Etching is a common problem that can occur in dishwashers, and it is caused by hard water minerals reacting with the detergent and leaving a residue on the surface of glasses and dishes. To prevent etching, it’s important to use a dishwasher cleaner that helps to remove this residue and prevent hard water deposits from forming.
- 1 Pros and Cons of the Best Dishwasher Cleaners to Prevent Etching
- 2 Buying guide for the best dishwasher cleaners to prevent etching
- 3 How to get the most out of your dishwasher detergent
- 4 Can I use vinegar as a dishwasher cleaner?
- 5 Are dishwasher cleaners safe for septic systems?
- 6 Can I use dishwasher cleaner on stainless steel dishwashers?
- 7 How much dishwasher detergent should you use?
Using a dishwasher is much more time-saving and environmentally friendly than washing your dishes by hand. But to make sure you get the results you’re looking for—like sparkling dishes and streak-free glassware—it’s important to use an effective dishwasher detergent that can remove grease, stains, stuck-on food, and more.
10 Best Dishwasher Detergent To Prevent Etching in 2023：Our Top Picks
- BEST OVERALL DISHWASHER DETERGENT:Cascade Complete Dishwasher Pods
- BEST SCENTED DISHWASHER DETERGENT:Miele 10245660 Dishwasher
- BEST GEL DISHWASHER DETERGENT:Finish – All in 1 – Dishwasher Detergent
- BEST POWDER DISHWASHER DETERGENT:Mrs. Meyer’s Automatic Dishwasher Pods
- BEST PLASTIC-FREE DISHWASHER DETERGENT:GreenFist Dish Soap Professional Detergent
- BEST DISHWASHER DETERGENT FOR HARD WATER:Cascade Complete +Oxi Gel Dishwashing Detergent
- BEST NATURAL DISHWASHER DETERGENT:Cucina Daily Liquid Dish Detergent Refill Duo Set
- BEST DISHWASHER DETERGENT TABLET WITH BLEACH：Nellie’s Dishwasher Powder
- BEST PLANT-BASED DISHWASHER DETERGENT：Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap
- Best-rated dishwasher cleaner：BLUELAND Dishwasher Detergent Tablet
Dishwasher detergent should be making your life easier. It should power through all types of baked-on, dried-on foods on dinnerware, flatware and cookware while also preventing cloudy glasses. On top of that, it should be safe for your dishwasher — whether it’s a full-sized or a countertop dishwasher — and work with your water hardness. The right dishwasher detergent will mean you can spare yourself pre-washing (or, worse, re-washing!) your dishes.we’ve rounded up the best dishwasher cleaners, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.
#1.Cascade Complete Dishwasher Pods
Who it’s for: People who want an easy-to-use detergent with heavy-duty cleaning capabilities.
Who it isn’t for: People who prefer powder or gel dishwasher detergents.
- Type: Pods
- Amount: 78
Cascade Complete ActionPacs are one of the most popular dishwasher detergents on the market, and it’s for a good reason. With Dawn to break down tough grease and a built-in rinsing agent to prevent spots and streaks, these powerful pods can remove stuck-on food from the day before while leaving your dishes sparkling clean with no film or residue in sight. Each pouch contains a concentrated combination of powder and gel, which work together to get rid of every trace of food. Like other dishwasher pods, there’s no need to measure or make a mess—simply place one pod in your appliance’s detergent cup.
The Cascade Complete ActionPacs also come recommended by Chiu, who prefers them for their ability to leave dishes spotless without any of the etched damage that can be left behind by some powder detergents.
While these pods are formulated without phosphates, their ingredient list includes synthetic fragrance and sodium silicate, which can be harmful if ingested. Still, these dishwasher pods are the best option to effectively and thoroughly clean your dishes—just make sure you keep them out of reach of small children.
#2.Miele 10245660 Dishwasher
- Works in all dishwashers
- Won’t dissolve in your hands or burst in the package
- Easy and compact to store
#3.Finish – All in 1 – Dishwasher Detergent
- Packed in 94 powerful tabs and it’s easier to use
- Has fresh scent – no nasal discomfort
- It cuts through grease mess in seconds
- Sufficiently remove tough stains – 8x powerful action
- Scrubs shines and dried to touch
- No pre-rinse or pre-soak needed
- Comes in supercharged tabs and ultimate cleaning properties
- It’s easier to use and has the world’s user recommendations
- Clears hard films and limescale too
- May cause eye irritation on contact
- Unsuitable for soaking options
- It’s harmful when swallowed – should be kept away from kids
Further, the Powerball tablets scrub, shine, and leave dry to touch surface upon use – no surfaces drain left. The supercharged tabs also clear hard films, lime scales, and cloudy appearance on glassware – boosts finish outlook.
