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Best Dishwasher Detergent

Are you beginning to suspect that the dishwasher you bought was a waste? A Dishwasher is supposed to make your life simple, right? It’s supposed to provide you with the extra time you would’ve spent hand-washing dishes to do something more desirable. If your dishwasher isn’t doing this, take into consideration, that chances are it isn’t your machine. It is probably your dishwashing detergent. Stay put because in the next guide we will show you the best dishwasher detergents out there on the market today!

Best Dishwashing Detergents 2018

Take a quick look at the table we’ve created below, to help compare and contrast each product with the others on our list and narrow your search for the best dishwashing detergent.

ProductLoadsApproximate cost per load
Cascade Platinum ActionPacs Dishwasher Detergent, Fresh Scent62 (1 Per Action Pac)22 Cents
Finish Powerball All In 1 Automatic Dishwasher Detergent Tabs Fresh Scent85 (1 per tablet)15 cents
Finish Hard Water Dishwasher Powder Booster30 loads at 2 tablespoons20 cents
Miele72 loads, 1 per tablet54 cents
Ecover Naturally Derived Automatic Dishwasher Tablets25 1 per tablet24 cents

Now that you have a good concept of what’s available for you, let’s take it a bit further and read in-depth about each product you’re considering!

1

Cascade Platinum Powerpacs - Most Long Lasting Product

If a strong and durable cleaner is what you are looking for then the Cascade Platinum ActionPacs were made especially for you! Not only will they leave your glassware looking crystal-clear, they do it with ease. Have you given up hope that your coffee pot will ever be free of coffee stains again? The Cascade Platinum ActionPacs are simple to use. Rather than risking spillage or using excess product, simply pop one of the ActionPacs in and you’re good to go! The built-in rinse aid action and grease-fighting power has the ability to even get rid of burnt-on foods! This specific variation is one of the strongest dishwashing detergent so you’ll no longer need to waste valuable time pre-washing your dishes.

As the #1 recommended brand in North America, the results really speak for themselves. However, we can assure you that you don’t need to read anymore dishwasher soap reviews to understand that this is one of the best of the best.

PROS
  • Excellent for stainless steel and glass products
  • Gets rid of hard water stains on glassware
  • Durable and penetrative cleaner
  • Product lasts a long time
CONS
  • Some feel the scent is too strong
2

Finish Powerball All in 1 - Best Budget Product

Probably one of the best all-purpose dishwasher detergent in the market and despite the high quality results, it’s one of the cheapest out there. If you’re looking for an effective product but are on a budget, really consider the All in 1 from Finish. The Powerball line from them is probably something you’ve already seen on the commercials in between your tv shows, but you really have to experience it for yourself to witness the power it holds.

Not only does it remove tough stains on your glassware and other dishes, it also cleans your dishwasher, itself! Too often, dishwasher tubes get clogged with remnants of detergent or food particles, which decreases their efficiency over time. By cleaning it, there will be a smaller chance of food still hanging on after you’ve ran the load. Finish Powerballs will get you the results you have always expected from your dishwasher. The first time you use this product you might wonder how to use finish dishwasher cleaner with Powerball, but don’t fret! All you have to do is pop it into your dishwasher and you’re set. There is no need to pre-rinse, as the detergent tablet already contains a pre-soaker which cuts grease and helps to scrub away dried and burnt-on food.

PROS
  • Budget-friendly
  • No need to pre-rinse
  • Removes stains from tea and coffee
  • Cleans your dishwashing machine, as well as your dishes
CONS
  • Not very eco-friendly
3

Finish Hard Water Power Booster - Best for Hard Water

If you just seem to not be able to get those water spots off of your glasses, you may be living in an area with hard water. Yes, it can be a bit more of a struggle to get clean glassware, but it’s not impossible! In fact, with the Finish Hard Water Powder Booster, it won’t even seem like an issue anymore. Not only does it tackle hard water, but it removes residue and lime scale along with the film the water leaves behind. If you have an issue with removing hard, bleachable stains from substances like tea or coffee, the booster can take care of that, making them look rejuvenated.

If you’re having an issue fighting odor with your dishwasher, the Finish Booster has a fresh lemon scent that will leave your dishes and machine smelling fresh and crisp! It also works to remove and fight mineral build-up in your dishwasher so that it lasts longer and is more effective at washing your dishes!

If you’re looking for the best dishwashing detergent for hard water, then this is your go-to.

PROS
  • Removes spots, lime scale, residue, and hard water film
  • Removes tough, bleachable stains
  • Removes mineral build-up in dishwashers
CONS
  • Not very eco-friendly
4

Miele Care Collection - Strongest Product

Are you tired of prewashing your dishes? Are other products still not cutting it?  Then the Miele Care Collection tabs are an excellent alternate. This is super strong detergent that will remove any hard food stains from your dishes without harming or erasing its graphics. Every load will come out sparkling clean and the tabs will surely help you save more time and effort on home-cleaning.

Also, if you own a Miele Dishwasher, these tabs are made specifically for it. The dishwasher on its own is amazing, but by combining the two, you really reach unprecedented levels of clean! The Miele tabs are highly recommended for the Miele dishwashers specifically, but that does not mean it can’t be used on other dishwasher brands. Each detergent tablet features a powerful enzyme formula to deliver amazing results. After just one use, you’ll realize this is truly a product that means business. However, due to it being so powerful, you may need to cut the tab in half if you have soft water.

