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The 10 Best Dishwasher Detergents of 2022 for Sparkling Dishes and Drinkware

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The Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Pods eliminate the need for pre-washing.

A dishwasher is a handy appliance that certainly helps when it comes to post-meal cleanup. However, the best dishwasher detergent is what makes all the difference in keeping your dishes and drinkware sparkling.

Dishwasher detergents are typically offered as pods, tablets, powders, or liquids. Leslie Tam, co-founder of UrbanMop Inc., says to follow the dishwasher manufacturer’s recommendation for the best type of detergent to use.

To find the best dishwasher detergent we researched a variety of styles, keeping in mind scent, form, and quantity. We also consulted Tam for additional insight.

Overall, the best dishwasher detergent is Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Pods for their stain-fighting power that comes in convenient pod form.

Here are the best dishwasher detergents.

Cascade Platinum ActionPacs Dishwasher Detergent

Best Overall

Buy at Amazon.com

Buy at Walmart.com

Why You Should Get It: The pods can clean burnt-on food without the need to pre-wash dishes.

Keep in Mind: It has a fresh scent that may not suit everyone’s preferences.

Overall, the best dishwasher detergent is the Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Pods. The pod-style detergent can tackle just about any stain from food or drinks, including any burnt-on food, so you’ll always have clean dishes and drinkware to use.

Unlike some other similar styles, these pods don’t need to be unwrapped before use so you don’t have to worry about any unnecessary plastic. All you have to do is load one pod per cycle and it’ll take care of the rest. The pods are designed to dissolve quickly, which means plates get more soaking time during the machine’s cycle.

The container includes 62 pods, so you’ll have enough for about two months, give or take. Just keep in mind that the pods do disperse a fresh scent, so it’s not ideal for those who prefer a fragrance-free option.

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Price at time of publish: $20

Product Details:

Scent: Fresh Scent

Form: Pods

Quantity: 62 pods

Great Value Automatic Dishwasher Gel

Best Budget

Buy at Walmart.com

Why You Should Get It: It has a dispenser top that helps prevent you from overpouring.

Keep in Mind: The brand recommends filling the pre-wash and the main wash area in your dishwasher for optimal results, so you may go through the detergent quickly.

The Great Value Automatic Dishwasher Gel is the best dishwasher detergent to consider if you’re looking for a less expensive yet effective option. The 75-ounce bottle of lemon-scented liquid gel will clean grease and stuck-on food with ease.

The brand recommends filling the pre-wash and the main wash area in your dishwasher for optimal results, so keep in mind that you may go through the detergent more quickly than some other picks. Luckily, there’s a dispenser top that helps prevent you from overpouring.

Price at time of publish: $5

Product Details:

Scent: Lemon

Form: Liquid gel

Quantity: 75 ounces

Cascade Advanced Power Liquid

Best Liquid

Buy at Amazon.com

Buy at Walmart.com

Why You Should Get It: The bottle contains 125 ounces of detergent, which is larger than other similar options.

Keep in Mind: You may need to fill the pre-wash and main wash compartments, depending on your typical load of dishes.

If you’re someone who tends to prefer a liquid detergent over a pod, Cascade’s liquid gel option is the best dishwasher detergent to use. The formula is made to help cut grease and remove stuck-on food, so your dishes will stay in good shape.

Since it’s made with Dawn, grease will be easily washed away in your dishwashing cycle, so there is no need to pre-rinse the dishes. Just keep in mind that the brand recommends filling the pre-wash and main wash areas of the dishwasher for the best results, so you may go through the 125-ounce bottle quicker than other options.

Price at time of publish: $17

Product Details:

Scent: Fresh Scent

Form: Liquid

Quantity: 125 ounces

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Cascade Complete Powder

Best Powder

Buy at Walmart.com

Why You Should Get It: It’s formulated with Dawn, which helps cut grease during the wash cycle. The box also has a spout to make dispensing it easier.

Keep in Mind: It has a fresh scent, which may not suit all preferences.

For a grease-fighting option in powder form, this Cascade pick is the best dishwasher detergent to consider. The detergent, which is less expensive than other options, is formulated with Dawn and can take on food that’s been stuck on dishes for 24 hours.