Indeed, Finish Powerball guarantees ultimate cleaning results and limited etching with time. Notably, Finish Powerball is durable and melt-resistant.
#4.Mrs. Meyer’s Automatic Dishwasher Pods
- Type: Pods
- Amount: 20 per bag (60 total)
Who it’s for: People who want a dishwasher detergent with a pleasant scent.
Who it isn’t for: People who are looking for the most affordable pods.
All of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products are beloved for their unique yet light scents—and these dishwasher detergent pods are no different. Available in refreshing scents like lemon verbena, basil, and lavender, these pods have mild, refreshing fragrances that aren’t overwhelming (aka they won’t linger on dishes long after they’ve dried). We appreciate that they’re formulated without animal-derived ingredients, phosphates, or chlorine, while still boasting impressive cleaning power that’s safe for all dishwashers.
While this product is slightly more expensive per pod than some of the others we recommend, it’s worth every penny for people who are looking for a pleasantly scented dishwasher detergent that doesn’t compromise its effectiveness and cleaning power.
#5.GreenFist Dish Soap Professional Detergent
Indeed, GreenFist is finely distilled to attain mild softness, which guarantees hand protection with continued use – no skin irritation upon contact.
By selecting GreenFist, you will enjoy free-rinsing properties (comes with advanced free-rinsing formula) and remove tough grease stains without any challenges.
- It’s Unisoft – won’t affect your hands when cleaning
- Comes with advanced rinsing formula – breaks grease fast
- It’s non-toxic and comes with commercial stabilizers
- It’s Biodegradable, non-pollutant, and phosphate-free
- Suitable for both kitchen and laundry activities
- It’s mild and Gentle – foams nicely
- Leaves pleasant freshness behind
- Comes in a recyclable packaging
- Works for both heavy and light-duty use
- Packed in one-gallon container
- Slightly expensive
- Should be kept away from children – cause stomach upset when swallowed
Moreover, the commercial-grade dishwasher detergent is enhanced with an exclusive suds stabilizer, which boosts etching prevention and finishes results.Biodegradable properties found in GreenFist offer environmental safety, while phosphate absence improves ceramics durability and limits etching action.
You will definitely love the freshness left behind by GreenFist – no nasal discomfort. Though slightly expensive, GreenFist reaps value to money – it works best for both light and heavy-duty activities.Importantly, GreenFist is suitable for both kitchen and laundry activities.
#6.Cascade Complete +Oxi Gel Dishwashing Detergent
- Type: Gel
- Amount: 60 ounces
Who it’s for: People who want to get rid of stains on their dishes.
Who it isn’t for: People who prefer the convenience of dishwasher detergent pods.
This gel dishwasher detergent from Cascade is ideal for people who want to precisely control the amount of detergent they use, which simply isn’t possible with pods. It’s also great for anyone who doesn’t want to deal with the small granules left behind by some powder or tab detergents. Along with Dawn for cutting through grease, this gel dishwasher detergent also contains Oxi for removing stains left behind by things like coffee, tea, starches, and proteins.
We appreciate that the bottle has a spout that makes it easy to pour, rather than a wide opening that can get messy. The Cascade Complete Gel + Oxi also comes recommended by experts because it provides such a powerful clean. “This detergent has ingredients like enzymes which help to dissolve harsh food residues, and the addition of Oxi helps to bleach tough stains,” says Chiu.
