The best liquid dishwasher detergent has to be able to get your dishes sparkling clean with minimal effort.
For this reason, we have spent hours of research digging through all the currently available dishwasher detergents in liquid form.
- 1 Best Liquid Dishwasher Detergent (Updated List)
- 2 10. Seventh Generation 22929 Natural Automatic Dishwasher Gel
- 3 9. Love Home and Planet Liquid Dishwasher Detergent
- 4 8. Biokleen Liquid Dishwasher Detergent
- 5 7. Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Gel
- 6 6. Melaleuca Diamond Brite Dishwasher Detergent Liquid
- 7 5. Seventh Generation Auto Dish Gel
- 8 4. Finish Dishwasher Detergent Gel Liquid
- 9 3. Better Life Natural Dishwasher Gel Detergent
- 10 2. Cascade Complete Gel Dishwasher Detergent
- 11 1. Palmolive Eco Dishwasher Detergent Gel
- 12 Frequently asked questions
- 12.1 Can I use manual liquid detergent in the dishwasher?
- 12.2 Is liquid dishwasher detergent better?
- 12.3 Where do you put liquid detergent in the dishwasher?
- 12.4 Is rinse aid the same as liquid dishwasher detergent?
- 12.5 Can I make my own liquid dishwasher detergent?
- 12.6 Can I use laundry detergent in my dishwasher?
- 12.7 What goes in the pre-wash section of the dishwasher?
- 13 Final thoughts
Best Liquid Dishwasher Detergent (Updated List)
If you’re searching for the best liquid dishwasher detergent, know that all of the options listed below do a good enough job overall.
However, before we get into the actual rankings, here are the top three products we chose based on performance, amount needed for a wash cycle, and user satisfaction.
10. Seventh Generation 22929 Natural Automatic Dishwasher Gel
- Sold as 1 Each.
- Get clean, bright, residue-free dishes naturally.
- Chlorine bleach-free and phosphate-free.
|Fragrance:||Fresh Citrus Scent|
This natural dishwasher gel from Seventh Generation meets the standards outlined by the EPA’s Safer Choice program.
It cleans solely with plant-based enzymes. And it’s completely free from bleach, chlorine, and phosphates. It’s non-toxic, rinses clean, and leaves zero residues behind.
The Seventh Generation 22929 Dishwasher Gel has no artificial fragrances whatsoever. Its smell is derived from essential oils and botanical ingredients for a truly refreshing clean. Moreover, it’s completely safe for the environment and for your septic system.
Overall, the Seventh Generation 22929 Dishwasher Gel performs great.
It might not be the best solution for hard water, however. You should seek out dishwasher salts or a detergent booster. If you have a water softener, then this will do the trick just fine.
9. Love Home and Planet Liquid Dishwasher Detergent
- Made with 70% plant-based cleansers
- Dermatologist tested, gluten-free, vegan and cruelty-free
- Packed with plant-based cleansers to effectively remove even stuck-on food residues
|Fragrance:||Lavender & Argan|
Coming in a recycled and recyclable bottle, the Love Home and Planet Liquid Dishwasher Detergent is truly an eco-friendly alternative to conventional dishwashing solutions.
It has no toxic chemicals whatsoever. The powerful scent comes from natural extracts. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free. But how does it hold up when it comes to cleaning?
You might be surprised, but it performs well. It’s powerful against grease and stuck-on food. As for coffee stains, it eliminates them completely. Dishes come out clean and streak-free. And all of this without chlorine or phosphates. All in all, we recommend the Love Home and Planet Liquid Dishwasher Detergent.
The Love Home and Planet Liquid Dishwasher Detergent works wonders despite its few flaws.
We mentioned that it doesn’t help in the dish drying process. For this, we recommend a rinse-aid or looking for the best drying dishwashers.
