Home » Reviews » The Best Dishwasher Detergents 2021: Top Liquid, Powder and Pods Detergents for Soft & Hard Water – Reviews and Buying Guide

The Best Dishwasher Detergents 2021: Top Liquid, Powder and Pods Detergents for Soft & Hard Water – Reviews and Buying Guide

After countless hours of review and testing of a large selection of dishwashing detergent in the market, the best dishwasher detergent in 2021 is the Cascade Platinum ActionPacs Dishwasher Detergent. This is because this quality detergent has the best grease fighting agent and shine shield to thoroughly clean your dishes and add sparkle to them.

creative image of clean dishes with detergent for the best dishwasher detergent reviews and buying guide

Dishwasher detergents are detergents, soap or cleaners made specifically for washing dishes in a dishwasher.

Dishwasher soaps comes in different types, shapes and sizes namely: Gel, Liquids, Tablets/Pods and powder. To get the value for your money with no stress added, you need a detergent or cleanser with a good cutting power, suitable for hard water and old dishwashers.

Without further ado, below is an overview and list of the top best dishwasher detergents you can buy in 2021 for easy dishwashing.

Top Rated Dishwasher Detergents in 2021

Show Summary

These are the top best dishwasher detergents to buy in 2021:

Best dishwasher detergent overall: Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Pods.
Best for Hard Water: Finish Quantum Max Powerball.
Best liquid: Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap.
Best dishwasher pods: Finish All-in-1 Powerball Dishwasher Detergent.
Best gel: Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Gel.
Budget friendly: Ecover Automatic Dishwashing Tablets Zero.
Best powder: Cascade Detergent Powder.
Best eco-friendly: Palmolive Eco Gel Dishwasher Detergent
.

Cascade Platinum ActionPacs Dishwasher Pods

Cascade Platinum ActionPacs dishwasher detergent

Ratings: 4.5/5

Cascade Platinum ActionPacs dishwasher detergent is the best dishwasher pods with strong cleaning power, suitable for soft or hard water. It dissolves fast to release the grease-fighting power that breaks down food into tiny particles so they can flow right down the drain.

Best forHard water, new and old dishwasher
Pricing$16.99+
TypeTablets, Pods
Where to buyAmazon US, UK, CA

Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap

Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap

Ratings: 4.9/5

Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap with original scent combines the grease cleaning power of dawn dish soap paired with the dawn non-scratch scrubber sponge that leaves your dishes sparkling clean with fresh scent.

Pricing$14+
TypeLiquid
Where to buySamsclub | Amazon US, UK, CA

Finish All In 1, Dishwasher Detergent

Finish all in one tablet dishwasher detergent

Ratings: 4.7/5

Finish all in 1 Dishwasher Detergent should be your first choice if you are looking for the best tablet dishwasher detergent for hard water, whether it is a new or old dishwasher. This dishwasher soap rinse agent action that helps rinse away residues and eliminates spots for a sparkling shine.

Use caseBest tablet dishwasher soap
Pricing$16+
Form/typePod, Tablet soap
Where to buyBestBuy | Amazon US, UK

Cascade Complete Powder Dishwasher Detergent

Cascade Powder Dishwasher Detergent

Ratings: 4.6/5

If you prefer powdered dishwasher detergent, you will find the Cascade Complete Powder a good fit that will leave your dishes just as clean as their liquid counterparts.

Use caseBest powder dishwasher detergent
Pricing$14+
FormPowder
Where to buyAmazon US, UK, CA

Regardless of brand, few characteristics and features are vital in dishwashing detergent which includes; lasting suds, mildness to hands, superior cleaning performance, safety for dishes and other washables, storage stability, pleasing appearance and fragrance, convenient packaging as well as dispensing.

Here are the Best Dishwasher Detergents to Keep Your Dishes Clean

After testing different dishwasher soaps to find and compare the best dishwasher detergent in 2021 that will give your dishes a sparkly clean wash that’s also great value for your money, we’ve taken time to also show you the important factors you need to consider in the purchase of dishwasher detergents. This top list has been carefully researched and reviewed so you will find it well researched and in accordance with the latest trends.

Best dishwasher detergent overall: Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Pods

Cascade Platinum ActionPacs dishwasher detergent

Are you looking for a detergent that would give you the value for your money while washing your dishes? Cascade Platinum Actionpacs would be your best bet. The platinum actionpacs comes with a 15x film fighting power to get your dishes sparkling clean as nothing is more refreshing as entering a kitchen with its plates twinkling like stars. This makes for a happy home.