#7.Cucina Daily Liquid Dish Detergent Refill Duo Set
- It’s blended in various colors – for optional selection
- Packed in a portable 1-liter container
- Manufactured without parabens, toxins, and triclosan
- It’s fused with sophisticated and sunny fragrance
- It’s environmentally friendly – comes with a recyclable container
- Clean grease, stains, and grime sufficiently – well concentrated
- Won’t cause skin irritation upon contact – safe
- It’s agitated with natural additives for better freshness
- Requires no special preparations – it’s ready to use
- Not for commercial cleaning
You will appreciate the fused, sophisticated, and sunny fragrance found in F&P Cuchina, which leaves behind a delectable sanguinely orange freshness in the vicinity.During manufacture, F&P Cuchina is specially distilled without any toxin, masking agent, dyes, parabens, or triclosan substances – safe for both humans and pets. Moreover, the detergent comes in three impressive colors for optional selection.
#8.Nellie’s Dishwasher Powder
- Type: Powder
- Amount: 80 and 100 scoops
Who it’s for: People who are looking for a powder dishwasher detergent made with natural ingredients.
Who it isn’t for: People who aren’t willing to scoop the powder every time they run the dishwasher.
Dishwasher powder often gets a bad rap for being messy and abrasive, but this one from Nellie’s uses safe and natural ingredients in a reusable (and retro-inspired) container. This powder can clear food particles, grease, and stains, and it’s safe for any dishwasher and septic system. The concentrated formula is pretty impressive, too: It’s biodegradable, non-toxic, hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, chlorine-free, phosphate-free, paraben-free, ammonia-free, formaldehyde-free, plastic-free, and fragrance-free.
The metal tin is available in 80- and 100-scoop tins. There’s also a bulk bucket (1,100 scoops) available directly on the brand’s site that’s best for refilling existing tins. Nellie’s Dishwasher Powder is a bit more expensive than alternative detergents, but we think the price is justified by its natural formula and efficient cleaning power.
Also read:The 8 Best Dishwasher Cleaners of 2023
#9.Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap
- It’s orange-scented and ultra-softened
- Features antibacterial properties
- Has 2 times more cleaning power
- Packed in 2, 1.66 liters containers
- Won’t cause skin irritation upon contact
- Designed with portable handle and classic lid
- Save on kitchen and laundry items
- Cleans both metallic and ceramics items excellently
- It’s budget-friendly
- Comes in limited color options
- Not for large scale use
You will definitely appreciate the natural additives found in Dawn Ultra as they improve cleaning activation, while the zero chemical formula eliminates any chance of environmental pollution.
Dawn Ultra is fitted with a classic handle (for easier portability) and precise lid, which allows smooth pouring when in use Notably, Dawn Ultra leaves behind long-lasting residual effects that prevent etching.
#10.BLUELAND Dishwasher Detergent Tablet
- Type: Pods
- Amount: 40 for starter kit, 120 for subscription
Who it’s for: People who want to avoid plastic-wrapped dishwasher pods.
Who it isn’t for: People who would rather have a scented dishwasher detergent.
Most dishwasher pods come wrapped in a water-soluble coating called polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), which is technically considered plastic. If you’d prefer something plastic-free, opt for Blueland’s dishwasher tablets, which are not wrapped in anything. To make them even more environmentally friendly, these dishwasher tablets come in a paper bag with a reusable steel tin that you can keep refilling for years to come.
The dishwasher tablets have a clean formula (aka no dyes, parabens, phthalates, ammonia, or petroleum), but they are still effective at removing grease, grime, and other food stains. It’s also worth noting that these tablets are fragrance-free, so they’re great for people with sensitivities to fragrance. And since this product is available with a subscription, it’s easy to get regular shipments of these plastic-free dishwasher tablets so you never run out.
Pros and Cons of the Best Dishwasher Cleaners to Prevent Etching
There are several different types of dishwasher cleaners on the market, each with their own pros and cons. Here are some general points to consider when choosing a dishwasher cleaner:
- Can help remove stains and build-up from the dishwasher’s interior
- Can help improve the dishwasher’s cleaning performance
- Can help extend the life of the dishwasher
- May contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to humans and the environment
- Some dishwasher cleaners may not be compatible with all types of dishwashers
- May be more expensive than other cleaning options
It’s a good idea to read the label and instructions for any dishwasher cleaner carefully, and to follow the recommended usage guidelines. You may also want to consider using a natural or eco-friendly dishwasher cleaner to minimize the potential negative impacts on the environment and your health.
Buying guide for the best dishwasher cleaners to prevent etching
When shopping for a dishwasher cleaner to prevent etching, there are several factors to consider:
- Effectiveness: Look for a cleaner that is specifically designed to remove hard water deposits, mineral buildup, and soap scum that can cause etching.
