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Top 10 Best Dishwasher Detergents In 2021

The ideal dishwasher cleaning solution is one that gets your utensils sparkling, without creating residue or white film. Check out our guide, which contains a list of the best-performing dishwasher detergents

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Finish All In 1 Dishwasher Detergent Review

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Cleaning Power
Residue
Features
Value
OVERALL

Price

#1

owl

$95

#2

owl

$88

#3

owl

$80

#4

owl

$80

#5

owl

$80

#6

owl

$80

#7

owl

$90

#8

owl

$87

#9

owl

$80

#10

owl

$80

OUR EVALUATION

PROS

  • It's relatively inexpensive asit's prized at $44.85, which makes it very affordable.
  • It is programmable and effortless to clean.

CONS

    OUR EVALUATION

    PROS

    • It's relatively inexpensive asit's prized at $44.85, which makes it very affordable.
    • It is programmable and effortless to clean.

    CONS

      How to Choose a Dishwasher Detergent

      There’s a reason why special detergents are designated for use in a dishwasher. Regular dish soap just doesn’t cut it. It produces foamy suds, which end up pushing the water out. With dishwasher detergent, it carries out the cleaning efficiently without creating suds.

      So while most dishwashers don’t suffer any damage from the dish soap, the resulting flood of suds can damage your kitchen flooring.

      Furthermore, these suds can create spilled water which has the potential to wreck electrical outlets nearby. To avoid such a situation, be sure to invest in a premium-quality dishwasher detergent.

      We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the world of dishwasher detergents.

      What to look for in a dishwasher detergent

       Type of Detergent

      Have you ever pulled a cup from your dishwasher only to find that it was still dirty? If you have, you might want to swap your dishwasher detergent for a more effective one.

      Now, there are three kinds of dishwasher detergents: powders, gels and tablets. Even though you have a preference for one type, it’s good to get acquainted with all three. So let’s look at their differences:

      Gels

      If you’re looking to save money, gels are usually the cheapest type. However, this money-saving benefit comes at a cost of cleaning power. Compared to powders and tablets, gels have less cleaning power.

      The manner in which gels are formulated means that they don’t blend enzyme agents and bleach; and as a result, fail to effectively remove the more stubborn stains stuck on dishes.

      Nonetheless, their gentle composition has a couple of perks. For instance, it’s suitable for cleaning delicate dishes.

      Powders

      With powders, you can either pour or scoop into your dishwasher’s dispenser. While they create a bit of a mess, they have excellent cleaning power.

      Another advantage of using powders is the fact that they’re not too pricey. Plus, they offer you the freedom to determine what amount of detergent to use. This really comes in handy if you’re looking to wash a small load of utensils or have a small dishwasher that doesn’t require a large amount of detergent.

      One drawback though is the abrasive nature of detergent powders. This makes them unfit for use on delicate kitchenware.

      Pods or Tablets

      These can either be in powder or gel form. They are designed to dissolve the minute they come into contact with water.

      One perk of using pods or tablets is that they’re versatile.Whether you place them in the dispenser or main compartment of your dishwasher, they’ll still work effectively.

      Another key benefit of these detergents is that they let you use a precise amount of the cleaning product. It means that 1) they don’t generate too much foam and 2) prevent you from wasting the detergent per wash.

      Type of Water

      You can’t use the same detergents that you use in soft water for hard water. The reason is that these cleaning products may not have power to break down the minerals in hard water.

      So if you use hard water, you’ll want to look for a detergent designed specifically for this type of water. Ideally, they should be sodium-based, and capable of softening hard water.

      Another hack that might help is to use a rinse aid alongside your dishwasher detergent. This product is great for preventing residues from forming on your utensils.

      Packaging

      One caveat with powder detergents is their ready tendency to absorb moisture and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. If this happens, the detergent loses efficacy and it becomes a lumpy.

      To avoid such a situation, ensure you read the manufacturer’s instructions before opening your detergent’s packaging. Once you’re done using it, keep it closed until your next use. Do the same for gel and tabular detergents too.

      #1 - Cascade Complete Actionpacs Dishwasher Detergent: Best Overall

      #1

      CASCADE Complete ActionPacs

      The detergent not only cleans your dishes but also removes stains. It has a unique stain-fighting formula that keeps your dishes stain-free.

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      #1

      CASCADE Complete ActionPacs

      CASCADE Complete ActionPacs Dishwasher Detergent Review

      The detergent not only cleans your dishes but also removes stains. It has a unique stain-fighting formula that keeps your dishes stain-free.

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      This is by far one of the best dishwasher detergents on the market.

