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Costco, Walmart and Target Top Dishwasher Detergent Ranking

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October 22, 2013

Consumer Reports ranks the best store brand dishwasher detergent, testing 36 private labels dishwasher detergents form the likes of Costco, Kmart, Target, Walgreens, Whole Foods and and Walmart.

Kirkland Signature Dishwasher Detergent pods imageConsumer Reports put store brands through the same worst-case conditions concocted for national-brand detergents. That includes dishes smeared with peanut butter, pudding, and other gooey ingredients and pots and pans that are left out overnight with a layer of baked-on mac-n-cheese.

These torture tests are too much for many store brands and name brands alike. For example, Green Mission Organic Dishwasher Gel, a Whole Foods Market exclusive, flunked the dishes and cookware tests and left behind water spots and food deposits. It ended up with the lowest overall score of the detergents tested.

GV dishwasher detergent pods imageWalmart’s Great Value Powder Pacs, at 17 cents per load, was very good on dishes and excellent at resisting water spots and the white filmy residue that can be an issue if your home has hard water. The pacs ranked as good, but not great, on pots and pans.

Costco's Kirkland Signature Dishwasher Pacs at 10 cents per load and were very good or better in every test category. Walgreens Nice! Powder is also 10 cents per load but struggled with cleaning pots and pans.

Target's Up & Up and Kmart's Smart Sense detergents both offer a good value, costing just 6 cents and 7 cents per load respectively, but they're farther down in Consumer Reports’ ratings, as is Trader Joe's Powder at 11 cents per load.

In September, Consumer Reports found that store brands foods were as good as or better than the national brand counterpart nearly 60 percent of the time. It found that Costco, Sam's Club, Target or Walmart were among the low-price winners in every product category tested.

 

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