Making Glassware Sparkle

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When you set a table for a nice meal, you'd never want to use cloudy glasses like this.

Consumer Reports put clear dishware through its tough test with very hard water, and it came out coated with a white film.

Dan DiClerico with Consumer Reports explains, "In hard water, glassware is even more likely to develop a film. And since polluting phosphates were banned from detergents two years ago, the problem has gotten worse."

Dishwasher additives claim they can help, including this one from Finish.

The television commercial claims, "Add Finish Power Up to boost your detergent, and you'll see a huge difference."

Consumer Reports tried Finish Power Up according to the manufacturer's instructions, putting it in the prewash dispenser. But dispenser sizes vary, and this one didn't hold enough to get the job done. Here's before and after washing with Finish Power Up. Not much difference.

Dan says, "We decided to use the alternate instructions, which said to put the Finish directly into the machine. That time the dishes came out looking clean."

Next up - Glisten Dishwasher Cleaner and Hardspot Remover, which comes in premeasured packets. It removed the residue after two cycles.

Then there is Lemi Shine Original. Its instructions say to use it to clean the machine first - then with the dishes. While you may have to experiment with how much to use, it also worked. Here are the dishes before and after.

Dan reveals, "While all these products ultimately worked, the Lemi was the least expensive and the best value."

Consumer Reports cautions not to use Finish Power Up or Lemi Shine with a detergent that contains bleach. Both are acidic and may produce toxic gases if mixed with bleach.

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