      The detergent, which comes in the form of pods, dissolves easily in water.

      But where ActionPacs really shines is in its cleaning power. It’s capable of removing even those stains that have been sitting on your dishes for 24 hours; you don’t need to do any pre-washing.

      Simply place one pac in the dishwasher’s main dispenser, another in the close dispenser and you’re good to go.

      #2 - Amazon Brand Solimo Dishwasher Detergent: Best Packs

      #2

      Amazon Brand Solimo

      When loading up dirty dishes in a dishwasher, you’d need to remove stuck-on food. It’s not the case with these pacs. They can remove all the grease and stuck-on food without pre-washing the dishes.

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      #2

      Amazon Brand Solimo

      Amazon Brand Solimo Dishwasher Detergent Review

      When loading up dirty dishes in a dishwasher, you’d need to remove stuck-on food. It’s not the case with these pacs. They can remove all the grease and stuck-on food without pre-washing the dishes.

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      Nowadays, people prefer single-dose dishwasher detergents, primarily because of their convenience. This is as easy as it can get when it comes to doing dishes. You simply take one out, put inside your dishwasher and configure it to run.

      In that regard, the Amazon Brand Solimo detergent pacs are one of the best. These are formulated to remove stains from your dishes and double up as a rinse aid. This package includes about 85 pacs, which are sure to get your dishes spotlessly clean.

      #3 - Finish All In 1 Dishwasher Detergent: Best Tablet

      #3

      Finish All In 1

      What stands out is its glass protection ingredient that leaves your dishes dry and shiny.

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      #3

      Finish All In 1

      Finish All In 1 Dishwasher Detergent Review

      What stands out is its glass protection ingredient that leaves your dishes dry and shiny.

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      If you’re looking for an economical option, tablet detergents like the Finish All in 1, are your best bet. The fact that they come in tabular form means they provide a precise amount of detergent per single saving. Ultimately, you end up using less per wash.

      The Finish All in 1 is particularly effective because it’s multipurpose. In addition to removing stains, it also rinses away residues. Thus, you don’t have to worry about washing your dishes multiple times to get them completely clean.

      #4 - Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid: Best Gel

      #4

      Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid

      The gel contains biodegradable surfactants hence not harmful to the environment. Also, it’s equipped with grease cleaning power three times so you don't need to run the dishwasher for a long time.

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      #4

      Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid

      Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Review

      The gel contains biodegradable surfactants hence not harmful to the environment. Also, it’s equipped with grease cleaning power three times so you don't need to run the dishwasher for a long time.

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      Loved for their gentle composition, gel dishwasher detergents like Dawn Ultra are another option worth considering. This is an upgrade on Dawn’s earlier detergent, and it touts having a more powerful formula.

      This dishwashing detergent is quite versatile. Apart from washing utensils, it can be used to clean your stainless steel appliances and even tires and rims. Plus, this package includes a non-scratch scrubber, which is handy for removing grease and baked-on stains.

      #5 - Method Dish Dishwasher Detergent: Best Budget

      #5

      Method Dish Dishwasher Detergent

      The product is made from non-toxic ingredients making it even more attractive for this price point. Also, its fragrance-free option makes it a solid buy for people with allergies.

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      #5

      Method Dish Dishwasher Detergent

      Method Dish Dishwasher Detergent Review

      The product is made from non-toxic ingredients making it even more attractive for this price point. Also, its fragrance-free option makes it a solid buy for people with allergies.

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      Not looking to spend a ton of money? Don’t worry. There are affordable dishwasher detergents on the market, such as Method Dish Dishwasher Packs.

      For a small price, the manufacturer offers a 45-pack dishwasher-friendly cleaning solution.There’s even a reusable pouch, meaning you have everything you need to keep your dirty dishes clean. 

      #6 - MRS. MEYER’S Lemon Verbena Dishwasher Detergent: Best Natural

      #6

      MRS. MEYER'S Lemon Verbena

      The product is made from plant-derived cleaning ingredients. This means it doesn't contain phthalates, parabens and animal-derived ingredients.

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      #6

      MRS. MEYER'S Lemon Verbena

      MRS. MEYER'S Lemon Verbena Dishwasher Detergent Review

      The product is made from plant-derived cleaning ingredients. This means it doesn't contain phthalates, parabens and animal-derived ingredients.

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      Using a natural dishwasher detergent is good not only for your skin but also for the environment. If you’re looking for such a product, Mrs. Meyer’s Lemon Verbena is a safe bet.

