Two laundry detergent pods

Single-dose laundry pods and single-dose dishwasher pacs and tablets contain surfactants, molecules that help lift soil off surfaces.

More on Dishwasher Detergent

"They look similar enough," says Joe Pacella, a test technician manager at CR. "But laundry pods don't have the enzymes found in dishwasher pacs that actively target crusted food." What's more, laundry detergents may also contain brighteners, fragrances, stain removers, and other chemicals that can leave residue on your dishes.

Plus, laundry detergents create more suds than dish detergents, which can block water spray getting to your dishes and may even damage your dishwasher. So in short: Don't do it.

The best dishwasher detergents we test earn Excellent ratings in getting dishes spotless, and do so while resisting water spots and white film.

Below, you can take a closer look at some of the best dishwasher detergents we test, listed alphabetically. For more, check our dishwasher detergent ratings and buying guide.

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the June 2020 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

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Unlock Dishwasher Detergent Ratings
Unlock Dishwasher Detergent Ratings