Do Dishwasher Pods Clog Drains?

Curious if dishwasher pods can lead to drain clogs?

Discover if the dishwasher pods cause drain clogs and how to avoid them. Find out if dishwasher pods will likely clog drains and the steps to prevent any issues.

The direct answer is revealed: dishwasher pods generally don’t clog drains when used correctly. Following the manufacturer’s guidelines is the best practice to avoid clogs.

Read on to understand why and learn essential tips for a worry-free experience.

Do Dishwasher Pods Cause Drain Problems?

While some dishwasher pods are harmless, others can clog drain lines. The inlet valve may be faulty if the water temperature is too low. To fix this problem, call a qualified repair technician. If the water inlet valve is cracked, you can check the temperature entering the dishwasher. 

The temperature must be 120 to 160°F to dissolve the detergent pods. Otherwise, the dishwasher won’t clean the dishes. The water temperature is faulty if the dishwasher can’t reach this temperature. 

If you suspect a malfunction, check the inlet valve for an external or internal temperature sensor.

Dishwasher pods contain the chemical Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), a water-soluble synthetic polymer. They prevent the overloading of machines by containing detergent. 

What Happens to the Plastic on Dishwasher Pods?

Dishwasher detergent packs are made of a plastic material called Polyvinyl alcohol, a water-soluble synthetic polymer. The outer coating prevents the detergent packs from sticking together and displacing water. 

The plastic remains in good condition after use. The plastic may not dissolve in water at all. However, some dishwasher pods do not use a wrapper or plastic. Regardless of what kind of detergent you buy, follow the directions on the container. Doing so will prevent the plastic from clogging the drainpipes.

The water temperature has decreased if you notice the plastic flakes separating from the dishwasher detergent. This can be a sign that the heating element has gone wrong. To fix this, consult a qualified technician.

Are Pods or Liquid Detergent Better for a Dishwasher?

Pods and liquid dishwasher detergents are both environmentally friendly and offer many benefits for consumers. These smaller-sized products are easy to carry and store. 

They dissolve completely in hot or cold water and do not leave residue behind. Unlike liquid detergent, which may cause a mess, pods are easy to use and come at various prices.

Detergents contain many dangerous ingredients, including fragrances, colorings, and surfactants. Surfactants lower the surface tension of water and enhance cleaning power. In addition, pods may be harmful to pets.

However, some disadvantages of pods outweigh the advantages. Dishwasher pods are less expensive per load but do not provide the cleaning power of the best liquid detergents.

Are Dishwasher Pods Bad for the Dishwasher?

If you’ve been using dishwashing detergent powder for years, you might wonder if you should switch to dishwasher pods. Pods dissolve quickly in the dishwasher and are highly effective at removing food stains. 

While dishwasher pods work well on most traditional dishes, there are some drawbacks.

  • They may not clean as well as a newer, more effective dishwasher pad; older pods will not work as well as you’d like. 
  • The scent can also degrade over a year, so you must buy the best dishwasher pods for the best results. When choosing the dishwasher cleaning product, remember that the price tag should not be the only concern.
  • Pods contain PVA, a chemical that can pollute water. Dishwasher detergent is in plastic bottles, which cannot be recycled or reused, and once they are empty, they are discarded. 
  • And because detergent is highly concentrated, it can also be toxic to small children. This is because given that many pods look like candy or sweets.

Are Cascade Pods Bad for Your Dishwasher?

The main culprit is that they do not dissolve properly in water. Dishwashers with high water levels and long washing cycles should use the proper method for removing and dissolving cascade pods

Pods are generally better than liquid detergents because they dissolve faster and leave less buildup. However, liquid detergents are less effective than pods and are not ideal for areas with hard water. 

They have different levels of cleaning agents in their formulas. Some contain more bleach, while others are free from it. 

Cascade pod is bleach-free. To avoid any possible buildup, you must use the proper temperature for the detergent to dissolve and disperse properly in your dishwasher.

Also, to discover what will happen using expired Cascade dishwasher pods, read our article “Do Dishwasher Pods Expire? | Cascade Dishwasher Pods.”

Do Tide Pods Damaged Washing Machines?

Tide pods are convenient laundry detergents used in a washing machine. They are pre-measured to prevent the mess of measuring detergent. Some work with either warm or cold water

When used in a standard top-load washing machine, detergent pods can cause a film to form because of too much water content. 

These suds interfere with the tumbling action of HE washers and reduce soil removal. In addition, the excess suds leave a residue that is difficult to rinse. However, compared to traditional liquid detergents, Tide Pods are environmentally friendly.

Does Liquid Soap Clog Drains?

To find out if liquid soap clogs your drain, you need to know the cause of the clog. Liquid soap clogs drain when it contains grease and other substances that clog the pipes. These chunks accumulate over time and build up to a larger blockage. 

However, studies haven’t been able to verify these claims, but there have been a few horror stories about liquid soap-clogged drains.

Liquid soap clogs dishwasher drains by also combining with human hair. Human hair naturally falls out of the drain during bathing or shaving, so when this mixture combines with liquid soap, it forms a thick film. 

This thick layer sticks to the drain pipes, decreasing the available water flow space. However, you can try boiling water to unclog your drain.


Dishwasher pods are not recommended for front-loading machines because they cause streaks and spots on the laundry. Therefore, you should only use them in top-loading washers. They don’t work very well for front-loading machines. 

For best results, use detergent pods on the highest load capacity setting, as these allow the clothes to move freely. Be sure to avoid heat; the detergent can be challenging to remove when the machine is hot. Place pods in a sealed container for storage purposes.

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