8. Biokleen Liquid Dishwasher Detergent
- Removes tough baked-on-food and grease without the use of toxic chemicals
- Your dishes, glassware and flatware will come out spotless and free of chemical taste and residue
- Grapefruit seed and orange peel extract
The Biokleen Automatic Liquid Dishwasher Detergent removes grease and hard baked-on food with the help of natural enzymes.
It has oxygen bleach particles that help eliminate tough stains left from tea, coffee, wine, soda, juice, and other liquids. The grapefruit seed and orange peel extract give dishes a pleasant fragrance after each wash cycle.
The Biokleen Automatic Liquid Detergent Gel has three times the concentration of regular dishwasher detergents. Because of this, you’ll be able to use only 1/3 tablespoon to get the same results.
The Biokleen Liquid Dishwasher Detergent is a worthy contender for the best liquid dishwasher detergent.
It makes dishes smell great and it cleans grease efficiently. We wish it could’ve tackled hard water a little better and that it didn’t require a rinse-aid, however.
7. Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Gel
- Advanced dishwasher gel cuts through grease leaving dishes streak-free and sparkling clean
- Safe* and effective formula made with plant-based ingredients
- Free of synthetic fragrances, chlorine, phosphate, and dyes
Made from plant-based ingredients, the Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Gel cuts through grease, leaving dishes streak-free and sparkling clean.
It’s free of synthetic fragrances, chlorine, phosphate, and dyes. On top of that, it also has a 65% USDA biobased product certification. The Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Gel gets its pleasant fragrance only from essential oils and botanical extract.
As you can imagine, the detergent is 100% safe for your septic system. And it’s less damaging for your skin and clothes in case of accidental spills.
The Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Gel is just as efficient and natural as you would expect a product from this brand to be.
If you want clean dishes without hurting the environment, you might want to give this best liquid dishwasher detergent a chance.
6. Melaleuca Diamond Brite Dishwasher Detergent Liquid
- Cleans dishes and utensils safely and spotlessly
- Concentrated to save money and reduce plastic waste
- Naturally derived enzymes dissolve even baked-on food
|Fragrance:||Orange, Lime, Citrus|
Derived from pure essential oil extracts, the Melaleuca Diamond Brite Liquid Dishwasher Detergent contains no bleach, phosphates, or poison.
The detergent is highly concentrated, so you will only need half a tablespoon to get dishes clean. This also helps you save money in the long run and reduce waste. Since no caustic chemicals are used, you can rest assured that your pipes and other metal items remain completely safe.
Furthermore, it dramatically reduces the need for pre-rinsing. You only need to scrape large food chunks before putting the plates in the dishwasher. One fair notice: if you have hard water problems, you will need to use more liquid detergent. The Melaleuca Diamond Brite Detergent doesn’t handle hard minerals unless you put in more than the recommended amount.
The Melaleuca Diamond Brite is one of the best liquid dishwasher detergents you can get despite its higher-end price.
While it might seem expensive for just 45 ounces, you’ll most likely only use half a tablespoon instead of one. That is unless you have really hard water. Nevertheless, it’s worth it for all its other strengths.
5. Seventh Generation Auto Dish Gel
- Seventh Generation Auto Dish Gel - 42 oz - Free & Clear - 2 pk
|Quantity:||42 ounces – 2-pack|
If you want a completely natural liquid dishwasher detergent, you might want to consider the Seventh Generation Auto Dish Gel.
It contains no fragrances, dyes, or chlorine bleach. It’s a USDA-certified biobased product that offers the same capabilities as most any other best liquid dishwasher detergent.
The Seventh Generation Auto Dish Gel is also straightforward to use. You only need to fill the main dispenser cup according to machine directions and close dispenser door. Then just run a regular washing cycle and you’re done.
The Seventh Generation Liquid Dishwasher Detergent is efficient for most dishes and wash settings.
Apart from a few things such as peanut butter or silverware, it gets the job done nicely. And you can rest assured that it doesn’t impact the environment.
4. Finish Dishwasher Detergent Gel Liquid
If you want a fair price for a product that will last you a long time, the Finish Dishwasher Liquid is an excellent choice.
