Which is the best dishwasher detergent?

Which is best dishwasher detergent If you are wondering which is the best dishwasher detergent, then Which? currently say one of the Fairy dishwasher detergents is best. It has been for the last 4 years, and we have been using it ourselves.

There are other best buys too – and they even advised to avoid one specific detergent sold at Asda. However, they recently said that one of the detergents at Aldi is virtually as good as the long-term winner but at a quarter of the price. I can confirm that we have tried it out and will be using it from now on. We noticed no difference at all.

All information is available at Which? They’ve reviewed and tested 27 dishwasher detergents (so far) and although I can’t just publish their results because of copyright issues they do publish some helpful miscellaneous information to non members.

The interesting information open to non members shows the 27 different detergents by brand and gives the cost per wash price, which ranges from 4 pence to 26 pence.

Having said that the information is of limited use because it’s not much help to know which detergent is cheaper if you don’t know how it performs, but it’s still interesting.

  • Reviews of 27 dishwasher detergents
  • 7 Best Buy dishwasher detergent for squeaky-clean dishes
  • Reviews of detergent from 16 companies
  • Reviews of eco detergents

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7 thoughts on “Which is the best dishwasher detergent?”

  1. Hi Andy,

    We use Finish Detergent, salt and rinse aid and enjoy excellent results. Have tried supermarket altenatives and they can’t hold a candle to Finish!

    We still use salt and rinse aid even if we use the supposably 3,4,5, Max in 1 etc! As they don’t work as they say, we are on tablets at the moment, got a load cheap and they are washing well. We used finish liquid before this and it didn’t get things quite as clean.

    There again I think the dishes not always being spotless is down to the dishwasher, We just had to have a “Tecnik”, basically an economy verson of a Bosch, so NO intensive programme with heated prewash, only a 65 and 50 temp. washes and a cold prewash cycle.

    All the best,


  2. We used to use Finish dishwasher 3 in 1 tablets. Finish did well in the Which? tests with several of their detergents in the top 10 but there’s a leading supermarket brand which is up there at the top at less than half the cost of brands like Finish.

    We’ve been using Fairy 3 in 1 dishwasher tablets but Which? haven’t tested that yet. We have received free samples of Miele’s new own brand dishwasher detergent which is just a detergent so we’ve gone back to using proper dishwasher salt and rinse aid. Results are definitely improved and glasses are no longer cloudy as they often were with the 3 in 1 tablets.

    You can’t beat specialist products instead of all this 3 in 1 convenience stuff. There are even 4 in 1, 5 in 1 and even 6 in 1 detergents available now which is pure marketing rubbish in my opinion. The 6 in 1 detergent did very poorly in Which? tests, which I don’t find surprising at all.

    Related: Which? trial offer

    I’ve written a Washerhelp article exploring a Special Offer from Which? highlighting all the areas you can research online including finding the best detergents, dishwashers and virtually anything else plus a hard copy of the Which? magazine for a month – Trial offer from Which?

  3. Hi Andy,

    So I am not the only one that thinks (KNOWS) the salt and rinse aid function of these tablets does not work!

    You are right specialist products are deffinatley better. What do you think to our “economy” Bosch (Tecnik), impressed, I bet not!!!!

    All the best,


  4. Does dishwasher POWDER work better than any of the tablets?

    I would imagine dishwasher powder works best as it dissolves instantly and a small amount can be added to a pre-rinse too. If the cycle includes a pre-rinse; pour about 2 heaped teaspoons of the powder onto the inside of the door just before starting the dishwasher with a pre-rinse cycle. This effectively gives you a head start before the main wash, when the compartment door opens and releases the normal dosage for the main wash.

    I understand that dishwasher powder is more abrasive than tablets or liquid dishwasher detergent? What type of detergent is recommended by dishwasher engineers?

  5. I can definitely say that Fairy Platinum tablets are the best compared to all the other types of dishwasher detergents I’ve tried. Until recently I’d been using Finish Classic tablets, which don’t have the built-in salt and rinse aid. I’ve tried other detergents and one thing is clear – the Fairy Platinum tablets get everything cleaner.

    I’ve been using Fairy Platinum tablets for about 8 weeks now and in that time, everything is being washed properly, metal items are much more shiny and discolouration from the base of saucepans and other items has been removed and not returning. Before using Fairy Platinum, I’d regularly find items which still had food debris left behind or discoloured. The bottom of saucepans used to feel like they were rougher and they looked dull. All this has changed after a shopping trip when I had to buy Fairy Platinum because I could not find the Finish Classic tablets or other detergents on special offer.

    I wish I’d discovered Fairy Platinum a long time ago. I can see why they are normally so expensive – when not on special offer – and you sure get what you pay for. Before using them I thought my dishwasher was to blame for things not coming out clean. Yes they do contain built-in salt, rinse-aid and other things, but these capsules actually do the job properly and claim to keep the dishwasher itself clean. There are other types of Fairy detergent, but these ones have the word “Platinum” on the front of the packaging and there are several types, but all the ones I’ve bought that are Platinum have not let me down.

    It’s rare now that anything comes not washed properly and even when that does happen, it’s a tiny area that’s been missed and I just put it back in. This contrasts to regularly having dirty items! I now stock up on packs of Fairy Platinum when they are on special offer, as normally they are very expensive. I also make sure the dishwasher is as full as possible before using it, to keep running costs down. Besides using these, I always rinse off strongly coloured sauces from items, under the hot tap, before putting in the dishwasher, as this saves other things getting discoloured, especially plastic items.

    I’m still adding dishwasher salt and rinse aid when using Fairy Platinum, just as I did before using them.

    I also keep the dishwasher itself clean i.e. the holes in the spray arms, the filters and regularly use Finish dishwasher cleaner when the dishwasher is empty of all items except the cutlery holder.

  6. I use the Miele branded tablets which you can buy from the Miele website, under the “accessories” section. These clean better than anything else I have used. Granted they are more expensive, but its a lot nicer than having to remove, by hand, things like tea stains from the inside of cups because the other dishwasher detergents have not done their job properly.

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