What Kind of Detergent Should I Use in My Bosch Dishwasher?

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Using the correct kind of detergent in your Bosch dishwasher goes a long way toward the longevity of the machine and the cleanliness of your dishes. With so many options available in stores, it can be difficult to know whether to use a gel, powder, or dishwasher tab.

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Want to get the best detergent for your Bosch dishwasher? Here's what to know.

Dishwasher Detergent Basics

Most dishwasher detergents use bleach and enzymes to clean your dishes and make them look refreshed and sparkling. Enzymes work to power through stuck-on food, while bleach removes stains. Powder and tab (or pack) detergents contain both of these ingredients.

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Gel detergents, however, often don't contain both bleach and enzymes, since the two cannot coexist in a liquid form without reacting. As a result, gels don't work as well for many dishwashers, including those made by Bosch.

Tip

No matter which detergent you choose, you should always be sure to store it properly. Keep detergent away from moisture and dispose of old or lumpy detergent. Keep in mind that the harder your water, the more detergent you'll need.

Which Type of Detergent Is Best for a Bosch Dishwasher?

Tabs or Packs

Dishwasher tabs are the most effective detergent for Bosch dishwashers. While usually the most expensive variety of dish detergent at 10 to 41 cents per load, dishwasher tabs or packs tend to work the best because they contain enzymes and they have a premeasured amount of detergent. This could be a drawback, however, if you need more or less detergent due to hard or soft water.

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Powder

Powder detergents are ideal for homes with hard water since they help fight limescale deposits and subsequent streaking or cloudiness. Some dishwashers, including those by Bosch, contain built-in water softeners, so the sort of detergent you choose is less critical. However, the company does recommend powder detergents for many of their machines. Hard water can also be combated with supplemental finishing solutions, such as Lemi Shine. Typically, powder detergents are moderately priced, at 10 to 30 cents per load.

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Gel Detergents Can Be Problematic

Gel detergents don't function as well for heavy loads in a Bosch dishwasher due to their chemical makeup. However, they do cost just 5 to 11 cents per load. That gives gels an advantage over powder or pack detergents, which cost more than four times as much, in some instances.

If your dishwasher specifically recommends the use of gel detergents, you should proceed with them. Otherwise, you're better off relying on other varieties for the cleanest dishes. GE dishwashers, for instance, recommend many varieties of detergent, depending on the model, but don't suggest the use of gels.

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