Best Dishwasher Detergents

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 29, 2017
Washing agent is essential for any dishwasher. But do you know that common dishwashing liquids are not suitable for your machine? Our review tells about detergents produced specifically for dishwashers. You are welcome to choose the best dishwasher detergent! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Dosage
Extras
Active Formulas
Safety
Capacity
Warranty
 
PROS
The Power of Dawn® guarantees no more stains and spots. Shine Shield formula cleans all stuck-on food and makes your dishes dazzle, what is especially great for silverware.
CONS
Wet hands might damage a pouch.
OUR VERDICT
Regardless your lifestyle, you can always rely on Cascade Platinum ActionPacs Dishwasher Detergent. Just one pouch per one wash will always please you with amazingly clean and sparkling dishes.
detailed parameters
Type
Pacs
Dosage
1 pouch per 1 load
Extras
Rinse agent, Dishwasher water softener, Fresh scent
Active Formulas
Shine Shield formula, The Power of Dawn®
Safety
Phosphate, surfactant and chloride free
Capacity
64 pacs
Warranty
Amazon's 30-days return policy
PROS
This automatic dishwasher detergent uses the power of OxiClean to clean dried-on food, tough stains and to prevent hard water filming.
CONS
A pac may not dissolve during a short washing program.
OUR VERDICT
Having put trust in Extreme Power Crystals, you'll no way be disappointed. The crystals will scrub your dishes for ultimate washing results and brilliant shine!
detailed parameters
Type
Pacs
Dosage
1 pouch per 1 load
Extras
Rinse agent, Dishwasher water softener, Lemon scent
Active Formulas
Oxygen powered
Safety
Phosphate, surfactant and chloride free
Capacity
41 pacs
Warranty
Amazon's 30-days return policy
PROS
Finish® Powerball tabs are perfect even for short washing cycles as they completely dissolve .
CONS
Every tablet is individually packaged, and you have to unwrap it with dry hands only.
OUR VERDICT
This finish dishwasher detergent is a real money saver. The package includes 90 tabs, but you can even break a tab asunder for small washing jobs. Get this affordable detergent for finish jet-dry dazzle!
detailed parameters
Type
Tablets
Dosage
1 tablet per 1 load
Extras
Rinse agent, Dishwasher water softener, Fresh scent
Active Formulas
Powerball® formula
Safety
Non-ionic surfactant detergent; Chloride free
Capacity
90 tabs
Warranty
Amazon's 30-days return policy
PROS
Palmolive liquid dishwasher detergent provides super-effective cleaning thanks to its unique active formula. It leaves no chances even to tough food residue and baked-on messes.
CONS
It needs high temperatures.
OUR VERDICT
The name " Eco+ Gel detergent" speaks for itself. It is one of the most eco-friendly detergents on the market, which means no harm both to our health and our environment.
detailed parameters
Type
Gel
Dosage
According to manufacturer recommendations
Extras
Lemon scent
Active Formulas
Eco+® formula
Safety
Phosphate, surfactant and chloride free
Capacity
45 Ounce × 3 packages
Warranty
Amazon's 30-days return policy
PROS
Finish® Powder Dishwasher eliminates the need to pre-wash even extremely dirty dishes. It completely cleans not only cookware but also flatware.
CONS
Scent can spread over a kitchen after unpacking.
OUR VERDICT
Finish® Powder significantly simplifies the housekeeping. You can always take the needed amount of powder for your washing cycles. And lemon scent will make your dishes extremely "fresh".
detailed parameters
Type
Powder
Dosage
According to manufacturer recommendations
Extras
Lemon scent
Active Formulas
Deep Cleaning Power formula
Safety
Non-ionic surfactant detergent; Chloride free
Capacity
50 Ounce × 2 packages
Warranty
Amazon's 30-days return policy

What is a Dishwasher Detergent?

In the age of progress, people all over the world try to facilitate their lives and free themselves for enjoyable activities. Therefore, most families get a reliable kitchen helper and time saver - a dishwasher. But after purchasing such a device, we usually hesitate what detergent to choose for the most effective and safe cleaning. Of course, detergents which are not meant for a dishwasher are likely to cause the formation of a large amount of foam, which leads to an overflow and even breakdown. That's why we propose you our review of the best dishwasher detergents. Keep your dishes shiny clean and your dishwasher safe!

If you have not chosen a dishwasher yet, our review on countertop dishwashers can tell you about all the benefits of desktop models. We also recommend you to consider buying cookware sets with one of which cooking for you will turn into a less trouble and more pleasure.