PROS
  • High-quality, heavy-strength
  • Works wonderfully in combination with Miele dishwashers
  • No need to prerinse dishes
CONS
  • May have to use half a tab due to strength with soft water
5

Ecover Natural - Best Natural Product

For those trying to go green and not risking potentially toxic chemical residue on your dishes, Ecover Zero dishwasher tablets might be what you are looking for. This eco-friendly dishwasher detergent is one of the few that get close to providing results that are just as good as non-plant-based power dishwasher detergents. Remember to take into consideration that most products that are better for our health often cost us more, financially. With that being said, this powder is slightly more expensive than your regular dishwashing detergent. However, they’re much cheaper than a doctor bill!

The powder is made with renewable plant-based and mineral ingredients, so it really is all-natural. The dishwashing powder is biodegradable and phosphate-free, although it cleans on a level like those with harsh ingredients. Stuck-on food, or even burnt-on food is a thing of the past, and leaves your glassware sparkling-clean. The product is never tested on animals, is packaged in cardboard, and even the wrappers are made from 100% recyclable polypropylene. The natural citrus fragrance smells nice, without smelling artificial. The package comes in sizes anywhere from 8-48 oz. boxes.

PROS
  • Zero fragrances, dyes, or chlorine
  • Packaged in recycled cardboard
  • Biodegradable, phosphate-free formula
  • Removes burnt-on food and leaves dishes sparkling
CONS
  • Slightly more expensive than your regular detergent

Best Dishwashing Detergent - Buyer's Guide

While selecting a detergent isn’t always the easiest thing to do, we’ve tried to make it as simple as possible for you. The items below are the mental checkmarks you need to make before making any purchase!

Detergent Form

Dishwasher detergent comes in different presentations, most of them being either a powder, liquid, tablets. Both are effective at doing their job, but how do you decide which is the absolute best dishwashing detergent for you? We’ve created a handy guide to help lead you to selecting the best dish detergent for your needs.

The detergents in the tablet form are probably the most trendy, as they’re convenient and often friendly on a budget, as you’re not risking overpouring and wasting powder. With powders, you also risk not using enough to effectively clean your dishes. In that sense, tablets are just much more convenient.

As for the powder presentation it may last longer if you’re not one of those people who dumps it in in excess. Some loads may only require a bit of detergent, where one of the tablets may be too much. Liquid detergent works similarly in this way. You can control the exact amount you think you need for that particular load, rather than going with the pre-set amount that’s in a tablet.  

Scent

Ever purchase a household cleaner or soap that you absolutely love for its cleaning effects, but just cannot stand the smell? You may find that the smell makes your feel dizzy or nauseous, which can discourage you from even cleaning the house because of it. Make sure you read the type of scent that’s listed on the product, or better yet, select an odorless one! If you’re someone who shops online for your products and is sensitive to different aromas, then that’s probably your best option.

Size/Amount

This ties in with our first point; whether or not you’re going to go with a pre-sized tablet or a more flexible detergent form, like powder or liquid. Not every dishwasher is made the same, and sometimes you aren’t going to run a full load. This means that you’ll need to consider either the size of the tablet, or if you’re going to go with another form of product. Also make sure that the tablet is going to fit the dispenser compartment!

Ingredients

This is arguably the most important factor in selecting a dishwasher detergent. Depending on your needs, you may want to select a very strong detergent which cuts grease and harsh stains. However, take into consideration that the more heavy duty products often contain potentially harmful materials like chlorine. Pay particular attention to this if you’re going to be washing things like baby bottles, as babies are more sensitive to chemicals than we are. Not every unnatural product is harmful to our health, but it may be harmful to our environment. There are all-natural dishwasher detergents out there, though, that are healthy for both us and our planet!

 Water

Pay attention if you have hard or soft water. The reason your dishes may not be clear and clean is because you live in an area where hard water is used. If so, make sure to select a detergent made to combat this. Hard water contains dissolved mineral salts such as calcium and magnesium. These minerals can easily interfere with the product’s ability to clean effectively, and also leave hard water film on your glassware. The detergents that prevent this are also often beneficial for the dishwasher, itself, as it can remove mineral build-up in the tubes and pipes connecting your machine to the water supply, making it more efficient.

Soft water isn’t really an issue in itself, however, it’s good to know if you have it. This way, if you find that your glassware still has a film on it, that it’s not due to hard water. It may actually be a result of you using too much detergent, or a different one. Believe it or not, you can actually buy a detergent that is too harsh to use in combination with soft water. If this happens, it can work against the cleaning of your dishware.

Some signs that could indicate you live in a hard water area the ones below:

There are spots on dishes and glasses when dry. Whether you pull them out of the dishwasher and they’re spotty or you stick them in the drainer to dry overnight and when you wake up, they’re covered in spots.

You find film on shower walls and doors. Hard water leaves minerals behind so you might see an unsightly film in the shower or bathtub, no matter how often they seem to be cleaned.

Dirty clothes, even after a good wash. Hard water may mean dingy, dull, or even stain clothes, despite your best efforts to clean them. Unfortunately, there can be iron deposits in hard water, and that may mean that you just can’t get those filthy clothes clean.

A high hot water bill. If it seems like your hot water heater is just working too hard, it probably is. Mineral deposits tend to build up in harder water, and as a result, a hot water heater just can’t do its job quite as effectively.

Conclusion


We know it may be hard to choose one specific dishwasher detergent brand and type since there are so many options to choose from! However, all of the items we have listed are the best of the best; as long as you read through well, you’ll find one that fits your needs perfectly. While these are all effective at getting rid of food residue and harsh stains, we couldn’t deny the overall quality of the Ecover.

Not only is it great at removing grime, hard water film, burnt-on food, and tea stains, it’s healthy for you and the environment. The harsh truth is that most dishwashing detergents are not eco-friendly. Or if the product is, the packaging isn’t. There’s a “lose” somewhere in the fine print, but we couldn’t find that with Ecover. Whichever one you decide to go with, just know that it’s one of the best dishwashing detergents you can find on the market today!