Best Dishwasher Tablets & Cleaners
Dishwashers take a lot of the hassle out of the post-dinner clean up, but in order for them to keep our dishes spotless and sparkling, they also need some attention and care.
Whether you're after dishwasher tablets, powders, or gels, or need a dishwasher cleaner to help your machine stay in great shape, this guide will give you some pointers about what to look for when you shop.
The Earth Choice All in One Dish Tablets are friendly for the environment but tough on grease and grime, letting you clean your dishes with a clear conscience.
Effectively cleans dishes
Easy to use
No chemical fragrance
Tablet doesn't always completely dissolve
- Value for Money4.0 (3)
- Ease of Use4.7 (3)
The ALDI Logix Platinum is phosphate-free, has a dissolvable wrapper, and represents good value for money, but its cleaning capabilities are still being debated.
Effectively cleans most dishes
Sometimes leaves residue
Wrapper doesn't always dissolve
- Value for Money3.0 (1)
- Ease of Use4.0 (1)
Your dishwasher might make small work of cleaning dirty dishes, but what happens when the dishwasher needs a clean itself? Finish sets out to answer the question with this dishwasher cleaner.
- Value for Money2.0 (4)
- Ease of Use2.3 (3)
The Euca Dishwashing Powder is environmentally friendly, doesn’t require an additional rinse aid, and leaves both your dishes and dishwasher squeaky clean - there’s no wonder why it’s one of the top dishwasher detergent picks among reviewers.
Made from plant-based and mineral-based ingredients, these fragrance-free dishwasher tablets are gentle yet effective when it comes to washing dirty dishes.
Latest review: I bought these NEW Fairy Original - all in one - Dishwasher tablets to try. They wash fine, but leave everything smelling and tasting like chemical soap. I do not recommend these, and will not
Latest review: Do not use this product under any circumstances as it will form brown sludge and block your whole dishwasher. I used it once and had to run 3 cleaners on my dishwasher to remove the brown
Latest review: First wash, i open the door and I smell this awful chemical lemon smell it was so strong it almost made me vomit i kid you not. After that I take out the dishes and put them away, When I went to go
Latest review: Just as good if not better than top Finish or Fairy tablets at a fraction of the price. Never have any dissolving problems as always put at bottom of cutlery basket. Bought them on recommendation of
Latest review: If you want everyone to have a dishwasher are you going to provide one and pay for installation. Your ad is insulting to those of us who cannot afford such luxuries
Latest review: The finish liquid works well in my Fisher&Paykel dishwasher, but the gel does not work at all. It's worse than using nothing. Glassware comes out all scummy as others
Latest review: cleans really well plates glasses and cutlery streak free l have stopped using rinse aid all their products are excellent highly recommend and l love that it is a South Australian
Latest review: I have been using this for ages, started because it was palm oil free but continue because it works. Not the cheapest but at least trying to do the right thing by not using palm oil. You only need
Latest review: Most of Coles products I feel are good quality. These Coles dishwasher tablets are very cheap at around 9.50 for two packets(I think and can alter later when I go to the supermarket). Sometimes
Latest review: In summary this stuff works so well for me that it was worth the 20 minutes of my time to compose a positive review for this site, Its good for the environment, good for the budget and works
Latest review: This is an awesome product, that actually cleans the dishes better than any tablet or powder. I was having all sorts of issues with powder and tablets not removing all debris and leaving a horrible
Latest review: I am looking here in Perth to get total fresh 3in1,but it is impossible.Can you please tell me where in Melbourne,I can get it.Can I order it as well. Love to use it smells fresh,natural and clean
Types of dishwasher detergents
- They come in pre-measured doses, so you don’t need to fuss with measurements - saving you time and effort.
- Because they’re contained tablets, you’re less likely to make a mess.
- They usually contain a rinse aid that makes the tablet a more effective cleaner - this rinse aid is the red ball you see in the centre of many dishwasher tablets.
- They’re usually the most expensive dishwashing option.
- They come in a fixed dose so you can’t adjust the amount for different sized loads.
- They sometimes require longer rinsing cycles to get rid of residue.
- They’re generally the cheapest dishwashing option.
- Powder is easily rinsed by your dishwasher.
- Dishwashing powder has a long shelf life, so you have plenty of time to use it before it expires.
- You can choose your own dose of powder, so you can use less when you wash less - this could save you even more money.
- It can be difficult to get the dosage right - if you use too much powder, there may be residue on your dishes after washing them, while your dishes may not be properly cleaned if you use too little powder.
- Powder is usually more messy and likely to spill than tablets and gels.
- Loose powder might be left on the floor, making it a safety hazard for small children or pets who might ingest it.
- In some cases, powder can damage more delicate dishes, such as crystalware.
A dishwasher gel is a water-based detergent that is poured into the dishwasher dispenser.
- Because gel is water-based, it doesn’t need time to dissolve in water, and is also less likely to damage more fragile crockery.
- Gel is easier to clean and easier to pour into the dishwasher drawer than powder.
- There’s a lower likelihood that residue will be left on your dishes when using gel.
- Gel can’t be used in all dishwashers.
- Because they’re not as popular, there are less products on the market to choose from.
- It can be difficult to do consistent doses when pouring.
What is rinse aid?
A rinse aid is an extra product you can buy that is placed in the corresponding compartment of the dishwasher dispenser. It’s used in your machine’s rinse cycle to get rid of food residue and detergent, and is also effective in preventing water spots and film from forming on your crockery.
What to look for in dishwasher detergents
It’s generally recommended to avoid phosphates - they’re one of the kitchen cleaning chemicals that have been used for decades because of their effective cleaning ability, however they’re bad news for the environment, as they remain in wastewater and cause algae bloom.
Phthalates and parabens are also chemicals that can be toxic for humans - it’s easy to find products that don’t have these ingredients.
For those with the environment in mind, there are dishwasher detergents that are cruelty-free and don’t test on animals, and you can also find some that don’t contain palm oil or any animal products at all.
Ease of use
Tablets offer more in terms of convenience, as you have to measure out doses with powders and gels, however they are more expensive - you’ll have to think about whether the trade off is worth it for you.
Prices for dishwasher tablets, powders, and gels vary. Costs vary from 5c per wash to up to $1 per wash - powders are at the lower end of this range while tablets generally cost more.
It might seem ironic that a machine used to clean dishes needs a clean itself, but dishwashers do need regular cleaning to ensure they run smoothly. Grease, grime, soap scum, and limescale can accumulate in parts of the dishwasher, particularly in hard-to-reach areas such as the filter, spray arms, pipes, water pump, and drain.
Generally speaking, it’s recommended to use a dishwasher cleaner monthly. However, while a dishwasher cleaner is a great way to clear out the gunk in your machine, if you’re keeping up with regular cleaning and maintenance, then you may be fine using a natural oven cleaner, such as white vinegar, to clean your dishwasher.
Some of the cleaning practices you can implement to keep your dishwasher in tip top condition include:
- Daily: scrape large food particles into the bin, leave the door ajar to air it out and help minimise mould and odours, use a high quality dishwasher detergent.
- Weekly: clean grime from around dishwasher seals, clean out the internal filter.
- Monthly: wipe down the exterior with a cloth or paper towel and soapy water or an all-purpose cleaner, fill up the rinse aid dispenser.
- Annually: run the dishwasher on its hottest cycle while it’s empty, check spray arms.
If you haven’t got a dishwasher and are considering buying one, or are looking to upgrade from your current model, you can read user reviews and our guides on what to look for when choosing a dishwasher .