Envirocon Technologies says its Lemi Shine dishwasher detergent additive is "the only thing that works" at removing hard water spots and film from dishes. Not so fast, says the National Advertising Division (NAD), the branch of the Better Business Bureau responsible for mediating disputed claims, including this one brought by Reckitt Benckiser LLC, maker of Finish brand dishwasher products. Based on Consumer Reports' independent testing of dishwasher additives, NAD made the correct ruling.
That's not to say Lemi Shine isn't a fine product. Indeed, we found it offered the best value of the three detergent additives we tested: Lemi Shine Original, Finish Power Up Booster Agent, and Glisten Dishwasher Cleaner & Hard Water Spot Remover. But all three products were effective at removing hard water spots, though some trial and error may be necessary depending on your dishwasher and the level of film buildup.
In its official ruling, the NAD recommended that Envirocon Technologies discontinue two unsupported superiority claims: "It's the only thing that works" and "Outshines the competition." The manufacturer said it would comply with the NAD's decision.
NAD also reviewed the Lemi Shine "natural active ingredient" claim. It found the claim to be true, though it advised disclosing the specific name of the ingredients: "real fruit acids" and "natural citrus oil." Consumer Reports still stresses that Lemi Shine, as well as Finish products, shouldn't be used with any dishwasher detergent that contains bleach.
To see how Lemi Shine, Finish and Glisten did in our tests, read Three cleaners remove haze from dishware and watch the video. To find a compatible dishwasher detergent, see the results of our dishwasher detergent tests. Our seven top picks include two from Finish and two from Cascade.