Best Dishwasher Detergent Reviews

Best Dishwasher Detergent – Wirecutter

It is a big job for a dishwasher detergent to clean the dishwasher. Dishes, flatware, cookware, and glasses must be free of baked-on and dried-on foods, without damage to delicate surfaces.

Furthermore, it needs to be compatible with different water hardness levels in order to be safe for dishwashers and everything else you put in them. When you find a great one, you won’t have to rewash your items by hand or run the machine again – or worse, you will get flawless results right away.

Testing performed by the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab found that dishwashing tablets, gels, and powders are all effective. Which form you decide to choose is basically determined by your personal preferences and your budget.

Powders and single-dose packs or tablets are usually most affordable, while liquids and gels are usually more convenient but more expensive. The biggest differences observed in our tests are between brands, not forms within the same brand, so as long as you choose a brand that cleans well in your machine and with your water hardness, any form should work!

We use our own greasy spinach mix to test dishwasher detergents in the GH Cleaning Lab. Milk gets brushed onto glasses, beaten egg yolk covers bowls and plates, and lipstick is applied to the rims of coffee cups.

In addition to baking macaroni and cheese and baking baked beans, we also cook hamburgers in a skillet and cook oatmeal in a saucepan. The two identical dishwashers we use for all our detergent testing are dried out or baked on for two hours before we load them up.

Our cleaning process is followed by a visual inspection to identify any food bits or oils left behind after cleaning. Our glasses are also closely examined in a lightbox for spots and film left behind. Tests are performed on every detergent the same way in order to ensure more reliable results. GH Cleaning Lab recommends the following dishwasher detergents:

Editor’s Recommendation: Top 5 Best Dishwasher Detergent

Top 10 Best Dishwasher Detergent Reviews

1. Cascade Actionpacs Dishwasher Detergent, Lemon Scent

Cascade Actionpacs Dishwasher Detergent, Lemon Scent, 20 Count

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  • For dazzling plates, use Cascade ActionPacs to power away greasy residue.
  • Dishwashing detergent ActionPacs featuring Dawn’s grease-fighting capability
  • Rinse assist action removes residues while leaving a beautiful shine.
  • Dish detergent from ActionPacs is simple to use.
  • Dish soap comes in a range of scents and sizes.

Cascade ActionPacs effectively remove oily residue from dishes, leaving them gleaming. Dawn dishwashing soap is combined with the grease-fighting power of ActionPacs. The action of the rinse aid removes debris and leaves a beautiful shine behind. ActionPacs dish detergent is simple to use and dose. It is possible to find dish detergent in a range of flavors and sizes.

2. Cascade Free & Clear Dishwasher Detergent ActionPacs

Cascade Free & Clear Dishwasher Detergent ActionPacs, Lemon Essence, 33ct

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  • Brand: Cascade
  • Scent: Lemon
  • Item Form: Liquid
  • Recommended Uses For Product: Cleaning

If you like your detergents to be free of strong fragrances and dyes, the Cascade Free & Clear ActionPacs are the best option, according to our tests. This formula is the best-performing recipe of its kind. Across the board, it performs nearly as well as the standard ActionPacs with Dawn that we discussed above, earning it our recommendation rating. However, it is significantly more expensive per dose and is one of the more expensive dishwashing detergents we examined.

3. Cascade Dishwasher Detergent Gel

Cascade Dishwasher Detergent Gel, Fresh Scent, 75 oz

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  • More difficult to clean up than oily messes
  • Effortlessly removes residues
  • Tea stains are easily removed with this product.
  • Dissolving in a short period of time
  • Use with confidence on any dishwasher-safe dinnerware.
  • Tougher than greasy messes
  • Powers away residues
  • Powers away tea stains
  • Quick dissolving
  • Formulated with the grease-fighting power of Dawn
  • Also available in easy-to-use ActionPacs

Cascade Gel dishwasher detergent quickly and effectively removes oily residue, leaving your dishes gleaming. As an added bonus, it’s created with Dawn’s grease-fighting strength. Cascade Gel effectively removes oily residue from plates, resulting in dazzling dishes that set the tone for every meal.

