9 Best Dishwasher Detergent 2021 Reviewed

The value of your dishwasher will depend on the effectiveness of the detergents you use in it.

  • Other than the scrubbing action and the hot water from the dishwasher, a powerful detergent will remove tough stains and leave your utensils free from spots or residue. 

So, which is the best dishwasher detergent? If you’re up to the task of automatic dishwashing, consider one of the products I have reviewed in this article. 

In a Rush? See top Dishwasher Detergents

1. Our #1 Pick: Cascade Complete Fresh-Scent Powder

Cascade Complete Dishwasher-Pods, ActionPacs Dishwasher Detergent Tabs, Fresh Scent, 78 Count (Packaging May Vary)
  • Cascade Complete ActionPacs have 25% more Cleaning Power* *% cleaning ingredients vs. Cascade Original
  • Dissolves fast and releases the grease-fighting power of Dawn
  • Powers away even 24-hour stuck-on messes for a complete clean. No pre-wash needed
  • Convenient, premeasured ActionPac with no finicky wrapping. Phosphate free
  • Use with Cascade Power Dry Rinse Aid and Cascade Dishwasher Cleaner for our best clean

Powder dishwashers are not only affordable but also very economical. When kept in the right conditions, a powder dishwasher will last you long before you need another. 

  • It has a powerful formulation that removes residue layers from your dishes, glassware, cutlery, and so on.
  • Since no pre-washing is required to clean your dishes, your water will be economically utilized.

Cascade completely works perfectly on food stains that have stuck on your utensils for up to 24 hours. It won’t leave marks on utensils, even on your glasses.

Due to its hygroscopic properties, cascade complete requires to be stored in airtight containers.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • No pre-washing
  • Leaves no marks
  • Available in bulk

Cons:

  • When used with hard water it may leave residues on glasses

2. #2 Pick: Finish Quantum, Max-Powerball Dishwasher Tablets

Sale
Finish Quantum Infinity Shine - 70 Count - Dishwasher Detergent - Powerball - Our Best Ever Clean and Shine - Dishwashing Tablets - Dish Tabs
  • NEW FINISH QUANTUM INFINITY SHINE: the new Finish Quantum Infinity Shine scrubs, degreases, and shines delivering our best ever in clean and shine vs. Finish Quantum with 3 separate fast dissolving chambers
  • POWER: scrubbing power to break down and remove toughest stuck on food in one wash
  • GEL: Grease cutting power handles even the toughest messes
  • LIQUID POWERBALL: Filled with power actions that dry and deliver a finishing boost of shine
  • TUB IS RECYCLABLE. Remove plastic sleeve beforehand

Dubbed as the world’s #1, Finish Quantum Max will take your dishwashing chores to the next level.

It comes in the form of tablets that will remove tough messes such as burnt-on food, coffee, dried-on food, tea, etc. when thrown into any utensils. 

The multi-chamber configuration activates three of its ingredients utilized in the dishwashing cycle.

Each of the tablets performs a pre-treatment, cuts through grease, kills bacteria and rinses the utensils. Thus, you save on water needed for pre-washing.

These tablets are designed to give you much convenience in your dishwashing chores.

  • Their unwrapped design and pre-measured quantities give you a straightforward time when using them.
  • All you have to do is to throw the tablet in your dishwasher and wait.

This formulation gives all your glassware a sparkling finish and protects them from corrosion or redeposit. Plus, it works perfectly well with both soft and hard water – see these drain cleaners

Pros:

  • Removes stubborn mess like burnt-on food
  • Effective with hard water
  • Leaves no spots
  • Good value for money
  • Convenient application

Cons:

  • The fragrance is too strong for some people

3. #3 Pick: Cascade Platinum  Action-Pacs Detergent for Dishwasher

Sale
Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Pods, Actionpacs Dishwasher Detergent, Fresh Scent, 62 Count
  • Cascade Platinum ActionPacs dishwasher detergent has 50% more cleaning power* and even works in the quick wash cycle (*%cleaning ingredients vs Cascade Complete ActionPacs)
  • Dissolves fast and release the grease-fighting power of Dawn, while food-seeking enzymes latch on and break down food into particles so small they can flow right down the drain
  • Powerful enough to clean 24-hour stuck-on food
  • Convenient, premeasured ActionPac with no finicky wrapping. Phosphate free
  • Use with Cascade Power Dry Rinse Aid and Cascade Dishwasher Cleaner for our best clean

Dishwashing gets easier and effective when done with a powerful detergent.

Cascade Platinum 62 count dishwasher detergent is formulated with powerful ingredients that will cut through, lift off and rinse any residue on your dishes. 

Whether you have residues from fruit sauce, milk, egg yolk, peanut butter, or burnt-on food, this detergent will leave your utensils spotlessly clean.

  • It works effectively on plastic dishes, ceramics, cutlery, graters, and so on.
  • If you’re dealing with 24-hour food residues, you don’t need to prewash your dishes.

