Can Dishwasher Pods Expire? (What to Do and WHY?)
Dishwasher pods are way more convenient than trying to measure and pour a bottle of dishwasher solution into your dishwasher. But have you ever wondered how long dishwasher pods last?
In this article, I’m going to discuss the facts about dishwasher pods, how to tell if they’ve gone bad, and whether or not you can still use them after they’ve expired.
Can dishwasher pods expire?
Yes, dishwasher pods can expire. The average lifespan of a dishwasher pod is 20–24 months, but they may start to lose their effectiveness after 15 months. However, most brands claim that their pods can last a lifetime.
Dishwasher pods are the most effective in removing food stains up until they reach 15 months if stored properly. Dishwasher pods start to lose their effectiveness after 12 or 15 months, but they will still be able to clean dishes.
But the truth is dishwasher pods don’t necessarily go bad. They just become a little bit less effective with age.
How can you tell if a dishwasher pod has gone bad?
One way to tell if a dishwasher pod has gone bad is by looking at its color. If it is discolored or faded, that’s usually a sign that the pod is no longer good.
Another way to tell is by checking the expiration date on the package. If there isn’t an expiration date, that doesn’t necessarily mean the pod will last forever. It just means that the manufacturer didn’t put one on there. In general, dishwasher pods are good for as long as 20 months before their color starts to fade or their whites become slightly off-white and yellow.
Sometimes you can also tell if a dishwasher pod has gone bad by smelling it. If it smells musty or like dirt, then it’s probably not in good condition anymore.
Lastly, if you experience any technical issues with your dishwasher, such as spots on dishes or soap residue left behind, those could be signs that your dishwasher pods have gone bad and need to be replaced.
Do dishwasher pods expire in the same way as other dishwashing detergents?
Dishwasher pods are a cleaner alternative to powder detergent. They were designed to resist limescale buildup and will not cause white patches, streaks, or cloudiness in hard water areas.
Pods are more convenient for consumers than dishwashing detergents because they are measured and less messy.
Pods have surpassed powders, gels, and tabs in terms of effectiveness and freshness.
The main point is that these are all comparable products and they don’t expire differently than other types of dish detergents.
How long do dishwasher pods last before they expire?
Dishwasher pods technically don’t expire. The only thing that might happen is that the pods might start to degrade over time, but they will still be effective in some way. However, according to the manufacturer, dishwasher pods will last anywhere from 12 to 15 months.
Cascade dishwasher detergent pods have been known to last up to 18 months if they are unopened and properly stored in a cool and dry environment. Once opened, they will generally last about a year. Again, this depends on which Cascade product you are using and how often it is used.
The bottom line is that dishwasher pods generally have a long shelf life before they “expire.” However, there may be an indicator on the pod itself that says its time is running out, even if it’s not yet expired.
Are dishwasher pods more likely to expire than other dishwashing detergents?
A dishwasher is a great thing. It helps to cut down on the housework that you have to do and it helps to ensure your dishes are sparkling clean. When it comes to dishwasher pods, they are not going to expire in the way that other products typically do.
With foods that are expired they go bad and you can actually smell that they are bad or tell that they are bad. With something like a dishwasher pod or tablet, they do not go fully bad. Instead, they tend to lose effectiveness over time.
Dishwasher pods and tablets generally have a maximum effectiveness period of about 15 months. Dishwasher liquid on the other hand is effective for about a year up to 18 months.
What can you do with expired dishwasher pods?
How to use expired dishwasher pods
When using expired pods your biggest concern is going to be that they may not dissolve or that they may not work properly. There are a few things you can do to help make sure that they are going to work well and that they are going to work if you do decide to use them.
- Place the pod in the bottom of the dishwasher, not the soap dispenser. This is going to ensure that the pod comes in contact with the hot water and that it has the best chance of dissolving.
- Check your dishwasher both before and after the cycle. You want to check to see what sort of build up might be on your machine before you start the cycle and after it has run. If the dishwasher pods are causing a major issue, you may want to stop using them.
- You can cut them open and place the liquid in the soap dispenser. This is only something that you should do if you are desperate to use up the pods. You can take the detergent that is in the pod and place it in the soap dispenser to help wash your dishes then dispose of the exterior packaging.
