Home & Garden

Cheap generic brand dishwasher tablets v.s. Premium Name brand

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 14th, 2021 9:32 pm
[OP]
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 27, 2004
49916 posts
13934 upvotes
ONTARIO

Cheap generic brand dishwasher tablets v.s. Premium Name brand

Do premium name brand dishwasher tablets actually work better than generic tablets?

The Cascade platinum claims to wash dishes better. Even full loads on quick cycles.

But the generic walmart/generic store brand tablets are half the price.

Right now i’m just using the lower tier cascade lemon scent tablets… $22 for 110

Updated!

I did a test! I bought the cheapest bargain brand dishwasher detergent powder.
Filled up both sides of the detergent holder.
It washed a full load sparkling clean! Even with my tetris dish stacking technique, it still washes thoroughly. As long as you fill up both sides of the detergent holder.
You technically use more detergent. But this stuff is only $4.29 for 1.79KG
Cascade Lemon (cheapest name brand) is $22 for 110 tablets 1.7kg
Images
  • E6AF839C-E6E0-445B-8BD6-7928E54E9C58.jpeg
  • E5379678-844F-4721-943D-E2F1E507D6C3.jpeg
  • E4DB5F7C-F812-44AA-816C-E8EBBC1AD233.jpeg
  • A0B73B13-6450-474E-86A3-217FD36C099C.jpeg
Last edited by UrbanPoet on Sep 4th, 2021 3:41 am, edited 3 times in total.
41 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
19435 posts
22551 upvotes
GTA
UrbanPoet wrote: Do premium name brand dishwasher tablets actually work better than generic tablets?

The Cascade platinum claims to wash dishes better. Even full loads on quick cycles.

But the generic walmart/generic store brand tablets are half the price.

Right now i’m just using the lower tier cascade lemon scent tablets… $22 for 110
For the most part they work the same. If you want cheapest, I think dishwasher powder is the way to go. It also allows you to fill the prewash bin, which tablets don't allow.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
[OP]
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 27, 2004
49916 posts
13934 upvotes
ONTARIO
engineered wrote: For the most part they work the same. If you want cheapest, I think dishwasher powder is the way to go. It also allows you to fill the prewash bin, which tablets don't allow.
I forgot there was such a thing as powder. Its always the bright colorful tablets right in front!. I got into the dishwasher game pretty late in life. Just 2 years ago... lol

My main concern is quality of washing. If the generic cheap stuff doesn't work as well, I'm okay with the more expensive ones.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
19435 posts
22551 upvotes
GTA
UrbanPoet wrote: I forgot there was such a thing as powder. Its always the bright colorful tablets right in front!. I got into the dishwasher game pretty late in life. Just 2 years ago... lol

My main concern is quality of washing. If the generic cheap stuff doesn't work as well, I'm okay with the more expensive ones.
I'm using cheap cascade powder (or whatever's on sale) and vinegar in the rinse aid. Works great.
Tablets are just powder pressed into a block and put in extra wrapping, so powder is better for the environment too.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jun 12, 2007
18590 posts
6029 upvotes
London
UrbanPoet wrote: I forgot there was such a thing as powder. Its always the bright colorful tablets right in front!. I got into the dishwasher game pretty late in life. Just 2 years ago... lol
My main concern is quality of washing. If the generic cheap stuff doesn't work as well, I'm okay with the more expensive ones.
Cheap detergent + fill both cups. Also depends on how hard your water is (harder = more detergent)

Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2015
8650 posts
4895 upvotes
Canada, Eh!!
Powder and tablets work best. Avoid liquids as the various ingredients I believe break down each other.
2022: BOC raised 6 times and MCAP raised its prime next day.
2017 to 2018: BOC raised rates 5 times and MCAP raised its prime next day each time.
2020: BOC dropped rates 3 times and MCAP waited to drop its prime to include all 3 drops.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jun 12, 2007
18590 posts
6029 upvotes
London
UrbanPoet wrote: Oh. So the tablets only for convenience.
If I want a really good wash... Just fill pre-wash with detergent too!
Do they make mini pre-wash tablets? lol
Some regular tablets are small enough to fit in the prewash cup.

