Dishwasher detergents, one more time

Posted: June 23, 2012

I'm calling to order this meeting of the readers with various dishwasher issues, only to let you kind folks know of a recent Consumer Reports study of — you guessed it — detergents.

In the latest testing — results of which appear in the July 2012 issue — Finish Powerball Tabs and Cascade Complete All-in-1 ActionPacs earned the highest marks in CR's ratings of nonphosphate gels, liquids, packs, pods, powders, and tablets. (Laws in several states removed phosphates from dishwasher detergents a few years ago, which resulted in some cleaning challenges.)

Many detergents left food stuck to plates or pots. Finish Powerball Tabs, the only "Best Buy" rated by the magazine, at 21 cents per load, and Cascade Complete All In 1 at 29 cents per load both cleaned dishes and pots well, and dishware washed in these detergents didn't have water spots, white film or discolored aluminum.

In its latest tests, Consumer Reports added hard-water performance to the ratings of models first reported in October 2011.

The magazine began this test last year in response to readers' comments about a white film or cloudy buildup on dishware.

Consumer Reports found several products that allowed glassware to be covered in varying degrees with a frosty-white film in just 20 washes using very hard water.

And, while no type of detergent was best overall, liquids and gels tended to fall toward the bottom of Consumer Reports' ratings.

Whatever the detergent, consumers can get cleaner dishes by adding a rinse agent, making sure the water is hot (120 degrees), separating flatware, and facing dirty dishes toward water jets.

Case closed. Meeting over. No appeals will be heard.

Question: I am getting water in my basement, and I have no idea why. We started removing the carpeting and the paneling to try to determine where it is coming from. My gutters and down spouts seem to be doing their job correctly.

Recently my neighbor had a French drain added to his basement at a cost of $13,000. We don't have that kind of money right now.

Is there any advice you can give me, or send me a link to a previous article? It is so depressing.

Answer: I'll agree with that.

You get one heavy rainstorm and what had been a dry basement becomes a wet one, and you cannot begin to figure out why.

I've rummaged around in the files to see what Joe Ponessa, the emeritus professor at Rutgers, advised a few years back.

I provided the link then, and I'll do it again: http://tinyurl.com/7atgbpc.

Good luck.

It's moving season. Atlas Van Lines offers a few tips to protect yourself from the baddies, or from yourself:

Summer months are the most popular time to relocate. The earlier you can schedule your move, the better. If you're flexible, try to move outside of May through August.

Research ratings and history. A company's history often affects its credibility, so be sure to dig deep into its past to validate it as a top choice.

Familiarize yourself with consumer rights. ProtectYourMove.gov is a helpful resource to review before relocating.

Track inventory. Before you move, complete the statement of customer responsibilities and inventory forms provided by your hired moving company.

Review and approve estimates. An important factor when choosing a moving company is the estimate. Online, phone, and in-home estimates are available. Review them closely for any red flags, small print or extra charges before signing off.

Make sure you discuss with your moving company how your shipment will arrive. If your mover doesn't hold high enough standards for handling your property, find a company that does.

Be sure to know how to identify the movers when they arrive at your home to eliminate the chance of fraud.

Questions? E-mail Alan J. Heavens at aheavens@phillynews.com, or write him at The Inquirer, Box 8263, Philadelphia 19101. Volume prohibits individual replies.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|