Like Finish Quantum, Cascade Complete Pacs (*Est. 23 cents per load) are very popular among professional reviewers and consumers. It finishes second to top-rated Finish Quantum (*Est. 23 cents per load) in tests by ConsumerReports.org, and Cascade is named the best value-priced detergent pack by Good Housekeeping.
Cascade Complete Pacs also appear in reviews at About.com and Bestcovery.com, although neither reviewer explicitly states how the detergents were selected or whether they were tested. Both sources say Cascade is very easy to use, although About.com guide Sarah Aguirre cautions that tablets should not be handled with wet hands because they are wrapped in water-soluble wrappers designed to dissolve in the dishwasher.
Reviews that do compare Cascade Complete Pacs and Finish Quantum usually rank Finish over Cascade -- save when hard water performance is factored into ConsumerReports.org's data. Among consumers, Cascade Complete Pacs fare almost as well as Finish Quantum with more than 120 reviews and 4.3 stars at Amazon.com. Users say this detergent gets rid of films and deposits left by other detergents.
In this blog post, Farrell says Cascade Complete Pacs are the second-best dishwasher detergent in ConsumerReports.org's testing. Cascade Complete Pacs are ranked behind Finish Powerball Tabs, but ahead of Finish Quantum -- which would have ranked higher were it not for its poor performance in hard water. While Farrell does explain ConsumerReports.org's testing methodology, she does not include specifics about how Cascade Complete Pacs fared.
Review: Can Dishwasher Detergent Improve Its Tarnished Reputation?, Mary H.J. Farrell , May 17, 2012
2. Good Housekeeping
The Good Housekeeping Research Institute tests products and awards them the Good Housekeeping Seal. In its test of dishwasher detergents, Cascade Complete Pacs are named the best value among tablet dishwasher detergents. Editors say these packs offer "cleaning ability, convenience, and bang for the buck." Other than price, it's not clear what else differentiates Cascade Complete Pacs from Finish Quantum. The review isn't dated, though nearly all comments on the post come from a date in October 2011, so it's possible that's when it was published.
Review: Best Automatic Dishwasher Detergents, Editors at Good Housekeeping, Not dated
About.com housekeeping guide Sarah Aguirre rounds up the six best dishwasher detergents she's found. Cascade Complete Pacs are listed as the best gel pack. She likes that these packs are phosphate-free, though nearly all dishwasher detergents now are. She also points out that these packs shouldn't be handled with wet hands, as the water can cause the packaging to dissolve. Finish Quantum is listed as the best powder tab, though it's not clear if Aguirre considers one better than the other. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: 6 Best Dishwasher Detergents, Sarah Aguirre, Not dated
Cascade Complete Pacs are named a best pick (though not the number one option) in this roundup. Shaw says the Pacs result in a streak-free finish every time, and that Cascade Complete Pacs are neat and easy to use. It's not clear whether Shaw tested the detergent or how detergents were ranked. Cascade Complete Pacs are listed as the fourth pick.
Review: Best Dishwasher Detergent, Korilynn Shaw, June 13, 2011
Like Finish Quantum, Cascade Complete Pacs are one of a few highly ranked detergents to get more than 100 reviews. It doesn't fare quite as well as Finish Quantum, averaging just under 4.5 stars. Several users say Cascade Complete Pacs are the only detergent that fights a thin white film, which may be mineral deposits from hard water. One negative review says Cascade doesn't work for them, while Finish Quantum does, and another recommends regular Cascade.
Review: Dishwasher Detergent, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of June 2012
With nearly 99 reviews and 89 out of 100 points, Cascade Complete Pacs are the most popular detergent on Viewpoints.com. Users here especially like that the pacs contain all the necessary ingredients, like detergent, drying agent and pre-rinse. Some users specifically say they have hard water and Cascade Complete Pacs work well for them.
Review: Cascade Complete All-in-1 ActionPacs Reviews , Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of June 2012
At CascadeClean.com customers post reviews of Cascade products, and administrators sometimes reply. However, the entire line of Cascade Complete products are grouped together on one page with the reviews of Cascade Complete Powder, Gel and Pacs not clearly separated. As such, it's hard to draw a definite conclusion from the numerical results; however, the trio earns only 3.2 out of 5 stars with about 55 percent of reviewers saying they'd recommend the product. From reading individual reviews, it's not always clear which of the three products the customer is referring to. Cascade also lists the "featured" reviews first, so it takes some sorting to find more balanced reviews. One complaint is that the pacs can leak and stick to each other in the soft-sided bag. Another says that the pacs never even open in their dishwasher. That said, there are just as many reviewers who are very pleased with Cascade Complete Pacs, saying it's the only detergent that works in their dishwasher or hard water.
Review: Cascade Complete Pacs, Gel, and Powder , Contributors to CascadeClean.com , As of June 2012