Money-Saving Dishwashing Liquids

The faster you can get your dishes washed, the better. Store shelves are loaded with all kinds of dishwashing liquids. Which does the best job? Consumer Reports tested more than a dozen to find out.

Celia Lehrman with Consumer Reports says, "We looked at dishwashing liquids from big brands like Dawn, Palmolive, and Joy, and from large retailers."

Those included Kirkland Signature from Costco and Earth Essentials from CVS.

The most expensive product tested was The Laundress dish detergent. It costs close to a dollar an ounce!

To test a dishwashing liquid's cleaning power, Consumer Reports creates quite a mess.

Celia Kuperszmid Lehrman says, "If you think your dishes are dirty, well, we actually take a mixture of evaporated milk, eggs yolks, sugar, and flour; smear it on glass plates; bake the stuff on; and then we try to clean it off."

Testers pour warm water mixed with dish detergent onto each glass and this scrub machine goes to work.

And because many of the dishwashing liquids claim to be "hard on grease," testers check that out, too. They dip steel plates in lard and leave them to harden. Then it's into the scrubbing machine.

Celia has the good news. She says, "All of the brands that we tested performed equally well regardless of price. So, really, the best advice from us is just go buy whatever's on sale."

Among the least expensive dish detergents - Kirkland Signature from Costco and Ajax, at just six cents an ounce. They can make quick work of dirty dishes.

Here's a cleaning tip from Consumer Reports experts. Your soapy dishwater is good as long as you see suds. Once the suds are gone, you've lost your cleaning power, so you need to start over with new water and dishwashing liquid.

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