To use the detergent, simply pour the powder into the detergent compartment of your dishwasher. Though powder can be messier than some other options, the 75-ounce box does have a spout to make dispensing it even easier. Just note that the powder has a fresh scent, so keep in mind any personal preferences in terms of fragrance.

Price at time of publish: $7

Product Details:

Scent: Fresh Scent

Form: Powder

Quantity: 75 ounces

:

Finish All-In-One Gelpacs Dishwasher Detergent Tablets

Best Scented

Buy at Amazon.com

Buy at Homedepot.com

Why You Should Get It: It includes more pods than some other similar styles and is a wrap-free solution, so there’s no unnecessary plastic.

Keep in Mind: Since it’s pre-portioned, you can’t add more detergent if you feel like you need it.

For a citrus-scented set of dishes, consider the Finish Gelpacs Dishwasher Detergent. The set of gel pods has an orange scent to it that adds a sense of freshness with each wash.

The set is offered in three amounts of pods: 32, 54, and 84. Each set includes pre-portioned pods that are wrap-free, so you don’t have to worry about any unnecessary plastic with each use. Since they’re pre-made you won’t be able to add more detergent if you need. However, the effective pods will work to get rid of grease and food.

Price at time of publish: $15

Product Details:

Scent: Orange

Form: Gel pod

Quantity: 84 pods

Palmolive PowerPacs Dishwasher Pods

Best Fragrance-Free

Buy at Amazon.com

Why You Should Get It: They’re made with biodegradable ingredients and are effective on food that’s been stuck on dishes for 48 hours.

Keep in Mind: It includes fewer pods in the pack than other similar styles.

The best dishwasher detergent for those who prefer a fragrance-free option is Palmolive PowerPacs Pods. Made with biodegradable ingredients, the pre-portioned pods are effective at cleaning dishes and drinkware.

The pack includes 60 pods, which is fewer than some other similar styles. However, they’ll clean food off of dishes that’s been there for 48 hours, which is longer than what some other detergents can handle. Plus, the formula aids in stain removal, leaving your dishes looking brand new.

Price at time of publish: $17

Product Details:

Scent: Unscented

Form: Pod

Quantity: 60 pods

BLUELAND Dishwasher Detergent Tablet

Best Plastic-Free

Buy at Amazon.com

Buy at Blueland.com

Why You Should Get It: The packaging is plastic-free as well as compostable. The pods are also fragrance-free and can be purchased as a subscription.

Keep in Mind: The pods are more expensive than other similar styles.

These BLUELAND tablets are the best dishwasher detergent option if you want to cut back on plastic at home. In addition to plastic-free tablets, the packaging is both plastic-free and compostable as well.

The unscented dishwasher detergent comes in pre-portioned pod form. However, there’s no plastic to dissolve, unlike similar styles. Instead, it’s a tablet that will dissolve when the dishwasher runs.

Just like any other tablet or pod, all you have to do is place it right into your dishwasher’s main wash compartment. The tablets clean dishes and glasses, but they can also get silver and porcelain clean as well.

The package includes 60 tablets and while that should last you about two months, you can sign up for a subscription that ensures you’ll never run too low. The subscription will help you save a bit of money, too, which is worth noting as this pick is more expensive than other options.

Part of what makes this pick one of the best dishwasher detergents is you won’t find parabens, ammonia, or other harsh chemicals in these. The cruelty-free pods also are U.S. EPA Safer Choice certified as well as Cradle to Cradle Certified, ensuring they’re environmentally friendly and safely made, respectively.

Price at time of publish: $24

Product Details:

Scent: Unscented

Form: Tablet

Quantity: 60 tablets

:

Finish Powerball Dishwashing Tablets

Best for Deep Clean

Buy at Amazon.com

Why You Should Get It: The set includes 85 tablets and can eliminate dried food, stains, and film.

Keep in Mind: The tablets have a fresh scent and are more expensive than other similar options.

For dishes that could use an extra boost of cleaning power, the best dishwasher detergent is the Finish Powerball Dishwashing Tablets. The tablets offer a deep clean and can help eliminate dried food, stains, and film.

The set includes 85 tablets, which is more than most packs of detergent pods. Each tablet is effective due in part to the tablet’s “powerball” core which works to eliminate grease, tea stains, and even dried oatmeal. The set is more expensive than other similar options and has a fresh scent as well, which may not suit your preferences.

