Powder or pods?

With my kitchen reno arrived a new appliance in the house: a dishwasher. I’m still ambivalent about whether a dishwasher is more effective/efficient at washing dishes than I am.

Consumables of a dishwasher:

  • electricity (new dishwasher takes 2 hours on a normal cycle)
  • dishwasher soap (seems more chemical-y than my dishwashing soap)
  • rinse agent (to help dry the dishes)
  • space (lost base cabinet space)

Consumables of a human dishwasher (ie. me):

  • dishwashing soap
  • sponge/rag
  • gloves (I gave in after years of washing without gloves…I can use hotter water and my hands aren’t wrinkly/dry by the end)
  • space (lost counter space due to drying rack)

Obviously I myself need energy to run but I usually need to eat regardless of whether or not I do dishes, so I’m not including that on my list of consumables.

We’ve never had a dishwasher of our own – and my partner never grew up with one either – so for our first purchase, we went with the dishwasher manufacturer’s recommendation on products to purchase: dishwashing tablets and rinse agent. Growing up, my mom always used powder detergent. I figured we could give these new tablet things a whirl…but now I’m wondering if they are a huge waste of money. I’m always skeptical of a company recommending specific products for use with their own products; it smells of a scam to me. My dishwasher also has half load capability so it’ll run half a load (either the top rack or bottom rack) in half the time, presumably with half the volume of water. If I had powder detergent, I could add half the dose but with my tablet, I suppose I could cut it in half?

Are pods/tablets just a way for manufacturers to further “create convenience” for the “modern woman” who considers it to be too much effort to use powder instead of a neat tidy pod? Not to mention every pod comes in its own little bag, creating much more waste than powder.

Powder or pod. That is the question.

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