Which dishwashing detergent works best?

When it comes to dishwashing detergents, store shelves are full of them. So how do you pick?

Consumer Reports 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 glasses 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 a scrubbing machine with warm water and one teaspoon of detergent. A counter then 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," said Janeway.

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.


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