Informational Guide

How To Use Dishwashing Pods (2024 Guide)

Dishwashers can help take a load off your shoulders. Learn how to use dishwasher pods & get your dishes sparkling clean here.

by Ian Haynes

Finding the time to clean the dishes can be incredibly difficult. Dishwashers can help take a load off your shoulders, but you need to decide what detergent type is best for your home.

Keep on reading to learn how to use dishwasher pods and get your dishes sparkling clean.

1. Make sure all items are dishwasher safe

Look underneath each of your items to see whether they are dishwasher safe. Putting non-dishwasher safe items can lead them to become damaged or remove the design. Most things are dishwasher safe, but we recommend reading the product description or looking for these symbols on your items. If you are unsure, we recommend handwashing the item to be safe. Items that are often not dishwasher safe include some crockery with foil or patterned designs and some Tupperware and plastics.

2. Use a single pod for a regular-sized load

Using a single pod is typically best as it has the right amount of detergent for one load precisely. However, some eco-friendly options may suggest using two as they can sometimes be less effective. Reading the detergent box carefully will let you know whether you should put one or two into your dishwasher.

3. Place the pod in the dishwasher dispenser

You can find the dishwasher dispenser on the inside of the dishwasher door. It is often a plastic compartment that can be opened and shut. It is usually open at the end of a dishwasher cycle. Lay your door flat and gently place the pod inside, closing the compartment as described in the manual. Sometimes the door can get stuck shut if the detergent builds up inside when not appropriately dissolved or the parts break – in these cases, either clean or replace the compartment.

4. Add a finishing liquid to your dishwashing load

Rinse-aid is a solution that encourages water and, therefore, food to slide off your dishes easier, making them easier to clean. The rinse-aid dispenser is usually located near or next to the dishwasher dispenser; read your manual to find its location if you are unsure. It is usually plastic and can be sealed shut to keep the liquid inside.

5. Turn the dishwasher on and let the pod work

Before turning on your dishwasher, ensure that you have put everything you want to be cleaned inside while ensuring it is not overly full. Once you are ready, make sure you have the desired settings selected and run your dishwasher according to the manual instructions. While some dishwashers allow you to add items later, we typically recommend keeping the dishwasher shut until it tells you it is ready. This will enable it to dry your items and drain the water before you unload it.


What Are Dishwashing Pods & How Do They Work?

 A dishwashing pod is a capsule filled with enough detergent for one wash cycle. These pods are usually covered in a dissolvable film and remove the need to measure out your detergent. How do they work? You put the pod into the detergent compartment. The hot water dissolves the film and distributes the detergent for cleaning during the wash cycle.

Typically, dishwashers use either powder, gel, or hybrid tabs. Gel tabs dissolve faster but are not as strong as other types, while powder is often better for hard water areas. Hybrid tabs try to bring the best of both styles to your wash cycle.

dishwashing pod

3 Key Advantages of Using Dishwashing Pods

1. Dishwashing Pods are convenient

With dishwasher pods, you do not have to spend time measuring detergent or worrying about spilling it anywhere.

2. Dishwashing Pods are efficient to use

As the correct amount of detergent is already in the pod, you do not need to waste time with it. Housework is enough of a chore without taking time over unnecessary things.

3. Dishwashing Pods are eco-friendly

Dishwashing pods ensure that you only use what you need each cycle. This means that you use less detergent and throw away less waste, therefore doing better for the environment. You can also find eco-friendly dishwashing pods to help the environment even further.


Can I make my own dishwasher pod? How so?

There are a few recipes for DIY dishwashing pods online like this one if you would like to try it.

Are dishwasher pods safe for septic tanks?

Some dishwasher pods have surfactants and phosphates that are not suited for septic tanks. You can buy septic safe ones. Just read the product label carefully to be sure.

Can I use a dishwasher pod for my laundry?

We do not recommend using dishwasher pods in your laundry as they can also contain ammonia or bleach that would ruin your clothing.

What can you use if you don't have a dishwasher pod?

We recommend either making a DIY dishwasher pod as above or using a combination of baking soda or dish soap in a pinch.

Can I just throw dishwasher tablets in the bottom?

Putting the tablets in the bottom will not dissolve them appropriately, meaning that you will get an insufficient clean.

What do I do if my pods are not dissolving?

You may want to check your heating element to look for damage. Hot water is the key to dissolving the tablet, so that is most likely the issue. Your dishwasher also may not be spraying efficiently.


Knowing which tablet is right for you and how to put pods in a dishwasher can save you time and money in the long run. When used correctly, you can look forward to a convenient and easy kitchen clean-up routine.

If you're in the market for a new dishwasher, make sure to read our guide on the best dishwashers with garbage disposals.

Ian Haynes is an expert writer who has successfully deployed over 500 plumbing pages and other related content. He has an excellent understanding of home plumbing issues and translates his experiences via Plumbing Lab so readers can have a better understanding of common household problems. Outside of his work, Ian likes exploring Brooklyn with his Labrador.