I Tried Those Magical Pods That Are Supposed to Clean Your Pots in Just 10 Minutes

updated Aug 19, 2020
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Pile of dirty dishes in kitchen sink
Credit: Justin Paget/Getty Images

I am a firm believer in the power of dish soap, a sponge, and hot water. I find that this mighty trio can clean almost anything. And for the things it can’t clean, there’s bleach. Technically, bleach is a disinfectant and not a cleaner, but my point still stands: When it comes to cleaning (and disinfecting), you don’t need a lot to get the job done.

So when Kitchn’s Lifestyle Director asked me to review the “magical” Green Grab Natural Cookware & Bakeware Cleaner Pods that promised to get my pots clean in 10 minutes — no elbow grease required! — I was skeptical. No, let me be totally honest: I did not want to like these cleaning pods. And that’s despite the fact that I happen to really love the dishwasher detergent from the same brand.

For starters, I hate the word “natural” because it really doesn’t mean anything. It implies that it’s “good,” but natural isn’t always good — and I don’t mean effective. What I mean is that things that occur in nature can be just as dangerous as man-made “chemicals.” What’s more, the way “natural” cleaners work is still through a “chemical” reaction. 

I also hated the idea of spending $20 on an extra cleaner, even though $20 got me 4 packs of 15 pods. In other words, each pod was just 30 cents. Finally, I didn’t really love the scent: Tangerine-Lemongrass sounded terrible and, in reality, it reminded me a bit of Tang.

Credit: Geraldine Campbell

I Tried the “Magical” Cleaning Pods and Kind of Loved Them

It was with great reluctance that I tried these pods out, not-so-secretly hoping that they wouldn’t work. But I am willing to admit when I am wrong and these pods actually work. I’m not 100% convinced that a dishwasher pod or a scoop of dishwasher detergent wouldn’t work just as well, but I tried these pods in a few different situations, and every time they surprised me.

Credit: Geraldine Campbell

My first test-case scenario was a pasta pot, which had some starchy residue that had been sitting for a while. This felt like sort of a lay-up, but I had a dirty pot and I decided to ease my way into using the pods. As instructed, I put the pod in the pot, filled it with hot water and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. I dumped the water and didn’t even have to use a sponge; I just rinsed the pot, dried it, and put it away.

My next task was considerably yuckier. I made baked ziti in a glass baking dish and let it sit for a few days. At that point, the cheesy bits and burnt bits were pretty established. Again, I put the pod in, filled it with hot water, let it sit and rinsed it out to see what was left. The answer? Not much. I did have to scrub a little bit with a sponge, but really not too hard. And I have to say, caked-on cheese is something that doesn’t usually yield easily to dish soap.

Credit: Geraldine Campbell

My final task was my stainless steel sink, which I first cleaned with dish soap, hot water, and a sponge. It still had some stubborn bits of stuck-on food, so I threw a pod in and waited to see if it would do the trick. Sure enough, a few minutes later, the sink was sparkling. 

My final verdict: The convenience of being able to throw a cleaning pod in with some hot water, walking away, and coming back to a clean pot overwhelmed all of my objections. I was even willing to put up with the scent-y smell.

Have you tried these? Tell us what you thought in the comments below!