Price at time of publish: $28

Product Details:

Scent: Fresh Scent

Form: Tablet

Quantity: 85 tablets

:

Grab Green Automatic Dishwashing Detergent Pods

Best Plant-Based

Buy at Amazon.com

Why You Should Get It: It’s offered in a variety of scent options, as well as unscented, so you can choose which suits your preferences best.

Keep in Mind: The powder pod has a dissolvable wrapping, so it’s not ideal if you prefer a wrap-free option.

The best dishwasher detergent for those who prefer a plant-based formula is this option by Grab Green. The detergent, which comes in pod form, is transparent with the ingredients they use and is formulated with a plant-based and mineral-based formula.

The set includes 60 pods and is offered fragrance-free, as well as in three scents: tangerine lemon grass, thyme fig leaf, and red pear with magnolia. The hypoallergenic formula can cut through grease and will leave your dishes and drinkware shining. Just keep in mind that these pre-packaged pods do have a dissolvable wrapping, so it’s not ideal if you prefer a wrap-free option.

Price at time of publish: $21

Product Details:

Scent: Unscented

Form: Pod

Quantity: 60 pods

Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Gel

Best Dye-Free

Buy at Amazon.com

Buy at Walmart.com

Why You Should Get It: It’s made with plant-based ingredients and is a fairly large bottle.

Keep in Mind: The lemon scent may not be ideal.

The Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Gel is the best dishwasher detergent if you need a dye-free option. The 70-ounce bottle incorporates plant-based cleaning components and has no synthetic fragrances added. Plus, it’s also free from chlorine, phosphate, and dyes.

Although the detergent has a refreshing lemon scent that may not suit your preferences, it’s worth noting that it comes from essential oils and botanical extracts rather than fragrances. Plus, the bottle lists all of the ingredients, so you can see what’s in it for yourself.

Price at time of publish: $8

Product Details:

Scent: Lemon

Form: Liquid gel

Quantity: 70 ouncesThe Bottom Line

Overall, the best dishwashing detergent is the Cascade Platinum + Oxi Dishwasher Pods. The pods are effective at removing food stains, burnt-on food, and hard water film. Plus, the pre-portioned pods are easy to use.What to Know About Dishwasher Detergent Before Shopping

Scent

Dishwasher detergents are typically offered either unscented or with lemon, orange, or fresh scents. According to Tam, lemon is popular as it offers a natural, clean smell. Since some scents can be overpowering, however, the best dishwasher detergent scent, or lack thereof, really comes down to personal preference.

Form 

Dishwasher detergent exists in many forms, including liquids, pods, powders, tablets, and gels. Dishwashers can typically handle any type, but be sure to check your specific model just in case.

According to Tam, pods and tablets generally cut Bounty Select-A-Size 2-Ply Paper Towels, White (108 sheets/roll, 12 rolls) on waste because it prevents people from using more liquid than necessary, which happens often. Pods and tablets all tend to have grease-fighting agents and/or rinse aid. However, he noted that some could potentially release microplastics, even if they’re biodegradable.

Liquid and powder detergents will give you more control over how much product you use. However, they aren’t pre-portioned packaged amounts and could be messier than some other options.

Quantity

Whether you use your dishwasher every day, or a few days a week, it’s important to keep in mind how many pods, tablets, or ounces of detergent you’re getting. Standard packages of tablets typically include around 60 individual pods, which are likely to last around two months depending on how many times you run your dishwasher. There are also usually smaller and larger packages depending on your needs. On the other hand, a liquid or powder option will be upwards of 75 ounces.Your “Member’s Mark Power Flex Tall Kitchen Drawstring Trash Bags (13 gal., 200 ct.), Answered

Can you hand wash dishes with detergent?

Whether or not you can hand wash dishes with detergent depends on the detergent you’re using. According to Tam, dishwasher detergents are usually more concentrated because they’re designed to be “diluted in significant amounts of water in the dishwasher.”

For added safety, Tam recommends wearing gloves if you hand wash dishes with your detergent.

Can I use dish soap in my dishwasher?

According to Tam, you should not use dish soap in your dishwasher. For starters, dish soap isn’t as concentrated as dishwasher detergent, so it likely won’t get things as clean as you need them to be.

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