In the UK, many families run the dishwasher at least once every day. Dishwashers are an amazing time-saver and they also use far less water than washing up by hand. In many households, they are considered an essential appliance. Dishwashers are used a lot – sometimes hundreds of times each year – so UK households get through a lot of dishwasher tablets, not to mention dishwasher salt and rinse aid.
Everything from glasses, crockery and cutlery to frying pans, baby bottles, lunch-boxes and even compost bins can be effectively cleaned in these wonder-machines! Anecdotally, even toothbrushes and trainers can be thrown in… However, not all dishwasher tablets are created equal. Some contain chemicals that leave a residue on glassware, while others can damage fragile pans and utensils. Nobody wants to unload the dishwasher to discover that their cutlery tastes a little too lemon-fresh, or that their prized ‘non-stick’ saute pan is now a ‘stick’ pan.
It is therefore worth putting a little thought into selecting the best dishwasher tablets for your machine. There are so many different types available, all offering something different: tablets that are specially formulated to tackle stubborn stains and burnt-on food; tablets that are kind to the environment as well as your kitchenware; even tablets that will clean your dishwasher!
The best dishwasher tablets get your kitchenware beautifully clean and also protect it. Glasses should come out sparkling and cutlery should be bright and shiny. Delicate materials, such as the non-stick coating on pans, should be clean and undamaged. There should be no residue left on kitchenware.
Dishwasher Tablets Buyer’s Guide
So, how does one go about choosing the best dishwasher tablets? Here are some key questions to ask when choosing the right tablets for your machine.
First and foremost, be clear about what kind of tablets are required in your machine. Are all-in-one tablets the most appropriate, or does your dishwasher need a different kind?
Secondly, look for manufacturer endorsements: good dishwasher tablets are usually approved by dishwasher manufacturers such as Bosch and Siemens.
Next, consider whether you have any special requirements, such as tablets that are particularly environmentally friendly, or those designed to deal with oil and grease.
Finally, consider ease of use: some tablets require you to open the individual sachet without touching the tablet, which can be fiddly. If this is likely to cause you difficulty then you may prefer to use tablets which have a dissolvable wrapper.
The Best Dishwasher Tablets in the UK
With the above things in mind, here are nine of the best dishwasher tablets available in the UK this year.
First on the list are Finish’s All in 1 Max Dishwasher Tablets, with a lemon fragrance. These tablets use Finish’s ‘Powerball’ technology and promise to give a powerful clean every time. Finish describes these tablets as ‘supercharged’ – it’s no wonder they are endorsed by major dishwasher manufacturer brands Beko, Bosch, Neff, Samsung and Siemens.
These All in 1 tablets really prioritise convenience: they include salt and rinse aid, helping to prevent limescale build-up. They are ‘wrapper free’, making them particularly quick and easy to use. They are suitable for use even in hard water conditions.
The results are impressive: dishes are left with an amazing shine and without unsightly water spots. Users comment that kitchenware comes out smelling ‘lemon fresh’, without any residue. Crucially, they are also kind to your kitchenware, tackling tough stains whilst protecting fragile items such as glassware from corrosion.Check Price Now
Next up, the ‘Quantum’ version of Finish’s original dishwasher tablets. These deliver a ‘superior’ clean and shine and are marketed as Finish’s ‘most powerful dishwasher tablets yet’.
Again, these tablets use Finish’s special ‘Powerball’ technology, offer limescale protection, are wrapper-free and promise to protect glassware.
The ‘enhanced’ results offered by Finish Quantum Dishwasher Tablets mean they are recommended by leading brands such as Beko, Bosch and Siemens. Users describe the cleaning power as ‘top notch’!Check Price Now
Fairy’s ‘best first time cleaning’ tablets are next on the list, in the form of Fairy Platinum Original Dishwasher Tablets. These are aimed at consumers who have ‘exceptionally high’ cleaning standards! Leading manufacturers Whirlpool, Hotpoint and Indesit all recommend them.
Not only do Fairy’s Platinum tablets clean your kitchenware, the liquid surfactants are powerful enough to also clean your dishwasher – even the filters – and leave it smelling fresh. This helps prevent blockages. The tablets also work against limescale, although you’ll need a separate machine cleaner to actually remove existing limescale. Users report that these keep these ‘keep things running smoothly and clean’.
