10 Best Dishwasher Detergents in 2020 – Reviews

Dishwasher detergent is often the only thing that stands between most people and a clean stack of dishes. Dishwashers have, after all, become more powerful and efficient, so the one constant is the detergent. Manufacturers have significantly changed the formulation of detergents over the years, and this has altered how these products deal with food messes such as gravy, eggs or whatever else that’s stuck to a person’s pots and pans.

It used to be that these cleaning products came in a powder form and honestly, weren’t all that good. Over the years, manufacturers began making single-dose detergents, and these products were pretty good. Nowadays, most of the top brands use this formulation and really do a good job at getting food messes off of plates. Now, let’s look at ten products that we feel are the best ones for handling tough food grime on all of your dishes.

Best Dishwasher Detergents – Top List

10. Method Smarty Dish Tablets-Pink Grapefruit

This product’s manufacturers knew that people were sick of detergents that were filled with harmful chemicals such as chlorine bleach and phosphates, so they decided to design something a little bit better. A product that provided the cleaning power people needed but didn’t contain a bunch of dangerous chemicals. And they did this with a mineral-based formula that uses green technology to power through stuck-on stains and sticky food particles. This product leaves dishes streak-free and without any spots whatsoever. Which make these single-dose pink grapefruit tabs useful for cleaning any load of dishes and is safe for any household to use.

9. Method Smarty Dish Plus Packs-Lemon Mint

While some people may smell lemon mint when they smell these dishwasher packets, what they’re actually smelling is cleaning power. That’s because this product has the power to not only power through sticky foods and tough stains, but is also powerful enough to get rid of backed on stains. It can do this regardless of whether the user has regular tap water or if the water is a little bit hard. And it does all of this without having to resort to chemicals. It uses minerals and other natural ingredients to clean through even the toughest stains and do it without the use of phosphates or chlorine bleach.

8. Finish Gelpacs Detergent-Orange Scent

With a formula that’s three times more concentrated than regular Finish detergent packs, this product can power through even the toughest food stains. It can handle a wide variety of food stains—everything from sticky messes to baked on stains. These premeasured pods are also very easy to use, and they don’t require messing with measuring cups or messy powders. It not only cleans through tough stains and does it without leaving spots, but it also leaves a nice orange scent in its wake. This makes this product ideal for any home that’s looking for powerful dishwasher pods to get their dishes sparkling clean.

7. Ecover Automatic Dishwasher Tablets

Stuck-on foods are no match for this powerful dishwasher soap that’s designed to tear through even the toughest stains. This all-natural product is made with minerals and plant-based ingredients that give users the cleaning power they desire but do it without having to resort to phosphates to get it done. This product will clean dishes no matter how dirty or greasy they are and will leave glassware streak-free. Another key feature worth mentioning is that this product is both dye-free and fragrance-free, too. It’s a product manufactured by a company that’s been making powerful cleaning products for over three decades now.

6. OxiClean Dishwasher Crystals-Lemon Scent

This product is formulated with the power of OxiClean and is designed to power through just about any food stain imaginable. It cleans up silverware, cuts through baked-on stains, and leaves glasses streak-free. While its lemon-scent is a little bit too powerful for some folks, it does do what it’s designed to do, and that is getting the dishes clean. And it does it without the user having to pre-rinse or scrub their dishes. All they have to do is properly load their dishwasher, add the correct amount of this detergent, and then set an appropriate cycle. This cleaning detergent will handle the rest.

5. Finish Quantum Max Powerball Tablets

From Finish, a dishwashing detergent brand that’s recommended by a number of major dishwasher manufacturers comes this technologically advanced tablet. These tablets use a multi-chamber design which releases three different detergents throughout the washing cycle. This allows it to blast through even some of the toughest dish messes. This includes stuck on gravies, baked-on lasagna, and even burnt-on cheese. These tablets also remove grease and stains and do so without leaving streaks on silverware or glasses. And since it uses the power of bleach, these tablets are also more than capable of powering through tough stains such as coffee and tea stains.

4. Cascade Concentrated Action Pacs-Fresh Scent

This cleaning product uses a revolutionary formula to get dishes as clean as they can possibly get. It’s four times more concentrated than some comparable brands and uses the power of Dawn dishwasher liquid to power through tough stains. It can blast through greasy grime and stuck-on foods like burnt pasta or cheese. Also equipped with a rinse-aid, this product will also ensure that glasses never have streaks and it helps protect against hard water deposits on dishes. And since these packs dissolve completely during the washing cycle, they leave absolutely no mess. Cascade Actionpacs also have a fresh scent that’s easy on the nose and makes the dishes smell as clean as they truly are.

3. Cascade Action Pacs-Fresh Scent

These Cascade Action packs have a formula that’s 6-times more concentrated than comparable cleaning products and uses the grease-fighting power of Dawn dish detergent. This product can power through a number of different food messes including burnt-on cheeses, baked on pasta and other sticky messes. And since it is also formulated with a rinse-aid, this product will ensure that glasses and silverware are as streak-free as they are clean. This product is not only easy-to-use and extremely convenient but also has a fresh clean scent that’s pleasant to the nose. All of which makes it a useful product for any automatic dishwasher.

2. Cascade Complete Action Pacs-Fresh Scent

Formulated using several different cleaning agents, Cascade Complete is designed to clean up just about any food mess imaginable. It uses the power of Dawn to power through grease, uses a rinse aid to get rid of spots and streaks and uses an additional cleaner to power through tough baked-on stains and fights food film. Since this product is concentrated all in one pod, it’s easy to use and doesn’t leave a mess when it has finished cleaning the dishes. And it leaves dishes with a brilliant shine and a fresh scent that proves to users that their dishes are really as clean as they look.

