dishwasher detergent powder

Best Dishwasher Pods Wirecutter

None of us loves the sight of dirty dishes on our kitchen sinks. We all want them clean but with the least effort put in cleaning. That could be the reason why dishwashers are expensive but may sometimes give you disappointing results.

For the dishes to get done well, three major components are required; mechanical action (scrubbing), chemical action( soap), and thermal action. So even if your dishwasher isn’t the best, why shouldn’t you use the best dishwasher pod in the market? You will get better results and avoid the frustrating and tiresome rewashing routine.

You should note that not all detergents can work best in any dishwasher. You may require trial and error to find the perfect product for your equipment.

#List Of The Best Dishwasher Pods For Hard Water – Editor’s Pick:

Top 5 Best Dishwasher Pods In The Market

1. Cascade Complete Actionpacs Detergent

When it comes to dishwasher detergents, nothing outshines pod detergents in terms of low prices to suit any budget. They are quite affordable, and with proper storage, they can serve you pretty well. As much as you can’t compare Cascade complete pods to the Platinum pods available in the market, it definitely isn’t a slouch when it comes to cleaning.

The Cascade complete action dishwasher pods contain mighty pacs that efficiently cleans away stuck-on messes. This means that you do not have to get troubled by prewashing a dish, but you will still get desired results.

It’s grease-fighting formulated action Pacs can even fight away tea stains instantly. Furthermore, this detergent contains a rinse aid action that helps rinse away any residue leaving your dishes with a brilliant and shiny Finish.

As long as you store the pods in a dry place away from any moisture, you won’t be disappointed in it. This pods are hygroscopic, and you may, therefore, need to additionally store them in an airtight container to avoid any problems in the long run.

Cascade Complete ActionPacs happens to be the number one dishwasher detergent brand in North America against other brands with recommendations from a co-marketing agreement. It is an older product but one of the best in the market today.

If you are working on a budget and you want a powerful pod detergent, then Cascade Complete ActionPacs Detergeht is the best option for you. Its efficiency comes second after the Platinum and Platinum Plus, and it is clear that it comes at a bargain price compared to the two..

  • Low price for each load
  • Great cleaning efficiency
  • One of the tried and trusted brands in the market
  • Can be bought in bulk

  • The pods quickly lose effectiveness when exposed to moisture

2. Finish Dishwasher Pods Reviews – All in 1-85ct – Best Dishwasher Pacs

The Finish Quantum Powerball detergent comes in pods, which is sure to give you a fantastic shiny finish. This means you won’t have to struggle to rinse or to rewash your dishes. The pods cut through most of the cleaning hassles in your kitchen with a bit of ease. It’s pod form also makes it convenient for use apart from ease of handling compared to powders and gel detergents.

The individually wrapped tablets are measured before packaging, and this makes them safe for any septic system. The tablet is supercharged by a strong Powerball which enables it to scrub away tough food residues like oatmeal and lasagna, and tough stains like tea and coffee.

Additionally, Finish Powerball tablets are believed to be three times powerful than the finish powder, although it comes at an extra cost. If you’re after saving some extra bucks, then Finish Powerball is a quite affordable option for pods if you are not an enthusiast of powdered dishwasher detergents.

This product may need an additive when cleaning lime build-up and hard water stains. To the people who can handle strong scents, then this is the best way to have your task done as the pods contain an overpowering smell.

If you are in search of an affordable option of cleaning your dishes, then you can consider this detergent. They will surely work exceptionally well as long as your water does not leave behind any Calcium residue.

  • Cleans tough tea stains and even burnt food on dishes
  • Comes in pod forms that are easy to use
  • A little bit of water-resistant compared to other pods
  • Quite affordable

  • May not be the best option for hard water stains
  • Has a strong perfume which could not be everyone’s preference

3. Cascade Platinum Plus Dishwasher Pods

Similar to the Cascade Complete ActionPacs Detergent, this premium pod detergent has power boosters that will give your dishes a powerful and complete clean. Moreover, it is formulated with Dawn’s power of grease-fighting that instantly cleans away burn-on food. You, therefore, don’t have to prewash your dishes before running them in your dishwasher.

