Liquid Vs. Powder Dishwasher Detergent


Liquid and powder dishwasher detergents are the main detergent types used in dishwasher machines. The choice of a dishwasher detergent is usually a personal preference, but there are some specific differences between these cleaning agents.

Liquid Detergent

  • Liquid dishwasher detergents are not highly recommended, especially with the tablet and other convenient detergent products available today. Liquids can stick on delicate dishwasher parts and interfere with machine functions.

Powder Detergent

  • Powder dishwasher detergent is typically the most economical detergent choice. Powder detergent cleans delicate dishware more efficiently as compared to most liquid dishwasher detergents.

Liquid Rinse Aids

  • Liquid rinse aids are added to a rinse aid area of the dishwashing machine. A small amount of the rinse aid is released during the final hot water cycle to limit spots from forming on the dishes.

Homemade Options

  • Distilled white vinegar can be used as a rinse aid instead of using a store brand. Homemade dishwasher detergent can be made using washing soda, borax, pure salt and citric acid.


  • Federal legislation banning dishwasher detergents containing a large percentage of phosphates will protect the environment once it is passed. However, current dishwasher detergent products with limited or no phosphates are not as effective at getting dishes clean.

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  • Photo Credit Image by, courtesy of Chris Phan
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