No dishwasher can be expected to perform without a reliable dishwasher detergent to match. Paired with a state of the art dishwasher, the right dishwasher detergent will remove any stains from your dishes in just a matter of minutes.
Although some might be inclined to believe than any dishwasher should do the trick, the truth is that many dishwashers are hastily formulated to provide a superficial cleansing so as to give out the impression that they work in-depth as well. To give you a good idea of what to look for, we put together a list of the ten best dishwasher detergents money can buy.
Best Dishwasher Detergents of 2018
10Bi-O-kleen Automatic Dish Gel
If you are looking to get rid of the tough grease and stains off your dishes in just one wash, Bi-O-kleen should be your ideal detergent choice. It is made using a concentrated formula that guarantees your flatware and glassware remains chemical-free and spotless. Furthermore, Bi-O-Kleen is a product made from grapefruit and orange peel extracts, with very few synthetic ingredients in its making.
9Lemi Shine Dishwasher Detergent
Other than being an efficient dish cleaner, Lemi Shine Dishwasher Detergent is also surprisingly earth-friendly all things considered. To some extent, this dishwasher contains almost no harmful ingredients to speak of, which is always something to look for if you’re environmentally conscious. What’s more, it is pre-measured by design, making it a breeze to use with virtually any dishwasher out there.
8Bubble Bandit Dishwasher Detergent (w/t Natural Phosphates)
As the name suggests, Bubble Bandit is an amazing dishwasher that contains natural phosphates. While this may raise eyebrows, let us assure you that it is completely safe for the environment. Bubble Bandit is the best detergent when it comes to hard water in particular because it can effectively get rid of lime scale buildup, white film, and water spots. Moreover, its use is also very economical since a single pack can allow up to 60 different wash loads.
7Automatic Grab Green Dishwashing Detergent
Grab Green is the latest addition to the long list of dishwashing detergents but with a slight twist. Not only does it remove greasy stuff off your dishes, but it also leaves them spot-free for days after being used. It is made using perfectly natural ingredients and to ease use, it comes pre-measured. Also worth mentioning is that it boasts a completely non-toxic formula, containing no phosphate, chlorine and/or dye to speak of.
6Seventh Generation Auto Dish Packs
Using dishwashers is never an easy task when you don’t know for sure which cleaning products to use. With the Seventh generation, say goodbye to measuring your cleaning detergent and embrace the pre-packed design of newer models. Simply pour in a single pack into your washer and within minutes, all your utensils will be perfectly free of grease and grime. Moreover, Seventh Generation detergent contains no phosphates, chlorine, or artificial fragrances to speak of.
5Method Smarty (Dish Plus) Dishwasher Detergent
Method Smarty dishwashing detergent is a unique and highly effective product particularly due to its characteristic triple action detergent formula. Not only does it effectively dissolve all sticky foods, it also works perfectly even in hard water not to mention acting as a standard rinse aid. Due to its mineral-based formula, it will rid your dishes of any tough stains that might trouble you otherwise, like oatmeal or other equally sticky foods.
4Grab Green Automatic Dishwashing Detergent Pods
Detergents help you wash off grease and other stains off your dishes but only one has a superior scrubbing action with the ability to keep your dishes super clean for days after being used. Lemi Shine is the ideal detergent for dishes with stuck food that might usually prove difficult to remove.
Not only does it scrub all your dishes clean, it also safeguards your glasses and dishes from typical food deposits. In fact, this detergent is so efficient, it gets rid of tea and coffee stains quite easily and efficiently.
3Automatic Ecover Dishwashing Tablets
For anyone that has been persistently searching for phosphate-free detergents, your search ends here with the Ecover Dishwashing tablets. This product is not only certified as effective but is also free of any fragrance that might inconvenience you. With Ecover, you are confident of using a high-performance product with no concerns about environmental pollution in any way, a feature only high-quality detergents possess.
2Cascade All-in-1 Complete ActionPacs Detergent with Fresh Scent
Another great quality dishwasher detergent to consider is Cascade Fresh Scent, an all-in-one dishwashing agent more powerful than almost any other dishwasher detergent out there. Whether your pans and plates are burnt, baked-on or have stains that are embedded on difficult to reach areas, Cascade Complete should be your ideal cleaning solution. What sets it apart from many others out there isn’t just its efficiency alone but also its surprisingly affordable price.