The Cascade Platinum ActionPacs works in three ways to leave your dishes sparkling clean; it dissolves the food remains, lifts it, and washes it away. The best thing with this detergent is that it works well in both soft and hard water to leave your items spotlessly clean.

This detergent comes in pods that are pre-measured before packaging thus saving you the hassle of measuring the quantity before throwing it into your appliance. It is more convenient than most powders and gels, just that it is a little bit expensive per load.

Cascade Platinum Plus pods also tend to become very messy when they come into contact with water and any form of moisture. You, therefore, have to be careful when handling them to serve you well. You can choose to additionally store the packages in an airtight container to be sure they are moisture-free.

If you are looking for a powerful dishwasher pods to get your dishes done as you watch in three simple steps, and your budget allows, then you can never go wrong with Cascade Platinum Plus. You will not have to do the annoying rinsing and rewashing plus great value for your money.

  • Cleans even the toughest of stains and burnt-on food
  • Comes in an easy-to-use pod form
  • Doesn’t leave any residue
  • Suitable for effortless cleaning using hard water
  • Dries and shines dishes with no spots

  • Expensive compared to other dishwasher detergents
  • It may be hard to handle the pods with wet hands

4. Finish Fresh Scent Powerball Dishwasher

The Finish detergent has a supercharged Powerball at the center of each pod that actively cuts through the toughest of stains and grease to give you a super clean dish with little or no spots. The Powerball scrubs away tough stains like tea, dried-on food, and even burnt-on cheese.

This pod gives your dishes a shiny finish, which means you will never have the trouble of having to rewash your dishes. Moreover, the supercharged Powerball’s cleaning ability makes you forget about pre-rinsing or pre-soaking the dishes before throwing them in the machine.

These all in one tablets that are also pre-measured like any other detergent pods are safe for your home septic systems. The pods are also three times stronger than the finish powder.

So do you want to take your dish cleaning to a whole new level? If yes, then you should definitely give the Finish all in 1 Powerball detergent a try and see whether you like it. But it comes at a higher price per load compared to the powdered detergents. You will love how your dishes will come out gently scrubbed and sparkling clean.

If you don’t love the strong scent, then this might be a bad option for you. You may not like to drink water with a glass that has a strong fresh scent. The finish Powerball pods have a strong smell that tends to remain on your dishes and glasses even after washing. If you love it, then this is an excellent way to have your kitchen utensils smelling fresh all day long.

  • Supercharged Powerball that removes tough stains
  • Easy to use pods
  • Three times stronger than regular powder detergents
  • Number one world’s recommended brand

  • Not so good at cleaning tough water stains
  • A strong scent which isn’t appealing to everyone

5. Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Pods – 62 Count, 34.5 Ounce Detergent

The Cascade Platinum ActionPacs detergent is also one of the best dishwasher pods you can find in the market today, although it has been improved to the Platinum plus for better cleaning results.

This powerful pods contain the grease-fighting power of Dawn that instantly scrubs away tough stains and burnt-on food from your dishes. It can effectively clean food that has stuck on the plates for up to 24 hours. It saves your time and energy as you don’t have to pre-soak and pre-rinse your dishes beforehand.

Furthermore, we all hate rinsing the dishes after machine wash, as this is frustrating, and renders the equipment somehow useless. With Platinum ActionPacs, your dishes will come out flawlessly clean with no water spots and streaks.

If you’re looking for a dishwasher pods that will serve you in the long term- saving your time, money, and energy, then you should try this detergent. It is quite affordable thus you don’t have to break an arm and a leg to get some for yourself.

The pods also dissolve well in hot water, therefore, your equipment won’t get clogged every other time. These tablets are your-to-go for any time and saves you both energy and resources.

If it doesn’t work according to your expectations, then you are free to try the other Cascade pods variants as you will always get one that perfectly suits you.

  • Low price for each load
  • Perfect cleaning power
  • Scrubs away tough stains and burnt-on food
  • Leaves the dishes spotlessly clean

  • Gets messy pretty fast when exposed to water

Buying Guide To The Best Dishwasher Pods Wirecutter

Since regular soaps are not recommended for use in the dishwasher due to several reasons, you may need to get that perfect dishwasher pod to suit your needs. Below are the key points you should consider before getting the right soap for your valued equipment.

