I didn’t realize just how big of a hoarder I was until I deep-cleaned my kitchen! And then, before me, were piles of cleaning products, condiments, and utensils that hadn’t been used for a long time.
It was quite tedious to decipher which items could still be used and which had expired. One such confusing item was dishwasher pods that I hadn’t used for over a year.
I wondered if I could still use them. After all, who would want to throw away perfectly good dishwasher pods, right? Do Dishwasher Pods Expire? Let’s Find out!
Do Dishwasher Pods Expire?
Do dishwasher pods expire? Yes, they do! Generally, dishwasher pods expire in fifteen months. But, even below this limit, their effectiveness tends to diminish after four months of being manufactured.
If you have found unused dishwasher pods, like me, continue reading this guide and decide if you want to give the pods a go or whether you would prefer to discard them!
Do Cascade Dishwasher Pods Expire?
According to the manufacturers of cascade pods, the product can be effectively used for up to seventeen months. You can also check the date of expiry on the pods to confirm whether they are safe to use.
However, my experience with cascade pods has been quite different from what the manufacturers market. Since I usually buy my dishwasher pods in bulk to avoid repetitive runs to the store, once I was stuck with cascade pods that were eight months old.
What I noticed was that the pods had turned noticeably yellow! And when I discussed it with my friend, he told me that his pods also turned a shade of brown after nine months.
Do dishwasher pods expire when they turn yellow? While I may not know the exact science behind the expiry of a product, I am sure that if something changes its colors, it surely is not as effective as it once was.
Sustainable Cleaning: Are Cascade pods environmentally friendly?
I was alarmingly shocked when I learned how certain cleaning products we use are dangerous to the environment. This includes detergents and pods as well! This is because most detergents are equipped with phosphate, which causes the growth of algae and a lack of oxygen in streams and lakes.
This is why I was very careful when selecting my household items to at least minimize my footprint on the environment. This led me to cascade pods. It turns out that the company strives for sustainable practices and offers eco-friendly products.
Here is how cascade pods are environmentally friendly:
- The manufacturing process produces no waste, thereby reducing pollution.
- The pods are made from recyclable material to ensure sustainability.
- The cascade products are devoid of dyes, chlorine, and phosphates.
- The packaging can be recycled and is sustainable to reduce the impact on the environment.
Are dishwasher pods eco-friendly?
Just an important question as “do dishwasher pods expire?” is knowing whether or not are all dishwasher pods eco-friendly. Unfortunately, a generalized statement about all the dishwasher pods out there cannot be made.
While some of them are eco-friendly, like cascade pods, others are not. This all boils down to the type of manufacturing practices that are employed to make the pods, the ingredients that go into them, and the amount of energy required for the process.
For starters, if the ingredients are biodegradable, then the product is eco-friendly. But, if it contains things like phosphate, then it is not.
Not to mention that pods are usually made from polyvinyl alcohol, which is a type of plastic that does not completely break down unless it goes through a water treatment plant. So, if you don’t use the city sewer, using such pods might expose you to certain chemicals.
The Pods Persist: What causes dishwasher pods to not dissolve?
Dishwasher pods are made to easily dissolve in the dishwasher, thereby releasing the chemicals required to remove the stubborn stains. However, at times, the pods refuse to dissolve! Do dishwasher pods expire when they stop dissolving? Not necessarily!
There are various conditions under which a dishwasher pod may not liquefy (none of which are the fault of the pods!).
The water in the dishwasher is not appropriately hot:
As a pro-tip, keep the temperature between 120 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal dissolving. Check the present thermostat to see whether the dishwasher isn’t heating up properly.
The inlet valve is faulty
The role of the water inlet is to open and allow the water to enter the dishwasher. If it malfunctions and doesn’t let enough water come in, the pods will remain solid.
Blockage of the dispenser door
The dispenser door opens to release the dishwasher pods into the water. If it doesn’t operate properly, the pods will not be able to touch the water, hence remaining intact.
Ineffective circulation pump and spray arm
The pump helps in circulating water throughout the dishwasher. If it is faulty, the dishwasher won’t function properly. Similarly, if the spray arm is broken, it won’t spin around for the water to be distributed. This would translate to the pod not mixing properly with the water and remaining intact.
So, if your dishwasher pods refuse to lose their shape, know they are not to blame!
The Solution: What to do if dishwasher pods are not dissolving?
If your dishwasher pods are not dissolving, try to pinpoint the problem.
To check the temperature, you can use either an external thermostat or the internal pre-installed equipment to identify the dishwasher’s temperature when it is on. If the temperature isn’t ideal, you need to replace the dishwasher’s heating element.