1Finish Powerball Fresh Scent Tablets
The fresh-scented Finish Powerball takes away all the inconvenience that comes with regular cleaning liquids and powders. By using these particular washing tablets, you no longer have to worry about the hassles that come with using too little or too much detergent during each washing cycle.
Surprisingly enough, it performs so exceptionally that it leaves even your dishwasher clean, unlike similar products which leave irritating films on their surfaces that require quite a bit of effort to remove. Overall, it is one of the best dishwasher detergents out there.
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What To Look For In A Dishwasher Detergent
It is quite normal to be confused as to what dishwasher detergent works best and which to get if you’re concerned about the long-term safety of your dishwasher along with the cleanliness it provides. According to statistics, more than 70 percent of all dishwasher detergents were in tab or pack form, with gel and powdered detergent trailing behind. Form-aside, you also have to look at the many different types of detergent to choose from as different solutions for roughly the same problem.
Delving into what makes a dishwasher detergent work, we find that most such products contain bleach and enzymes. These are the main ingredients of any dishwasher detergent and are exactly what you should look for when reading the label. The purpose of bleach is to remove stains while the purpose of the enzymes is to eradicate proteins and solids from the surface of the dishes being washed. For this reason, you will most likely find enzymes and bleach in almost any dishwasher detergent except gel-based detergent because of its formula.
Since the introduction of tabs, people have been slowly moving away from gel or liquid dishwasher detergents, which is exactly what you should consider as well. As we already pointed out, gel and liquid detergents cannot be expected to meet the same cleaning standards. Not only that but they are also more difficult to use because of how much effort and attention the measuring cups used to apply them takes.
Types of Dishwasher Detergents
Tablets – When it comes to dishwasher detergents, tablets are by far the most popular and understandably so. With the help of tablets, you no longer have to use measuring cups to determine just how much detergent to use during each cleaning cycle. Efficiency-wise, tablet detergent is also much more capable than gel or liquid detergents, especially when it comes to removing grease or any other similar stains.
Packs – With packs of detergent, you get roughly the same benefits of tablets, with the added notion that they might be more difficult to store. We say this because packs require special maintenance, the type of care tablets simply do not require when it comes to storing them. As for how efficient pack-based detergent can be, it usually comes down to how much water you use along with the detergent during each washing cycle.
Liquid / Gel – Like we already said, liquid detergent shouldn’t be expected to meet the same cleaning standards of tablets or packs, although it is a bit easier to store. Another thing to remember about using liquid dishwasher detergent is that you have to manually measure the exact quantity before every washing cycle. Furthermore, you will find liquid dishwasher detergent to be more affordable than any other type of detergent. As for gel-based detergent, let us point out that it’s basically liquid detergent in its purest form, with the added notion that it is slightly thicker.
Powder – Powder detergent can roughly be used the same way you would use regular detergent, along with the benefits of storing it with ease. When it comes to its efficiency, powder detergent is just as good at removing harsh stains as tablets. When using powdered dishwasher detergent, however, you have to measure the exact quantity before each use to get it to work properly, usually with the help of a measuring cup.
Cartridges – Perhaps the main benefit of using cartridges is that they require minimum effort on your part in terms of storage and setting up the dishwasher. With cartridges, you get a canister or pack designed to dispense up to twelve doses per cannister. We do have to point out, however, that cartridge-based dishwasher detergent is usually a lot more expensive than any other type of detergent.
Using Dishwasher Detergents
Regardless of how good your preferred dishwasher detergent may be, you always want to scrape off heavy residue from the plates before putting them into the dishwasher.
Another thing to remember is that dishwasher detergents are highly dependent on how effective the dishwasher’s sprayer is, which is why you want to ensure that nothing is blocking the distribution of water & detergent within the dishwasher itself.
Last but not least, keep in mind that some dishwasher detergents are definitely more environmentally friendly than others. Not only that but as we already established, most of them contain large doses of bleach, enzymes, and rinse aids, which when used in large portions, have the capacity to damage the structural integrity of your dishwasher. Other than that, you are advised to only use the designated portion of whatever detergent you’re using so as to not cause any long-term damage to your dishes.