Pros: Easy to dispense. Gets rid of major food soil.
Cons: Gritty residue on dishes totally gross. Rewashing didn't always remove film on dishes.
UPDATE: After using Finish powerball all-in-one detergent tabs (formerly Electrasol) they were not cleaning my dishes anymore! After several weeks of filmy, sediment-encrusted dishes, accrued from Finish Powerball Tabs in my Whirlpool Dishwasher, I stopped using Finish and switched to another brand. That helped the situation for awhile, but ultimately we had to take apart our dishwasher filter and grinder mechanism to remove debris that were clogging the upper sprayer intake. Lack of water pressure to the top sprayer resulted in most of the residue problems, although I believe that when Electrasol changed their formula and removed phosphates, the problem of gritty residue began to accumulate. Therefore, I am still not using Electrasol FINISH, but I recommend that if you're getting gritty residue, especially on the top rack dishes, you should have a plumber take apart the filter mechanism and clean out any grit, like seeds, peels, or glass shards, that might be stuck there. In my case, cleaning out our dishwasher grinder and filter mechanism totally solved our problem. It is not easy, though, and I recommend having a professional do this maintenance.
Here is my original review. It is still relevant, although I'm wiser now than I was when I wrote it.
As did many other companies, Reckitt Benckiser removed phosphates from their cleaning products for environmental protection reasons. While I'm all for saving the environment, I am not ready to eat on dirty dishes for the cause. There is no doubt in my mind that the latest phosphate-free formulation of Finish Powerball Tabs is not doing an adequate job of cleaning my dishes, whereas the previous formulation cleaned them fairly well.
Finish Powerball Tabs are individually wrapped, hard tablets with two layers of detergent and a red "powerball" in the center. We bought them in 100 Tabs containers at Costco. I generally use one tablet per wash, although when I started having problems, I resorted to using a second tablet in the prewash compartment. The second tablet didn't make much of an improvement ~ read on for the details.
Reckitt Benckiser (formerly Electrasol) makes several key claims on their website about this dishwasher detergent. I will examine each claim and describe my results accordingly.
Claim #1: The revolutionary Pre-Soaking POWERBALL® bursts into action to help soften the toughest food residues.
My observation: Yes, this is mostly true. I put my dishes in the dishwasher without pre-rinsing them. Finish extracted the majority of baked or dried-on foods from dishes and sent them to my Whirlpool's built-in waste disposer. When I opened my dishwasher, dishes appeared "clean", but that appearance was often deceiving.
Claim #2: Powerful Cleaners remove even the toughest stains, like coffee and tea and gently scrubs your dishes, glasses, and silverware sparkling clean.
My results: This claim rings only moderately true in my case. Coffee cups sometimes retained coffee rings in the bottom. Spaghetti sauce or grape juice stains didn't always disappear. Some food stains left, but others remained. About 50-50 accuracy on this claim; worse for cups, bowls and glasses than on dishes.
Claim #3: JET-DRY® Rinse Agent Action helps rinse away residues, eliminating spots and film for a sparkling shine.
My verdict: Its inability to rinse residue off dishes is the worst aspect of this new phosphate-free formulation. I noticed a persistent problem of residue on my dishes and glasses after every wash. I literally had to re-wash entire loads of dishes because 75 or 80 percent retained a rough, gritty residue after a complete wash. You couldn't always see the residue from far away, but I could feel it both inside and outside my glasses and mugs, as well as on my dishes. This residue totally grossed me out!
After several weeks of rewashing loads, cleaning my dishwasher, and still having the problem, I decided enough was enough. I switched to Cascade Shine Shield Formula Action Pacs and the improvement obtaining clean, residue-free dishes was astounding. I actually sighed in relief when I realized my dishwasher is not to blame for the problem. It's so much cheaper to switch detergents!
Summing up: For years, I used Finish/Electrasol Powerball Tabs without much problem at all. However, this new formulation is noticeably inferior to other dishwashing detergents, and I do not recommend it.