Spring Cleaning Club: CR recommends best dishwasher detergents

Consumer Reports testers cleaned hundreds of dirty dishes to reveal the best dishwasher detergents. (CRTV)

Sick of spots, bits of food and other grime on your dishes? Don't put all the blame on your dishwasher! It could be your detergent. Consumer Reports testers cleaned hundreds of dirty dishes to reveal the best dishwasher detergents.

Emulsification is a big word for an even bigger mess. It's a mixture of peanut butter, egg yolk and other sticky foods that's smeared onto glass dishes, baked on, and then loaded into dishwashers. All to find out which detergents tackle the mess the best.

The best detergents will remove the soil completely. There will be no food deposits on the plates, and there won't be any water spots. Among the recommended detergents, familiar names like Finish Powerball Tabs and Cascade Complete ActionPacs with Dawn. Both are excellent for removing caked on foods.

However, Consumer Reports says you can actually get even cleaner while also saving money. The top performing detergent wasn't a name brand. It was Kirkland Signature's Dishwasher Pacs from Costco for less than half the cost per pod as the Finish or Cascade detergents. And if you're a Sam's Club member, the Member's Mark Ultimate Clean Dishwasher Pacs are excellent for cleaning dishes.

Plus, testers found if you have hard water they're also great for resisting water spots.

Consumer Reports says if you're still rinsing your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher -- stop! Many of today's dishwashers have soil sensors so they perform better if you leave the food on and let the machine and your detergent do their jobs.

For more cleaning tips, join Emily's Spring Cleaning Club on Facebook.

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