HomeDetergentWhich works Best | Dishwasher Pods vs Dishwasher Powders in 2022

Which works Best | Dishwasher Pods vs Dishwasher Powders in 2022

When your dishes come out of the dishwasher with a lot of food stains on them, your detergent may be wrong. Unlike simple soaps, dishwashing detergents are composed of multiple ingredients that work together to clean up the mess left by food scraps.

     It is confusing now that dishwasher detergents are available as powders, liquids, and now pods. Many of us have found ourselves confused when trying to decide which detergent is ultra, super-ultra, and mega-ultra!

    There are pros and cons to every type of detergent, so see how these top cleaning agents do on the dirty dishes front. So let’s see whether dishwasher powder is good or pods.

How does dishwashing detergent work?

    You might know that a dishwasher detergent contains corrosion inhibitors, perfumes, surfactants, chlorine compounds, and builders. As a result of the builders and the corrosion inhibitors, dishes do not get spots or film, and metals do not corrode.

    By chlorine compounds, dishes can be sanitized and stains from coffee and tea can be removed. Dishwasher detergent differs greatly from regular dish soap in all of these ways.

    It produces way too many suds in your dishwasher if you have ever used dish soap in a pinch. The suds also blot up the water needed to wash the dishes.

    So dishwasher detergents have the ingredients that wash the dishes without making suds. It cleans the dishes deeply and prevents stains.

    By using detergent, the dishes stay long and metal does not get corroded because of corrosion inhibitors. So that’s a better choice to use detergent instead of dish soap.

How are dishwasher pods made?

    As dishwasher pods have detergent, they still clean your dishes in the same manner, but they are packaged in a way that makes automatic dishwashing easier and less stained or messy.

    Well, dishwasher pods work differently. You do not need to measure them. When the waterproof film dissolves, it frees the powder that cleans your dishes. It is made from polyvinyl alcohol and contains liquid detergent premeasured for easy use.

     So, the pods are more convenient than gel or powder. Because doses for each cycle are already measured. Also, the powder in pods like Cascade ActionPacs is separated from the liquid top, which makes them the best of both.

How do dishwasher pods work?

     When the dishwasher detergent pod is placed into the detergent dispenser and you start the wash cycle. Then the dispenser lid opens and the pods are released into the water.

     The PVA film around the pods dissolves into the water and the detergent accumulates into the water. For the remainder of the main wash cycle, the same 1.5 to 2 gallons of water is circulated through the dishwasher’s rotating spray arms, breaking down the food soils and grease with the help of the detergent.

    During the washing process, polymers will suspend all of the food soils in water, allowing them to rinse down the drain instead of deposit on your dishes again.

Also Read: Ultimate 10 Best Rinse Aid For Bosch Dishwasher In 2022

Comparison between Cascade Pods and Grab Green powder

     In all the major categories, we selected some detergents and tested them. We found these two dishwasher detergents more effective. One is a pod and the other is powder.

     Well, both have good and bad but these two detergent results are awesome. So let’s see their work, features, pros, and cons.

1. Cascade Complete Dishwasher Pods- Clean Tough Messes


  • The scent is fresh
  • The form is Pac
  • Dimensions are 5.5 x 6.75 x 7.25 inches
  • The weight is 3.24 pounds
  • 78 count, pack of 1

This is the top rating product and #1 brand. As Cascade is a quality brand dishwasher detergent that will clean your dishes thoroughly and leave your dishes sparkly clean.

      From testing, we found that Cascade’s pods dissolve food and remove stains, such as coffee, tea, and tomato-based sauces, whether the wash cycle is eco-friendly sensor mode or 1-hour quick wash.

     After using this Cascade ActionPacs the plastic containers and mugs look brand new. Glassware and dishes are sparkling clean, without any spots or cloudy residue.


    Those with hard water need not worry: Cascade detergents come with a built-in water softener. The good thing is that it is phosphate-free and has no wrapping.

Also for stainless steel:

    These pods are excellent for stainless steel as I tested them on stainless steel and the result was mind-blowing. The stainless steel cookware comes out dishwasher sparkly. By hand, you will never find those results.

    I highly recommend you these pods for stainless steel cookware. Each Pac contains powder and liquid, separated by chambers. Also, these have no artificial scent.

   Cascade Dishwasher pods keep your dishwasher filter clean. These pods are worth each penny.  Also, the packaging might vary. So, the pods work hard so it is not a huge deal. 

Reasons to Buy

  • No artificial smell
  • Phosphate-free
  • Excellent for hard water
  • Fantastic cleaning power
  • No residue and film

Reasons to Avoid

  • Poor shipping
  • Sometimes the box delivered damage

Highlight: It does a fantastic job of getting rid of the film and leaving sparkly dishes behind.  

2.  Grab Green Automatic Dishwasher Detergent Powder – Powerful Grease Remover


  • The form is powder
  • Unscented
  • The dimensions are 9.5 x 4.5 x 10 inches
  • 1 pack per 80 loads
  •  3.17 pounds

Grab Green is the best non-toxic dishwasher detergent powder. This product has also a positive rating and has been used widely. We also have tested this and found brilliant results.

