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Best Dishwasher Detergent For Hard Water

Living with hard water can be a chore. That’s why we set out to find the best dishwasher detergent to deal with hard water stains. Most dish washer detergents don’t do much to deal well with hard water spots and limescale buildup. We researched online for the most effective and best detergents to use in your dishwasher and found that Cascade Platinum ActionPacs with Clorox were the most effective at cleaning dishes and dealing with hard water stains. A reasonable runner up was the Finish Quantum Max Powerball dishwasher detergent. If you have particularly difficult hard water problems you may need to supplement your dishwashing arsenal from time to time. For this we highly recommend Finish Power Up Booster Agent as an addition for tackling extra hard water problems. This product is specifically designed to knock out limescale buildup. Continue reading to learn more about our picks and dishwashing detergents.
best dishwasher detergent for hard water

Our Top Pick:

Cascade Platinum ActionPacs with the Power of Clorox Dishwasher Detergent

Cascade Platinum ActionPacs with Clorox are our number one pick. Our research found that reviewers and customers generally rank Cascade as the best dish washing detergent and the Platinum ActionPacs with Clorox as the best that Cascade offers. This particular product from cascade is highly praised by those with hard water for helping to eliminate spotting. Since it is a more powerful dish washing detergent be sure and read all precautions as you don’t want to put some items that may not react well to the harshness. For most items you’ll have no issues and should end up with far better results than the detergent you’re currently using.

Runner Up:

Finish Quantum Max Powerball Dishwasher Detergent

Finish is a very popular and well respected brand and the Finish Quantum Max Powerball Dishwasher Detergent is their top of the line product. It does a very good job of cleaning and preventing spotting based on customer feedback. It did have more negative feedback than the Cascade Platinum ActionPacs with Clorox and for that reason we bumped it to second place. If for some reason you can’t find the Cascade ActionPacs then the Finish Quantum is a great alternative choice.

Worth Considering:

Finish Power Up Booster Agent

Dishwashers vary in their abilities so a dish washing detergent may not be able to do the job all on its own. That’s where the Finish Power Up Booster Agent comes in. It’s a booster you add to the prewash bin in your dishwasher and it helps clean the hard water stains and buildup off your dishes.

One thing to keep in mind is that the prewash bin in dishwashers are not manufactured to a standard size so it may not be large enough for the proper amount of booster agent. The directions suggest an alternative method of measuring out 2 tablespoons of the booster into the bottom of the dishwasher. If your prewash bin won’t hold 2 tablespoons we recommend going this route.

Additional Information:

Things To Keep In Mind

How to remove hard water stains from glasses in a dishwasher?

The buildup you see on your glasses is called limescale. If you’re having trouble with this buildup and dishwasher detergents or other products aren’t helping, you can try soaking your glasses in vinegar. Vinegar is a light acid and will break down the limescale and leave your glasses looking fantastic.

Which type of dishwashing detergent is best?


Powdered detergents are reasonably powerful and do a good job of getting your dishes clean but they are typically more expensive than gels and similar to pouch products.


Gels typically perform the worst out of the bunch. They are inexpensive but you don’t get your money’s worth for their performance in our opinion. If you’re looking for a good detergent we recommend at least stepping up to a powdered product.

Pouches or Tabs

One of the benefits of pouches or tablets is that they are pre-measured so you don’t need to worry about not using enough or wasting any by using too much. Also, these pre measured packages perform better than both powders and gels. Fortunately they typically cost about the same as powders. We recommend these packs over the other two options on the market.

What is the correct way to put silverware in the dishwasher?

In general silverware should be put into the silverware basket with the handles facing up to protect your hands from getting poked or cut. If your utensil bin is starting to get crowded then flipping your spoons so that they are handle side down is a great option to help free up some space.

Other Resources:

Helpful Links

Wrapping Up:

Best Dish Washer Detergent For Preventing Hard Water Spots

Hard water really makes a mess of dishes and if you have particularly hard water you can end up with glassware that ends up looking more like china than glass due to insane levels of buildup. Fortunately we found the best dishwasher detergent for dealing with hard water stains is Cascade Platinum ActionPacs with Clorox. Customers generally found it worked wonders for them and we’re sure it will do the same for you too. We hope this article has been enlightening and solved your hard water dilemma. Good luck!

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