Cascade Gel’s two-in-one mix, which contains the trusted grease-fighting power of Dawn, leaving your dishes shining and ready for your next mealtime masterpiece. Cascade Gel dishwasher detergent, the #1 recommended brand in North America, is the best choice for sparkling dishes that are clean and shining.

Compared to any other automatic dishwashing detergent brand, more dishwasher brands in the U.S. recommend Tide Xtra. As part of co-marketing agreements, recommendations are made.

4. Finish Quantum 64ct ishwasher Detergent

Finish - Quantum - 64ct - Dishwasher Detergent - Powerball - Ultimate Clean & Shine - Dishwashing Tablets - Dish Tabs

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  • There’s no need to soak or rinse first. Cuts through oil, breaks down, and pulls away even scorched, dried-on food that has been sitting for 24 hours.
  • Dishwasher that dissolves quickly Power Gel removes residue for a flawless clean and shine.
  • Tea and coffee stains are easily removed with this advanced powder that contains bleach.
  • Glass Protect Action is included to help prevent glass deterioration and redeposition.

Finish Quantum takes your clean to the next level. Three powerful actions are delivered by three independent fast-dissolving chambers: breaking down and lifting the toughest messes, grease cutting power, and a last shine boost.

Because there is a clean environment. Then there’s that which is so spotless that it gleams. The three-chamber tab has the cleaning power of an overnight soak, scrubbing away even 24-hour dried-on food! Advanced bleach powder targets and removes tough stains like tea and coffee. Our fast-dissolving tab removes residue for a brilliant sheen.

5. Great Value Automatic Dishwasher Gel

Great Value Automatic Dishwasher Gel, Lemon Scent | New Improved Formula | Ultra Grease Fighting | Phosphate free - 75 Ounce (Pack of 1)

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  • 75 fl oz. Great Value Automatic Dishwasher Gel, Lemon Scent Use this to keep your cups, plates, and glasses clean. Automatic Dishwasher Gel at a Great Price
  • It has a new and enhanced formula with a light lemon scent that will fill your kitchen with joy.
  • This automatic dishwashing gel is designed to eliminate oil and can handle stuck-on food for up to 24 hours.
  • Provides a gleaming finish; ideal for short washing cycles; Free of phosphate
  • With Great Value Automatic Dishwasher Gel, you may have a greater cleaning experience while admiring the gleaming gloss of your dishes.

Great Value Automatic Dishwasher Gel will keep your cups, plates, and glasses clean. It has a new and enhanced formula with a light lemon flavor that will make your kitchen smell fantastic.

This automatic dishwashing gel is designed to eliminate oil and can handle stuck-on food for up to 24 hours. It comes in a bottle with a dispenser top, allowing you to easily pour out the exact amount you require.

Fill both the pre-wash and main wash cups completely for the best results. Combine this gel with Great Value Dishwasher Rinse Aid for gleaming, spot-free dishes. With Great Value Automatic Dishwasher Gel, you may have a greater cleaning experience while admiring the gleaming gloss of your dishes.

6. Kirkland Signature UltraShine Dishwasher Detergent Pacs

Kirkland Signature UltraShine Dishwasher Detergent Pacs, Lemon Citrus, 115 Ct

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  • UltraShine Platinum Performance
  • Pacs for Automatic Dishwasher Detergent
  • Citrus fragrance of lemon
  • Container weighing 3.54 lbs
  • a total of 115

Those that shop at Costco may be interested in the Kirkland Signature Platinum Performance UltraShine pacs. Food removal and film resistance tests yield Excellent results for the formula, which costs only 9 cents per dosage.

As a result, the formula has earned our CR Best Buy designation for delivering outstanding performance at a reasonable cost. It also outperformed the second Costco store-brand pack, Kirkland Signature Premium, by a significant margin.