What Features to Compare

Type

If you want your dishwasher to clean your cookware for many years, you should select a suitable and effective cleaning agent. Detergents are divided into the following types: powders, gels, tablets, and pacs.

If you opt for a powder or gel, you should remember that it is better to acquire additional rinsing solutions. Note that gel-based detergents dissolve water faster, that's why you are unlikely to face white residue. On the other hand, such detergents might dissolve too quickly, before all your cookware is washed.

Powder detergents are a bit slower to dissolve, though they might leave grit and white residue.

As for tablets, they are usually a mixture of gel and powder. However, some of the tablets are just powders hardened into a rectangular shape, others consist of gel with a dissolvable plastic case. The tablets help dishwashers best utilize the cleaning agents. Tablets are premeasured and they are pretty easy to dispense and use.

Pacs also deliver a premeasured amount of dishwasher detergent. Manufacturers often add special boosters, scents, rinse aids, and a lot of other extras to pacs. Hence, you can find the one that will work best for your machine. 

Safety

Also, when choosing a detergent, you should pay attention to the chemical composition which affects the safety of use. Some dishwasher agents contain phosphates that are very harmful to our environment. They don't decay and after getting into the water, phosphates boost the growth of algal blooms which significantly impair the quality of drinking water. Since America has long abandoned the massive use of phosphates, they were replaced with safer phosphonates.

Chlorinated compounds are also prohibited because they might lead to many diseases, particularly diseases of the cardiovascular system. Also, products containing chlorine are not suitable for crystal glass, porcelain, nickel silver, painted dishes, silverware.

One more harmful element is an aggressive surfactant in the pure form, therefore it is advisable to choose more safe non-ionic surfactants that are 100% biodegradable. A distinctive feature of nonionic surfactants - low foaming.

Capacity

And finally, capacity determines how soon you'll need to buy the next package, thus, it is more practical and economical to choose the maximum capacity of the detergent.

 

...Read more ...Read less

Cascade Dishwasher Detergent Fresh Scent 64 Count

A Marvel of Pouch

Making the right choice is much easier if you have no doubt in the products of a particular manufacturer. Therefore, once you try Cascade, you'll likely stop looking further. With Cascade Platinum ActionPacs Dishwasher Detergent Fresh Scent 64 Count, you can easily get rid of dirty stains and unpleasant spots on your dishes. The highest quality of ALL their products has allowed the company to take a leading position on the market. Cascade Platinum's powerful formula thoroughly removes all food residue and make dishes shine. Furthermore, Cascade dishwasher detergent is incredibly easy to use since it does not require dosing, unpacking or cleaning. You just need to put a pouch in a dispenser. Easy breezy!

Review of Cascade Dishwasher Detergent Fresh Scent 64 Count

Historical Notes

  • In order to improve the efficiency of dishwashers, in the mid-1980s there was a need to create special detergents that would cope with stuck-on food and grease. In 1984, chemist Dennis W. Weatherby has invented the first prototype of dishwasher detergents - “Automatic dishwasher detergent composition”. This was the solution registered by "Procter & Gamble" and named "Cascade". Its principle of operation lies in several cleaning stages and this detergent still serves as the basic formula for today’s cleaning products containing bleach.
  • The invention of special solutions for dishwashers was a logical step that followed directly the invention of dishwashers themselves. By the way, the first dishwashers were far from ideal. Well, the first models were produced by Miele company which was founded in 1899 by two German entrepreneurs, Reinhard Zinkann and Carl Miele. By that time, they had already become famous thanks to their invention of a bicycle and metal washing machines. In 1929, they launched Europe's first electric dishwasher. This device was top-loading, had a cylindrical shape and could be moved by means of three wheels.
  • One year later, US company "Kitchen Aid" took up the baton, but failed. The main reason was Great Depression - if people still had money for an expensive purchase, most of them chose a novelty - refrigerator. The preservation of food was more important than washing dishes. Yet, due to the invention of special detergents, dishwashers became popular after a while. Now this device is highly appreciated by millions of homemakers worldwide.
Cascade Dishwasher Detergent Fresh Scent 64 Count in the use

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Additional Info

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Cascade Dishwasher Detergent Fresh Scent 64 Count
Cascade Dishwasher Detergent Fresh Scent 64 Count
 

OxiClean Extreme Power Crystals Dishwasher Detergent, 41 Count

Best Results in One Wash

Are you sick and tired of food residue, stains or films on your dishes after a washing cycle? It is likely that it's not your dishwasher to blame, but simply a detergent could not live up the hopes laid on it. From the moment you start using OxiClean Extreme Power Crystals, you once and for all forget about all these problems! 4X concentrated oxygen powered formula removes even the toughest stains, using four times less detergent than gel or powder detergents. Furthermore, you save yourself from pre-rinsing or rewashing. Be sure - pacs of OxiClean dishwasher detergent will give your dishes a crystal clear shine. Just one pouch will allow you to spend less time in the kitchen!

Review of OxiClean Extreme Power Crystals Dishwasher Detergent, 41 Count

Some Important Rules

The choice of detergent for dishwashers is undoubtedly important, but if you don't properly use a dishwasher, you will no way achieve the desired results. So, follow these simple steps to get sparkling dishes. 

  • The main thing you need to do is to scrape off the food before placing dishes in the dishwasher. However, take it easy. Nowadays most dishwashers are powerful enough and don't need pre-rinsing. So, it's more like official procedure or just waste of time.
  • Load bowls and plates in the bottom of the dishwasher. Make sure that their dirty sides face the water spray.
  • Put pans, pots, and cookware around the other dishes, along the sides and back of the rack. Do not place them in front since they might block the water sprayer.
  • Place forks and spoons in the silverware rack but don't nest them together. In order all the surfaces get washed - put some handles up while others down.
  • Arrange glasses, mugs and cups between the tines so as to prevent water spots. 
  • As we have already mentioned, it's prohibited to use other cleaning products or liquids for dishwashers. So, choose only a special dishwasher detergent. Put such detergent in the soap dispenser, but don't overdo. 
  • Since every dishwasher machine is different, always read a manual to select a proper washing cycle. 

Hopefully, these rules will help you achieve the best cleaning results. 

Ready, set, go!

OxiClean Extreme Power Crystals Dishwasher Detergent, 41 Count in the use

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Additional Info

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OxiClean Extreme Power Crystals Dishwasher Detergent, 41 Count
OxiClean Extreme Power Crystals Dishwasher Detergent, 41 Count
 

Finish All in 1 Powerball Mega Pack, 90 Tablets

All-in-One

A well-known fact is that for the best washing results, the dishwasher needs three basic agents. The first - a detergent itself, which cleans the dishes from grease, and food residue. The second component is the rinse agent, it makes dishes shiny and removes spots, and the last is a water booster (softener) which removes water film and tough stains. That's why in order to facilitate the whole washing process, Finish® company has released All-in-1 tablets which combine all these components. Thanks to the unique and powerful washing technology, all glasses, plates, and pans come out extremely clean every time. They shine like new, without spots and films! 

Tablets "Finish All In 1" provide stunning results even during short washing cycles. Its unique PowerBalls dissolve up to 3 times faster, eliminating even the most though grease like stuck-on or dried-on food. They are pretty simple to use as every tablet is individually packaged and you just need to remove the packaging and put it into the appropriate slot. Due to its chemical composition, the product is biodegradable and safe for sewage systems.

 

Review of Finish All in 1 Powerball Mega Pack, 90 Tablets

Impact on Dishes

How can a particular ingredient contained in a dishwashing detergent, affect your cookware and silverware? Let us consider some of the most common elements.

  • The first - is a substance which contains alkali like phosphates, sodium carbonate and bleach. Chlorine and oxygen are also used in the production of these components. And if the agent contains chlorine or phosphates, it must be indicated on the packaging. Such detergents are considered to be sufficiently effective but, at the same time, very harmful to health and the environment. Also, they are not recommended for silver and aluminum products. But oxygen-based detergents can be used for almost all types of dishes, except for crystal.
  • The second group - is low-alkaline substances that become efficient only when the water temperature reaches 104 degrees F and more; the reason is the presence of enzymes. So, if you've chosen one of the low-alkaline detergents, make sure to select an appropriate temperature. Note that medical professionals claim that high temperatures are very useful since all harmful germs disintegrate.
Finish All in 1 Powerball Mega Pack, 90 Tablets in the use

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Finish All in 1 Powerball Mega Pack, 90 Tablets
Finish All in 1 Powerball Mega Pack, 90 Tablets
 

Palmolive Eco Gel Dishwasher Detergent, 45 Ounce

Cleanness With a Clear Conscience

If you crave not only for clean dishes but also for the clean environment, Palmolive Eco Gel is the thing you need! It contains no phosphates and is produced only from natural raw materials. Company «Colgate-Palmolive» - is a 13-billionth multinational corporation which sells products for oral care, for body care, household chemicals, and even animal feed. Therefore, having such a product turnover, they care for the impact of their products on the environment. Furthermore, you do not have to choose between cheap and eco-friendly products since Palmolive Eco Gel combines these two! This liquid dishwasher detergent perfectly cleans off the grease, food residue and even baked-on delicacies like lasagna. Its formula is enriched with enzymes and is made to minimize the risk of allergic reactions. All surfactants are fully biodegradable and have a vegetable origin. It also does not contain artificial colorants and preservatives. Another beneficial thing is that Palmolive Eco+ Gel has a pleasant lemon scent. However, in order to get the best washing results, we suggest using hard water booster (or dishwasher salt) and rinse agent additionally.

Review of Palmolive Eco Gel Dishwasher Detergent, 45 Ounce

See for Yourself!

In our review, we have already noted the dangerous impact of harmful substances such as phosphates and chlorine. And in order to determine whether these harmful components remain on your dishes, we suggest you conduct an experiment. Attach litmus paper to a newly-washed shiny plate and watch the reaction. If the color of litmus paper changes and becomes similar to green, your detergent contains surfactants and phosphates. And what is more importantly, these harmful elements have not been washed off completely.

Palmolive Eco Gel Dishwasher Detergent, 45 Ounce in the use

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Palmolive Eco Gel Dishwasher Detergent, 45 Ounce
Palmolive Eco Gel Dishwasher Detergent, 45 Ounce
 

Finish Powder Dishwasher Detergent, 50 Ounces

Rely on Leaders

Nowadays Finish® is the #1 recommended dishwasher brand worldwide. Since 1953 Finish® company has been constantly testing its products to provide their customers with the best quality. Such company policy allows for a leading position among detergents on the world market for over 60 years. Impressive? We believe so. 

Speaking about Finish Dishwasher Powder, we would like to stress that it is a powdered cleanser containing Deep Cleaning Power designed for gentle scrubbing of tough stains and even dried-on or baked-on food. Thus, it is not necessary to pre-wash dishes from food residue. Note that this top-notch agent cleans perfectly well not only plates, bowls, and cutlery but also "larger" dishes such as pans, pots, etc. The key point is to select the right dishwasher mode and not to overload the machine.

Like all Finish® detergents, this one is also biodegradable and safe for sewage systems. To achieve the best results, the manufacturer recommends using this powder with a rinse agent and water softening salt.

Review of Finish Powder Dishwasher Detergent, 50 Ounces

First Detergents

Modern life is simply impossible to imagine without a variety of detergents. They can be bought in almost every shop, supermarket, and in most online stores. But a few hundred years ago, people were unfamiliar with such kind of household cleaning products.

Well, when were the first detergents introduced? Like the famous Newton's law, the first detergent was invented by chance. Historians theorize that it happened in ancient times. Once, while preparation of food on fire, a drop of animal grease accidentally got to the ash (which is an alkaline element). As a result, this strange chemical composition could be washed off only with mud.

Only in the I century AD, the soap was used as a hygienic product. But, five thousand years earlier, Middle East countries had used soap-like substances for treatment and disinfection of wounds. All the substances were natural as they contained no artificial ingredients. Speaking about the synthetical solution, it was created by German Fritz Guenther only in 1916. This product was very acid, hence, could be used only in industry.

Soap for home use, which would be safe and wouldn't harm skin, appeared only 20 years later. Around the same time, the first synthetic detergent for dishes appeared. At the moment, manufacturers are very concerned about making their detergents safe, therefore many of them produce household chemicals that do not cause harm to human health and the environment.

Finish Powder Dishwasher Detergent, 50 Ounces in the use

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Finish Powder Dishwasher Detergent, 50 Ounces
Finish Powder Dishwasher Detergent, 50 Ounces
 

Sources:

1. Richard Baguley, Colin McDonald Appliance Science: How dishwasher detergents digest food stainCNET. March 16, 2016.

2. Dishwasher DetergentBuying Guide, ConsumerReports. April 2016.

3. Matthew Steen Dishwasher detergent ingredients and safetyСhoice. March 4, 2014.

4. Suzy Strutner Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Is A Real Thing, We Tried It, The Huffington Post. November 6, 2014.

5. Chris Woodford Dishwashers, ExplainThatStuff. June 23, 2016.

6. Carolyn Forte How to Get the Most Out of Your Dishwasher, Good Housekeeping. October 23, 2014.

7. Brett Martin You're Doing It Wrong: How To Load Your Dishwasher, PopularMechanics. January 14, 2016.

8. Nicole Johnson The History of Detergent & Soap, Prezi. May 26, 2015.

9. Dishwashing liquid, Wikipedia. September 13, 2016.

10. What are the Best Eco-Friendly Dishwasher and Laundry Soaps? About. 

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