This saves you about 15 gallons of water spent in your dishwasher. It dissolves easily, meaning the cleaning power will be unleashed in the early stages of the dishwashing.

The water softeners in this detergent allow you to use hard water without difficulties.

Cascade Platinum 62 is free from harmful chemicals like phosphate. This makes it safe for your utensils, environment, and the user. What’s more, it leaves a fresh scent and sparkling look on your utensils.

Pros:

  • No pre-wash or soaking is needed.
  • Works effectively with hard water
  • Removes all types of residues, including burnt-on food
  • Does not leave residue
  • Safe for the user, utensils, and environment

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive

4. Finish Powerball All in 1 Fresh Dishwasher Detergent

Finish All In 1 Powerball Dishwasher Detergent Tablets, Fresh, 85 Count - Pack of 3
  • World's #1 Recommended Brand* (*Recommended by more dishwasher brands worldwide)
  • No need to pre-soak or pre-rinse with Powerball cuts through grease & scrubs away burnt & dried-on food
  • Finish Powerball Tabs are 3X concentrated cleaning power of regular Finish powder
  • Removes tough stains like tea & coffee
  • Easy-to-use, pre-measured dishwasher tablets with clean, fresh scent

Finish 85 count dishwasher tablets are now enhanced with powerful ingredients making them more effective in dishwashing.

Dubbed as the world’s #1, this detergent will give you a matchless cleaning experience no matter the residues’ type on your utensils. 

The all-in-one formulation entails a three-fold model of action. These include bleaching particles, scrubbing microbeads, and a rinsing agent.

  • This makes it possible to cut through dried or burnt-on food and remove even tough stains such as tea and coffee.
  • No pre-washing is required with this dishwasher detergent. With the absence of pre-wash, you’ll use less water to get your utensils clean.

Each tablet is pre-measured and wrapped individually, giving you convenience in your dishwashing chores.

So, you have to place the tablet in the detergent compartment, and you’re ready to go. The 85 tablets pack is ideal for cleaning jobs and will last you quite a long time.

Also, the ingredients present in this product make it safe to use.

Pros:

  • Effective on dried or burnt-on food
  • Convenient application
  • No pre-wash
  • No residues

Cons:

  • None

5. Palmolive Ultra 32.5 fluid ounce Liquid Dish Soap

Palmolive Ultra Strength Liquid Dish Soap, Original - 32.5 Fluid Ounce (Twin Pack)
  • Instantly Cuts Through Grease
  • Tough on Grease, Soft on Hands
  • Concentrated liquid dish soap formula
  • Phosphate free
  • Kosher

You can rely on liquid dish soaps like Palmolive Ultra for accumulated food, grease, and tough stains like coffee and tea.

It’s an original formulation designed for cleaning all types of utensils and kitchenware. 

The concentrated dish soap will lift and remove residues with ease, even those that stick for 24 hours.

It comes in an economical twin pack, which can last up to one month of your domestic cleaning. Thus, it has good value for money.

You can clean all your utensils, including glassware and cutlery, without affecting their original luster.

In fact, after cleaning your utensils with Palmolive Ultra, they’re left with a shiny and appealing look. Plus, it leaves a pleasant and welcoming scent.

Unlike some liquid dishwasher detergents, Palmolive Ultra does not contain phosphate. Thus, it won’t damage your skin.

Pros:

  • Removes tough and dried stains
  • Does not damage your skin
  • The twin pack is economical and lasts longer.
  • Appealing scent

Cons:

  • None

6. Finish Lemon Sparkle Powder for Hard Water, 14oz

Conventional dishwasher detergents may not remove some tough stains if you’re working with hard water.

However, Finish Booster for hard water will leave your utensils and all kitchenware spotlessly clean. 

It’s one of the best dishwasher detergents to have around if you have access only to hard water.

Its 5X cleaning action can remove stubborn stains from all types of utensils and kitchen where.

With some detergents, your utensils will look cloudy since they don’t remove all residues. But the finish booster will leave your utensils with a crystal clear finish.

Finish booster also helps in removing the hard water limescale build-up in your dishwasher.

This eliminates odor and leaves your dishwasher with an appealing lemon scent.

To clean your utensils and maintain your dishwasher, you will have to add the finish booster in the prewash chamber and detergent in the detergent cup.

Pros:

  • Best for hard water
  • Eliminates cloudiness caused by hard water
  • Removes limescale and grease from the dishwasher
  • No pre-rinsing is required
  • Eliminates odor from your dishwasher

Cons:

  • It does not work on non-stick pans

7. OxiClean, 12.07oz Dishwasher Detergent – Pack of 3

(Pack Of 3) OxiClean Dishwasher Detergent 12.7oz
  • Cleaning So Powerful, Just Fill The Cup Half Way!
  • For Extremely Soiled Loads Just Add A Little More
  • 4 X Concentrate So You Use Less Per Load
  • Crystal Clean Shine
  • Removes: Stuck-On Food, Toughest Stains, Film & Spots

OxiClean will leave your utensils and dishwasher spotless.

