water spots and food deposits. It ended up with the lowest overall score of 36 tested detergents.”

Consumerreports.org found Walmart’s Great Value Powder Pacs, 17 cents per load, were very good on dishes and excellent at resisting water spots and the white filmy residue that can be an issue if your home has hard water. “The pacs were good, if not great, on pots and pans, but if you wash those items by hand, you won't notice the small drop-off in performance.”

Costco's Kirkland Signature Dishwasher Pacs, which cost just 10 cents per load and were “very good or better in every test category.”

For a good powder detergent, the article suggested Walgreens brand Nice! Powder, 10 cents per load. “But this detergent really struggled with pots and pans, so it's not ideal if you do often load these items into the dishwasher.”

“Target's Up & Up and Kmart's Smart Sense detergents offer incredible value, costing 6 and 7 cents per load respectively, but they're farther down in our Ratings, as is Trader Joe's Powder, 11 cents per load,” the report found.

For more, see the complete results of the dishwasher detergent tests.

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