Powder, Gel, or Tabs: Which Dishwasher Detergent Cleans Best?

If you keep finding food stains and streaks of dirty water after a dishwasher session, the problem is your dishwasher detergent. Dishwasher detergents can come in gel, tabs or powder. If you find yourself frozen in your local store aisle trying to figure out the difference between ultra, super-ultra, and ultra-variations, you’ll be forgiven. The choice to pick either causes a lot of angst among users. The embrace of gels came about when consumers decided that powder didn’t dissolve properly. However, since the introduction of tabs in the mid-1990’s, consumers have been on a steady march away from powdered detergents but guess what! Many have retained their love affair with gel dishwasher detergents. The truth, however, is that all these options have their pros and cons.

So long as you don’t mind paying the premium price, tabs and gel packs deliver top performance when it comes to convenience, cleaning power, and reliability. Compared to powder, dishwasher gel is slow-pouring hence it gives you more control when measuring the amount of detergent for the wash cycle. In addition, dishwasher gel is water-based thus less abrasive on delicate dishes.  Because of the wide variety of dishwasher gel in the market, most people confuse dishwasher gel and hand washing liquid. The latter should never find itself in the dishwasher so it helps todifferentiate the two. Another con is that although dishwasher gel dissolves better than powder, it may not dissolve completely so it may leave thin films on your dishes.

Compared to powders and gels, dishwasher tablets offer more convenience. The tabs come in small bricks of powder concentrate which makes it easier for the user to deliver precise detergent. Unlike powder and gels, tablets are less messy since they are less likely to spill. Another advantage of tablets is their famous power ball that acts as a rinse agent.  The power ball additive removes the detergent residue from the dishes, which improves the overall quality of cleaning. Rinse agents give dishes that sparkly clean finish. One downside of tablets, however, is that when you use too much, they generate excess foam in the dishwasher which may reduce your dishwasher’s life or end up causing appliance leaks. With dishwasher tablets, you must be precise with your dosage.

Tabs and gel packs are top, but dishwasher powder does something other detergents can’t.

The one place dishwasher powder has an advantage of tabs or gels is in homes that use hard water. Hard water causes limescale deposits, which creates streaks, white spots, and cloudiness on dishes especially glasses. Compared to the other two options, dishwasher powder has better luck dealing with hard water. Powder is also the more cost-effective option compared to gel and tabs, so if you’re on a budget, this is the better option since it also lasts longer. The downside of powder is that it can be quite messy to pour; if you do it hastily, you’ll end up spilling it everywhere. If you use too much, your dishes will be left with powder residue and ugly spots instead of the desired sparkle.

Remember to keep all your dishwasher detergents safely locked in the cabinets. If you have inquisitive kids or pets, your dishwasher detergents could turn hazardous to your household members. Also, remember that any dishwasher detergent only works well when your appliance is in good shape. Contact Winnipeg dishwasher repair if yours needs an inspection or repairs.