Otherwise, just toss the extra regular sized tab into the bottom of the machine for the prewash
Deal Addict
May 21, 2015
1201 posts
805 upvotes
Sarnia, ON
There is definitely a performance difference among different variations of detergents, even if they're all from the same maker,, ie all the different Cascade tabs. It's pretty safe to stick to any of their tabs or the Finish tabs, even the Costco Kirkland tabs work well.. but I'd stay away from the el cheapo bargain brands. Using a pre wash detergent is just a waste of detergent imho being as my dishes always come out clean using just a tab. In that video where he reads the label for the Cascade powder saying to fill both the pre wash and the main detergent cup... of course they say that,,, you'll use more detergent and have to buy more, more often. No different than shampoo instructions telling you to rinse and repeat.
[OP]
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 27, 2004
49916 posts
13934 upvotes
ONTARIO
Beneful1 wrote: There is definitely a performance difference among different variations of detergents, even if they're all from the same maker,, ie all the different Cascade tabs. It's pretty safe to stick to any of their tabs or the Finish tabs, even the Costco Kirkland tabs work well.. but I'd stay away from the el cheapo bargain brands. Using a pre wash detergent is just a waste of detergent imho being as my dishes always come out clean using just a tab. In that video where he reads the label for the Cascade powder saying to fill both the pre wash and the main detergent cup... of course they say that,,, you'll use more detergent and have to buy more, more often. No different than shampoo instructions telling you to rinse and repeat.
Thats true. I always got the job the done with 1 low tier cascade tablet. Even with the dishwasher rammed full like always.i guess it does make a difference. But does it matter?
I guess that also means… you could easily get away with using the cheapest loose dishwasher powder. Just fill up both compartments.

I guess i’ll think about that in a year. With a 110 tabs and Just 2 of us. 2 loads fulll per week covers everything.
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
22774 posts
21614 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
Beneful1 wrote: There is definitely a performance difference among different variations of detergents, even if they're all from the same maker,, ie all the different Cascade tabs. It's pretty safe to stick to any of their tabs or the Finish tabs, even the Costco Kirkland tabs work well.. but I'd stay away from the el cheapo bargain brands. Using a pre wash detergent is just a waste of detergent imho being as my dishes always come out clean using just a tab. In that video where he reads the label for the Cascade powder saying to fill both the pre wash and the main detergent cup... of course they say that,,, you'll use more detergent and have to buy more, more often. No different than shampoo instructions telling you to rinse and repeat.
This

Over the decades we’ve used it all … from Powder, thru Liquids, to Gel Tabs & Tablets

I find the Tablets do the best job … particularly Finish products

When I use / used powders or cheap store brand tabs, I have had to use 2x the amount (in the long run that don’t save you any money … or even necessarily get all the dishes done)

We’ve been Finish Powerball fans now for many years … and seen them thru their various incarnations … as they upgrade the formula and the name (current one is Finish Quantum Ultimate) … before that was Finish Quantum … and before that they used all sorts of adjectives … Ultra, Max etc

I buy all my DW Detergent at Costco … esp Finish products, as I find they have the best price bar none.

Example … Finish Quantum Powerballs … currently on SALE @ $ 15.99 (regularly $ 22.99 )
That’s when I stock up
Works out to $ 15.99 for 100 tablets … which = $ 0.159 each

Hard to beat that price anywhere … if even possible !

EDIT / ADD … for Cascade fans Costco currently has their Platinum Tabs on SALE too @ 17.99 (regularly $ 22.79 )
That works out to $ 17.99 for 92 tabs … which = $ 0.1955 each
Last edited by PointsHubby on Aug 27th, 2021 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
Jun 26, 2019
1993 posts
1723 upvotes
GTA
UrbanPoet wrote: But the generic walmart/generic store brand tablets are half the price.

Right now i’m just using the lower tier cascade lemon scent tablets… $22 for 110
I'm going to give a big vote for Kirkland Signature assuming you or someone you know can go to costco and get them. They are made by the big name brand guys and the same quality, but offered at that cheaper price point.

We switched from the "good" ones to these probably about 7 years ago, and didn't notice a difference and they do a great job.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
8334 posts
4049 upvotes
SW corner of the cou…
l69norm wrote: Otherwise, just toss the extra regular sized tab into the bottom of the machine for the prewash
Could be money down the drain. Some prewash cycles are very short. Just have to know your machine and its cycles.
I smile when I see container ships sailing past my house laden with stuff made in China
Deal Guru
User avatar
Nov 18, 2005
11664 posts
3167 upvotes
Kingston
Look for the cheapest detergent you can find WITH ENZYMES. Consumer Reports' recommendation, not mine. Enzymes are the key to great dishwashing results.

Walmart's brand used to have enzymes (not sure if it still does). Kirkland brand at Costco does.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jun 12, 2007
18590 posts
6029 upvotes
London
PointsHubby wrote: ..
I find the Tablets do the best job … particularly Finish products..
I've had no luck with Finish powerballs . I used 3 boxes of tabs and while the dishes themselves were clean, it eventually left a brown greasy film on the walls of the dishwasher . The film was very difficult to clean. The only thing that worked well cleaning it was the Finish dishwasher cleaner.

