The best and worst dishwashing detergents to buy according to Consumer NZ

NZ 16/03/2022

Have you ever struggled with stubborn dish stains and wondered if it was your dishwasher or the detergent?

A Consumer NZ test of 23 common brand dishwashing detergents have found some powders don't clean that well - some so negatively, they barely score higher than washing with plain water.

Each product was tested on its effectiveness against six common food grimes, which included egg yolk, rice starch, baked-on cheese, red wine, coffee, and minced meat. And from their tests, capsules and tables performed better than powders.

"While powders are cheaper per wash and there’s some level of control over the dose, they still don’t clean dishes well," said Consumer NZ test content team leader James le Page.

The powder is messy to add to the dispenser and people can get the dosage wrong.

The lack of 'rinse aid' also played a part in dishwashing powder's ineffectiveness, as the additive usually helps water spread evenly over the surface of dishes to reduce spots and hasten drying.

The top-scoring and recommended products ncluded Finish Quantum Ultimate Pro tablets, and Active Ultimate, taking out the top three spots. However Finish Quantum Ultimate Pro tablets, which scored one point higher than Active Ultimate on cleanliness, does come with a 63 cent price increase per tablet.

On the other end, the products Consumer NZ warn you 'don't buy' include the Necessities brand 'Lemon Scent with Baking Soda', Green Goddess Citrus Dish Wash Powder, and Will&Able ecoDish Powder. Also noticed on Green Goddess's dishwashing powder was a lack of first aid and poison warnings.

See below the Top 5 and Bottom 3 performing dishwashing detergents as ranked by Consumer NZ.

Top 5 Dishwashing Detergents in New Zealand:

  1. Finish Quantum Ultimate Pro Fresh Burst ($15.99) - Score: 80
  2. Finish Quantum Ultimate Pro Lemon Sparkle ($20) - Score: 80
  3. Active Ultimate Citrus Zest ($10) - Score: 79
  4. Finish Quantum Ultimate Pro 0% ($20) - Score: 78
  5. Active Rapid Lemon ($10) - Score: 77

Worst 4 Dishwashing Detergents in New Zealand:

  1. Water ($0) - Score: 9
  2. Necessities Lemon Scent with Baking Soda ($3) - Score: 13
  3. Green Goddess Citrus Dish Powder ($17.95) - Score: 15
  4. Will&Able ecoDish Powder Fragrance Free ($11.99) - Score: 36

See the full list of 23 Dishwasher Detergents