Review: Method Smarty Dish

by Wendy Copley on April 22, 2010


I’ve been meaning to write a review of Method’s Smarty Dish dishwasher soap for quite a while but I haven’t managed to get around to it until today.

And what better day is there than Earth Day to review an environmentally responsible cleaning product?

OK, there are probably lots of days that would work fine, but since today is Earth Day, I felt it was appropriate. But first, I feel like you should hear the back story.

My husband hates dishwasher soap.

Yes. You read that right — he hates dishwasher detergent. He thinks it all stinks and most brands make him sneeze and give him itchy eyes. Honestly, I can’t blame him for hating it. As the primary grocery shopper in our family, I’ve probably purchased  just about every brand of dishwasher soap available in a regular grocery store and it all affected him the same way. And then, after a while, I started sneezing and getting watery eyes when the dishwasher was running too. Now, part of this is probably caused by our ancient dishwasher — it occasionally leaks and I’m not sure how great the seal is on it — but that doesn’t change the fact that we were really bothered every time the dishwasher was on. And if the soap was having that effect on us, I didn’t even want to know what it was doing to the tiny little lungs of my toddler and his asthmatic older brother!


I started looking around for a more environmentally and people friendly dishwasher detergent. The first three I tried were total failures: one bothered us as much as the conventional detergents, one left a gritty white residue and didn’t get the food off the dishes and one made our eyes sting, failed to clean the dishes and left soap on the dishes. Marvelous.

I complained bitterly to a friend about it one day (in a very stereo-typical house-wifey moment) and she told someone she knew at Method who then kindly sent me a package of Smarty Dish tablets to test.

I tried them immediately and guess what — THEY WORKED! My dishes were clean, my husband didn’t complain about the smell, and no ones eyes watered when they got too close to the dishwasher.



First and foremost — they don’t make us feel sick! And my husband has stopped complaining every time the dishwasher runs (which is every day). Yay! Yay for a non-complaining, non-sick husband!

I also like that they come in a little tablet because I’m lazy and it makes it easy and fast to get the dishwasher started when a toddler is trying to grab the soap out of my hands. Let’s see…no phosphates, no bleach, and no other nasty chemmies so they’re not horrible for the environment. I already said that they clean our dishes, right? That’s expected with a dishwashing soap but considering how poorly the other green detergents worked, I think it’s worth mentioning.

And finally, the French translation of the flavor I use (pink grapefruit) is “pamplemousse rose” which is extremely fun to say.



It’s kind of pricey. The Method website shows a list price of $6.50 for 20 tablets. Ouch! I buy mine at Target for $4.99 for 20 which is better, but still feels a little expensive to me. It’s worth it to avoid breathing potentially toxic fumes though.

The other con is that it can be hard to find Smarty Dish. The only place I’ve ever seen it is Target and often they’re out of it. I’ve started buying two or three packages at a time because I never know when I’m going to be able to get my hands on some.

Disclosure: I wasn’t paid to write this blog post, but I’m so enthusiastic about this dishwasher detergent (of all things!) that it probably sounds like I was. I did receive two bags of the soap from Method so I could try it out. Since then I’ve probably bought at least eight bags, so I think that proves I’m not a pawn of Method. I also received some baby products, but the only one I’ve used is the shampoo which I like because it makes my kids smell like giant rice crispy treats. I bought some more of that too. Don’t fine me a million dollars — OK FTC?

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  • madebymegs

    I have never heard of Method dishwasher soap before. I will for sure make a run to the States to pick this up. $4.99 for 20 is not bad at all, especially if it works as much as you say it does. Thanks for the review, you might now have changed my mind completely on the good ole dishwasher I have in my home 🙂

  • That's good to know, although I don't have to worry about this. Not that I am not bothered by smells and such, we don't have a dishwasher, except me that is! I do use method and other environmentally and people friendly dish soaps, you know it has to be gentle on your hands too, lol!

  • Erin L.

    I believe Method is Targets brand and only sold at Target. I'll have to give it a try.

  • Adriane

    I have been using the Method grapefruit dishwasher detergent for quite awhile and have been very happy with it… Just sayin' = )

  • Did you try the NatureClean brand? I do have a new dishwasher so I haven’t had a problem with clean dishes using that brand so I’m curious as to what other brands you’ve tried. 

  • Starr 42

    This stuff is awesome! I would get it more if it wasn’t so expensive :/

  • We bought a house with an old dishwasher and haven’t been able to replace it yet. While I’d used powdered or tablet detergents in the past, I found that they randomly left white powder residue on quite a few dishes, regardless of how much (or rather, how little) I tried using. I looked for brands I recognized as earth-friendly. I settled on Seventh Generation Automatic Dishwasher Gel, and I love it. My dishes come out clean, and I don’t feel like my kitchen is filling up with chemicals when I use it. Also, the bottle seems to last forever, as I control how much is used each time. On a side note, I haven’t tried Method dishwashing products, but I do love their unscented handsoap, and the refills come in one of those nifty “bags.”

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