Coming in a 75-ounce package, this is the best liquid dishwasher detergent coming from one of the most renowned brands in the dishwashing industry.
The Finish Dishwasher Liquid Detergent cuts through grease and tough stains left from coffee and tea seamlessly. It combines the fast-dissolving capabilities of gel and the deep cleaning power of powder. It’s also powerful against hard water due to its water softening ingredients.
The Finish Dishwasher Detergent Gel Liquid is just as powerful as any other best liquid dishwasher detergent that you can find.
If it weren’t for the hard to close cap or the fact that you really have to squeeze the bottle to get it out, we would have ranked it much higher on this list.
3. Better Life Natural Dishwasher Gel Detergent
- ECO-FRIENDLY - With every spray, pour and pump, Better Life proves that the world's most powerful cleaners can be safe for kids, pets, and the planet.
- SPOT-FREE DISHES - Our natural, ultra-concentrated dishwasher gel powers through stubborn stains and stuck-on food, leaving no trace of film or cloudiness behind-just dazzlingly beautiful dishes, glasses, and utensils.
- SAFER FOR MESS MAKERS - Phosphate-free, bleach-free, fragrance-free, dye-free, preservative-free.
|Quantity:||30 ounces (2-pack available)|
A completely natural dishwasher detergent, the Better Life Liquid Gel is completely safe for pets, kids, and the planet.
It has over 10 powerful ingredients, each with their respective role, that give it its high concentration and efficient dishwashing capabilities.
Considering how efficient it is, you might be surprised that the Better Life Dishwasher Detergent is free of bleach, phosphates, fragrances, dyes, and even preservatives. Just one tablespoon in the dishwasher’s detergent dispenser is enough for a full load of dishes.
At the end of the day, we were impressed by the Better Life Natural Dishwasher Gel Detergent.
The constant need to shake the bottle before pouring it in might be a turnoff for many people. Mind you, it’s not hard doing so. It’s just that, at times, you may forget to do it and find that the dishes aren’t clean.
2. Cascade Complete Gel Dishwasher Detergent
- Dishwasher detergent gel with the gr
- The package weight of the product is 3 pounds
Coming in at close second from one of the best-known dishwasher detergent brands is the Cascade Complete Gel Dishwasher Detergent.
While the price is slightly higher than other items on this list, it does a fantastic job of cleaning dishes to the brim. It’s got a powerful grease-fighting ability, it washes away tea stains with minimal effort, and it gives glasses a nice, clean-looking shine.
As you can probably already imagine, just like many other Cascade products, the Complete Gel Dishwasher Detergent deals with 24-hour stuck-on food flawlessly. And it’s quick-dissolving, so you don’t have to worry about excessive soap suds that might make your dishwasher overflow.
The Cascade Complete Gel Dishwasher Detergent offers amazing performance.
While it comes at a much higher price than other liquid dishwasher detergents on this list, it will last you for quite a while considering that one tablespoon of detergent is enough to wash a full load of dishes.
1. Palmolive Eco Dishwasher Detergent Gel
- Liquid dishwasher detergent that whisks away dirt, grease, and grime
- Friendly to lakes and streams
- Fresh Lemon scent
|Quantity:||45 ounces x 3-pack|
The most appreciated on our list by far is the Palmolive Eco Dishwasher Detergent Gel.
It has powerful ingredients that can dissolve even 24-hour stuck-on food, and it lacks phosphates, making it safer to use overall.
The Palmolive Eco Dishwasher Detergent Gel is entirely eco-friendly, as it doesn’t affect your septic system, lakes, or nearby streams in any way, shape, or form. It’s by far the best liquid dishwasher detergent that you can currently get in 2020.
The Palmolive Eco Dishwasher Detergent Gel does a phenomenal job of cleaning dishes without requiring too much liquid in the first place.
As far as all of the other liquid dishwasher detergents we’ve tested, this has worked best for most users who have tested it. That says a lot considering its ridiculously low price tag.
