Best Dishwasher Detergents, Soaps, Pods & Liquids

Gary Johnson
Written by
Last update:

The dishwasher is a fairly neat appliance. It allows you to clean your dishes in a pinch. It can clean your dishes quickly and efficiently.

However, did you know that some dishwasher detergents and soaps are better than others?

In the world of dishwasher detergents there are many varieties. Some detergents are better than others.

Some dishwasher detergents will leave an unpleasant film on your dishes.

Some detergents are tough on your dishes and glasses, while some are too gentle.

Below are a few of the best dishwasher detergents to buy and a few you’ll want to avoid.

Cascade Platinum Dishwasher PodsBest OverallCascade Platinum Dishwasher Pods
Ecover Automatic Dishwashing Tablets ZeroBudget PickEcover Automatic Dishwashing Tablets Zero
Bubble Bandit Dishwasher DetergentUpgrade PickBubble Bandit Dishwasher Detergent

1. Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Pods

Our rating: 9 / 10

Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Pods

Check Price on Amazon


  • Clean aroma
  • Easily dissolves into wash
  • Comes in a variety of scents and sizes
  • Has Cascade’s signature microfoam technology that helps to gently remove food and other residues from your dishes
  • Reasonably priced
  • Safe for septic systems

If you’re looking for a reasonably priced, easy-to-use, and effective dishwasher detergent, you’ll want to try Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Pods. Cascade has a loyal following of loyal customers and a reputation for creating products that work well.

The pods have a pleasing aroma, dissolve easily in the wash, and don’t leave any residue on your dishes. They’re safe for septic systems. They come in a variety of scents without containing harmful chemicals and are effective in getting your dishes clean. At just $.03 per load, they’re a great bargain too. The main problem with these pods is that their packaging can be a little flimsy, which can result in your pods breaking open if you don’t place them in your dishwasher carefully.

2. Finish Quantum Max Powerball

Our rating: 9 / 10

Finish Quantum Max Powerball

Check Price on Amazon


  • Brightens colors without fading
  • Incredibly strong
  • Washes away greasy messes
  • No need to pre-rinse
  • Resists table salt residue
  • No plastic odor
  • Super easy to use
  • Safe for all dishes
  • Naturally brightens color


  • Expensive compared to other dishwasher detergents
  • Can be hard to find in stores

The place to go when looking for the best dishwasher detergents is Finish. This dishwasher detergent is the ultimate, and now they’ve made it even better with their latest technology. According to the manufacturer, this new detergent washes away greasy messes, giving your dishes a real clean. And the best part is, you won’t need to pre-rinse. It also cuts through table salt residue and gets rid of residual sugar.

This product is even crazy easy to use – just drop one tablet in the dispenser instead of having to measure. And each tablet is formulated to last for 16 washes, making it super economical. There’s also a compact post-wash dispenser that makes it easy to find when time to set the cycle.

3. Kirkland Signature Easy to Use

Our rating: 9 / 10

Kirkland Signature Easy to Use

Check Price on Amazon


  • The number one selling dishwasher detergent in the country
  • Tested to ensure up to 126% more sparkling clean silverware
  • USA sourced and made


  • Doesn’t dissolve very well
  • Pacs can be unwieldy for some
  • Lacks some of the benefits of liquid detergent

If you’re in the market for one of the best dishwasher detergents, this is the product for you. This dishwasher detergent pack from Costco’s own premium Kirkland brand is filled with enough detergent to clean your dishes and leave them smelling fresh and clean. The pack contains 28 pacs, which is more than enough for a small family.

This detergent is some of the best on the market, but not only because of its efficacy. It’s an important part of the Kirkland brand, which promises quality and affordability to consumers, and it certainly delivers on the latter.

4. Miele 10245660 Dishwasher Tabs-20 per box 3X20

Our rating: 8 / 10

Miele 10245660 Dishwasher Tabs-20 per box 3X20

Check Price on Amazon


  • Fragrance free
  • Lazy people’s dream come true
  • Little to no risk of getting your hands dirty
  • Cuts through grease like a hot knife through butter
  • Phosphate-free


  • More expensive compared to other detergents
  • Hard to find
  • Doesn’t offer any of the antibacterial, hypoallergenic or other features that some are looking for

The Miele dishwasher detergent is a large, 30-tab container. This means you only have to load one at a time, reducing the hassle of putting liquid detergent into the dishwasher. The number of tabs you use will determine how strong the dishwasher detergent’s effect will be on your dishes.

How You Use It:

One Tab: for everyday washing

5. Cascade Advanced Power Liquid Machine Dishwasher Detergent

Our rating: 8 / 10

Cascade Advanced Power Liquid Machine Dishwasher Detergent

Check Price on Amazon


  • Budget-friendly
  • Works well with varied loads


  • Has an odd smell
  • Doesn’t form good foam in dispenser

Our top pick for the best dishwasher soap is the Cascade Advanced Power Liquid. We considered dishwasher soap that comes in pod form – but the cost per ounce was simply too high. Plus, many of those pods claim to be biodegradable, but they’re a petrochemical plastic that will be around for decades.

