“I love doing the dishes,” said no one ever. Many people would rather see the dishes pile up in their sink than wash them. Tossing them into the dishwasher is easy enough. But not all detergents will get the job done. And if you unfortunately don’t have a dishwasher, it’s especially important to find yourself some strong detergent. Here’s what to consider when looking for the best dishwashing detergents to lay waste to that baked-on, caked-on mess.

  • Powder vs. Gel: Powder or gel detergents can both be used in your dishwasher, but each serves slightly different purposes. Gel is great for cleaning fragile items like glasses or dishwasher-safe china. But, if the water in your house or apartment is hard, powder detergent is for you. It helps combat hard water’s harmful effects on your dishware.
  • Ease of Use: We’ve all been there—you pour dish soap into your dishwasher and hit the “start” button, only to have foam seep out minutes later. Want an easy way to clean your dishes that won’t create a moat in your kitchen? Pick up a pack of detergent pods. Dishwashing pods can be more expensive than gel or powder detergent. Most experts agree, though, that they’re the best at cleaning your dishware. The best pods contain bleach, a pre-treatment solution, or a rinse aid to give you the best bang for your buck.
  • Strength: Don’t work harder than you have to. Choose a dishwashing detergent that’s highly concentrated and can remove stubborn food and oil from your dishes. Pick detergent with enzymes, bleach, and rinse aids to help break down grease, leaving your plates squeaky clean.

Our Picks for the Best Dishwashing Detergents on Amazon

Top Pick: Cascade Platinum Plus Dishwasher Pods

This formula uses three cleaning agents to break down food residue and remove stains. This powerful cleanser will help you save water. And you’ll also appreciate the fresh citrus scent. Cascade

Runner Up: Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Pack

This USDA-certified bio-based product is made with enzymes and plant-based ingredients. It’s also free of fragrances, dyes, and phosphates, for an all-natural clean. Seventh Generation

Budget Pick: Palmolive Ultra Dish Soap

Budget Pick

No dishwasher? You can still get a thorough clean with this detergent. It’s great for removing odor and cutting through grease. Palmolive

Also Consider: Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Gel

Also Consider

This formulation is also dye- and fragrance-free. It cuts through dried-on food residue, leaving your dishware squeaky-clean. Seventh Generation

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