- Pay attention to changes with the pod. If you notice that there have been significant changes to the pod, it may be best to just get rid of them and get new ones.
How to throw away expired dishwasher pods
Dishwasher detergent pods are not particularly harmful or dangerous if they are not consumed.
If you do have pods that have gone bad, you can either dissolve them in the sink and flush them down the drain, or you can simply throw them out.
When throwing them out you may want to make sure that they are either in a secure bag or container so that animals do not get them out and try to eat them and so that children do not try to eat them as well.
What are the consequences of using expired dishwasher pods?
Most dishwasher pods and dishwasher detergents do have some measure of disinfecting power.
As the detergent ages, this ability to disinfect your dishes diminishes. With detergent that is old, it is likely not going to properly disinfect your dishes.
Another issue you might run into is a dishwasher pod that does not properly dissolve. The coating may not break down the way that it needs to which can lead to a gunky mess in the bottom of your dishwasher. You might also notice that the detergent is not as effective and does not clean your dishes as well as it should.
These are the major issues that come from using expired detergent pods. They are not going to explode, they are not likely to damage your dishes or dishwasher, but they can be less effective and they do have the potential to make a mess in the bottom of your dishwasher.
Why shouldn’t you use expired dishwasher pods?
The scent will no longer be strong
The scent of dishwasher pods starts to depreciate by about 10 to 20% after each year. The best option is to use a new dishwasher pod rather than an expired one if you really want that strong scent. If you want to store your dishwasher pods for a long time, store them in an airtight container.
Expired dishwasher pods are less effective
While we don’t recommend using expired dishwasher pods, they are safe to use. However, you may notice that they are less effective over time. This is because the detergent will start to cake and leave spots on your dishes that are unclean.
It is wiser to make sure you are using new, rather than older, dishwasher pods because of safety concerns. The expiration date is a guarantee that the dishwasher pods will work as advertised. It’s important to note that these dates aren’t just a suggestion!
Expired dishwasher pods can cause mold and mildew
It’s important to note that expired dishwasher detergent can still go bad. The detergents start losing their effectiveness at around 15 months, which is before they expire.
When the dishwasher detergent expires, it doesn’t remove grease and oils efficiently. This can cause your dishes to not get clean and could lead to the growth of mold and mildew in your dishwasher. In extreme cases, this could also affect your health.
They may not clean your dishes properly
Dishwashing pods work well for both hard and soft water. In houses with hard water, the powder may have a slight benefit over detergent tabs and gel packs. Dishwasher pods are better than powder, gel, and dishwashing detergent tabs.
Hard water causes limescale deposits on glasses, resulting in white patches, streaks, and cloudiness. If your dishes come out dirty or stained after being washed in the dishwasher, it is likely that you have hard water.
You can try using a dishwasher pod instead of regular detergent to see if that helps.
They can cause excessive sudsing
Dishwasher detergent pods have become popular because they’re easy to use and can be tossed in the dishwasher without measuring.
However, even pods will cause detergent buildup if not used correctly. This buildup can lead to excessive sudsing and potential fires or electrocutions. So before you toss that pod in the dishwasher, make sure you’re using it correctly!
How to store dishwasher pods for a longer shelf life?
When it comes to storing dishwasher pods for maximum shelf life you want to follow the rule that applies to most foods and other products. Keep your pods in a cool and dry place and avoid direct light if you can.
Since they are rather gelatinous, you may also want to take them out of the container that they come in if it is not air tight and switch them to an air tight container. This is going to keep the pods from drying out. You also want to avoid storing them in a place where there is going to be extreme temperature fluctuations.
Which detergent is best for dishwashers?
When it comes to dishwasher detergent, most experts say that liquid detergent or powder is better for your machine than pods.
The reason being that the pods do take a long time to dissolve and the outer coating can cause a build up or a clog in your machine if they are not dissolving properly. A way to avoid this is to put the dishwasher pods in the bottom of the machine instead of in the soap dispenser.
With any machine, it is always best to choose the detergent that works best for your particular machine. You can always follow the manufacturer suggestion.