Woman unloading dishwasher after washing.


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Those convenient, pre-portioned dishwasher detergent packs might be hard on your pipes and your wallet, according to a recent Reddit thread on r/Frugal.

Dishwasher tablets, the post explained, “contain too much powder” and can block pipes and leave residue. The alternative is to use a “tiny” amount of dishwasher powder per load along with rinse aid.

“We’ve been doing this for over a year now and have had fantastic results with no clogging and no residue,” the comment, which was a screenshot from another forum, reads. The powdered detergent is also “SO much cheaper,” the post continues.

@brunchwithbabs #cascadepartner Three dishwasher hacks to help you save water with Cascade Platinum #cascadeplatinum #didyouknow ♬ original sound - everyone’s grandmother

According to Consumer Reports, sales of powdered dishwashers have dropped considerably, with most shoppers preferring detergent packs and gels. Sales were so low that the reviews magazine hasn’t included powdered detergents in its tests since 2019.

Despite the initial post’s popularity — it has over 6,000 cumulative upvotes across two subreddits  — multiple commenters disagreed with the advice.

“I fix appliances. There is no one size fits all solution,” one top comment reads. “Every household has different habits and different water. Everyone needs to go out and find what works best for them. Tablets are just fine as is powder. Try to avoid liquid as it’s chlorine-based and can cause the racks to rust out prematurely.”

While dishwashing powder isn’t as widely available as it once was, it is the cheapest option followed by gel. Good Housekeeping named Walmart’s $6 Great Value dishwasher powder as a top pick, largely because it costs just 13 cents a load. That’s about one-third of the price of a pack of premium dishwasher pods.

“If price is a primary factor, Walmart's store brand, Great Value, is exactly what its name says: a great value,” the magazine writes.

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