Consumer Reports cut through the greasy claims of competing dishwasher detergents to find out which one is best suited for Ric Romero’s “dirty dish-duty.” The winner? Much like the Special Olympics, everyone won. Each detergent works fine if you scrub long enough. Efficiency comes with a price, and Dawn direct foam was the costliest and speediest of the twelve brands tested, followed closely by Ajax Lemon Dish Liquid.
To test, Consumer Reports takes glasses coated with a mixture of flour, egg yolk, sugar, and evaporated milk then puts it in an oven for ten minutes in order to simulate baked-on food. After the glass cools, testers place it in a scrubbing machine with warm water and one teaspoon of detergent. A counter then tallies the number of scrubs it takes to remove the food. Steel panels are dipped in beef fat and left to dry to test for grease removal.