The pacs in the cascade platinum is formulated with Dawn which is a well-known grease fighting agent, in turn making your dishes grease free and clean. A shine shield is also included in the ingredients of the Actionpacs, which is an excellent aid that ensures the removal of any so the dishes can come out crystal clear after washing and free from clouding, leftover food grime and grease or food particles.

The cleaning power contained in one cascade platinum package has been found out to be equal to 6 packs of another detergent with the national bargain brand.

The detergent works in various ways to make your dishes neat; it helps in eliminating stuck on food in one wash. The cascade platinum action pacs also have the grease fighting powder dawn, which is a well-known grease fighter; there is also the rinse aid with shine shields which ensures crystal clear results while washing your dishes and lastly, it has a 15x power which helps in eliminating annoying and irritating film that makes dishes look cloudy and dirty.

The detergent is also available in many fresh scents and package sizes to make it affordable for different people with different needs for the cascade platinum action pack.

Best for hard water: Finish Quantum Max Powerball

Finish Quantum Max Powerball

The finish quantum Max Powerball is another excellent detergent which could be used in hard water or any other kind of water, making it the best in delivering excellent cleaning and stain removal.

Ranked among the best in dishwasher products, the quantum Powerball can solve all kitchen utensil problems you encounter. Be it in the removal of stains made by tea or coffee and oil marks; the quantum Powerball can restore the shine of your cookware items of several designs or material.

The quantum Powerball can be said to be the peak of the cream in the area of its mitigation chamber dishwashing technology. The product is the best in combating baked-on messes, dried on food and tough stains such as tea and grease marks.

The finish Quantum Max Powerball is easy to use and now comes in a simple pretty measured tab which is designed to release contents automatically during the dishwashing cycle.

Since there is no need to unwrap or pierce the tab, you only need to put one piece into the dishwasher to clean all your kitchen items of all kind. What makes Finish Quantum the best dishwasher detergent, is the fact that it is designed to make the dishwashing process as easy as it possibly can be, without compromising on results.

As the max Powerball features an ultimate cleansing power and stain removal, it also keeps your dishwasher clean, protecting its vital part as well. With the multi-chamber dishwashing technology, each of the three detergents present in the power ball can deliver best washing results.

The uniqueness of the tablet enables your dishwasher to work harder, so you don’t need to; pre-soak, wash and rinse. Finish works to save you time, so you can put a load on, and take charge off.

So, all you have to do is to sit back and watch the fantastic cleaning abilities of the Finish Quantum Max Powerball dishwasher detergent.

One package of the Powerball contains 64 capsules which are more than enough for cleaning you’re your kitchenware items and utensils for a month.

Best dishwasher pods: Finish All In 1 Powerball Dishwasher Detergent

Finish All In 1 Dishwasher Detergent

When it comes to the area of best dishwasher detergent pods, the Finish Powerball is a winner, carefully designed to give you fantastic and clean utensils.

Comparing the finish tab to its powder, it has the 3x concentrated cleaning power of the regular powder, and its result speaks for itself.

The finish power ball contains 90 dishwasher tablets which can provide you with 90 wash loads when doing your dishes.

The pod is easy to use, contained in a premeasured tablet with a beautiful and clean fragrance with a jet dry rinse aid which gets rid of any spots and cloudiness for a sparkling and shining dish every time.

The Powerball, after being presoaked will get rid of any grease or food residue making it one of the best in keeping your dishes super clean in one wash.

Saving your money and time is assured while using the finish Powerball. This is so, for you will not have to rewash the dishes after using the powerful detergent.

Each tablet of the finish Powerball detergent is individually wrapped, biodegradable and safe for all types of septic tanks one may have in the home or workplace.

All you need to do is to unwrap one and place it in the dispenser. But if it doesn’t fit in your dispenser, all you have to do is to check the manual for its recommendation.

The unique Powerball soaks as well as softens the toughest stains with its dual-layered tablet which contains powerful detergent that would lift off all traces of food, giving your dishes that clean and perfect shine.

All that is needed for a wash load is one tablet with the temperature of your dishwater set at 125 to 140 degrees.

What makes the Powerball the most preferred pod by users is its ability to dissolve easily. Also, the dominant cleaners contained in it helps in removing tough coffee stains, baked on foods and lots more.

The duo power actions work together to provide you with a sturdy, clean dish while the presoaking activities make sure that the detergent gets to work.

