Canstar Blue reviews dishwasher detergents from ALDI, Coles, Earth Choice, Fairy, Finish, Morning Fresh and Woolworths on their effectiveness, finish, ease of use, smell, value for money and overall customer satisfaction in 2017.
When you finish eating dinner in the evening, it’s good if you can rely on someone else to do all the washing up for you – and properly! Unless you have an overly enthusiastic teenager trying to earn some extra cash, this will likely mean using the dishwasher. But your dishwasher itself is only part of the equation – you also need a dishwasher detergent that’s up to the job. So, which dishwasher detergent is scrubbing up best in Aussie homes?
Canstar Blue sought to find out by surveying more than 1,500 adults and asking them to report their findings on the dishwasher detergent brand they most recently bought and used. In 2017, eight leading brands – including big names and supermarket private labels – have been rated on their effectiveness (how well they clean dishes), finish (do they leave dishes looking sparkling?), ease of use (because some packaging is better than others), smell, value for money, and overall customer satisfaction.
This year we can report a new top-rated brand – Finish! It achieved five-star reviews for ease of use, effectiveness and – appropriately – finish. While other brands also got top marks in some specific areas, Finish was the only brand to score five stars on overall satisfaction.
While Finish topped the table overall, it only rated three stars in terms of value for money. This is perhaps not a surprise given that it’s a premium brand in the dishwasher detergent space and typically costs more than most other brands. Finish dishwasher tablets usually cost upwards of $20 – depending on the specific product – while powder alternatives are generally a bit cheaper at around $18 for 2kg. At the other end of the pricing spectrum, you could pay as little as $2 for some supermarket dishwasher detergents.
Is Finish worth the money? Our ratings suggest that, if you want the best possible clean, you probably need to spend the big bucks! However, many consumers tend to shop around when it comes to their dishwasher detergent, with only 58% of survey respondents saying they always buy the same brand. Of those shoppers who do, 65% said they do so because they know it does a good job, while 30% are just happy with the price they pay.
If you need a little extra help picking the best dishwasher detergent for your cleaning needs and budget, here is an overview of the eight brands that featured in our 2017 review.
Finish is perhaps the biggest name in the world of dishwasher detergents, with a wide range of products, whether you’re looking for tablets, powder, gel, or dishwasher enhancers or cleaners. Finish claims that its new ‘Quantum Ultimate’ range of tablets (pictured) delivers its “best clean yet” thanks to 14 powerful cleaning actions. If your dishwashing needs are a little more modest, there are various other options to navigate, including ‘Classic’ tablets and concentrated powder and gel, with lemon the consistent theme when it comes to scent. You could even pick up some dishwasher freshener to give your appliance a clean and fresh smell, rather than dirty dishes.
For dishwasher detergents, supermarket chain ALDI offers only tablets, in two varieties – Logix Complete 10-in-1 and Logix Platinum 16-in-1. Logix Complete comes in a box of 30 tablets in dissolvable wrappers, with active enzymes, limescale prevention and stainless steel protection. It’s phosphate free and designed to attack tough stains while neutralising odours and leaving a streak-free shine. Logix Platinum, with its lemon scent, apparently takes the cleaning power up a notch, albeit at a higher price. ALDI has a wide range of home cleaning products, but enjoys the most success in Canstar Blue ratings for its laundry powders and liquids.
Continuing with its trend of keeping things simple, Fairy offers two products for dishwashers – Fairy All-in-One and Fairy Platinum liquid dishwasher tablets. All-in-One comes with a choice of original or lemon scent, in packages of 22, 44 or 67 tablets. Platinum is lemon-scented, with a choice of 18, 37 or 55 tablet packs. Fairy dishwasher tablets come in resealable plastic zip lock packages, to keep moisture out so tablets don’t start dissolving until they’re in the dishwasher.
Fans of Morning Fresh can choose from a dishwashing gel in a soft squeeze packet, or more convenient liquid capsules in a choice of lemon or apple scent, which can be popped into the dishwasher as easily as a tablet, but with the finish of a gel. The old-school dishwasher powder comes in a lemon scent and a value-buy 1kg bottle with handle. Morning Fresh is perhaps best known as a leading brand of dishwashing liquids, where it typically rates highly with consumers.
Budget-conscious Coles shoppers can choose from the supermarket chain’s own dishwasher powder, tablets or pods. The 1kg powder concentrate comes in a handy handled bottle and an attractive price tag. There are two Coles dishwasher tablets to choose from – Coles Ultra 6-in-1 (30 pack) and Coles Ultra All-in-1 (28 pack), both featuring a lemon scent. The Coles Ultra Plus Powder Pods come in a 20 pack and the highest price of all Coles branded products for what is marketed as its most powerful detergent product.
As the biggest brand for eco-friendly cleaning, Earth Choice dishwasher powder is plant-based, greywater and septic system safe, and lemon-scented, while its packaging is made from 100% recycled and recyclable plastics. Likewise, Earth Choice’s dishwasher tablets are biodegradable and phosphate free, in packets made from 95% recycled fibre and fully recyclable boxes of 14 or 42 tablets. The tablet wrappers are dissolvable, so just pop one in and set your machine on its way. Earth Choice has a wide range of home cleaning products and is perhaps best known for its laundry detergents.
The classic Woolworths ‘Homebrand’ is still sticking around on shelves, with its lemon-scented dishwasher powder offering one of the most affordable options available and packaged in a more eco-friendly cardboard box. Woolworths Select is a step up, with a choice of tablets or powder concentrate. The Woolworths Select dishwashing powder comes in a handy bottle full of lemon-scented biodegradable powder, apparently designed to attack stubborn stains, while leaving streak-free sparkles. In terms of tablets, you can choose from the Woolworths Select All-in-1 or Dishwashing Extreme tablets, both of which come with a dissolvable wrapper and contain built-in salt and rinse aid. As you’d expect, Woolies has a wide range of home cleaning products.
Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have bought and used dishwasher detergent for their dishwasher (including tablets, powders or gels) in the last six months – in this case, 1,569 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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