The internet says it's caused by the red "powerball" which is Finish's rinse aid. If you also use Jet Dry, the combination seems incompatible. It leaves the greasy brown film

Since going back to Cascade branded tabs, I've had no reoccurrence of the brown residue
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
36156 posts
9420 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
When I had a Bosch dish washer, it recommend Finish Power Ball and Finish Jet Dry Rinse Aid which I was buying from Costco. Like @PointsHubby, I only purchased it when it was on sale. 10 years ago, it was roughly 9.99$ for 120 tablets

However, I found that they scratched my drinking glasses, so I switch to Cascade. Cascade didn’t clean as well, I think the phosphate (yeah, I know it is bad for the environment) in Finish made the difference.

The Finish rinse aid was great.

Fast forward, I eventually moved and got a Miele dish washer and it came with a year supply of Miele dishwashing tabs. I only run my dish washer once a week, so these tablets lasted me 5 years, and they work great. Not knowing how expensive they were, I ordered another year supply from Miele and they charged me a fortune. Turns out these tabs costs 40$ for 60 tabs or 67¢ each. A year supply was 240$ + HST

The rinse aid was more reasonable, it costs 10$ Per bottle, still not as cheap as the Finish stuff which was 4$ when it is on sale 10 years ago. I think they sell for 7.99$ when on sale at Costco now.

I still have some Finish Jet Dry Rinse Aid if anyone wants it. I have several bottles of the Miele, so I don’t need Finish Jet Dry

No charge, just pick it up
Last edited by Gee on Aug 28th, 2021 2:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
22774 posts
21614 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
Gee wrote: When I had a Bosch dish washer, it recommend Finish Power Balland Finish Jet Dry Rinse Aid which I was buying from Costco. Like @PointsHubby, I only purchased it when it was on sale. 10 years ago, it was roughly 9.99$ for 120 tablets

However, I found that they scratched my drinking glasses, so I switch to Cascade. Cascade didn’t clean as well, I think the phosphate (yeah, I know it is bad for the environment) in Finish made the difference.

The Finish rinse aid was great.

Fast forward, I eventually moved and got a Miele dish washer and it came with a year supply of Miele dishwashing tabs. I only run my dish washer once a week, so these tablets lasted me 5 years, and they work great. Not knowing how expensive they were, I ordered another year supply from Miele and they charged me a fortune. Turns out these tabs costs 40$ for 60 tabs or 67¢ each. A year supply was 240$ + HST

The rinse aid was more reasonable, it costs 10$ Per bottle, still not as cheap as the Finish stuff which was 4$ when it is on sale 10 years ago. I think they sell for 7.99$ when on sale at Costco now.

I still have some Finish Jet Dry Rinse Aid if anyone wants it. I have several bottles of the Miele, so I don’t need Finish Jet Dry

No charge, just pick it up
Interesting … ok I think that right there tells me my next DW won’t be a Miele
Now it’s gonna be between my tried & true middle of the road Maytag
Or a step up to Bosch
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
36156 posts
9420 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
PointsHubby wrote: Interesting … ok I think that right there tells me my next DW won’t be a Miele
Now it’s gonna be between my tried & true middle of the road Maytag
Or a step up to Bosch
Don’t get me wrong, I would totally buy another Miele. I am sure you can use Finish or Cascade tabs in the Miele. It just works a lot better with their own tabs. The detergent is a lot milder and doesn’t scratch the dishes. I have a water softener, a little detergent goes a long way.

The Bosch I had was the middle of the pack and it did a decent job cleaning dishes. The Miele does an awesome job and it is so quiet, the only way you know it is running is by touching the door and feeling the heat. The Bosch was quiet, but I know when it is running.

The Miele is assembled by hand and has a lot less electronics than most modern dish washers.

What cemented my decision to buy a Miele was its reputation, but more importantly, my dental hygienist uses an industrial version to sterilize dental instruments.

It wasn’t cheap. I paid ~800$ for the Bosch, the Miele cost 2300$ (After discount), but now I realize that 300$ of that was just in dish tabs

10 year warranty included with registration. My next dishwasher will definitely be another Miele.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 2, 2009
1890 posts
439 upvotes
I quickly pre-rinse the dishes before they go in the dishwasher and we use the kirkland brand. We only run the dishwasher once a week sometimes 2x a week.
Sr. Member
Dec 7, 2009
507 posts
330 upvotes
B-Town
Have been using the Costco Kirkland tabs for a few years and find them as good as the other and cheap too - 115 tablets for about $12.00.

Top