Where to Put the Dishwasher Pod in The Dishwasher?

Back in the day, our parents and grandparents had to wash dishes the old way—by loading their dishwashers and carefully measuring how much detergent went into the detergent dispenser. Today, we have detergent pods that are pre-portioned to wash an entire load of dirty dishes. The only question is, where does the dishwasher pod go inside a dishwasher?

Dishwasher pods go into the dishwasher detergent dispenser, where you would normally pour in liquid or powder detergent. Make sure the dispenser door is shut tight and that nothing is blocking the door from opening.

Today, I’ll explain what dishwasher pods are and how they differ from traditional dishwasher detergent, as well as whether or not you can put dishwasher pods on the bottom of the dishwasher tub.

What Is a Dishwasher Pod?

What Is a Dishwasher Pod

If you’re familiar with Tide pods, then you should have a pretty good idea of what a dishwasher pod is. For those that don’t know, I’ll tell you.

A dishwasher pod is simply a pre-portioned amount of liquid dishwasher detergent, as well as other chemical agents, prepared inside a water-soluble polymer packet. When heated water touches the dishwasher pod, it will melt the packet and release the chemical cleaning agents into the dishwasher.

Pods vs. Traditional Dishwasher Detergent

Dishwasher pods and dishwasher detergent pretty much function the same way. The only difference is how they are presented.

Traditional dishwasher detergent needs to be poured into the dishwasher detergent dispenser manually. You will need to carefully measure how much powder or liquid goes into the dispenser to ensure that your dishes don’t come out streaky due to adding too much detergent. Pods don’t have this problem since they are already pre-portioned by the manufacturer.

In addition, certain dishwasher pods come with a rinse aid, which makes your dishes slightly hydrophobic so that water droplets fall away from your dishes. Liquid or powder detergent doesn’t have a rinse aid, so you would have to add it to your dishwasher separately.

Finally, there’s the cost. Dishwasher pods are generally more expensive than traditional detergents, mainly due to the added rinse aid and materials that go into manufacturing a single pod. However, since pods are a lot easier to use (no more manually measuring detergent), you can add a pod and start a wash cycle in under 10 seconds.

Where to Put the Dishwasher Pod in the Dishwasher?

Dishwasher detergent pods don’t have a specialized compartment. Instead, they go right inside the dishwasher detergent dispenser, where you would usually add liquid or powder detergent to the machine. After popping in the pod, simply shut the door and start a wash cycle.

Some dishwasher models have 2 separate chambers in a single dishwasher detergent. If this is the case, then you should put the pod in the chamber with a closable door. The door will keep the pod in place until the dishwasher’s timer allows the door to unlatch, in which the pod will fall to the bottom of the dishwasher tub.

Can You Put the Dishwasher Pod on the Bottom of a Dishwasher?

Can You Put the Dishwasher Pod on the Bottom of a Dishwasher

If you searched for videos about how to use dishwasher pods, you probably came across at least one that explained how dishwasher pods go on the bottom of dishwasher tubs. This, however, goes against the very purpose of dishwasher detergent in the first place.

Dishwasher detergent, whether it comes in pod form or not, must always go in the detergent dispenser. A timer will instruct the detergent dispenser to unlock its door and allow the detergent to fall to the bottom of the tub, where it will mix and dissolve in heated water. If you were to place a dishwasher pod on the bottom of the tub from the start, your dishwasher would dissolve the pod during the pre-rinse phase.

The pre-rinse phase is a step in a normal dishwasher wash cycle where it sprays water onto your dishes to remove loose food particles. Dishwashers spend considerably less time on the pre-rinse phase than it does during the washing phase. As such, the dissolved dishwasher pod wouldn’t have had enough time to clean your dishes before going down the drain line.

In short, you should never place the dishwasher pod on the bottom of the dishwasher tub. The only exception is if you set up a wash cycle that doesn’t include the pre-rinse phase.

What Is a Dishwasher Tablet?

What Is a Dishwasher Tablet

A dishwasher tablet looks much like a dishwasher pod but without a polymer package. It also goes in the dishwasher detergent dispenser, where it will fall to the bottom of the tub during the main wash cycle.

If you were to feel a dishwasher pod and tablet, you would notice how the tablet is dry and crumbly. This is because tablets are merely compressed powder detergents with added cleaning properties, including rinse aid.

Meanwhile, pods are liquid detergent and other cleaning agents packaged in water-soluble packets. They both work almost identically to each other, but there are more complaints regarding dishwasher pods not dissolving in the water.

Why Won’t Dishwasher Pod Dissolve?

There are three reasons why your dishwasher pods aren’t dissolving in the water, which I’ll explain here.

Dishwasher water is too cold

A dishwasher pod’s polymer packaging dissolves in temperatures between 120 and 160°F. Most dishwasher wash cycles are programmed to heat up water to at least 120°F, which should be hot enough to dissolve the pod.

There are a couple of reasons why the dishwasher’s water doesn’t get hot enough to dissolve the pod:

  • Faulty heating element—Inspect the heating coil, heat pump, and thermostat for damage. Replace damaged components if necessary.
  • Water heater setting too cold—Increase the temperature setting of your water heater to provide preheated water to the dishwasher.

Blocked detergent dispenser

The dishwasher detergent dispenser door uses a spring-loaded mechanism that automatically snaps the door open when a built-in timer expires. However, if something large is blocking the door—e.g., a cutting board, a platter, a bowl, etc.—the door will not snap open, and the pod will not be released into the heated water in the tub.

So, test the spring-loaded mechanism to ensure that it’s in working order. If it is, try rearranging the dishes on the bottom dishrack so that nothing gets in the way when the detergent dispenser door opens.

Not enough water

Even if your dishwasher doesn’t receive enough water, it will move on to the following washing phase. When this happens, you’ll find a half-dissolved dishwasher pod sitting on the bottom of the tub.

There are several causes for why your dishwasher isn’t receiving enough water, such as:

  • Faulty water inlet valve—Inspect the valve for blockages.
  • Kinked water line—Unkink the water line to allow water to flow freely into the dishwasher.
  • Faulty drain line—If there’s a tiny crack in the drain port or line, then water will go down the drain and not fill the dishwasher tub. Inspect the drain line for damage and replace any faulty components.

Are Dishwasher Pods Eco-Friendly?

Are Dishwasher Pods Eco Friendly

It may sound like putting additional plastic in a dishwasher isn’t good for the environment, but in the case of dishwasher pods, the opposite is true. The Environmental Working Group gave high ratings to dish pods with biodegradable pouches.

However, there’s still a small chance that the polymer pouch doesn’t dissolve completely, and it will end up in a landfill or, what’s even worse, the ocean.

So, if you don’t want a guilty conscience increasing plastic pollution in the ocean or landfills, then you should think about using traditional powder or liquid detergent. Also, there are plastic-free dishwasher pods, as well as tablets, to consider.

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