How To Use Dishwasher pods

By: The Cleancult Team

November 07, 2017

When the first dishwasher was invented in 1886 by Josephine Cochran, a new household convenience and commodity was born. They’re now a mainstay in most American homes and serve exactly the same function as way back then: clean dishes faster, easier, and more conveniently than people can do by hand. When dishwashing detergent pods were developed, an even greater commodity was born, making using a dishwashing machine oh-so-easy. However, as mainstream access to these dishwasher soap pods grew, so did consumers questions. How are these pods made? How do they work? How to use these dishwasher detergent pods? Do they clean better than regular dishwasher detergent? If you have some of these questions, do not fret. We have some answers.

First off, pods are small capsules that contain enough concentrated detergent for one wash cycle of, in this case, a dishwasher. These capsules are covered in a small dissolvable film that breaks apart and dissolves in water as soon as it comes into contact with it, freeing the detergent contained within and allowing for a successful and effective washing cycle. The detergent contained in most pods is more concentrated (I.E. contains less water) than that found in liquid or gel bottles, so it delivers a greater clean while using less product in each washing cycle.

Most mainstream detergent companies use Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) as the primary material for the protective film in pods. PVA is a water-soluble, shelf-stable, synthetic polymer. Creating a dishwasher pod’s outside coating out of this polymer allows the user to store in a pantry the detergent and use these convenient pods knowing that they’ll only dissolve the moment they come into contact with water.

Nowadays, dishwashing tablets come in many different varieties for most consumer needs. There are many companies that manufacture regular detergent pods, which may or may not be safe for the environment. However, as consumer awareness and green brands and products began to gain popularity, scent-free pods, eco-friendly pods, and many others became available.

But, how should we use these pods? Well, it’s easy! Just follow these 3 steps (which are extremely similar to how laundry detergent pods work):

  1. Remove a single pod from the pouch. Careful! The pod dissolves upon contact with water, so make sure your hands are completely dry before handling them!
  2. Place the pod in your dishwasher’s “normal Wash” or “Main Wash” compartment and close the lid. There is no need to puncture or open the pouch, as it will dissolve once the cycle starts.
  3. Close the dishwasher lid and set the cycle to “Normal Wash” or “Light Wash,” along with any other desired settings. Press “Start.”


Before the introduction of dishwashing soap pods, this detergent was available in powder form, gel form and as detergent tabs. All three of these work effectively when cleaning dishes. But, powder may have a slight advantage over tabs or gel pacs in homes with hard water. Hard water causes limescale deposits, which create white spots, streaks, and cloudiness on glasses. Water hardness level directly impacts a dishwasher’s performance, and in extreme hard water areas, powder may provide improved performance because it allows the user to adjust the amount of detergent used.

However, the use of either powdered, gel or dishwashing detergent tabs has been recently replaced by pods, both for their convenience and effectiveness. Consumers prefer either gel or powdered pods to regular dishwashing detergent as they don’t have to measure the detergent and, in most cases, get a deeper and more effective clean when using a pod in their washing cycles.

We hope this has cleared some of your doubts, questions or concerns regarding dishwashing detergent pods. If you haven’t still made the change, try them out! Cleancult proudly recommends and stands behind the effectiveness and convenience of detergent pods. If you have any doubt as to how Cleancult’s pods are made or what is in them, click here and see for yourself!