  • Ingredients

Your dishwasher detergent could either contain chemical components like phosphate or natural ingredients like lemon. Chemicals often leave a lot of residue on the dishes, but most people think that soaps made from natural ingredients do not effectively clean the dishes as compared to chemical-based ones.

You should try to find a product that can effectively clean the dishes while at the same time doesn’t leave a lot of residues.

  • Packaging

Dishwasher detergents tend to lose their efficiency and effectiveness if they get into contact with water. Exposure to moisture makes it lumpy and loses its freshness. Ensure your detergent’s packaging keeps it fresh and dry.

  • Formula

Dishwasher detergents in the market come in three forms, either in liquid/ gel form, tablets, or powder. Contrary to what people think, all three formulations are different even though they are both used in the dishwasher.

The tablets and powder have so far been rated as the best due to their abrasive nature, which makes them clean better than liquid. Moreover, liquid detergent can settle at the corners and nooks of your appliance forcing you to run extra cycles to clean it.

Consumer reviews and ratings show that pods are the best among the three because they come pre-formulated according to the load. You, therefore, don’t have to worry about the measurements.

  • Minimal residue

What’s the point of using an automatic dishwashing machine then manually do the rinsing of your dishes after the machine? Some dishwasher pods leave residue on your plates, which need additional rinsing.

Go for pods that leave minimal residue, thus saving you from this extra trouble.

Cascade Platinum vs. Complete

  • Cleaning Power

All you want from a dishwasher detergent is streak free result and no presence of spot, when the cleaning is over. While, the truth is that the result doesn’t always match with your anticipation. But, you can rest assured in this respect, should you decide to go with Cascade platinum. Limits the use of extra rinse aid, scrubbing is a forbidden thing and most importantly, you need not to bother about pre- soaking.

On the other hand, cascade complete offers almost a similar cleaning output, but with additional help. Rinse aid along with dishwasher cleaner required to meet expected upshot. Notwithstanding, outclass cascade platinum, when it comes to getting rid of messes stuck for almost a day long.

  • User-friendliness

A plastic pot, which is incredibly easy to open holds 16 packs of cascade platinum in it. Which offers an effortless storing. If you happen to be a first timer don’t need to worry much. A well written, simple to understand manual also included to make thing easy for you.
In case of cascade complete, premeasuring- an irritation before use, doesn’t require. Plastic pack is easy to open, but not the smartest way to store items.

  • Effectiveness

Cascade platinum cleans virtually every possible dirt that can take a possession on your cookware, even if it turns a little greasy.
Cascade complete dissolves as early as the cycle start and discharge a super effective cleaning power, which is almost at the same scale of cascade platinum.

  • Limitations

Despite all its effectiveness, cascade platinum has a reputation of letting a grayish layer all over, which is resistant to normal wash.
It’s highly advised to keep cascade complete away from kids reach. Even can irritate the adults, when eyes or skin get exposed to it.

Cascade Platinum vs. Platinum Plus

  • Cleaning Power

A streak free result alongside least possible spots is due when you opt to go with Cascade platinum dishwasher detergent. Eliminates a number of activities usually take place when you use dishwasher detergent, for instance, pre-soaking, scrubbing and even use of extra rinse aid.

Armed with a triple-action formula, platinum plus dishwasher detergent come with enzyme power. Which results improved cleaning outcome. Presence of the dual surfactant system along with chelant and polymer system resists hard-water film build-up and bring a shiny look for the utensils.  

Cascade Platinum Plus
  • User-friendliness

Being a 16 pack package, cascade platinum comes in an easy to open plastic pot. Storing is not a concern anymore. An instruction set that is simple to understand come with the package in order to make thing easy, even for the first-time user.   

On the other hand, plastic packet of platinum plus is a bit bothersome. Can’t be sealed properly after use and could be a bit messy for the kitchen setup. 

