Using dish soap in a washing machine is a practice that some individuals might consider, believing it can substitute traditional laundry detergent.

While the idea of using a readily available product may sound appealing, the consequences of such a choice can be surprisingly problematic.

Dish soap is great for many things, especially when cleaning the grease of metals and dishes, but can you use dish soap in a washing machine?

Let’s discover!

Can You Use Dish Soap in a Washing Machine

Can You Use Dish Soap in a Washing Machine? 

It is not recommended to use dish soap in the washing machine. Dish soap is formulated to dissolve grease and food particles, while laundry detergent is formulated to dissolve oils and fats.

Using dish soap in the washing machine can leave a residue on your clothes that can make them feel stiff or cause them to deteriorate faster.

Moreover, dish soap also contains harsh chemicals that can damage your washing machine’s internal components over time.

It’s best to use the type of detergent that is specifically designed for washing machines. Detergents are formulated to be gentle on clothing and fabrics while still providing enough cleaning power to remove dirt and stains.

Read more: Are Liquitabs Bad for Washing Machines?

What Happens When You Use Soap for a Washing Machine?

There are some things to be aware of before deciding to use soap for a washing machine. Not only does dish soap not clean your clothes, but it may cause damage to your washing machine.

Excessive suds

Dish soap is formulated to create a lot of suds to help with dishwashing. When used in a washing machine, the high amount of suds can lead to overflows and leaks, as washing machines are not designed to handle such excessive foaming.

The excess suds and residue from dish soap can build up inside the washing machine, potentially clogging hoses, filters, and other parts. This buildup can hinder the machine’s performance and lead to costly repairs.

Fabric damage

Dish soap may contain harsh chemicals that could be too abrasive for delicate fabrics and colors. It may cause fading, discoloration, or even damage to the fabric fibers.

Some soaps may be unsafe for certain fabrics (such as delicate or hand-wash-only items), so always check the labels before using them.

Just imagine what might happen to a linen blouse when washed with dish soap- it will immediately wrinkle or lose its fabric quality.

However, the only time when you can dish soap to clean your stains from clothes is when used for hand wash. But don’t overdo it. Just a few drops on the stain and a gentle massage on the stained place will help clean your clothing.

Soap will not dissolve in water as quickly as detergent, so you’ll need to pre-dissolve it or use a larger amount per load. In addition, soap can leave behind a film if not rinsed properly, so be sure to rinse it thoroughly.

Instead of dish soap, it is best to use a high-quality laundry detergent designed for washing machines.
If you prefer to use eco-friendly or natural alternatives, laundry detergents are free from harsh chemicals and environmentally friendly.

Will Dish Soap Ruin a Washing Machine?

While many disagree, in my opinion, dish soap can ruin a washing machine. Dish soap is not designed to be easily rinsed away like laundry detergent.

Over time, residual soap can accumulate inside the washing machine, leading to clogging of hoses, filters, and other components. This buildup can affect the machine’s water flow, drainage, and overall performance.

What Happens If You Put Dish Soap in the Washing Machine?

If you add dish soap to your washing machine, it could cause a sudsy flooding mess. This is because dish soap is designed to create a lot of suds and bubbles.

When these suds get into your washing machine, they can cause the machine to overflow.

Dish soap can also damage the inner workings of your washing machine and leave behind a soapy residue that will make your clothes dirtier.

So, it’s best to avoid using dish soap in your washing machine altogether!

Also read: Where To Put Dettol Washing Machine Cleaner?

What Can You Use If You Run Out of Laundry Detergent?

If you run out of laundry detergent, you can use dishwashing liquid. Dishwashing liquid is a type of detergent that is specifically designed to remove grease and food residue from dishes.

It will also work to clean your clothes, but it may not be as effective as laundry detergent.

Another alternative is to use bar soap. Bar soap is a type of soap that is made from vegetable oils, such as palm oil or coconut oil. It will also work to clean your clothes, but it may leave behind a soapy residue.

Finally, you can use baking soda or white vinegar to clean your clothes. Baking soda is a type of baking powder that is made from sodium bicarbonate. White vinegar is a type of acidic liquid that is made from acetic acid.

These products are all great alternatives to laundry detergent, but each has its own pros and cons.

It’s important to choose the product that best suits your needs and preferences. Ultimately, however, you should always keep laundry detergent on hand for when you need it most.



Can you use dish soap in a washing machine? Dish soap should not be used in the washing machine. It can cause sudsy messes and problems with the inner workings of your machine.

If you must use dish soap in the washing machine, start with a small amount and increase as needed. Be sure to run an extra rinse cycle when using dish soap in order to remove any soapy residue that could be left behind.