How to Choose the Right Detergent for Your Dishwasher

How to Choose the Right Detergent for Your Dishwasher Washing dishes in a dishwasher saves a lot of time and effort, but if you want your dishes to be squeaky clean and your dishwasher to work well with minimal issues, you should follow a few simple rules. For example, it is important to choose the right dishwasher detergent that won’t damage the dishes or dishwasher hardware.

The first mechanical dishwashing device was patented in the mid-19th century, but it was slow, unreliable and hand-powered. Dishwashers suitable for domestic use were invented in the 1920s, first began to sell successfully in the 1950s, and became commonplace in Western Europe and North America in the 1970s. Although they aren’t the most popular domestic appliances globally, in some countries, over 75% of households have dishwashers.

Using a dishwasher is pretty easy: you load the dishes, add detergent to the container, close the dishwasher, select the cycle, and press Start. In 30-60 minutes (depending on the cycle), your dishes will be squeaky clean and dry! However, even this simple process has some nuances. For example, it is important to arrange the dishes properly, select the right wash cycle, and, of course, choose the right dishwasher detergent from the many options offered by various brands.

The first thing you need to know is that regular dishwashing liquids for manual dishwashing, also known as dish soaps, are unsuitable for use in dishwashers. They contain more surfactants that produce more foam, which can disrupt the dishwashing machine. Automatic dishwashing is more reliant on hot water than on surfactants, so dishwasher detergents typically contain less foaming agent and more enzymes and bleach.

Dishwasher detergents are manufactured and marketed in different forms, including powder, gel, liquid, pods, tablets, and cartridges. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular types of dishwasher detergent.

Dishwasher Detergent Powders

Dishwasher detergent powder is generally considered the most affordable kind of detergent for dishwashers; you’ll typically need 25-30 g powder per wash cycle, which means you’ll use it sparingly. However, powders aren’t particularly convenient to use, since you can accidentally spill them while filling the compartment or use more powder than you intended. But the main drawback of dishwashing powders is that they’re abrasive and therefore can easily scratch fragile items.

Dishwasher Detergent Gels

Dishwasher detergent gels are the best suited for the quick wash cycle because they dissolve faster than other types of detergent. In addition, you can use detergent gels for pre-soaking dishes before running them through the dishwasher. They are not too expensive and are used very sparingly, which makes them popular among consumers. However, you should keep in mind that most dishwasher gels require you to also use rinse aid and water softener.

Dishwasher Detergent Pods

Detergent pods are the most modern type of dishwasher detergent. They are a combination of liquid detergent, rinse aid and water softening salt, making them a multi-purpose product. Dishwasher pods are extremely easy to use because a pod is typically designed for a single wash cycle of moderately soiled dishes. All you need to do is put the pod into the detergent compartment before starting the dishwasher.

Dishwasher Detergent Tablets

Dishwasher tablets (tabs) are arguably the most popular type of dishwasher detergent. They are a compressed mixture of detergent powder, rinse aid and water softener, and sometimes also other ingredients, such as enzymes or bleach. Just like pods, tabs are very easy to use since you don’t have to think about the right dosage. Their main drawback is that they are not suitable for the quick wash cycle since they dissolve rather slowly and therefore can leave detergent residue on the dishes.

All dishwasher detergent products have special formulations with thoroughly selected active ingredients that effectively remove dirt and grease from the dishes without damaging the dishwasher. They are generally divided into two types: high alkaline products for regular wash and low alkaline products for fragile kitchenware, such as wine glasses. As we’ve already mentioned, in addition to surfactants, dishwasher detergents can contain other ingredients, such as rinse aid, water softener, antibacterial agents, or enzymes that break down organic contaminants on fragile kitchenware.

Each manufacturer of dishwashing detergents chooses the ingredients at their discretion. Unfortunately, some manufacturers opt for cheap ingredients that are not always safe for human health or the environment. So when choosing the best detergent for your dishwasher, you should pay attention to the composition to make sure it doesn’t contain any potentially harmful ingredients, such as chlorine bleach, phosphates, or aggressive surfactants.

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly dishwasher detergent, check out Grün TAB. It is a collection of dishwasher products that contain only safe ingredients and are certified vegan, meaning they contain no animal-based ingredients and have not been tested on animals. These biodegradable detergents effectively wash the dishes made from different materials and make them squeaky clean and shiny without leaving any spots or streaks. By choosing Grün TAB you put your health and the environment first!

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