E:\porjects\amazon_affiliate\_Dishwashingtopics\can i use laundry detergent in my dishwasher

Can I Use Laundry Detergent in My Dishwasher?

Are you confused about whether you can use laundry detergent in your dishwasher to wash dishes? Several questions may incur in your mind related to using laundry detergent that you use to cleaning clothes in your dishwasher. Some of them may be like what are the differences between dishwasher detergents and laundry detergents or what is going to happen as you use laundry detergent in the dishwasher. Moreover, what if you pour laundry detergent into your dishwasher by chance?

A concise answer to this question is yes, you can use laundry detergent in your dishwasher. However, there are some potential drawbacks that you should be prepared for as you do so. Also, there are some alternative washing options that you may want to give a try. Apart from that, there are some precautions that you can take to eliminate the drawbacks.

This article will offer all the relevant information pieces related to using laundry detergent in a dishwasher. Alongside, you will get details related to the differences between laundry detergents and dishwasher detergents. In addition to that, you will be able to clarify your knowledge about the topic as you know more details about laundry detergents and dishwashers. So, stick to the article get complete knowledge about using laundry detergent in your dishwasher.

Can I Use Laundry Detergent in My Dishwasher?

Can you put laundry detergent in the dishwasher?

Yes, you can put laundry detergent in your dishwasher in terms of washing your dishes if you’ve run out of dishwasher detergent. Though this is not a conventional practice, you can imply this in a time of crisis. Usually, clothes cleaning laundry detergent can’t wash dishes as dishwasher detergent does. Moreover, laundry detergents aren’t produced to be utilized in dishwashers. Generally, every dishwasher comes with restrictions about using laundry detergent. Still, some homeowners become bound to use laundry detergents in dishwashers occasionally as they run out of dishwasher detergents.

What is a laundry detergent?

As the name suggests, a laundry detergent is the detergent powder or liquid for cleaning your laundry. A laundry detergent is prepared using specific materials that are specified for cleaning laundries only. Laundry detergents are available in both powder and liquid forms on the market. The composition of a laundry detergent is noticeably different from other types of detergents. The main function of a laundry detergent is to eliminate dirt from laundries and therefore that consists of laundry cleaning ingredients. To be specific, builders, bleach, surfactants, enzymes, soil anti-deposition agents, fragrances, and dyes formulate laundry detergents. These ingredients are the reasons behind the distinct properties and functions of laundry detergents.

What is a dishwasher?

Dishwashers are appliances that allow users to wash dishes without manual effort. Ideally, a dishwasher automatically clears dirty dishes by spraying a mixture of dishwasher detergent and hot water. Every dishwasher comes with a sprayer and detergent dispenser. You are supposed to pour the detergent in the dispenser and the dishwasher mixes that with hot water and sprays it on the dirty dishes to clean them. Needless to mention, cleaning dishes with a dishwasher demands no effort from your end, and the dishwasher does everything itself.

What are the differences between dishwasher detergents and laundry detergents?

Most homeowners assume dishwasher detergents and laundry detergents to be the same while they are not. There are some basic differences between dishwasher detergents and laundry detergents that differentiate their functions. The following chart will disclose the differences between dishwasher detergents and laundry detergents.

FactorDishwasher DetergentLaundry Detergent
PH levelsDishwasher detergents come with higher PH levels as dirty dishes demand better cleaning.The PH levels of laundry detergents are usually lower than dishwasher detergents while they are efficient enough in terms of cleaning laundries.
Presence of bleachWhen it comes to dishwasher detergents, they contain bleach to wash dishes.Laundry detergents don’t include bleach as the main ingredient.
SurfactantsDishwasher detergents usually contain more powerful surfactants and they rely on those surfactants in terms of powerful dishwashing.The surfactants present in laundry detergents are not as powerful as the surfactants of dishwasher detergents.