The Cascade Advanced Power Liquid is a great deal – only about 14 cents per ounce. And it works well for varied loads, whether it’s three dishes, a small saucepan, or a goblet. Just unscrew the cap for a powerful detergent that has a blue, fresh scent.

As far as the Cascade Dawn dishwashing liquid goes, it’s great for cleaning non-stick pans, but you have to use Dawn in conjunction with the Cascade liquid to get the best results. Cascade Dawn is known for its grease-cutting power. I prefer a tall bridge design, as opposed to a standup tower bottle, since I find myself wasting a lot of the product when I pour it directly from one spot to another.

6. Grab Green Natural Automatic Dishwashing Detergent Powder

Our rating: 8 / 10

Grab Green Natural Automatic Dishwashing Detergent Powder

Check Price on Amazon


  • Price
  • Quality enzymes
  • Availability of five scents
  • Recyclable packaging

7. Ecover Automatic Dishwashing Tablets Zero

Our rating: 8 / 10

Ecover Automatic Dishwashing Tablets Zero

Check Price on Amazon


  • Great price
  • Compatible with HE and Non-HE machines and pods
  • Zero waste
  • Easy to use and make sure there’s no leakage
  • Highly eco-friendly and biodegradable


  • Sticks a bit to the dishes, but the water will dissolve it
  • Fades a bit of prints on your dishes

Ecover’s Automatic dishwashing tablets are a zero-waste alternative to the pods and liquids sold in stores, but one that is just as effective.

These tablets dissolve completely in water, so they clean all the nooks and crevices with ease. A cherry scent is added to the formulation, so your dishes will be fresh and clean out of the machine. Don’t worry if you have a high-efficiency machine because these tablets are recommended for use with low and high-energy systems.

8. Bubble Bandit Dishwasher Detergent

Our rating: 7 / 10

Bubble Bandit Dishwasher Detergent

Check Price on Amazon


  • Works faster and cleaner
  • Quick dissolving action
  • No residue or film left on dishes or glasses
  • Zero phosphates, phosphates free, no phosphate and phosphate free
  • Pure water softener

Of POWERFUL, HEALTHY, Stain Fighting Detergent.

Bubble Bandit is a professional grade stainless soap that is safe on your hands, tough on your dishes. 100% phosphates free in a concentrated formula.

Gentle on hands, tough on dirt and stains. 100% phosphates free and alcohol free formula.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are pods or liquid detergent better for dishwasher?

There are two main ways to clean your dishes depending on what types of tasks and types of dirt you need to handle. With certain plastics, you need the softer touch offered by liquid detergent. Or, you can use the more powerful and faster drying action of the in-dish detergent pods.

Clear gel and liquid detergents are formulated to specifically handle the stickier spots that build up on dirty dishes. The gels are designed to cling to a grease spot and release surfactants to break down the sticky parts. These cleaners can be applied directly to dried-on grease and then rinsed out to leave your dishes sparkling clean.

Cleaning kits typically come in gelatin capsule form. These pods contain detergent (often recycled) and water along with a foaming agent. The capsules trap everything together so the dishwasher can direct the detergent to the dirty spots where it's needed. Nothing can escape!

Is liquid dishwasher detergent better?

One aspect of dishwasher detergents that is often overlooked is the convenience factor. Using a dishwasher detergent that comes as an individual pod or stick (like Pure Clean above) offers some distinct advantages over liquid detergent. They are visibly smaller, so they are easier to store in tight spaces. They only contain the cleaning fluid, so they are less likely to harbor food crumbs, soap residue, or odors that may be present in a completely filled bottle of detergent.

Cleaner and more convenient, which is why these are becoming very popular with many dishwasher manufacturers.

What type of detergents are used in dishwashing liquids?

Your dishwashing soap comes in many different varieties. That is because dishwashing liquids are generally used for most types of dishes and other items. From stemware and glasses to wine and dinnerware, dishwashing liquids are designed to contain harsh, yet safe chemicals to wash away all the mold, grime, grease, and food residue. Despite your mounting pile of dirty dishes, each piece you wash will sparkle when you are done.

While all dishwashing liquids are liquid, not all contain the same chemicals. Choosing the right soap is important based on what type of meals you are washing. Greasy foods tend to get stuck on plates and utensils. For this, you will want to use a soap containing fat-cutting ingredients.

What is the best Cascade dishwasher detergent?

There are a lot of Cascade dishwasher detergent and dishwasher pods options, all promising whiter, brighter, and cleaner dishes. We've done the research and compiled our own list of top Cascade dishwasher detergents.

This article will show the best Cascade dishwasher detergent you can buy and then show what dishwashing alternatives you have if you are interested in dropping the money on an automatic dishwasher.


Choosing a dishwasher soap can be a challenge because there are so many different options available. Therefore, we maintain a list of the top brands and types of dishwasher soaps. So check out our list to see what we consider to be the best dishwasher detergents soaps, pods & liquids for your dishwasher.

Our Recommendation

Cascade Platinum Dishwasher PodsBest OverallCascade Platinum Dishwasher Pods
Ecover Automatic Dishwashing Tablets ZeroBudget PickEcover Automatic Dishwashing Tablets Zero
Bubble Bandit Dishwasher DetergentUpgrade PickBubble Bandit Dishwasher Detergent