1. Cascade Platinum Action Pacs-Fresh Scent

Just when people think that Cascade can’t improve on their already powerful dishwasher detergent action packs, they prove everyone wrong and come out with an even more powerful formulation. And this product is one of their latest creations. Cascade Platinum has 15-times the dish cleaning power of comparable dishwasher packs and contains a complete formula that will even tackle food stains that have been stuck-on dishes for a full day. It’s a product that also uses the power of Dawn, so it can power through greasy food messes and leave dishes looking brilliant and shiny. It’s an easy-to-use solution for a sink full of dirty dishes.

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The Different Types of Dishwasher Detergent

All of the dishwasher detergents currently sold today come in one of three different types. There are single-dose packs, powders, and gels. Those are all of the options that the consumer has, so let’s take a look at each of them and see how they usually perform and how much they usually cost.

Single-Dose Packets

Okay, we’re using the term packets very loosely here because this type of detergent not only come in packets but they also come it tabs, tablets and other single-dosing packets. These are the most convenient of all of the detergents currently available, which also means they are some of the more popular products available. They also do a pretty good job at cleaning dishes, but they cost more than other types of detergents – coming in between 15-cents and 41-cents a load.


Gels are a much cheaper option for cleaning dishes, but they are often also the least effective. And they’re not as convenient as single-dose packets. Price per load is approximately 6 to 12-cents a load.


Powders are often on the middle ground between gels and single-dose packets. While they do a fairly good job at cleaning dishes and costs approximately between 10 and 30-cents a load, they do tend to be quite messy. Which is probably why they’re often the least popular products sold.

Helping Your Dishwasher Perform Better

We’ve all seen the commercials in which people end up washing their dishes before they put them in the dishwasher to be washed again. This scenario is one that no one wants to have to deal with, but unfortunately, it’s a reality with some dish detergents and dishwashers. However, having said that, most detergents and dishwashers do a good overall job, they just may need a little bit of help. With that in mind, here are some tips which will help users get the most out of the dishwashers and detergents they use. Here are some tips:

Buy the Best Dishwasher Detergent Possible

Don’t be afraid to spend a little bit of money and buy the best dishwasher detergent possible. Some people try to buy a cheap or generic detergent, and this often doesn’t work out well. Usually, when a person uses a cheaper detergent, they have to use more product, and this just defeats the purpose of buying a generic, to begin with. That’s why you should just buy a detergent that has the power you need it to do and stick with it.

Scrape off Dishes

Yes, even though dishwashers do a good job at cleaning dishes, most of the time, they aren’t designed to have to deal with big chunks of food flying around the unit. This can result in not only the dishes not being adequately cleaned but also may clog the dishwasher’s filters, so make sure that you scrape off each dish before you load it into your dishwasher.

Avoid Rinsing

Most of the dishwashers sold nowadays are equipped with sensors which detect how much food is on the dishes. If it doesn’t sense much food, then it will wash the dishes on a lighter cycle. Therefore, it can be counterproductive to rinse dishes before loading the dishwasher. However, there’s one caveat to this rule. If a person has an older dishwasher, one that doesn’t have this sensor, then they may want to rinse before loading.

Load Properly

Large items should be loaded along the back and side racks on most washing machines to ensure that it doesn’t block the water jets and prevent detergent from entering the machine properly. Care should also be used to ensure that dishes and utensils are touching each other and that dirtier dishes face toward the machine’s center. Items that have baked-on food should be placed on the bottom rack and directly facing the sprays. Take the time to make sure that you place delicate items such as plastic dishes on the top rack and glasses are placed face down to avoid them filling up with water.

Run Hot Tap Water

Here is a tip that will ensure that a dishwasher has hot water immediately when it begins its cycle. Turn on your hot tap water that’s closest to your machine and let it get hot. By ensuring that the hot water is immediately hot, you’re ensuring that your dishwasher gets hot water as soon as possible.

Don’t Overcrowd the Dishwasher

If there’s one thing you definitely don’t want to do, it’s overcrowding the washer. Sure, I understand that it may seem easier to just throw all of the dishes in one load and wash them all at the same time. However, this doesn’t save time if you have to rewash dishes, so take the extra time and place the proper amount of dishes in each load.

Set the Correct Cycle

It’s important to try not to use shorter cycles in order to save time or money. Doing so will only result in your dishes not being washed properly. Always be sure to set the correct cycle for whatever you’re washing to ensure proper results.

Use Rinse Aid

If your dishwasher detergent doesn’t contain a rinse aid, then you may want to purchase a rinse aid to go into your machine. Just make sure that you don’t use more than your supposed to use. And if your dishwasher detergent does contain a rinse aid, then please don’t add any more to it. It’s a waste and won’t help your dishes.

Clean Your Dishwasher

You’ll also want to make sure that you keep your dishwasher in good condition in between loads. You can do this by doing a bit of cleaning on the machine every few months. This cleaning includes cleaning the rubber seals around the door and removing food from the trap that’s usually located at the bottom of the dishwasher. Once all of this has been cleaned, you can then run the machine on an empty load with just a cup of vinegar. This will clean out any food particles and ensure that your dishwasher smells fresh. Remember, a clean dishwasher is an efficient one.