Frequently asked questions
Can I use manual liquid detergent in the dishwasher?
We’ve all been there. And as tempting as it might be, we don’t recommend it. Manual liquid detergent produces too many soap suds. This will cause your dishwasher to overflow and leak. Not to mention it produces more soap buildup on the spray arms.
However, there is a way to use manual dishwasher detergent in case of emergencies. Just don’t overdo it.
- Fill two thirds of the dishwasher detergent dispenser with baking soda
- Add three or four drops of manual dishwashing detergent
- Put a quarter cup of salt to eliminate hard water minerals
- Run the dishwasher on the normal cycle
That’s it. Your dishwasher should now act as if it has automatic detergent inside of it. As we said earlier, don’t overdo this. Use this technique only in emergency situations.
Is liquid dishwasher detergent better?
When you buy dishwasher gel or tablets from a reputable brand, both offer comparable cleaning power.
These two have risen in popularity over the past years because of their ease of use. Liquid detergent isn’t considerably better than tablets, pods, or powder.
However, the few advantages it has might be worth your time. Liquid dishwasher detergent is less abrasive. It doesn’t stick as much as powder or tablets. Liquid detergent is the best choice for glasses and decorative dishes.
Where do you put liquid detergent in the dishwasher?
You should put liquid dishwasher detergent in the dispenser. Just like regular tablets or pods, you shouldn’t throw it in the dishwasher tub. Use a tablespoon to measure how much you need.
Most liquid detergents will require you to use a full tablespoon. Others are more concentrated and only require half a tablespoon. And a few options allow you to only use a 1/4 of a tablespoon for the best results. You should always read the label and the dishwasher manual to get the optimum dosage.
Is rinse aid the same as liquid dishwasher detergent?
No, it is not. Some detergents have rinse aid built-in, but don’t confuse the two.
The detergent’s role is to clean dishes and eliminate residue. A rinse-aid is meant to prevent white water stains on your dishes. It’s useful if you have particularly hard water in your household.
Other than that, a rinse-aid won’t help when it comes to cleaning. So, to put it shortly, a rinse aid is not the same as a liquid dishwasher detergent.
Can I make my own liquid dishwasher detergent?
Yes, you can. The main active ingredient in all liquid dishwashing detergents is washing soda. It’s a non-toxic cleaner that cuts through grease. The second ingredient you’ll need is borax. It raises the water’s pH level to remove hard water spots.
Finally, you might want to add some essential oils to give the detergent a pleasant smell. Of course, this is completely optional. But the first two ingredients are crucial for getting this right. Alright, now that you know what ingredients you need, it’s time to start digging through the pantry.
Get a bowl and add one cup of water, one cup of salt, half a cup of borax, half a cup of washing soda, and 10 or 15 drops of essential oil. Whisk the mix as hard as you can to smoothen out all the clumps. Place the mixture in a sealable jar. In case clumps start to appear over time, just add more water and stir thoroughly.
Can I use laundry detergent in my dishwasher?
No, don’t even try. Laundry detergents contain anti-soiling chemicals that become volatile once they meet with the high heat of a dishwasher.
Also, you might void your warranty, so in case the dishwasher breaks because of said chemicals, you’ll be spending a lot more money on repairs or replacements.
If you are out of dishwasher detergent and need to wash dishes quickly, you’re better off washing them in the sink. Use bar soap, liquid soap, or even shower gel if necessary. Those work just fine if you wash dishes by hand. Sure, it implies extra effort. But it’s better than to risk breaking your dishwasher.
What goes in the pre-wash section of the dishwasher?
The pre-wash dispenser of the dishwasher is for detergent boosters.
You might need to use a detergent booster in case you have extraordinarily dirty dishes or hard water.
The best liquid dishwasher detergent that you can get is the one that fits your budget.
Check this list carefully and inspect each one’s strengths and weaknesses. From there, you will be able to choose the one best for you.