- Ease of use: Choose a cleaner that is easy to use, such as a powder that can be added to the dishwasher’s detergent compartment or a liquid that can be added to the rinse cycle.
- Safety: Make sure the cleaner is safe for use in dishwashers and will not damage the appliance or any of your dishes.
- Price: Determine a budget and choose a cleaner that fits within it.
- Brand reputation: Consider the reputation of the brand and read reviews from other consumers to find a cleaner that is reliable and effective.
How to get the most out of your dishwasher detergent
No matter how meticulously you load your dishwasher or how often you clean your dishwasher, you’ll need a good detergent to get your dishes clean. It’s your dishwasher detergent’s job to cut through dried-on foods, prevent spots and film and ensure good drying results. These are the steps you can take to help whatever detergent you use to do that job better:
- Buy only what you can use up quickly. Dishwasher detergent works best when it’s fresh. Stocking up may seem like a good idea, but you should buy only what you can comfortably use in about two months. Moisture and age can cause it to clump, separate and lose effectiveness.
- Fill the dispenser based on your load and water hardness. Most powder and gel detergent labels recommend completely filling both dispenser cups. We think it’s a better idea to measure and match the amount of detergent to the hardness of your water and soil on the load. Dishwasher owner’s manuals give you a good starting point with their recommendations on how much to use. Use more detergent if your water is hard or the load is very dirty, less in soft water and for lightly soiled loads. For tablets, use just one.
- Place tablets in the dispenser. You may be tempted to just toss them into the bottom of the machine, but don’t. Doing so can cause them to dissolve and be flushed away before the main wash portion of the cycle. By placing them in the dispenser, they’ll be released at the optimal time.
- Run the faucet before starting the cycle. If cold water sitting in your pipes goes into the machine once you press “start,” it can impact cleaning performance. Instead, run the hot water at the nearest sink to purge cold water from the line and guarantee that only hot water enters the dishwasher.
- Be judicious about pre-rinsing. If you are running a cycle immediately after loading, we don’t recommend pre-rinsing; skipping it conserves water. All you need to do is wipe away any excess food. But, if you don’t have enough dishes for a full load or are planning to start the cycle later, give items a quick rinse at the sink or run a rinse-only cycle if your machine has one to keep odors down and foods from drying on.
- Use a separate rinse aid. While most detergents contain ingredients to help eliminate spots and film, they can get washed away during the cycle.
The Best Dishwasher Cleaners to Prevent Etching FAQs
It is recommended to use a dishwasher cleaner once a month or as needed to remove hard water deposits, mineral buildup, and soap scum that can cause etching. Some dishwasher cleaners can also be used on a daily or weekly basis to help maintain a clean and efficient appliance.
Can I use vinegar as a dishwasher cleaner?
Yes, vinegar can be used as a natural dishwasher cleaner to remove hard water deposits and mineral buildup. To use vinegar as a cleaner, add 1 cup of white vinegar to a dishwasher-safe cup or bowl and place it on the top rack of the dishwasher. Run the dishwasher on a normal cycle without any detergent. The vinegar will help to break down and remove any residue in the appliance.
Are dishwasher cleaners safe for septic systems?
Some dishwasher cleaners may be safe for septic systems, but it is always a good idea to check the product label or manufacturer’s instructions to be sure. Some natural alternatives to traditional dishwasher cleaners, such as vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice, may be safer for use in homes with septic systems.
Can I use dishwasher cleaner on stainless steel dishwashers?
Yes, many dishwasher cleaners are safe for use on stainless steel appliances. However, it is always a good idea to check the product label or manufacturer’s instructions to be sure. To avoid damaging the stainless steel finish, it is important to follow the recommended application instructions and to avoid using abrasive sponges or cloths when cleaning.
How much dishwasher detergent should you use?
The amount of detergent you should use depends on several factors, including the size of your load, the type of dishes you’re washing, and the water hardness in your area.
The best and simplest way to figure out how much dishwasher detergent to use is by checking the instructions on the label. For dishwasher pods, most brands will recommend using only one regardless of the load size and dish type—although using one pod on a light load could leave behind some residue.How Much Dishwasher Detergent Should You Use?