Best smelling dishwasher detergent: Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Gel

Seventh Generation Dishwasher Gel

The seventh-generation dishwasher gel is our best Sweet-Smelling Dishwasher, a premium plant-based enzyme detergent Fragranced with plant-based essential oils and botanical extracts that can make short work of anything waiting for you in the dishwasher. It leaves dishes sparkling with no residue.

Its lemon scent is heavenly and makes your kitchen smell lovely while washing. This gel dishwasher detergent is formulated to clean tough loads without phosphates or chlorine backing up its ingredients. In essence, making the gel formula not to have harsh fumes as others brands have.

Distinct from other gel dishwasher detergents out there, the seventh-generation dishwasher gel detergent is a natural detergent which combines its various ingredients with plant-derived enzymes which help in breaking down of food particles and wiping off grease from dishes. The best sweet smelling dishwasher detergent is also safe for use in septic tanks and Leaves dishes shining, residue- and scent-free.

How to use

This natural detergent was formulated to work in all dishwashers. Load your dishwasher; make sure that items loaded can be safely washed.
Silver, aluminum and stainless-steel dishes should be washed in separate loads to avoid discoloration.
Load items with soiled surfaces facing the center of the bottom rack, for excellent dishwashing experience. Filling your dishwasher and washing full loads of dishes conserves water.
Use less dishwasher detergent gel for soft water or smaller loads.

Best liquid dishwasher detergent: Cascade Complete Gel Dishwasher Detergent

image of Cascade Liquid Detergent

Despite the limitations of liquid detergents, the cascade liquid detergent has a high cutting power. Using this liquid detergent like most liquid dishwasher detergents, you will have to pre-rinse your dishes before washing to be able to remove burnt on food. But if you need your dishes to come out lovely and sparkling, then the cascade advanced liquid detergent is your best bet.

The best liquid dishwasher detergent also comes with a rinse aid which helps to handle the problems caused by hard water. Also, it is compatible with soft water, having a high foaming mixture of surfactants with low skin irritation.

Best on a budget: Ecover Automatic Dishwashing Tablets Zero

image of Ecover Zero Automatic Dishwashing Tablets

The ecover zero is a budget-friendly natural dishwasher detergent made with a sturdy free formula that powers away stubborn, stuck on food for spot free and sparkling dishes.

Made with renewable plant-based based and mineral ingredients, ecover zero is a biodegradable, phosphate-free dishwasher powder which packs a punch without the use of heavy chemicals.

With all these, you can feel right about everything that comes out of your dishwasher. With the same delightful fragrance, same formula and a new design, this eco-friendly detergent with its plant-based ingredients leave your dishes squeaky clean.

With its full smart green science, the dishwasher detergent has been awarded a UNEP award for its cruelty-free.

It powers away stuck on food leaving your dishwasher free from residues with the dishes having a refreshing with zero fragrance.

The inclusion of plant sugars in its ingredients helps in softening the water used in washing by binding with minerals and allowing active ingredients do their job. The best part is it is gentle on hands. So, no matter what type of skin you have, this dishwashing liquid will never harm you at all.

Best powder dishwasher detergent: Cascade Detergent Powder

image of Cascade Powder Dishwasher Detergent

Nothing beats powder detergents when it comes to affordability. As long they are stored correctly, they are an excellent option for detergents.

The cascade detergent powder is a super low price best powder dishwasher detergent to make sure you can get things done.

The uniqueness of the cascade complete detergent powder can’t be compared with its counterpart in the pod family that we favor, but it’s no slouch in the cleaning department.

As long as the powder is kept away from water, you won’t be disappointed by the outcome when using the cascade powdered detergent.

The cascade complete detergent powder’s power is second only to the expensive pods and comes with a bargain price. It’s a detergent that powers away messes which have been stuck on your utensils for a long time as it is formulated with the grease fighting power of Dawn.

Best eco-friendly gel: Palmolive Eco Gel Dishwasher Detergent

image of Palmolive Eco Dishwasher Detergent Gel

If you are looking for the best gel dishwasher detergent to clean your dishes, then look no further than Palmolive Eco Gel Dishwasher Detergent.

Gel Dishwasher detergents are preferred for cleaning dishes because the gel dissolves quickly and easily and hardly leave streaks or clumps of soap anywhere.

Perfect not only for clean dishes but also for the clean environment, this Eco Gel detergent contains no phosphates and is produced only from natural raw materials. Its formula is enhanced with enzymes and is made to reduce the risk of allergic reactions. Its surfactants are entirely environmentally friendly and have a vegetable origin. This detergent also does not contain artificial colorants and preservatives. Furthermore, this detergent has a pleasant lemon scent and is affordable!

