A hand placing a dishwasher pod into a dishwasher dispenser

How to Use Dishwasher Pods the Right Way

Just as dishwashers make it convenient to wash dishes, dishwasher pods make it easier to add detergent to your dishwasher. Dishwasher pods contain the right amount of detergent for cleaning, so there’s no worry about over or under dosing. Read more to learn how to use dishwasher pods the right way.

Removing a clean plate from the dishwasher Removing a clean plate from the dishwasher

How to Use Dishwasher Detergent Pods or Tablets

Using dishwasher detergent pods can be an effective way to speed up your cleaning process. All it takes is loading your dishwasher as usual, then replacing your detergent with a dishwashing pod. You can also add rinse aid to help your dishes dry faster, then run the machine as you normally would.

  • Dishwasher pods

  • Rinse aid

Loading a glass into the dishwasher

1. Load dishwasher

The first step to cleaning your dishes is to load them correctly into your dishwasher. This means knowing which dishes can be loaded and where to load them—moving from the bottom rack to the upper rack, then to the third level rack if your appliance has one. For some, this process can be aided by knowing how dishwashers work.

A dishwasher dispenser

2. Place the pod in the washer

Dishwasher pods are designed with the correct amount of detergent for a typical cycle, so you only need to include one. Place the detergent pod in the dispenser, slide the lid closed and press firmly until it clicks. Consult your manual for where to place your dishwasher pods—some dishwashers have a dedicated location, others use the detergent dispenser.

Adding rinse aid to a dishwasher

3. Add rinse aid

Although some dishwasher pods come with rinse aid, you can also supplement this with rinse aid of your own. It is good practice to maintain a full level of dishwasher rinse aid so that your dishes dry faster and do not show spots after they finish drying.

A finger selecting a dishwashing cycle

4. Run the Dishwasher

Once you load your dishwasher, insert the dishwasher pod and add rinse aid, it is time to run the dishwasher. Select the time and other settings, then press start.

A running dishwasher A running dishwasher

Can you just throw a pod in the dishwasher?

Unless your manual tells you where to place your dishwasher pods, the best move is to put them in your dispenser. Although some believe that throwing a pod in the dishwasher protects your dispenser, pods are designed to dissolve when they touch water and may not work if not properly dispersed via the dispenser.

Are dishwasher pods better than liquid?

Whether dishwasher pods are better than their liquid counterparts will often come down to the individual detergent or dishwasher model in question. It is recommended to use detergent pods (packs) for improved performance in Maytag® dishwashers: quality pods have been proven to work better than powder, liquid or gel detergents at reducing filming on dishes.

Placing a dirty mug onto the third level rack Placing a dirty mug onto the third level rack

Are dishwasher pods supposed to dissolve?

Many dishwasher pods are coated in polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). The outer plastic shell is designed to dissolve readily in water, which is why pods can be stored without quickly degrading. When water reaches the dishwasher pod via the dishwashing dispenser, it should easily dissolve. Because of this, it is important to handle your pods with dry hands and follow placement instructions within your dishwasher.

Why do my dishwasher pods not dissolve?

When identifying why your dishwasher pods are not dissolving, the first step is to check your manual. Dishwashers often come with specific instructions on where to place pods when washing. Another common solution is to check to see whether old detergent is coating the dishwashing dispenser or your upper rack is in its lowest position as dishes below it could block your dishwasher’s arm spray.

Another possible issue is that the water in your dishwasher is not hot enough. Turn your kitchen faucet to hot and then measure the temperature of your kitchen water. If it measures below 120 degrees Fahrenheit, this could be the cause of your issue.

Some detergents aren't compatible for short, quick or rapid cycles. Check detergent packaging for any cycle-related recommendations or restrictions.

The interior of a dishwasher The interior of a dishwasher

What happens to the plastic in dishwasher pods?

For dishwasher pods made of PVA, the plastic coating itself will dissolve when it hits water and will be washed away. Once reaching a water treatment facility, the remaining particles are typically converted into water and carbon dioxide according to an article published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Explore Maytag® Dishwashers

No matter whether you’re facing a large load or need to clean dishes quickly, Maytag® dishwashers are designed with the performance you need to get the job done.

Learn more about dishwashers with Maytag BRAND

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