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Choosing the best dishwasher detergent for your home

Ensuring your dishes come out clean and sparkling is essential to any kitchen routine. That's why choosing the right dishwasher detergent is necessary for a successful wash cycle. 

From powder and liquid detergents to dishwasher pods, there are several choices when cleaning your dishes. Use this guide to learn more about dishwasher detergents to find the right option for your kitchen.

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What are different types of dishwasher detergent?

The three most common types of dishwasher detergent are powder, liquid and single-use pods. Explore each option and its benefits below.

1. Powder detergent

Powder dishwasher detergent is typically the budget-friendly cleaning option, as it is often on the lower end of the price scale. It is commonly recommended to use this type of detergent when cleaning clear glass, as it is usually formulated to prevent spots and streaks. 

It's important to note that powder dishwasher detergent may be difficult to distribute evenly in your dishwasher's detergent dispenser and you should never over or under-fill the dispenser. Use the recommended fill line inside the dispenser to gauge the necessary amount.

2. Liquid detergent

Liquid detergent is easy to use and often found at a mid-level price. This type of detergent is usually packaged in an easy-pour bottle, making it simple to customize how much you use for each wash cycle. Always use at least a tablespoon of liquid detergent and only fill to the dispenser fill line when using your dishwasher. Heavily soiled dishes may need a higher dose, while a lighter load can get by with less detergent.

Refer to the directions on your detergent’s packaging for best usage.

3. Pod detergent

Dishwasher detergent pods, also referred to as tablets, are a relatively modern type of detergent that often comes at a higher price. Dishwasher pods offer convenience and ease of use as they come in single-dose pouches wrapped in dissolvable plastic that breaks open during the wash cycle. Depending on the brand, detergent pods come in powder, liquid and hybrid formulas. Consult your care guide to discover the best option for your specific type of dishwasher.

If you have a Whirlpool® dishwasher, it is recommended to wash your dishes using a high-quality detergent tablet or pod for convenience and improved performance.

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Are pods, powder or liquid detergent better for my dishwasher?

Whirlpool brand recommends using high-quality detergent tablets in Whirlpool® dishwashers for optimal performance. However, the type of dishwasher detergent that is best for you depends on your needs. Liquid detergent can be customized to the soil level of your dishes, while pod or tablet detergents offer convenience and ease of use. If you want a budget-friendly option, consider powder detergent.

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Are pods better than liquid detergent for cleaning?

Whether you should choose liquid or pod detergent for your dishwasher depends on the brand of detergent, your dishwasher and the hardness of your home’s water. Generally, detergent pods work better than powder, liquid or gel detergents at reducing filming on dishes.

Person loading dishes into a dishwasher Person loading dishes into a dishwasher

What is the best dishwasher detergent for hard water?

Most dishwasher detergents are suitable for most levels of water hardness. However, if you have hard water in your home, powder detergent is often the best choice for your dishwasher. Powder detergents are typically more effective at removing limescale deposits, streaks, white spots and cloudiness that can affect dishes when using hard water.

Powder detergent does not dissolve the best in cold water. Always use wash cycles with higher water temperatures when using powder detergent to help prevent a clog in your dishwasher.

Full three-rack dishwasher Full three-rack dishwasher

What is the best dishwasher detergent for soft water?

Like with hard water, most dishwasher detergents are capable of cleaning in dishwashers that use soft water. Based on their formulation, liquid detergent and pods may work better with soft water than powder.

Discover Whirlpool® dishwashers

Whirlpool® dishwashers are designed with innovative features to help make kitchen cleanup feel more manageable. Select models offer options like the High Temperature Wash to thoroughly clean dishes and glasses or the Boost Cycle that uses more water, time and heat to target tough messes.

Get more dishwasher tips with Whirlpool brand

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