Thanks to our latest tests, we’ve discovered supermarket own-brand dishwasher tablets that will leave your dishes sparkling for half the price of the most expensive branded products.
Our latest dishwasher detergent tests found two Best Buys – both scored highly for overall cleaning. But while each branded Best Buy dishwasher tablet will set you back more than 20p, a supermarket own-brand Best Buy costs less than 10p per wash.
We’ve tested eight all-in-one dishwasher tablets from big brands – including Fairy and Ecover – and major supermarkets, putting each tablet through tough tests to separate those that will leave your dishes sparkling from the ones best left on the shelf.
A low-scoring dishwasher tablet will leave you having to wash your dishes again by hand. Save yourself time – click to reveal our Best Buy dishwasher tablets.
Great savings with the cheapest Best Buy
With some tablets costing as much as 32p per wash, dishwasher detergent may well be the most expensive cleaning product in your shopping trolley. However, you can save money without compromising on cleaning power.
Our tests revealed a great-value Best Buy dishwasher tablet that costs less than a third of the price of the most expensive option.
During the lockdown, the chances are you’ve been using your dishwasher a lot more frequently than usual. Eating three meals a day at home means the dishes soon start to pile up.
If you run your dishwasher five times a week, that could mean a saving of almost £40 across the year if you opt for a budget Best Buy ahead of the most expensive tablets on test.
Read all of our dishwasher tablet reviews to see which will save you money, which are worth spending a little more on, and which ones are best to avoid altogether.
Our tough dishwasher tablet tests
We examine dishwasher tablets’ ability to remove everyday food and drink stains, including burnt-on milk, tea stains and egg, and we scrutinise how much film builds up on dishes after multiple washes, leaving them looking dull. We also check for spots and watermarks left on crockery and glasses.
Below, you can see how a Don’t Buy dishwasher tablet fares against a Best Buy when tasked with removing tough tea stains from a mug.
We also test for grease removal, in order to separate out the tablets that can tackle the dirtiest roasting tins and casserole dishes.
We make up a blend of peanut oil and lard, which is mixed with albumin (a protein found in egg whites) to imitate the types of greasy stains you’ll find in an everyday kitchen.
This is then spread evenly across a set of metal tiles, which we wash in a dishwasher alongside cups, plates and glasses. We weigh the tiles before and after the cycle to see precisely how much tough grease has been removed.
Both our Best Buys managed to remove all of this tough grease, scoring full marks and an impressive maximum five stars for this part of the test. But they were the only dishwasher tablets to manage it.
For all the details of our rigorous tests, find out how we test dishwasher tablets.
Dishwasher tablet reviews
Below are all the dishwasher tablets we’ve just tested.
Follow the links to read our latest reviews:
- Aldi Magnum Original All in One
- Ecover All in One Original
- Ecozone Classic All in One
- Fairy Platinum Plus All in One Lemon
- Fairy Original All in One
- Lidl W5 All in One Original
- Morrisons All in One Original
- Tesco All in One Lemon
How to load your dishwasher
Whichever tablets you’re using, you’ll give them the best chance of reaching their cleaning potential by loading your dishwasher properly.
Bear these tips in mind to make the most of the dishwasher space available:
- Face the middle: The dirty side of every item should face the centre of the dishwasher rack to maximise its exposure to the jet spray.
- Don’t overload the dishwasher: Leave spaces between dishes and cutlery for the water and detergent to spread around the dishwasher.
- Roasting trays on the bottom rack: The best way of cleaning away baked-on food from roasting trays is to load them in the lower rack – this is where the water pressure and temperature is highest.
- Mix up plates and bowls: Leaving spaces between dishes and cutlery allows the water and detergent to spread around. You could even try alternating between larger and smaller plates next to each other to help with this.
For lots more tips, including what’s dishwasher safe and what’s not, check out our expert guide on how to load your dishwasher.