  • Effectiveness

In terms of effectiveness, cascade platinum cleans virtually everything, from tough-to-clean leftover to cookware that turned a bit greasy.

When it comes to platinum plus, besides its superior cleaning performance, help keep dishes looking like new and safeguard glasses from corrosion.  

  • Limitations

Incident of letting powdery residue all over, which is a bit grayish and can’t be just washed out with regular washing agents, reported a couple of times, in the case of cascade platinum.

While, platinum plus also accused of somewhat same sort of issues, as people come out to complain that their cutlery coming out with rust.  

Cascade vs. Finish

  • Cascade
Cascade Dishwasher Pods

When you are in search of a dishwasher detergent, which doesn’t leave any watermark, it will be difficult to find a better option than cascade. In terms of performance, we have been quite impressed.

What is usual for other dishwasher detergents, can be evaded, should you choose to go with it. For instance, the inclusion of rinse aid or soaking for a while prior to place utensils on the dishwasher. Moreover, don’t need to scrub to soften food that caked on there for a while.

Despite of being the most reputed brand in the market for long, still counted as one of the least expensive powdered detergent. A fresh scent is due after wash and highly admired for its efficacy against greasy elements.

Storing in a well-sealed pot would be the best practice, since in humid condition powder might become lumpy. Nevertheless, when applied on warm water, it takes no time to dissolve.   

  • Finish

The name Reckitt Benckiser- manufacturer of finish Powerball tablets says a lot about it. Immensely appreciated by the customers and the industry alike owing to its ability to deliver cleanest dishes.

Finish Dishwasher Pods

A combination of a handful of ingredients, namely bacteria-killing bleach and degreaser. In addition, rinse-aid along with a pre-treating solution also form a strong bonding to diminish spotting on glassware.   

A bit expensive in comparison with cascade, but when it comes to efficiency, will outclass most of the dishwasher detergent. The absence of individual wrapping makes it more convenient to use. Notwithstanding, chance of disintegration is high if the tablets come in contact with water.   

Frequently Asked Questions On Best Dishwasher Pods

Q: What is the difference between the Cascade Platinum Plus new version and the old version pods?

Answer: The new version pods clean up pans and pots more effectively than the old version, plus it leaves lesser spots on glassware.

Q: What is the difference between Cascade Platinum and Cascade Platinum Plus?

Answer: In many people’s opinion, the Cascade plus is formulated for the cleaning of pots and pans. It has stronger cleaning agents to do an impressive job on the pots. You can however, stick to the Platinum as it still does a perfect job on almost everything.

Q: How does the finish Powerball pod detergent come?

Answer: The pods come in cubes with a centered red ball, wrapped individually in foil wrappers. You have to open yourself and place the pod in the detergent compartment and let the washing begin.

Q: Are all these pods safe for the dishwasher?

Answer: Of course, yes. Since they are specified as dishwasher pod detergents, you don’t have to worry about your equipment getting spoilt as they are manufactured according to the machine’s specifications.

Q: I noticed that the Cascade Platinum ActionPacs didn’t dissolve well in  my dishwasher and ended up clogging the hose pipes, which forced me to have it checked at an extra cost. What might have been the problem?

Answer: I don’t think this has anything to do with the action Pacs. The problem might be that you didn’t use hot water for the wash, which affected the dissolving ability. Also, ensure that next time you handle the pods with dry hands before inserting them in the detergent cup.

Q: Between the powder, gel, and pods, which is the best dishwasher detergent?

Answer: As much as all the three can efficiently clean your dishes, choose one that works best for your machine. One that works for you might not work for me. Pods are more recommended by consumers than the other forms. Try the different pods available until you can settle on one that works best for you.


A good dishwasher pod needs to help you get the job done with minimal to no effort. If you are left with spots on your dishes after cleaning, then you are probably wasting money on a pod detergent that isn’t delivering. The best dishwasher pods should help you clear messes and food build-ups on dishes after a meal.

You can make the best use of your dishwasher by grabbing the best pods available in the market and follow the simple rules on how to use your equipment. You may find that that machine might just become one of your favorite appliances in the house. The right pods will help you save money, time, and energy.

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