The active ingredients in this dishwasher detergent are ideal for tough stains, including grease, stuck-on food, and so on. You can use it in all your utensils and kitchenware. 

The powerful cleaning power is made possible by its 4X highly concentrated crystals. It works better than conventional dishwasher detergents or gels.

It’ll scrub off tough stains and dried food from your utensils, giving them a spotless and appealing look. Also, this detergent will add a pleasant scent to your utensils and dishwasher.

It comes in a pack of 3, each weighing 12.7 ounces. The 4X concentration allows you to use very little of the product per each wash.

Just half a cup of the dishwasher is enough to wash a sizeable amount of utensils.

You don’t have to do any pre-wash or rewashing with this detergent. Thus you use less time and reduce water consumption.

Oxiclean will also work perfectly with hard water.

Pros:

  • Contains powerful active ingredients
  • No pre-wash
  • Perfect with hard water
  • Pleasant lemon fragrance
  • Removes dried food

Cons:

  • A bit expensive

8. Cascade Complete Citrus Breeze Gel Dishwasher Detergent

This dishwasher detergent will save you time and water spent on cleaning your utensils and other kitchenware.

It has the ability to remove accumulated food residue, grease, and stubborn stains like coffee and tea. 

It’s a versatile product that cleans your utensils, kills bacteria, and keeps them shinning. The active ingredients utilized in its manufacture cut through grease and help in lifting dried food.

Thus, your cleaning will be done in a short time and with less hassle. The pure rinse ingredients featured here make it more effective than its predecessors or competitors.

With its 8X strong cleaning action and the ‘Dawn’ action, no food residue or grease will be too hard to remove.

It’s also tough on any filming or cloudiness that may result from the use of hard water. Plus, it removes the bad odor and limescale that forms inside your dishwasher.

The resulting citrus breeze scent that comes with cascade complete dishwasher gel will be quite pleasing to many.

Pros:

  • Removes clogged and dried food
  • You can skip pre-wash
  • Pleasing citrus breeze scent
  • #1 recommended
  • Leaves a shining appearance on utensils
  • Comes with the ‘Dawn’ action

Cons:

  • None

How to choose the Best Dishwasher Detergent

Dishwashers come in different types and qualities. There’re powder detergents, gel detergents, and tablets.

  • You’ll get all these in your local market or online. However, not all of them will perform as they promise.

So, before choosing your ideal dishwasher detergent, here are a few important things to consider.

Powder

Perhaps, powder detergents are some of the oldest cleaning products in the market.

  • They’re available in both small and bulk. Getting the bulk package will give you cost-effective cleaning.
  • The main setback with powder detergents is their tendency to absorb moisture.

Therefore, you’ll have to store them in watertight containers so that they retain their cleaning properties.

Gels

Gel detergents are cheaper and have the ability to dissolve easily, especially in hot water in your dishwasher.

  • They dissolve even at low temperatures and will not have harsh effects on your hands.

They’re, however, not as effective as either powders or tablets.

Tablets

Also known as tabs, pics, or packets, these dishwasher detergents are premeasured for use as single-dose pieces. This gives you convenience when putting the detergent in your dishwasher.

The single-dose tabs contain a multi-action formulation that pre-treats, degreases, bleaches, and rinses your utensils.

  • They are effective in lifting and removing the mess from utensils.

However, their cost-per-load is higher than that of powders or gels. They also tend to disintegrate when handled with wet hands.

Composition

Some ingredients used in the manufacture of dishwashing detergents negatively affect your utensils and affect your skin.

Avoid products that contain chemicals such as phosphate.

No Residue

Residues left on utensils after dishwashing requires you to rerun the machine or clean them manually.

  • This is not only time-taking but also consumes more water and energy.

If your dishwasher has a drying cycle, your utensils will have to get wet once more.

Packaging

Go for packaging that gives you an easy time when putting or pouring the detergent into your dishwasher.

  • Tablet detergents provide the quickest way to add to your dishwasher.

Some like the Finish Quantum Max Powerball is unwrapped and pre-measured. That means you only have to throw the tablet into the dishwasher.

Most of the powder products come in plastic bags, which are cheaper and environmentally friendly. Thus, you’ll have to pour them into a convenient and reusable container.

Some gel detergents come with a dispenser to enable precise measuring.

Conclusion

If you have been getting unsatisfactory results with your dishwashing, it’s time you tried a new dishwasher detergent.

  • Selecting an effective brand will get your utensils clean in the least time, money, and with less hustle.

Whether you prefer a tablet, gel, or powder detergent, the brands I have reviewed will work perfectly with your dishwasher.

Recent Posts