Dishwasher Tablets: Are You Ready to Throw Out the Squeeze Bottle?

Jeanne Sager

cascade all in oneIt happens in every home with a dishwasher I've ever encountered.

You get to the tail end of the dishwasher detergent bottle, and you want to use it all. So you stand there squeezing the bottle to within an inch of its life -- making the ever-crowd pleasing farting noise while you're at it.

Five-year-old parading in a woman's body here: it gets a good laugh from me.

But it still drives me nuts knowing I can never get it all out.

In part because I'm fairly frugal -- and I want all I paid for.

Then there's the knowledge that because I can't pry the top off, I can't clean out the bottle. And therefore it can't go in the recycling bin (our county's rules). 

I've been debating a jump to the dishwashing tablets for awhile now. The small tabs allow you to skip the powder or the squeeze bottles in favor of one pre-measured pack.

Throw it in the compartment where you'd normally squeeze the detergent, and the packaging dissolves in the water, so there's no waste at the end of the wash.

My parents use the Cascade Complete All-in-One Gel Pacs, which were being handed out in packs of two at BlogHer last weekend to get more bloggers on board. I tried them, and they worked well enough that I bought a big bag at Target over the weekend to see if it was a one-off or if they can stand up to a month of dishes.

The package they came in is recyclable (or reusable), and I know I'm getting everything I paid for. Not to mention they're phosphate-free.

There are also these Method Smarty Dish tabs I've been eyeing -- the price is a little higher, $6.50 for 20 compared to $12 for 48 for the Cascade -- but they are packaged in recycled plastic packages and are free of both phosphates and bleach.

What's more, they have a yummy pink grapefruit scent up for sale alongside the regular.

A quick search on Amazon turned up new versions from companies like Seventh Generation, Electrasol, and Finish, along with some unknown brands like Ecover and Nellie's.

Testing my way through the brands could make me abandon the squeeze bottle forever.

Are you ready?

Image via Amazon

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