Dishwasher pods and tablets are essential for clean dishes. Do you want to use a dishwasher pod or tablet in your machine but don't know if it's gone bad or if that's possible? Well, we've done our research and have some answers for you.
Most times, dishwasher pods and tablets won't necessarily go bad but can become less effective as they age. Typically, a dishwasher pod/tablet has a shelf life of around 15 months, although many brands claim their products don't ever expire.
As we begin, we will cover all things dish cleaners and discuss how long they last. Whether you want to switch brands or haven't tried pods/tablets yet, we've got you covered. With that said, let's dive right into this topic!
How Long Do Dishwasher Pods And Tablets Last?
You can expect a dishwasher pod or tablet to last you around a year before it starts to become less effective. Although these products won't technically go bad, dishwasher pods and tablets won't clean your dishes as well the older they get.
According to Finish, their dishwasher tablets should last you up to two years, although they don't recommend stockpiling them. That said, most dishwasher pods and tablets will have a "use by" date/symbol on their packaging, so keep an eye out for that.
Can I Use Old Dishwasher Pods?
If you have an older dishwasher pod you want to use, we don't see any problem with doing this. As we covered, older pods won't be as effective as newer ones, but that's not to say you can't use them.
Generally, as long as your dishwasher pod isn't older than two years, it should be safe to use. That said, your dishes might not get super clean with an older pod, so you might have to double wash them.
What Happens To Plastic On Dishwasher Pods?
When it comes to what happens to the plastic on dishwasher pods, it essentially dissolves during a dishwasher's cleaning cycle. Dishwasher pods have polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) film that dissolves when wet, which is why you don't see any leftover plastic in your dishwasher after it's done.
Luckily, these plastics shouldn't leave any residue on your dishes or cause problems for your machine, so don't worry about using them.
Are Plastic Dishwasher Pods Bad?
From a safety standpoint, no, plastic dishwasher pods aren't necessarily bad for you. With that said, the plastic used to coat your dishwasher detergent can be harmful to the environment, which is not good.
According to Kind Laundry, plastic-coated dish pods and tablets often contain a harmful "chemical cocktail," which over time can be detrimental to your family as well as the ecosystem. Of course, everyone has a different opinion, but we wouldn't say using a dishwasher pod will negatively affect you.
Why Are My Cascade Pods Turning Yellow?
For anyone who uses Cascade that has noticed a yellowing to their pods, we recommend throwing them away. Cascade gives an 18-month shelf life for their dishwasher pods. But that expiration date doesn't mean they will always be good for that long—especially if you store your dishwasher pods somewhere that isn't always room temperature.
These conditions can cause them to become yellow as they age. As we mentioned earlier, older pods don't clean your dishes very well, so there's not much reason to use them.
Does Finish Rinse Aid Expire?
Finish rinse aid won't technically expire, although we don't recommend using it if it's more than two years old. According to Finish, their rinse aid doesn't list an expiration date, just a manufactured date, so you can always refer back to that.
That goes for all of their dishwasher products, so if you can't find an expiration date, this is normal.
Can You Throw A Dishwasher Pod In The Bottom Of The Dishwasher?
Generally, we wouldn't recommend throwing a dish pod or tablet into the bottom of your machine. Although doing this might be tempting, placing your tablet outside of its designated compartment can cause it to dissolve too quickly. That timing will mean the solution might not clean your dishes correctly.
Putting a dishwasher pod into the bottom of your machine can result in only some of your dishes getting washed, which essentially defeats its purpose. On top of that, keeping your pod in its dispenser compartment will ensure soap evenly gets to your dishes, which is important.
Are Dishwasher Pods Better Than Regular Liquid Detergent?
When it comes to dishwasher pods being better than liquid detergent, this is mostly true. If you want to wash your dishes using the machine, tablets/pods work best, while liquid detergent is better for hand washing.
Dishwasher pods also tend to better regulate how much soap goes into your machine. This regulation prevents it from overflowing with bubbles.
Can All Dishwashers Use Pods/Tablets?
Most modern dishwashers will have a pod/tablet compartment and be compatible to use them. That said, every dishwasher is unique. So, you might have to test out a few different pods before finding the best one for your dishwasher.
Find a high-quality dishwasher pod, like Cascade Complete. With a pod like that, you know your dishes will get a good clean. Furthermore, as long as you use a pod or tablet that promises not to leave residue on your dishes and isn't mostly water, it should do a good job.
Cascade Complete Dishwasher-Pods
These dishwasher pods have a fast-dissolving formula and work on tough food residue. They have a fresh scent, are phosphate-free, and come in a 78-count container.
Are Pods Bad For Your Dishwasher?
Although dishwasher pods are a fast and easy way to clean dishes, they aren't always great for your machine. Depending on how your dishwasher is configured, pods can cause build-up to form over time. This build-up will make your dishwasher less effective.
Naturally, your dishwasher's drain will get clogged with food scraps, soap scum, and grease. So, if you notice issues, it's best to have a professional come check out your appliance.
Are Dishwasher Pods Environmentally Friendly?
Like we covered earlier, dishwasher pods aren't always great for the environment. Depending on their ingredients, dishwasher pods/tablets can contain toxic chemicals that seep into our water and cause significant issues once they leave your machine.
Phosphates, in particular, are toxic and can cause devastation to marine life if they seep into their ecosystem. Of course, that doesn't mean all dishwasher pods are awful, but it's best to find an all-natural or phosphate-free option.
Cleancult Dishwasher Pods
These dishwasher pods are non-toxic, biodegradable, and have a lemongrass scent. They won't leave behind residue and come in a pack of 32.
Beyond Natural Dishwasher Tablets
These dishwasher tablets are free from fragrances, dyes, and harmful plastics. They have built-in rinse aid and come in a pack of 32.
Can You Put Regular Dish Soap In The Dishwasher?
If you want to take a break from pods or tablets, it's not the best idea to use regular dish soap in your machine. Generally, you want to use a bit of dishwasher formulated liquid detergent in your appliance to avoid a bubbly mess.
Using regular dish soap in your dishwasher can create a major sud and residue problem for your dishes and machine, so it's best to stick to detergent. Adding to that, you will most likely need to re-run your dishes through another cleaning cycle if you use the wrong soap, so it's not worth it.
Finish Dishwasher Detergent Gel Liquid
This Finish dishwasher detergent has a gel liquid formula and a lemon scent. It powers through tough residue and comes in a 75-ounce bottle.
To Wrap Things Up
Whether you are new to using dishwasher pods and tablets or want to switch brands, knowing how long they last is essential. We found that dishwasher pods/tablets will typically have a shelf life of around 15 months and don't technically expire.
When it comes to using an older dishwasher pod or tablet, this should be fine but won't be as effective as a newer option. Placement-wise, you want to keep your pod/tablet in your dishwasher's designated dispenser compartment, so your dishes get cleaned properly.
Regardless of what type of dish cleaner you use, make sure to check its manufactured date, and don't be afraid to switch to a phosphate-free or eco-friendly alternative.
For more dishwasher-related content, check out these helpful related kitchen posts below!