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What You Should Know About Dishwasher Pods & How to Use Them

As different brands and manufacturers continue to produce different types of dish detergents, consumers are left with the dilemma of choosing the best or most suitable one for their needs. This is especially the case when you are selecting a cleaning product for your dishwasher because detergent pods are also thrown into the mix! 

Well, if you’ve tried them all – powdered, liquid, and gel dish soaps – and would like to give detergent pods a go, it’s a good idea to learn what they are all about, how they work, and, most importantly, the correct way to use dishwasher pods. For all that and more, look no further because Maid For You has got you covered! Read on.

How Dishwasher Pods Work

Similar to bath bombs, detergent pods are water-soluble, and will break down and dissolve when they encounter hot water. After a pod is placed in the detergent drawer of the dishwasher, it will make its way to the bottom and disperse when encountered by water. As the cleaning process begins, the soapy water will work just like regular powdered or liquid dish detergents. 

You will notice that most commercial dishwasher pods are individually sealed with a plastic covering; this holds the powdery concentrated detergent together and helps keep the individual pods separated in the packaging. Typically made of PVA, this thin plastic is also water soluble and will dissolve once fully broken down. It doesn’t take long for this to happen, nor will it interfere with the cleaning process of the wash cycle.

Although PVA is biodegradable, if you are looking for 100% environmentally-friendly dishwasher pods, you can make an effective and eco-safe batch of your own! Read below.

How to Make All-Natural DIY Dishwasher Pods

Not only is it incredibly simple and quick to make natural, eco-friendly detergent pods for your dishwasher, it’s inexpensive too! 

If you don’t already have the ingredients/items in your home, here is what you’ll need to purchase:

  • Borax
  • Washing soda
  • Epsom salt
  • Vinegar
  • Essential oil 
  • Silicone mould or ice tray

Gather the products mentioned above, and follow the steps below to make your own dishwasher soap pods:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup borax, 1 cup washing soda, and 1/4 cup epsom salt. Use a spoon to stir and mix these powdered ingredients together.
  • Pour in ¼ cup of vinegar and mix properly. The ingredients might bubble when vinegar is introduced but don’t let that stop you from stirring it in to create a chunky (not pasty) consistency.
  • Mix in 15-20 drops of your preferred essential oil. Lemon comes highly recommended when making DIY dishwasher pods as it has cleansing and purifying properties; additionally, lemon is an effective grease fighter. 
  • After combining all the ingredients, use the spoon to fill up the silicone mould or ice tray. Use your fingers to pack the mix into the mould/tray and then level and smoothen it out.
  • Wait until the mix has dried/set completely before you pop the pods out.

Whether you are using a commercial product or DIY natural dishwasher pods, the method of use remains the same. Let’s get to those steps now.

How to Use Dishwasher Pods

Although it is pretty simple to use soap pods in your dishwasher, there are a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind in order to get the most out of them. To make it simple for those of you who are using the product for the first time, here are the step-by-step instructions to follow:

Step 1

Load the dirty dishes into the dishwasher. If you are doing a full load, check the space beneath the soap dispenser to ensure that nothing is obstructing it. Contrary to using liquid or powdered soap, the drawer needs to open out fully in order for the dishwasher pod to drop down to the bottom of the appliance where it will break down in the water. 

Step 2

Take the soap pod out of the packaging or storage container; check that it is intact before putting it in the detergent drawer. Remember, there is no need to take off the plastic film that covers commercial dishwasher pods as it will dissolve in the water. Close the drawer securely and move on to the next step.

Step 3

If you find that your dishes come out cloudy or streaky after a wash cycle, this is typically caused by hard water. Fortunately, there are rinse aids you can purchase that help achieve those desired sparkling results. As a natural alternative, you can use vinegar by simply pouring 1/4 cup of the ingredient in the rinse aid dispenser, or adding it to the bottom of your dishwasher.

Step 4

For starting the wash cycle, there is nothing you need to do differently when using dishwasher pods. Depending on the number of dishes and level of grease, choose an appropriate wash cycle and press start.

Step 5

Once the cycle is complete, double check that the detergent has been rinsed off thoroughly. If needed, run another rinse cycle and allow the dishes to dry completely. You can also dry them manually with a clean kitchen towel before storing them away.

Everything shared in this article is really all you need to know about dishwasher pods! They are convenient to use, very effective for cleaning dishes, and you can even make them yourself! So, follow our simple guide on how to use dishwasher pods and you will surely be satisfied with the end result!

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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