7. Lemi Shine Natural Dishwasher Pods

Lemi Shine Natural Dishwasher Pods - All-in-One Powder & Gel Dishwasher Detergent Pods with Powerful Citric Acid, 65 Count

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  • The Lemi Shine Natural Dishwasher Detergent Pods have a SPARKLINGLY CLEAN FINISH because they are Dual Chamber, Powder and Gel Combo, which means you can finally skip the pre-wash and put plates right into your dishwasher. Includes a bonus pack of Dishwasher Cleaner, which was named the winner of PARENTS Best Green Cleaners in 2021!
  • WE DO NOT LEAVE A SOAPY RESIDUE: Our dishwashing detergent pods clean and remove oil, stains, and stuck-on food from dishware without leaving behind a soapy residue.
  • CLEANING THAT IS ECO-FRIENDLY AND GREEN: Our dishwashing pods are powered by natural citric acid, making them a safer and more environmentally responsible option for cleaning your dishes.
  • SIMPLE TO USE: Lemi Shine dishwasher detergent powder and gel pods are simple to use, environmentally friendly, and leave your dishes smelling fresh with a lemon fragrance.
  • GUARANTEEED CLEAN EVEN IN HARD WATER: Lemi Shine dishwashing soap is successful in removing even the toughest stains from your dishes without the need of bleach or ammonia, even when using hard water.

What is the Purpose of Citric Acid?

To fight bacteria, filth, hard water buildup, and the muck that allows germs to grow again, we employ powerful citric acid in all of our recipes.

You Can Smell It’s So Clean

It’s not only for show that there’s a fresh lemony aroma. Citric extracts (also known as citric acid) are the active ingredient in our product. With Lemi Shine, you’ll get a clean that’s so strong you’ll be able to smell it working.

Combo of Powder and Gel

Using strong citric acid, the dual-chamber powder and gel mix cuts through grease and filth. Leaves a pleasant citrus aroma behind!

The cleaner the better

We won’t use an ingredient if it isn’t safe. It’s as simple as that. When you clean with Lemi Shine, you can rest assured that you’re using a product that’s safe for young hands and paws.

Formulas that have won awards

Our products have won honors, not to brag, but they have! Parents Magazine awarded our Toilet Bowl Cleaner the 2020 Green Pick Award, and Bustle chose Lemi Shine as one of the finest Dishwasher Cleaners of 2020.

Founded and manufactured in the United States of America

It all began in rural west Texas, where a little-known brand blossomed into a full line of safe, effective, and inexpensive cleaning products. To this day, Lemi Shine products are still created in the United States!

8. Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Packs

Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Packs, Fragrance Free, 73 Count (Packaging May Vary)

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  • The enzyme-rich composition breaks through thick grease and food residue, leaving dishes spotless.
  • There are no scents, colors, phosphates, or chlorine bleach in this product.
  • Dishwasher single dosage packs are simple to use and toss into the dishwasher.
  • 78 percent USDA certified bio-based product
  • Tub packaging was created to be compact, easy to store, and maintain freshness.

The Right Amount Every Time

A simple single dosage dishwashing pack that is ready to toss right into the dishwasher and comes in a resealable bag or tub for easy use!

Powerful Clean

Clean Enzyme-rich composition breaks through thick oil and food residue, leaving dishes spotless!

EPA Safer Choice Certified

Seventh Generation Free and Clear Dishwasher Detergent Packs are EPA Safer Choice Certified and produced with plant-based chemicals that are free of perfumes, colors, phosphates, and chlorine bleach!

Don’t allow messes get in the way of your busy life. Seventh Generation dishwasher packs provide a quick and effective clean that blasts through difficult residue to leave your dishes streak-free after just one wash, with no need to pre-rinse.

Our single dosage dishwashing packs are packaged in a dissolvable PVA film that can be tossed immediately into the dishwasher, eliminating the need to unwrap or measure typical powders and gels.

Our innovative tub packaging is 100% recyclable and was created with storage and freshness in mind — the shape fits nicely in small locations, and the flip top clasp keeps the pack fresh.

Fragrance-free dishwasher detergent packs from Seventh Generation are manufactured with plant-based components that are free of perfumes, dyes, phosphates, and chlorine bleach. Because, believe us when we say that we can do the job without them. Safe has been carefully crafted by Seventh Generation for over 25 years.