       It contains no bleach or dye in it and is made of natural ingredients. Grab Green detergents are plant-based and have no animal product in them. So that’s the better choice.

      This 3 pounds detergent bag works per 80 loads. I recommend you to use half scoop of powder as it will clean your dishes brilliant in that amount. Just after 1 wash cycle, you will find the best results and you would say that the solution of grease.

Glass seemed less cloudy:

     After one use, the dishes are endless clean and the glass seemed less cloudy. I have seen negative reviews as the smell is bad but it has no scent at all.


    Also, the poor locking bag, on the contrary, locks the detergent better than other bags. So, it’s easier to close the bag. This detergent is eco-friendly as well.

Clean Efficiently:

   So, this is the most automatic natural dishwashing detergent that will clean your every dish efficiently. I recommend you to use a half scoop for a regular load of the dishwasher and a full scoop for a heavy load.

    It’s an excellent quality product and makes no suds while washing the utensils. It is environmental-friendly and safe for humans.  

Reasons to Buy

  • Cruelty-free
  • Fight with grease
  • Clean dishes sparkly
  • Contain natural ingredients
  • Platinum clean

Reasons to Avoid

  • Sometimes chalky residue on dishes when overuse

Highlight: This detergent powder is affordable and contains no harmful ingredients.

Are pods better than powder?

      It all depends on how you want to wash your dishes. The dishwasher pod isn’t even available to all people, which negates its benefits. As dishwasher pods contain premeasured amounts scientifically formulated to clean dishes, they tend to do a better job at cleaning than liquid detergent.

      When your dishwasher is full (or too full), what happens? If you have too many dirty dishes, you may want to add another pod, but be careful not to overload the dishwasher.

      When you have very light loads, you might find remnants of the pod in the machine. You might be best off waiting until the dishwasher is fully loaded before running it.

      Nonetheless, pods do not create the mess, and pods like Cascade ActionPacs that have both detergent liquid and powder. So you do not need the pre-wash step.

      But pods are more costly than gel or liquid. If you can afford the pods then that’s the best decision to buy them.

Powder detergent:

Dishwasher Powder detergent

     If you want an eco-friendly and maintainable option then the best choice is powder dishwasher detergent. Because powder detergents are best for hard water.

    Also, if you have high mineral water in your area that leaves spots and stains on the utensils then I recommend you use powder detergent. Powder detergents are relatively inexpensive.

    It is easy to use powder detergent because you can balance the quantity of detergent according to your dishes or utensils. So, it gives freedom to you.

Pod detergent:

dishwasher Pod detergent

     The dishwasher detergents that are packed in pods are beneficial in size and use. Pods come in dosages and small sizes. Pre-measured and you can store pods anywhere as they have film on them that is PVA.

    The cleaning power of pods as well as tablets, gels, or other detergents. Also, these are not cheap if you want to use them then don’t mind the price.

    Although, pods are most effective in taking down food stains and greasy grime. And they are the most convenient form of detergent.

Powder detergent might work better for hard water

     The one slight advantage of powder detergent is that it is best with hard water. Limescale deposit is caused by hard water that creates cloudiness, white spots, and streaks on glassware.

     The hardness of water also affects the performance of dishwashers. In hard water areas, powder detergent may improve the performance as you can balance the detergent amount.

     Several dishwashers (including those from Bosch) come with a built-in water softener that adjusts water hardness for optimal performance by using a salt additive.

    Additionally, Finish and Cascade offer products that can be used to treat hard water. So, I recommend you use powder detergent if you have hard water or well water.

Environmental impact

     Well, powder detergents are safe for environments. As the packaging of powder detergent is cardboard that can recycle so it is safe. Also, the powder is biodegradable.

     On the other hand, no doubt pods are better for cleaning the dishes but these are a great danger for marine life as it contains many chemicals. Also, these are not safe for the environment.

    Now it all depends on you that what you want, clean dishes or a safe environment. Also, the powder is lightweight so they are easy for shipping.


Is it better to use dishwasher detergent or pods?

     Yes. According to the cleaning power, pods are very efficient in cleaning the dishes. But these are a little costly. If you can afford them then that’s the better choice for you.   

Do dishwasher pods clog drains?

      Usually, pods have ingredients in them that help to break down the grease in the pipes. As they dissolve, the pipes won’t get clogged up. So, pods are helpful for clogged pipes.

What happens to the plastic in dishwasher pods?

      The dishwasher detergent pods are capsulated in water-soluble polyvinyl alcohol. After turning the machine on, the PVA casing dissolves, and the soap inside the pod is released.

Final words:

     You can certainly find pros and cons to each dishwasher detergent, but making the right decision will be based on your preferences and needs.

     We recommend that you also consider the condition of all your kitchen appliances at the same time that you reevaluate the type of detergent you use in your dishwasher.

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Stella is the founder and chief editor of getdishwasher.com. For the last decade and a half, Her aim for this website was to help people make the right decisions for their dishwasher component upgrades.

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