Dishwasher pods are small capsules containing enough concentrated detergent for one wash cycle of a dishwasher and are a very convenient way of cleaning dishes. With these pods, there’s no more measuring of dishwashing detergents which can get messy at times.
All you have to do is throw one in as you start the dishes and the rest gets done for you. The pods are not only easy to use but they’re environmentally friendly and can be safely handled by hand.
How do dishwasher pods work?
Dishwasher pods function in a similar manner to regular liquid or powder dishwashing soap.
Dishwasher pods are covered in a small film that dissolves in water. The capsule breaks apart as soon as it comes into contact with water and releases the detergent inside which allows for a successful washing cycle. The detergent within most dishwasher pods is more conc. than that found in regular soaps.
The pods detergent works as a surfactant by reducing the surface tension of liquids that it’s added to. When the surface tension is reduced, this makes it very easy for the detergent to wash away the debris off the dishes.
The molecules of the detergent aren’t lipophobic but are lipophilic. This means that they’re more attracted to lipids than they’re repelled by it. The molecules are also hydrophilic which makes them soluble in water.
Additionally, the pods also contain a rinse aid which is also a type of surfactant. It works by reducing the surface tension so that the tiny water droplets formed on the dishes’ surface are rinsed away. When these droplets are rinsed off, they don’t leave any deposits and so the dishes are left looking spotless.
The pods outer coating contains Polyvinyl Alcohol which is very safe and stable allowing you to conveniently store the dishwasher pods and use them whenever you need to. PVA is soluble in water so the pods only dissolve when they come into contact with water.
How to use dishwasher pods
After reading all about how dishwasher pods work, I’m sure that you’re dying to try them out. Well, using them is quite easy. Just follow these simple steps.
- Load the dishwasher ensuring that all the items you load into it are dishwasher-safe. You shouldn’t load items made of crystal, cast iron, copper, and plastic. These can be ruined very easily by the detergent or heat. If you are not sure about whether or not the items are safe for loading in the dishwashers, check either the item or the packaging for cleaning instructions. Also, you shouldn’t leave the dishes in there for more than 24 hours. The longer you leave them in the dishwasher the higher the likelihood that they’ll have cake on food and grease.
- Remove the pod from the pouch and place it in the dishwasher detergent dispenser. Be very careful because the pod will dissolve upon contact with water so ensure that your hands are completely dry. Make sure that you place the pod in the dishwasher correctly. The right place to put it on the inside of the door to the dishwasher in the area designated for pods and other detergents. After that, close the latch tightly on the detergent dispenser before closing the dishwasher door. You also shouldn’t try to puncture or open in any way as it dissolves once the cycle starts. Breaking the film can get messy and cause skin irritation.
- Use a single dishwasher pod for a regular-sized load. The pod’s contents are accurately measured and packaged in such a way that one pod is enough for a typical dishwasher load. This makes it very convenient to use. If you have a full load, you might need to add a second pod. On the other hand, turning on the dishwasher with a light load will leave leftover residue from the pod so it’s better to wait until you have a close to full load.
- For optimal results, use a finishing liquid. Finishing liquids help the pod to clean away caked-on foods and grease leaving the dishes sparkling clean. The finishing liquid is added into the rinse-aid dispenser in the dishwasher. The dispenser automatically dispenses the correct amount of finishing liquid to the load during dishwashing.
- Turn the dishwasher on an lets it do its magic. Make sure that the temperature is set at 52°C and 60°C which is the optimal heat setting for the pods to clean your dishes.
Choosing the right dishwasher pods
The pods you choose determine how effective the dishwasher will be when cleaning the dishes. You need to find high-quality pods that work well and meet all your cleaning needs. Here are some tips to help you choose the right dishwasher pod:
- Look for powerful pods so that you don’t have to use another pod on an extra cycle. This will cost you so much extra energy and water.
- Go for pods that are labeled with a conc. cleaning power e.g. 15X Power. This shows that it has more grease-fighting molecules per pod
- Depending on what you prefer, you can go for scented or scentless pods. Some fragrances that are available in the market include lemon
Environmental friendly pods
The best dishwasher pods often steer clear of toxic ingredients like synthetic dyes and chemicals (the ingredients are indicated on the labels).
Always choose pods that are environmentally friendly to minimize your green footprint. Generally, you should go for a dishwasher pod that’s biodegradable, free from artificial fragrances, and phosphates.
Today dishwasher pods come in different varieties to suit different consumer needs. However, it doesn’t really matter what company manufactures the dishwasher pods that you’re familiar with, the chemistry behind how they function is the same. The primary detergent that’s used by companies to form the outer coating is Polyvinyl Alcohol. PVA is a synthetic shelf-stable polymer that is soluble in water. Using this chemical to create the pod’s protective film means that you can store it away for as long as you wish because they’ll be well preserved as they only dissolve when they come into contact with water.