9. Amazon Brand – Solimo Dishwasher Detergent Pacs

Amazon Brand – Solimo Dishwasher Detergent Pacs, Fresh Scent, 85 Count

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  • 85 dishwasher detergent pacs (enough for 85 loads) are included.
  • Solimo dishwasher detergent pacs are strong on oil, stains, and residue while removing stuck-on food.
  • When using Solimo dishwasher detergent pacs, no pre-rinse is required, making cleaning a breeze.
  • It cleans your dishes and gives them a wonderful fresh aroma.
  • No phosphates, therefore it’s safe for septic systems.
  • Amazon’s own brand

These dishwasher detergent pacs from Solimo have a fresh scent and are tough on grease, stains, and residue. When using these pacs, there is no need to wash your hands first. Use 1 pac per wash for the best results possible. This package contains one tub of 85 Fresh Scent dish detergent pacs, which is sufficient for 85 loads of washing.

10. Puracy Dishwasher Pods

Puracy Dishwasher Pods, 50 Count, Natural Dishwasher Detergent, Free & Clear Enzyme-Powered Automatic Dishwasher Pod, Spot and Residue-Free Dish Tabs, 2-in-1 Dishwasher Soap and Rinse Aid

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  • When you skip the pre-rinse, it works better.] Puracy Free & Clear biodegradable dishwasher tabs make dishwashing a breeze. A single dishwasher pod eliminates filth and dried-on crud without soaking or pre-rinsing, thanks to sophisticated plant-derived enzymes. Scrape the dishes, stack them in the dishwasher, and leave the rest to this 99.5 percent natural dishwasher soap.
  • [Developed by biochemists and tested in homes across the country] These third-generation dishwasher pills have been tried, tested, and proven to be reliable. These dish washer clean pods have passed a slew of real-world testing using a variety of water types, dishwasher models, and realistic usage. We believe we’ve finally found the perfect detergent to get your dishes squeaky clean after countless iterations and tweaks!
  • [Perfect for Dishwasher-Friendly Items] Puracy dishwashing pods are a grease-cutting, spot-free, automated detergent made from plant and mineral-derived components. These dish tabs easily remove difficult food stains with their gentle (but powerful) cleaning power. These dishwashing tabs are designed for many types of dishwasher-safe goods, including pots, pans, baby bottles, glasses, and more.
  • [This product is made with 99.5 percent natural ingredients.] Are you looking for a dishwasher detergent that is plant-based, cruelty-free, and biodegradable? These dishwashing capsules are ideal for individuals who want to avoid using harsh chemicals. These potent pods eliminate food stains completely, leaving no residue behind. This wonderful, plant-powered dishwasher soap will keep your dishes clean.
  • Guaranteed Pure Love] Puracy is dedicated to developing hypoallergenic, cruelty-free products that have been thoroughly evaluated by physicians and PhD chemists. We care about your well-being. If you’re not happy with any of our products, just let us know and we’ll give you a full refund, no questions asked.

Puracy Natural Dishwashing Detergent is a grease-cutting, spot-free automatic dishwasher detergent derived from plants and minerals. To get the best results, no pre-rinsing or rinse aid is required.

To develop our third-generation auto dish formula, we took a new technique. First, we hired a chemist that specializes in dishwasher product development. We provided him specific directions to make the best-performing recipe possible with only naturally derived materials and no economic constraints.

This was the first time he hadn’t used cost allowances in his 20-year tenure. We sent it to the two dozen most dissatisfied consumers from our first and second generation dishwasher formula after he invented it.

This one-of-a-kind technique allowed us to conduct real-world testing with a variety of water types, dishwasher models, and realistic usage — something that couldn’t be done in a lab. We’re glad to announce that all two dozen testers agreed that the product was fantastic.

Their only gripe was that they’d have to go back to what they were doing before. Regardless of your water type or dishwasher model, we are convinced that you will like this product. If you don’t, please let us know and we’ll give you a full refund.

Puracy, a trusted provider for natural, plant-based, safe, hypoallergenic, and effective personal care and household needs, painstakingly selected and developed the food-grade, plant and mineral-based ingredients into a premium solution.

The patented blend of natural components is non-toxic and free of harsh chemicals and odors, making it ideal for families. Puracy’s ‘What Natural Means to Us’ definition is available on our website, and this product is 99.5 percent natural. Puracy also donates to local charity after every transaction.

different types of Dishwasher detergents

If you removed that plate from the dishwasher and it was still dirty, it may need a fresh detergent. A dishwasher detergent is available as gels, powders, or a single unit. Understanding your options is vital to making an informed decision.