      Coming in a 16-ounce bottle, the detergent is completely free of chemicals. It contains only plant-based ingredients, which work well to remove stains from dishes. Other than its efficacy, you will also love the citrus scent of this natural detergent.

      #7 - Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent: Best Scented

      #7

      Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent

      Apart from the sweet aroma, this dishwashing detergent doesn't have synthetic dyes (non-biodegradable) and volatile organic compounds that compromise air quality.

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      #7

      Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent

      Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Review

      Apart from the sweet aroma, this dishwashing detergent doesn't have synthetic dyes (non-biodegradable) and volatile organic compounds that compromise air quality.

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      For a scented dishwasher detergent, the Liquid Soap by Seventh Generation is hard to beat.

      Formulated using essential oils and botanical ingredients, this cleaning solution boasts a really unique fragrance that’s sure to leave your kitchen smelling good.

      Now, this detergent doesn’t excel only in terms of fragrance. It’s made purely using natural ingredients. Even the fragrance is derived from natural lemongrass and clementine zest.

      #8 - Cascade Complete Dishwasher Detergent: Best Pods

      #8

      Cascade Complete

      The product is infused with essential lemon oils that remove foul odor, leaving your equipment smelling fresh.

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      #8

      Cascade Complete

      Cascade Complete Dishwasher Detergent Review

      The product is infused with essential lemon oils that remove foul odor, leaving your equipment smelling fresh.

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      If you prefer to use detergent pods, these ones by Cascade will be of great benefit. They have superb cleaning power as they can remove any burnt-on stains without requiring a pre-wash.

      Furthermore, they serve a dual-purpose whereby they dry cleanly without leaving any traces of water. These detergent pods can also get rid of built-up limescale, grease and odors.

      #9 - Finish Hard Water Dishwasher Detergent: Best For Hard

      Water

      #9

      Finish Hard Water

      Apart from softening hard water, it removes tough coffees and tea stains just as well as regular dishwashing detergents.

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      #9

      Finish Hard Water

      Finish Hard Water Dishwasher Detergent Review

      Apart from softening hard water, it removes tough coffees and tea stains just as well as regular dishwashing detergents.

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      This black reusable face mask is undoubtedly one of the best face masks. It comes with a clip nose bridge to ensure proper coverage and has multilayers. It is made of a comfortable material that fits the face perfectly and allows proper breathing. 

      #10 - Finish Jet-Dry Rinse Agent: Best Rinse Aid

      #10

      Finish Jet-dry Rinse Agent

      The product is also equipped with a glass protection ingredient to keep your glasses, cups, and plates shinier.

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      #10

      Finish Jet-dry Rinse Agent

      Finish Jet-dry Rinse Agent Review

      The product is also equipped with a glass protection ingredient to keep your glasses, cups, and plates shinier.

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      If you’re accustomed to using powder and gel detergents, a rinse aid will make an excellent addition to your collection of cleaning products.

      A rinse aid, such as Finish Jet-dry, is great for drying dishes and preventing spots from forming; hence, leaving your dishes sparkling.

      One thing we like about this rinse aid is that it comes in a big bottle (32 ounces). It means that it will last you several washes before running out.

      FAQ

      Can you use regular dish soap in my dishwasher?

      Although you can, it’s not advisable to use regular dish soap for your dishwasher. These other types of detergents generate too many suds. When this happens, they push the water out of your dishwasher, making the dishwashing process less efficient.

      How should you store dishwasher detergent?

      The correct way to store your dishwasher detergent is in a dry spot, which cannot be accessed easily by children or pets.

      What happens if you add an excess amount of dishwasher detergent?

      For one, the detergent may fail to dissolve fully, and this will make the wash water grainy. This may result in residue being left on your dishwashers.

      Two, if the detergent dissolves completely, then it will likely produce too many suds. Ultimately, this will cause residue problems as well. If you add too much detergent by accident, add a tiny amount of vinegar. This product is great at dissolving the excess soap and foam.

       What precautions should I take when using dishwasher detergent?

      For the most part, using a dishwasher detergent is easy. But there are a few safety rules you should observe:

      Always store your detergent away from reach of children; even if they come with child-resistant caps

      Add the detergent to your dishwasher just a short while before you switch it on. In case there’s residue left in your appliance, ensure you clean it out

      Look for cautionary statements. For instance, if a detergent has a high pH, you may see the warning, “burns skin and throat”.

      Our Final Recommendations

      With every washing cycle, your utensils should come out looking fresh and sparkling. To achieve this outcome, it’s important that you invest in a detergent designed specifically for a dishwasher. Such a cleaning solution works effectively without producing too many suds or leaving residue on your dishes.

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