So, these are the key differences between laundry detergents and dishwasher detergents. As you study the chart sincerely, you’ll understand why dishwasher detergents and laundry detergents function differently.

What happens if you use laundry detergent in the dishwasher?

You may have heard about the restriction of using laundry detergent in the dishwasher. But you may be curious about what happens actually when you use laundry detergent in your dishwasher? Go through the following points to have a specific answer to your question-

  • Firstly, laundry detergents produce more soap suds than dishwasher detergents. When you use clothes detergent in your dishwasher for cleaning your dishes, the detergent produces a huge amount of soap suds. Eventually, the soap suds remain inside the machine even after the washing cycle is over. As this continues over a prolonged period, the parts of your dishwasher will get clogged and won’t function properly.
  • Unlike dishwasher detergents, laundry detergents tend to leave residues on dishes after completing cleaning cycles in dishwashers. Later, when you store foods on those dishes, the residues may get mixed with foods and get into your gut.
  • Lastly, your dishes may not get cleaned well if you use laundry soap instead of dishwasher detergent. As mentioned above, laundry detergents are not as powerful as dishwasher detergents. So, cleaning dishes with your dishwasher won’t be up to the mark if you use laundry detergent for cleaning.

What can you use instead of dishwasher detergent?

As you’ve gone through the article so far, you must have understood that using laundry detergents in a dishwasher is not a good idea at all. Then, what can be a good alternative to dishwasher detergent when you have run out of that? Well, there are a few decent alternatives to dishwasher detergent in terms of washing dishes. Let’s have a look at them-

Baking soda – The abrasive quality of baking soda comes in handy in terms of extracting dirt from dishes and controlling foul odors.

Distilled white vinegar – The natural acidic content of distilled white vinegar makes it a powerful cleaning agent and this is a harmless substance to use as an alternative to dishwasher detergent.

Washing soda – Washing soda is also an outstanding cleaning element that can be used in dishwashers instead of dishwasher detergent for cleaning dirty dishes.

Lemon juice – The efficiency of lemon juice in eliminating strong dirt from dishes is widely known and the mild acidic property of lemon juice is the reason behind that.

If you’re in dire need of cleaning dishes and you’ve run out of dishwasher detergent, the substances mentioned above can be your choice over laundry detergents. None of the substances will harm your dishwasher at all and you can enjoy a smooth cleaning experience.

What to do if you accidentally put laundry detergent in the dishwasher?

Have you put laundry detergent in the dishwasher accidentally? Well, this common mistake can happen anytime and it’s no big deal if you know how to handle the situation. Don’t you know? In that case, the following points will guide you to rectify your mistake smartly-

  • Stop the washing cycle first hand. Don’t let the situation worsen.
  • As you’ve stopped the cycle, open up with the dishwasher. Prior to that, you must use a towel to wipe the leaked-out soap suds around the dishwasher.
  • Now, bring out the dishes you have put into the machine, take them to the sink and wash off the soap on them with water.
  • After that, you should bring a bowl-type container to pour the water and soap suds inside the dishwasher.
  • Therefore, you are supposed to wipe off the residual suds and water with a towel. Make sure you wipe every inner corner and all the parts of the dishwasher.
  • When you’ve completed all the steps above, start a wash cycle without putting dishes and detergent into the dishwasher. This will allow the dishwasher to clean up its inner side automatically.
  • That’s all. Your dishwasher is completely fine and you can continue with dishwashing. Keep in mind that laundry detergent is not an alternative for dishwasher detergent

These are the steps you are supposed to take immediately after you’ve put laundry detergent accidentally inside your dishwasher. No need to panic if you imply the steps mentioned above promptly.

How do I get rid of the laundry detergent smell out of my dishwasher?

When you use laundry detergent in your dishwasher for washing dishes, the smell of the laundry detergent remains inside the dishwasher. Even you may get the smell from your dishes as you wash them with the dishwasher afterward that may feel irritating. Now, how to remove the laundry detergent smell from the dishwasher?