  • Gels

As dishwasher detergents, gels tend to be the least effective and cheapest. It might not be as effective as other detergents at removing dried food because gelatin sulfate detergents do not contain bleach or enzymes. As a result of their water-based formulation, gels are best used on delicate dishes.

  • Powders

Dispensers are filled with powder either by pouring or scooping it. Despite their messy nature, they clean well. Liquid dishwasher detergent is generally more expensive than powder dishwasher detergent.

However, buying dishwasher powder is generally more cost-effective, and you can determine the amount to use. The smaller the dishwasher or the smaller the load, the more helpful that is.

Powdered detergent can flood your floors with foam if you use too much. There is one caveat: Powders can be too abrasive for dishes and porcelain. With the powder, you can remove stains from pans and pots that have been burned onto them.

  • Tablets or Pods with a single load

Dishwashing powder that is dissolvable in water can be found as a concentrated tablet, pod, or gel pack. In a dishwasher with a dispenser or main chamber, a pod or tablet should be placed there.

Pods and dishwasher tablets deliver an exact amount of detergent that prevents excessive foaming. Rinse aids and other additives found in many detergent tablets and pods enhance the cleaning performance of your dishwasher and remove any residue left behind by the detergent.

Also, the chemicals present in dishwasher detergent pods and tablets help to keep your dishwasher in tip-top shape. They clean, degrease, and prewash your dishwasher before you begin using it.

How to Choose The Best Dishwasher Detergent

When choosing dishwasher detergent, take into account these factors:

  • Hard Water

Dishwasher detergents can be affected by hard water, resulting in spotting on clean dishes. You might consider sodium-based, water softening detergents if you have hard water in your house.

Also, you may rinse your dishes using a rinse aid. Adding a cup of vinegar to the dishwasher after you empty it will help keep it clean. Rinse aids can be made from white vinegar.

  • Efficacy

Dishes may not always be as clean as expected when they are removed from the dishwasher. Prepare your dishes in advance of cleaning them if necessary. Dishes can be run through the dishwasher after large chunks of food have been removed.

In addition, make sure you leave enough distance between your items and the dishwasher jets so that they can reach all parts of the dish. Dishwasher dishes should not be overfilled or put in the wrong place (e.g., bottom of the dishwasher for glassware and top for plates). It is not possible to operate a dishwasher if dishes, flatware, and other items are not put in predetermined positions.

  • Dissolvability

The formulations of most detergents cannot dissolve in hard water or cold water due to their rapid dissolving abilities. Hard water requires the use of sodium-based detergents, as mentioned previously.

Verify that your wash cycle settings aren’t the problem if hard water or high temperatures are not the culprits. Choose the longest and hottest cycle for your dishwasher. The dishwasher will not receive hot water as soon as it is reached from the faucet if you take your time getting to it. Before starting your dishwasher, make sure that the kitchen sink has plenty of hot water.

  • Safe Packaging

In addition to absorbing moisture from the atmosphere, powder detergents also absorb carbon dioxide. Detergents that are lumpy or ineffective may result from this. If you want to avoid this, make sure that you always close the package completely after opening it as directed. Gel tablet and pod packaging should be the same.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dishwasher Detergent

It might seem straightforward to use dishwasher detergent, but a few misunderstandings can lead to problems. You can use the following helpful hints to better utilize dishwasher detergent.

Q. Is liquid or powder dishwasher detergent better?

Personal preference dictates whether a powder or liquid is preferred. Powder detergents, on the other hand, contain both enzymes and bleach. There will either be one or both in liquid detergents, but not both.

Q. Are dishwasher pods bad for your dishwasher?

No. You can use detergent pods to accurately measure and dissolve detergent.

Q. Why won’t my dishwasher detergent dissolve completely?

The hardness of your water or the temperature of your water may prevent your detergent from completely dissolving. Detergents based on sodium are recommended for those with hard water.


There are a lot of different dishwasher detergents on the market, but the best one for you depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you have a dishwasher with a lot of features, you‘ll want a detergent that can take advantage of them. If you‘re looking for a natural or ecofriendly option, there are plenty of those available as well. Ultimately, the best dishwasher detergent is the one that gets your dishes clean and doesn‘t cause any problems with your dishwasher.

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