They are Fairy’s ‘best for tough challenges’ such as grease, burnt-on food and tea stains. They are also very convenient as the capsules are wrapper-free and include salt and rinse aid.Check Price Now
A niche contender is up next: Ecover describe themselves as the ‘rebels of the cleaning world’! These tablets are formulated with plant-based and mineral ingredients that deliver a powerful clean, even shifting grease and dried-on food. That, Ecover say, is ‘Smart Green Science’.
The tablets have a recyclable plastic wrapper, so you will need to unwrap them yourself. You also need to use separate dishwasher salt and rinse aid (an Ecover Rinse Aid product is available). Ecover recommend that the dishwasher is run on an eco-cycle.
Environmentally-conscious consumers report that these are great if you have a septic tank. You can be eco-friendly without compromising on results: kitchenware is ‘always sparkling’ at the end of the cycle. Users also report that the tablets have a ‘delightful’ fragrance that is not too strong.Check Price Now
The three-in-one version of Ecover’s Dishwasher Tablets combine the same powerful cleaning formula with ‘sparkle and shine’ salt and a quick-drying rinse aid, to make cleaning your dishes even easier. The environmental benefits remain unchanged: this product is never tested on animals and the cardboard packaging is fully recyclable. Again, the machine can be run on eco-mode. Dishes come out ‘squeaky clean and smelling pleasantly fresh’.Check Price Now
Continuing the eco-friendly theme, these Claro Classic Dishwasher Tablets go above and beyond in their approach to protecting the environment. Made in Austria, these tablets boast impressive environmental credentials: they are vegan, free from phosphates, chlorine and palm oil, don’t involve animal testing and minimise transport distances.
Claro Dishwasher Tablets don’t compromise on effectiveness: they deliver excellent cleaning to remove even the toughest residue. This is achieved by precisely releasing enzymes and other ingredients in the order that leads to optimum results.
In terms of convenience, each Classic tablet is covered by a ‘self-dissolving’ film that means the tablet can be taken out of the box and popped straight in the machine. Claro describes these as a ‘system product’, because they should be used in conjunction with its ‘regenerating salt’ and rinse aid.Check Price Now
The ‘Classic’ version of Finish’s Powerball Dishwasher Tablets offers amazing deep cleaning. Finish’s clever technology softens, lifts off and washes away food stains. Unlike the All in 1 version, these tablets should be used with separate dishwasher salt and rinse aid. Finish make appropriate ones, but buying these tablets gives you the flexibility to choose to use different salt and rinse aid products if you wish to.Check Price Now
These all-singing-all-dancing tablets from Cleenol include salt, rinse aid, glass protection, stain remover and stainless steel protector. Users report that they clean kitchenware ‘brilliantly’ and even the dirtiest pans and dishes are no match for them. These tablets are specifically designed for use in domestic dishwashers and come individually wrapped.Check Price Now
As you can see, there are dishwasher tablets to suit every need and requirement. This list of the best dishwasher tablets UK includes a mixture of market leading brands – Finish and Fairy claim 5 spots on the list – as well as some niche contenders, with an emphasis on tablets that are kind to the environment while simultaneously delivering excellent cleaning results and convenience.
If helping the environment is important to you, there are other changes you can make to how you use your dishwasher apart from your choice of dishwasher tablets. Making sure the dishwasher is full (as opposed to using half-load cycles), using the ‘eco’ setting and choosing an efficient A-rated dishwasher model when you replace your current dishwasher will all help.
Perhaps the most significant difference between the varieties listed here is whether they are ‘all-in-one’ products or whether separate salt and rinse aid are required. This can really affect the cleaning results achieved and it also impacts how many separate products need to be purchased and kept topped up. Some consumers report successfully experimenting with different combinations or ‘all-in-one’ products to find what works best for their particular dishwasher.
The other major differentiator is whether the tablets need to be removed from the wrapper or whether the wrapper itself dissolves in the machine. Dissolvable wrappers have the advantage of meaning that the tablets can be popped straight in the machine – though one user offers a word of caution, having reached into the box with wet hands and subsequently realised that all the wrappers had dissolved while the remaining tablets were still in the box!
The top dishwasher tablets boast impressive technology and credentials, from tablets that clean the dishwasher itself to tablets that are entirely vegan. They also come with endorsements from many of the leading dishwasher manufacturers in the UK. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that some dishwasher tablets just seem to be more effective in some dishwashers than other brands. If the tablets you have been using don’t seem to be quite up to the job, it is worth trying an alternative to see whether they deliver better results in your dishwasher. Given how crucial dishwashers are to the day-to-day functioning of many UK households, it is worth finding dishwasher tablets that really do provide effective first time cleaning.