Can Dishwasher Pods Go Bad? + How To Store Them Properly?

Image of a woman checking dishwashing quality

Buying dishwasher pods in bulk can be a great idea when you’re on a budget. You can store them for a long time, but can dishwasher pods go bad?

Dishwasher pods can’t go bad. However, they will lose some of their effectiveness after the expiration date. Usually, the dishwasher pods can last between 6 to 15 months without losing their effectiveness. You can still use pods past their expiration date as long as you have stored them properly.

Let’s look at what happens to dishwasher pods after their expiration date and the few factors that affect how long the pods can last.

When Do Dishwasher Pods Go Bad?

Stored properly, dishwasher pods can last about 6 to 15 months, depending on the type. Some can even last up to 2 years. As long as they’re stored well, you should have no issues with your pods.

Dishwasher pods consist of a detergent with some added enzymes. This makes it hard for bacteria or other molds to grow on them. So, it’s highly unlikely that your pod can start a colony of microorganisms.

Having said that, some fungi can survive in harsh conditions. If the pod has soaked up enough moisture, the fungi can multiply. This can happen, but it’s very rare.

Most products on the market have an expiration date printed on the label. Usually, it’s a guideline to tell you when it’s safe to use a product. But in the case of dishwasher pods, it’s safe to use after the expiration date.

So if pods don’t go bad, why do they have an expiration date? As we’ve discussed, dishwasher pods contain enzymes.

Enzymes are living organisms, and they don’t live forever. They’re the part of the pod that’s responsible for getting out tough stains from pans.

As time passes, the enzyme count in the dishwasher pod will decrease, but slowly. How effective the pod is will depend on how high the enzyme level is. The lower the enzyme count, the less effective the pod will be at doing its job.

The expiration date on dishwasher pods tells us when the enzyme count is too low for them to be reliable. They’ll still work, just not as well.

If you’re worried your dishwasher pods have gone bad, you have to look at a few factors:

  • Type of pod.
  • Storage. and
  • Pod shelf life.

Recommended Further Reading: Why Dishwashers Take So Long? | Can Dishwashers Catch Fire? | Is A Dishwasher Water-Efficient? | Is A Dishwasher Worth It?

Popular Dishwasher Pods

There are many dishwasher pods on the market, and each brand makes theirs in a different way.

Some use enzymes that can survive for a long time. Others just use a high concentration of enzymes.

Some of the most popular dishwasher pods are:

1. Seventh Generation Free & Clear Dishwasher Pods

The Seventh Generation pods are popular for many reasons. They’re cruelty-free, dye-free, and plant-based. They’re made of sustainable materials that are great for the environment and your plates.

It can cut through grease without needing the hottest setting in your dishwasher. Seventh Generation wraps each pod on its own; then, they’re all placed in a resealable bag for easy storage.

They also have one of the longest shelf lives. If you store them properly, these pods can last up to 2 years.

Are Seventh Generation Dishwasher Pods Effective?

Most people think that when you make a product sustainable, it loses some of its potency.

That’s not the case with the Seventh Generation pods. They work just as well and sometimes better than other dishwasher pods.

2. Dapple Baby Fragrance-Free Dishwasher Pacs

If you have a baby, you know the stinky smell that formula can leave behind. It can linger for days, and after a while, it starts to smell funky.

Many parents choose to use the Dapple pods. This is because they’re excellent at getting out milk residue.

They’re also baby-safe, which means you can use them on anything your baby puts in their mouth. You can use them with bottles, pacifiers, and teething toys.

However, they can be on the more expensive side. Compared to other dishwasher pods, they have a fairly short shelf life of about 6 to 12 months.

Can You Use Dapple Baby Dishwasher Pods for Normal Dishes?

Yes, they work just as well for all dishes. You can use them like you would any other pod with all your dishes, but it can get expensive to use them on a daily basis.

3. Cascade Platinum Plus Actionpacs

Cascade offers a wide variety of pods. Some remove burn marks, while others are for everyday use. To keep things interesting, they come with a couple of different fragrances.

If you have hard water at home, you know how annoying water spots can be. Cascade pods do a great job of removing water spots, and you should get a sparkling plate every time.

Can Cascade Dishwasher Pods Go Bad?

Cascade pods have a shelf life of about 18 months. They don’t go bad; they only lose some of their ability to remove stains.

You can use a pod past its expiration date as long as the packaging is intact.

How To Store Dishwasher Pods?

Dishwasher pod storage

Dishwasher pods are like soap; they need water to activate. When they’re dry, the enzymes are dormant. After you hydrate the enzymes, they can start doing their job.

Most pods come in individually wrapped packages. Manufacturers make these packages out of water-soluble plastic, meaning they dissolve in water.

They do this to make using the pods easier. You just add it to the dishwasher, and as soon as the packaging comes in contact with water, it’ll break apart, and the pod inside will activate.

Once you hydrate a pod, it’ll only remain active for an hour. After that, the enzymes will stop working.

If you live in an especially humid area, dishwasher pods can even draw moisture from the air. Humidity can affect the shelf life of pods greatly. Water vapor can diffuse through the packaging and activate the pod.

So when storing your dishwasher pods, make sure to keep them far away from water. It’s also best to keep them in an air-tight container, so they can’t absorb moisture from the air.

Interesting Further Reading: All Dishwashers Are Of The Same Size? | Is A Bosch Dishwasher Good? | Is A Dishwasher Hardwired? | Why Are Dishwashers So Expensive? | Do Freezers Defrost Themselves?

Shelf Life Of Dishwasher Pods

The older the pod gets, the less effective it will be, no matter how well you store it. The enzymes in the detergent will break down over time.

Before the expiration date, you can be sure that the enzyme level is high enough to get all your dishes clean. After the expiration date, it’s kind of a guessing game.

A couple of days, or even weeks, after the expiration date should be fine. Once you get over a month past the expiration date, you’ll start to notice a difference. The dishes won’t be as shiny, and you may get more water spots.

To get the best result from an expired pod, pre-soak your dishes before popping them in the dishwasher.

The enzymes don’t only work on stains; they also work on bacteria. So every time you use a dishwasher pod after it expires, you risk bacteria growing in your dishwasher.

Dishwasher pods do work after their expiration date, but it’s always best to get a fresh pack of pods.