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Best and worst dishwasher detergents

What are the diamonds and duds of the dishwasher detergent world?

best and worst dishwasher detergents tablets powder
Last updated: 15 August 2019

Need to know

  • Earth Choice Dish Tablets take out the top spot again, with Coles and Woolworths tying in second place
  • Tablet dishwasher detergents are more expensive per wash than powders but generally perform better overall
  • Woolworths Shine Dishwashing Powder Concentrate was the worst dishwasher detergent in our test

We don't usually advocate that you have to spend more to get a product that works, but it seems that's the case when it comes to what you put in your dishwasher to get your dishes sparkling clean. 

Dishwasher tablets make up over two-thirds of dishwasher detergent sales. And although they cost more per wash, our tests show they generally perform better than cheaper powders and gels.

CHOICE tip: If you're finding that your dishwasher tablets are not dissolving fully when you put them in the dispenser drawer, just put them loose in the bottom of your dishwasher before running the load. 

earth choice all in one dish tablet

Best dishwasher detergents
Earth Choice Dish Tablets

  • Our score: 77%
  • Cost: $16.20 for a 42-pack (39c per wash)  

Earth Choice retains their crown this year as best dishwasher detergent. Although it has a higher than average cost per wash, it consistently performed better in all our tests. Plus, it's free from harsh chemicals and is accredited as cruelty free by CCF (Choose Cruelty Free), Australia's peak body for certifying products and source ingredients as free from animal testing.

woolworths shine dishwasher tablets
coles ultra plus advanced clean lemon fresh tablets

Woolworths Shine 10 in 1 Dishwashing Tablets and Coles Ultra Plus+ Advanced Clean Lemon Fresh Tablets

  • Our score: 73%
  • Cost: $4.50/30-pack or 15c per wash (Woolworths); $6/30-pack or 20c per wash (Coles)

It's a tie for second place! If you're more budget-focused, these own-brand tablets cost around half the price of our frontrunner. The Woolworths tablets may be the cheaper of the two by $1.50 per pack, but scored equally as good as the Coles product in our tests for removing egg yolk and baked-on cheese from our plates. 

They don't perform as well when it comes to coffee or red wine stains, though, with the Coles tablets scoring 53% for both and the Woolworths tablets scoring 46% for red wine and 53% for coffee stains.  

woolworths shine dishwashing detergent

The worst dishwasher detergent

Woolworths Shine Dishwasher Powder Concentrate

  • Our score: 38%
  • Cost: $4/1L (8c per wash)

Our dunce prize goes to this powder detergent, which is also one of the cheapest we tested. It scored just 13% on our test for removing rice starch and 23% for egg yolk removal. We know that powders are less effective than tablets than gels, but this is definitely at the bottom of the pile.

finish all in 1 max detergent tablets

Dishonourable mention

Finish Powerball Supercharged Max in 1 Deep Clean

  • Our score: 48%
  • Cost: $15.99/50-pack (32c per wash)

If you opt for Finish tablets, start with their top-of-the-line 'Quantum' products, as they perform well in our testing. But you might want to give these ones a miss. 

Although Finish Powerball tablets are often available in different pack sizes that can help reduce your cost per wash, these tablets are still on the exy side and these ones received the lowest score of all the tablets we tested.

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