The gel dishwasher detergent perfectly scrubs off the toughest grease, food residue and even baked-on delicacies and messes.

A Beginners Guide to Dishwasher Detergents

A kitchen with well-washed and sparkling dishes will give you a sense of achievement when viewed.

That is why we brought you the best dishwashing detergent for 2021. As cooking and eating is part of our everyday life, we also have to make sure that, our utensils and the containers of our food are clean and hygienic.

What is a Dishwasher Detergent?

Dishwasher detergents are cleansers which are produced specifically for use in the dishwasher. It comes in many fashions, so there are many in the market and online stores that you can choose from.

How to use a dishwasher detergent

Despite the one you choose, for it to work excellently, you have to scrape the substantial leftovers from the dishes before loading them into the dishwasher to avoid the dishes coming out cloudy and greasy.

Some detergents don’t need you to pre-rinse while some do in most cases. It’s worthy to note also that not all items can be washed in a dishwasher.

What to avoid washing with a dishwashing detergent

Chemicals contained in dishwasher detergents combined with hot water can be nasty for delicate glassware, silver, bronze, brass, cast iron, gold-colored wares, pewter and anything that is made from woods or utensils with wooden handles and disposable plastics.

Avoid washing these items in the dishwasher as they may get damaged as well as making the dishwasher develop faults. Anything having a lot of value to you should be washed with hands.

How to choose the best detergent for your dishwasher

To avoid rewashing our dishes and get things well cleaned the first time; a dishwasher detergent with a high cutting power is needed to tackle tough tasks, be cost-efficient, and should be easy to use.

Here are some guidelines that will help you choose the perfect dishwasher detergent from the lot.

The price of the detergent

The most prominent argument against the tabs is that they are more expensive compared to powdered and gel detergents. But the convenience factor is a win situation as they are less messy, less complicated and often takes up less shelf space in the house.

Packaging

Eventually, it seems that the tab and gel packs deliver the best overall package of cleaning, convenience and reliability. One of the reasons that made powdered detergents lose their shine is its weak storage habits. Since soaps are water activated, once the detergent’s box gets wet, the detergent will melt becoming a waste of resources.

Furthermore, most people store their sink, an area which is bound to get wet once in a while.

Consider the type of water you have running in your home

The hardness or softness of water being used in dishwashing need to be considered when buying detergents. Some detergents have built-in a water softener that uses a unique salt to adjust the water hardness for optimal performance. There are also supplemental products from finish and cascade that can help in fighting hard water issues.

Types of Dishwasher Detergents

There are three basic types of dishwasher detergent to choose which includes:

1. Liquid dishwasher detergents

The liquid detergent is basically a detergent in liquid form. It is as effective as the powder detergent. What makes liquid popular is the ease of operation and improvement in productivity with the automatic dosing system. They are usually packed in a bottle and quite easy to use as you only have to pour out the required quantity to the dishwasher.

2. Gel dishwasher detergents

Gel dishwater detergents are similar to liquid detergents but thicker and more gel-like contained in a bottle that you can squeeze to get the amount you need into the dispenser.

They are more concentrated than dish liquid and dissolve fast in water. No worry about residue ending up in dishes because of it dissolves quickly. It’s the only drawback is that gel detergents dissolve too fast and can end up dissolved before the dishes are washed.

3. Powdered Detergents

Powdered detergents are not as popular as another type of detergents in homes due to the grit and residue that frequently end up on the dishes when the wash and rinse cycles are not good enough. This is because they detergents are slow in dissolving and sticks around longer during the washing cycle.

4. Tablets and Pods

This is the most popular type of dishwasher detergent. It is comfortable and convenient to pop one package into the dispenser which is all you have to do. No spills, mess and guessing how much detergent to use in washing your dishes.

Depending on the detergent you use, it may contain rinse aid as part of the ingredients to help ensure that your dishes are super clean. The white residue is still possible to occur with these tablets or pods if the washing cycle is not long enough or the strength of the dishwasher is poor.

Conclusion

Dishwasher can be a great way to wash dishes when they are combined with the right dishwasher detergent to get the dishes clean. There are many brands of dishwasher detergents available; and with this review of the best dishwasher detergents, you should be able to find the right one that suits you.

Choosing a good quality dishwasher detergent ensures that your dishes have that shiny, sparkling clean and refreshing outlook that you desire without having to wash the dishes multiple times. The information we’ve provided in this review will help you make an informed decision in getting the right dishwasher detergent which will guarantee you excellent results as you enjoy a happy home with sparkling dishes.