You can check to see if the inlet valve is faulty by running a cycle on the dishwasher and checking the amount of water left once the cycle is over. If there is water at the bottom, then you need to seek help from a repairman to replace the inlet valve.
In case the dispenser door is blocked, restack the dishes inside the dishwasher properly. If this doesn’t help, then the problem might lie with the door itself. You will need to get it replaced.
For faults in the pump and spray arm, you need to observe the dishwasher during its cycle to see if water is being circulated properly or if the spray has any debris stuck in it. If either component is damaged, you will need the help of a professional to install them. Trust me; you don’t want to do that complicated task on your own and mess up your dishwasher in the process!
Can dishwasher pods go bad?
Don’t fall into false advertising that proclaims that certain dishwasher pods don’t go bad for a lifetime! Even if they don’t outright expire, dishwasher pods tend to lose their effectiveness down a few months. And sometimes, it is possible for them to go bad before their expiration date.
Do dishwasher pods expire before their expiry date? The question seems like a classic paradox, right? Well, I define expiry as when something is not properly doing its function. So, for me, yes, my dishwasher pods have expired before the final date written on the packaging.
As mentioned above, this happened when my cascade pods started changing these colors when they still had a few good months left in them! So, yes, dishwasher pods can go bad.
It’s hard to let go: Can I use old dishwasher pods?
As someone who hates throwing away unopened products, I understand your plight. It is only natural if you want to use your old dishwasher pods. But, I would recommend you not to. I did it once, and the outcome was just not worth it.
Here is why you are better off without using your old dishwasher pods.
They are not effective
As I mentioned in the beginning, dishwasher pods become less and less effective with every passing month, starting from three months.
If you use old dishwasher pods, they won’t do a good job of cleaning your dishes and utensils. This means you will need more washing cycles for the job, leading to increased energy and dishwasher usage.
They can lose their shape
Now, this will only occur if your old dishwasher pods have not been stored safely. If your pods have been placed somewhere where they have been exposed to things that have damaged their structural integrity, then this will further impact their efficiency.
They won’t leave a nice scent behind
An added benefit of using quality dishwasher pods is that they leave your dishes smelling great. However, it turns out that the scent of a pod is also correlated to how old it is. The older a given pod is, the lesser scent it has.
Can I Store Dishwasher Pods For A Long Time?
If the answer to Do dishwasher pods expire? is that they do after a year, then you might wonder if it is okay to maximize the use of the pods by storing them for up to a year? Yes, you can store dishwasher pods for a long time if you are careful about the temperature requirements and ensure the product’s structural integrity. The maximum you can store the pods is up till the date of their expiration (or less if they go yellow before this date comes).
How to check if the dishwasher pod has gone bad?
There are three physical signs that will help you ascertain that a dishwasher pod is not unusable.
The pods turn yellow
From my own cascade experience, I know that this is a problem with cascade pods. I am sure this discoloration occurs in other brands as well. As a general rule, if the pod is yellow, throw it out.
The pods turn brown
Just like my friends’ pods, if yours turn brown, then they are officially expired. Usually, fairy pods turn this shade when they have gone bad.
The pods get moldy
I cringe as I write this, but there are certain pods that form mold on them when they get bad. This is most likely to occur due to being stored at the wrong temperature. Naturally, a moldy pod needs to go!
Tips for longevity: How to store dishwasher pods for a long time?
If you are hell-bent on storing your dishwasher pods for as long as possible, let’s start with what you shouldn’t do. Don’t be like me and hoard them in an overly cramped closet and forget about their existence till your cleaning spree. Not one of my finest moments, I agree.
Instead, what you should do is:
- Store them at room temperature so that they don’t form mold or change color prematurely.
- Don’t put them with natural elements that might threaten the pods’ structural integrity.
- Use them properly and as prescribed. Any rough usage might reduce their longevity.
Wrapping Up: Let the dishwashing begin!
Who would have thought extensive research would be required to appropriately use a bunch of dishwasher pods? But, considering how important the role of the product is in the overall cleanliness of our dishes, and hence our hygiene, I am not complaining!
If I lost you for a bit somewhere in the middle, here is a summary of the guide.
Is It True That Dishwasher Pods Tend To Expire?
Yes, they usually expire after at most 15 months. The exact date may vary from brand to brand, and the date is generally written on the product. Even before this expiry date, pods start becoming ineffective after a few months.
To know whether a dishwashing pod has gone bad, check its color to see if it is yellow, brown, or moldy. If yes, throw it away. If the product is old (but still has a few months left before its expiry), you are still better off by not using it, as old dishwashing pods don’t clean well or leave a good scent behind.
Now, you are ready to form your own judgment about the state of your dishwashing pods.
If you are beginning to wonder about elements of the dishwashing experience, read some of my other guides for guidance. I hope you have a fun cleaning day!