The TikTok Dishwashing Upgrade You Need To Try

TikTok can be a great resource for tips and tricks of all sorts, and there's one dishwashing hack in particular right now that has people raving over how clean their dishes are getting. Counter to standard operating procedure, TikTok user @madsrmoore's hack involves NOT putting your dishwasher pod in its usual slot, and tossing it in with the dishes in the body of the machine instead.

Dishwashers revolutionized housework when they became popular in households of the 1950s — even though IEEE Spectrum explains that the basic modern design utilizing water pressure to clean dishes was patented all the way back in 1886 — but even then people complained of an occasional soapy residue on their clean dishes. Since then, the convenience of dishwashers can't be denied, but the question persists: How do you get the dishes sparkling and spotlessly clean with just one run through the dishwasher? For decades, companies have formulated and reformulated dishwasher soap and have packaged it in pods, packets, bars, and plain liquids. However, the difference-maker might not be the type of dishwasher soap used in your machine, but where you put it.

How to best add dishwashing detergent

According to this viral TikTok #CleanTok trend, there's a better way to run your dishwasher. It turns out, liquid dishwasher detergent is meant to go in the provided dispenser. The convenient detergent pods, however, are not. Only those machines with dispensers or settings specifically designed for pods should see the pods put in dispensers (via Allrecipes). This is because the gel coating that encases the pods can clog your machine if they don't dissolve correctly, which is particularly likely if you handle the pod with wet hands or the dispenser itself is wet when you put the pod in. Obviously, a clogged dishwasher isn't going to get your dishes clean and could lead to costly leaks and repairs.

The TikTok video instead indicates that pods should be placed in the body of the machine, all the way at the bottom, underneath the racks. Another option is to place the pod in the flatware holder. However, it should be noted that if you elect to put liquid detergent in the dispenser, as shown in the video, use an actual dishwasher detergent and not one meant for hand-washing dishes as the user does here, as the dishwasher liquid is designed not to harm the machine, per Whirlpool. In either case, though, proponents of this method claim their dishes are cleaner than ever, which certainly makes it worth a shot at least.

Your dishwasher may vary

Of course, dishwashers vary greatly by manufacturer and age, so particularly old dishwashers may not have a place specified for pods, but newer ones are much more likely to. After all, detergent pods, with their greater convenience, have risen significantly in popularity over the traditional liquid detergent options. Check your dishwasher, and if possible, read the manual (if you no longer have the owner's manual for your dishwasher, try Google. Many manuals can be found online with the make and model of your appliance).

Chances are, your dishwasher manufacturer has specified the exact type of detergent (and placement thereof) that will procure the best results in your machine. That doesn't mean you can't try the newest TikTok trick, though, because some are undoubtedly ingenious and innovative in ways that the manufacturers never considered. But when it comes to an appliance's intended use, it's more than likely that your best practices will be provided in the manual. As lifestyle blog One Good Thing by Jillee notes, the manual will also show you how to load your dishwasher correctly, and what you should and shouldn't be putting inside. You might even learn about some features you hadn't realized were there.