White vinegar is the best item to eliminate the laundry detergent smell out of your dishwasher. Your need to pour a cup of white vinegar into a small bowl, place that inside your dishwasher and run the hottest wash cycle inside the dishwasher. Let the wash cycle run for a while. As the wash cycle gets completed, you’ll find that the laundry detergent smell is not there anymore inside your dishwasher.

Do dishwasher detergents leave smells in dishwashers?

Unlike, laundry detergents, dishwasher detergents don’t tend to leave smells in dishwashers. Even washing your dishes with a dishwasher detergent won’t make the dishes smell like the dishwasher detergent too. Anyway, if you select a dishwasher detergent of poor quality to use in the dishwasher detergent, it may leave a smell in the dishwasher sometimes. To avoid that, you need to purchase high-quality dishwasher detergents to get the best results.

How can you select the best dishwasher detergent to wash your dishes with your dishwasher machine?

As so many dishwasher detergents are available in the market, selecting a particular one among them is quite tricky. However, you shouldn’t make the wrong choice as washing dishes properly is directly associated with your hygiene and your family’s hygiene too. The following points will guide you to make the best choice-

  • Make sure that your dishwasher detergent is free from toxic chemicals that may be injurious to your health. Usually, some portions of the dishwasher detergent linger on dishes after washing. If the detergent consists of harmful chemicals, you may suffer from food poisoning and other health hazards.
  • It’s better to select a dishwasher detergent that doesn’t produce too many soap suds. Excess soap suds may cause your dishwasher device to get clogged.
  • Select a most economical detergent based on the type of water you’re using for washing dishes. Some dishwasher detergents are better with hard water while some are better with soft water.
  • Everyone wants his dishes to remain scratch-free and spot-free. For that, you need to select a spot-free dishwasher detergent that doesn’t make scratches or spots on dishes while washing in a dishwasher.

These are the things you need to consider in terms of selecting the best dishwasher detergent for your dishwasher machine.

Best dishwasher detergents

Finding a dishwasher detergent is not as easy as it seems. The presence of numerous brands and products makes the choice more difficult for you. The following products are the best ones available in the market at present-

Finish All In 1 Dishwasher Detergent

Finish All In 1 Dishwasher Detergent

Product highlights-

  • Pre-rinse and pre-soak sessions are not needed for these tablet detergents.
  • The presence of rinse agents helps to eliminate dried food stains effectively.
  • Compatible with all types of dishes and efficient in removing all forms of food stains.
  • Safe ingredients that aren’t poisonous or harmful for human consumptions.
  • Don’t leave scratches or spots on dishes while cleaning them during wash cycles.

Cascade Free & Clear Dishwasher Detergent Gel

Cascade Free & Clear Dishwasher Detergent Gel

Product highlights

  • Safe formulation with bio-based ingredients that are not harmful to humans.
  • No presence of dye or other preservatives.
  • Phosphates and chlorine bleaches aren’t present in the product.
  • Comes with fragrances induced by the presence of essential oils.
  • No finicky wrapping.


This article compiles all the information about whether you can use laundry detergent in your dishwasher or not. In simple words, using laundry detergent in your dishwasher is not an ideal practice and such activity can damage your dishwasher to some extent. The article clearly defines the reasons why you shouldn’t use laundry detergent for washing dishes. Even if it’s an emergency, you should go for the alternative options mentioned in the article to wash your dishes in your dishwasher.

Be sincere enough so that you don’t pour laundry detergent inside your dishwasher. If that happens somehow, be quick to take the damage control measures explained above. In the worst scenario, if you have no other option available apart from laundry detergent, use the method mentioned above to clean your machine after using laundry detergent. Also, make sure that you eliminate the smell of the laundry detergent after using it for washing dishes. Be wise, put your knowledge into work and imply the pieces of advice you received from this article.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *