The 10 Best Dishwashing Tablets
This wiki has been updated 7 times since it was first published in July of 2020. Dishwashing pods and tabs take the guesswork out of adding detergent, making cleanup duty quicker and more convenient. Modern tablets use enzymes to remove food and stains, which helps dishwashers use less water and often eliminates the need for pre-rinsing. Our selection includes classic formulas and eco-friendly options to ensure that your plates and glasses come out sparkling clean every time. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
September 01, 2020:
Dish pods are ubiquitous these days, but they're a relatively recent addition to the detergent industry. First popularized by the infamous Tide Pods, tablets have become a household staple thanks to their convenience and cleaning power.
A quieter revolution took place alongside the invention of pods. In 2010, 17 states banned phosphates for environmental reasons, and the ingredient disappeared from labels. Cleaning power suffered at first, but the industry adapted. Modern detergents use natural enzymes that break down food and stains without the environmental consequences of phosphates.
Cascade has been a household name for decades, and they make two reliable options: Cascade Platinum Plus and Cascade Complete. Their stiffest competition comes from the Finish Quantum Powerball, although generic-brand competitors like Member's Mark Ultimate Clean and Kirkland Signature Premium have started to catch up.
For consumers who like to buy sustainably, many companies take the eco-friendly mission further than just enzymes. Seventh Generation Ultra Power Plus and Puracy Platinum packs are just as effective as those from larger companies.
No matter how effective the detergent, results will never be completely predictable in every dishwasher. Older machines generally use more water, and working temperature may vary by model. Modern machines should work with a variety of detergents, but it may take some trial and error to find the best pod for your dishwasher, so you can avoid spots, residue, or oversudsing. Households with hard water should look into a rinse-aid, which helps eliminate water spots and residue.
Ingestion of dishwasher packs is never a good idea, and the formulas are often alkaline enough to cause severe damage. Households with young children should take precautions — store pods out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cabinet.