Making Glassware Sparkle

Frustrated by filmy buildup on your glasses? There are detergent additives for dishwashers that promise to help. Consumer Reports tested to find out whether they really can deliver crystal clear results.

When you set a table for a nice meal, you'd never want to use cloudy glasses.

Consumer Reports put clear dishwasher through its tough test with very hard water, and it came out coated with a white film.

Dan DiClerico of Consumer Reports says, "In hard water, glassware is even more likely to develop a film. And since polluting phosphates were banned from detergents two years ago, the problem has gotten worse."

Dishwasher additives claim they can help, including one from Finish.

Consumer Reports tried Finish Power Up according to the manufacturer's instructions, putting it in the prewash dispenser.

But dispenser sizes vary, and this one didn't hold enough to get the job done. Here's before and after washing with Finish Power Up. Not much difference.

DiClerico says, "We decided to use the alternate instructions, which said to put the Finish directly into the machine. That time the dishes came out looking clean."

Next up-Glisten Dishwasher Cleaner and Hardspot Remover, which comes in premeasured packets. It removed the residue after two cycles.

Then there is Lemi Shine Original. Its instructions say to use it clean the machine first-then with the dishes. While you may have to experiment with how much to use, it also worked. Here are the dishes before and after.

DiClerico says, "While all these products ultimately worked, the Lemi was the least epxensive and the best value."

Consumer Reports cautions not to use Finish Power Up or Lemi Shine with a detergent that contains bleach. Both are acidic and may produce toxic gases if mixed with bleach.

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