how to use dishwasher pods

A Detailed Guide on How to Use Dishwasher Pods

If you are using dishwasher pods for the first time, you may be wondering if the procedure is the same as using regular dishwasher detergent. You might also have multiple other questions concerning the products, their use and effectiveness. Sit back and learn, as we take you through a step by step guide on how to use dishwasher pods, in addition to providing answers to the rest of your questions.

What are Dishwasher Pods?

For the longest time after the invention of the dishwasher, users relied on gel, liquid and powder detergents. Although all of these got the job done comprehensively, pods came and become a firm favorite for many.

Pods are small concentrated detergent products that are wrapped in a thin film. Each pod is specifically made for a single standard wash cycle.

The thin film that wraps the detergent is made of Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) polymer. It is water soluble and breaks down to components that are environmental-friendly after coming into contact with water.  

Pods standout over regular detergents because they are more convenient and less messy. Firstly, since each pod serves one cycle, a user does not have to go through the struggle of determining the amount of detergent to use for a wash cycle.

Secondly, a pod is easy to store because it remains intact so long as it does not come into contact with water. On the other hand, liquid, gel and powder detergents can spill easily.

How do Dishwasher Pods Work?

 dishwasher pods

The manner in which dishwasher pods function is simple.

Once a pod comes into contact with water in the dishwasher, the thin film dissolves thereby releasing the detergent.

The detergent then combines with water and forms a solution that helps cut grease, stains and food particles from the dishes throughout the entire cycle.

Ideally, since each pod is meant for a standard cycle, it is important to ensure that you do not overload the dishwasher. It is possible to assume that overloading the dishwasher and using two pods at ago is okay.

However, this might prevent your dishes from cleaning and rinsing properly.

The Efficiency of Dishwasher Pods

Primarily, dishwasher pods work in the same way as other soaps. They are surfactants and thereby help remove dirt from dishes by reducing the surface tension of water.

However, the chemical composition of some also comprises of rinse aids which make utensils appear cleaner.  

How to Use Dishwasher Pods

It is important to use dishwasher pods in the right way so that they can function efficiently. This section provides a detailed guide on how to go about the process.

Step 1: Load the dishwasher

loading the dishwasher

The first step is to put the dishes you want to clean in the dishwasher. Begin by sorting the utensils to ensure that you load only the items that are dishwasher safe.

 Generally, things such as cast iron pans, sharp knives, plastics, non-stick pans, stoneware, aluminum cookware and wooden spoons are not dishwasher safe. Inspect the things that you are unsure to determine whether they feature a dishwasher safe symbol.

Begin loading the dishwasher from the back. The approach allows you to arrange the dishes well without obstructing items at the front section. It also becomes easier to leave spaces between items to allow thorough cleaning. Proper spacing also prevents dishes from scratching each other.

Load plates and dirtiest items in the bottom rack. Spray water hits this section with the most force thereby leading to improved level of cleanliness.

Lastly, ensure that your dishwasher load is not above the standard. Overloading the dishwasher reduces efficiency because the cycle might require more detergent than you get from a single pod.

Step 2: Place your pod in the soap dispenser

how to use dishwasher pods

Your pod should go into the same place where you put regular dishwasher detergent. Furthermore, it should fit in properly without any issues.

Sometimes you might notice your pods getting stuck together. This makes it difficult to separate a single pod for immediate use. Even worse, pods sticking to each other might begin to spill as you try to pull them apart.

This results from accumulation of moisture as a result of improper handling. Once you open the tin that comes with pods, place it in a cool dry place to prevent the pods from collecting moisture.

Ensure that you do not hold a pod with wet hands. Water in wet hands dissolve the thin coating that holds a pod together leading to spillage.

Do not open the pod before placing it in the dispenser. Just use it as it is. Tt will open once the dishwasher begins to run.

Step 3: Add a finishing liquid

Adding a finishing liquid is mostly optional. When using dishwasher pods, it should depend on the chemical composition of your brand of choice.

Some pods contain a rinse aid while others do not.

The work of a finishing liquid is to help remove surface water from your dishes. The function is more critical when using hard water. Chemicals and minerals present in hard water can leave traces of hard water stains on some dishes.  

Step 4: Run the dishwasher

Run your dishwasher as you normally do and wait for your dishes to get clean. Alternatively, select the appropriate setting depending on how dirty your dishes are.

Step 5: Empty the dishwasher

Once the cycle is complete, remove your dishes from the dishwasher. Begin emptying from the bottom rack upwards. This approach prevents dishes in the top racks from draining water to the ones in the lower sections.

After removing the dishes, you might notice that your dishwasher is cleaner is than usual. Generally, this is common after using high quality dishwasher pods.

Can you make Dishwasher Pods at home?

Yes! It is absolutely possible to make dishwasher pods at home. A primary advantage for homemade dishwasher pods is the use of non-toxic ingredients.

Homemade dishwasher pods recipe

The recipe is adapted from

What you will need

  • All-natural dish soap
  • Distilled vinegar
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • A bowl
  • A silicone ice cube tray


  • Combine a cup of baking soda with ¼ cup of salt in a bowl and mix well.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of dish soap and stir with a spoon until the ingredients mix properly.
  • Add vinegar in bits while mixing gradually until the mixture is completely moist to an extent of holding together.
  • Use a tablespoon to transfer the mixture to the silicone tray molds. Press down with a spoon so that the mixture in each mold can be firm up.
  • Store in a warm place for up to 48 hours so that the pods can dry completely.
  • Remove them and store in an air-tight container.
  • Use 1 pod for each dishwasher cycle.

The Advantages of Using Dishwasher Pods

Below are advantages that make dishwasher pods a preference for many.

Variety: Buying dishwasher pods does not restrict you to a specific brand or type. The pods range from scented to non-scented and ordinary to eco-friendly among other options. The different varieties provide you with the opportunity to choose a product that works best for you.

Convenience: As mentioned earlier, a single pod is suitable for one dishwasher cycle. Accordingly, you do not need special skills for measuring detergent. You just place one pod in the soap dispenser section and proceed with running the cycle.

Easy to make at home: You do not have to go to the store to acquire a collection of dishwasher pods. You can use readily available ingredients to prepare some at home. Homemade dishwasher pods are eco-friendly and non-toxic.

Ease of handling: Pods are easier to handle in comparison to gel, liquid and powder dishwasher detergent. Since they feature a thin coating, they remain intact until the dishwasher begins to run.

Economical: Dishwasher pods allow you to use less water and soap. Firstly, with each pod measured to suit a cycle, there is no room for using excess detergent. Secondly, using enough detergent limits the chance for water wastage.

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