When comparing the performance of dishwashing detergent from different brands, one of the most important criteria is how effective the detergent is at removing stubborn stains. From baked-on lasagna, to burn stains on frying pans, and dried cereal on bowls, the best dishwasher detergent will leave a clean and sparkling finish.
Prevention is better than treatment when it comes to stains on cookware and tableware, as reducing the risk of stains developing will reduce the burden on dishwashers. Follow these tips to prevent most stains:
- Buy stainless steel pots and pans with copper or aluminium cores to prevent heat spots and avoid food getting stuck.
- Clean pots and pans after every use to prevent stains from drying.
- If you don’t want to run your dishwasher until later, leave cookware to soak in a dishwashing detergent solution.
- Avoid products containing ammonia and bleach when cleaning stainless steel cookware.
Removing burnt stains
Even the best dishwashing detergent can be challenged by burnt-on stains, so leave cookware to soak for a few hours and scrub with a scouring pad to remove as much dirt as possible to give the detergent a better chance of success. You should also:
- Favour abrasive dishwashing detergent in powder and tablet form rather than softer liquid detergent.
- Look for dishwashing tablets with Powerballs and gel packs that contain additives to enhance stain and grease removal.
- Make sure stained dishes and pans are facing the direction of water spray when you load the dishwasher, so they receive the full force of water and detergent.
- Add Rinse Aid to your dishwasher to prevent spotting.
While dishwashing detergent is capable of removing most stains and leaving your cookware looking and smelling as fresh as ever, you could also achieve success if you follow these tried-and-testedhome solutions for dried and burnt stains:
- For burn marks on pots and pans, sprinkle baking soda onto the metal and rub it into the surface using a dry sponge. Alternatively, mix baking soda with water to create a paste.
- You could also try regular or white vinegar mixed with detergent, then rub vigorously with a cloth.
- Some burnt stains can be removed by boiling water in the pot or pan and adding salt, lemon or tomato juice once the liquid has reached boiling point. The natural acidity of these fruit juices helps to shift stubborn stains.