Can You Use Dish Soap in a Dishwasher?

Have you ever looked at a bottle of dish soap and wondered if you could use it in place of detergent in your dishwasher? Don’t lie, it’s something we’re all guilty of. There comes a time when a trip to the store to get more detergent is the last thing you want to do. Because even our experts at Service Champions have wondered the same thing, we’re answering the question can dish soap be used in a dishwasher?

What’s the Difference?

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We can see how it can be easy to confuse dish washing liquid and dish detergent. Both preform the same function; they are generally liquid, and they clean the dishes. What could be so different? The answer lies in the bubbles.

When you wash dishes in the sink, what’s one of the first things you see when water hits your liquid dish soap? It’s bubbles, lots and lots of bubbles. Even the smallest amount of liquid dish soap can lead to a sink full of bubbles.

On the other hand, liquid dish detergent is made to not produce bubbles. This type of dish detergent is made at a much higher concentrate and will produce a very small amount (if any) bubbles at all. On the flipside, using liquid dish detergent while hand washing your dishes could lead to a chemical residue on your plates and forks. Hand washing is not strong enough to break down and release the full power of liquid dish detergent.

What Happens When You Use Dish Soap in a Dishwasher?

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It’s time to break out some rain boots and a bucket. Remember the bubbles we mentioned above? All those bubbles will start to form in your dishwasher and spill out all over your kitchen. While it may be a nice—albeit impromptu—way to wash your floors, it’s a disaster in every other way.

Have You Already Put Dish Soap in the Dishwasher?

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Sometimes mistakes are made. On the severity scale, this isn’t too bad. It’s not pleasant by any stretch of the imagination, but you haven’t caused irreversible repair to your dishwasher. To deal with dish soap in the dishwasher, follow these steps:

  • Turn off the Dishwasher – It doesn’t matter if you’re in the middle, at the end, or just starting a cycle. Turn the whole thing off. Sometimes you can catch the cycle early enough and have only a small cleanup. Others have not been so lucky.
  • Get All the Towels You Can – The next thing you want to do is grab any and all available towels. It’ll be important to make sure water doesn’t get trapped behind the dishwasher or cabinets. Water damage is not fun to deal with.
  • Remove all the Dishes – Once everything is somewhat contained by your army of towels, you’ll want to make sure to get the dishes out of the washer. You will need to wash the dishes again, but this makes it easier to clean up the mess.
  • Grab a Bowl – And start scooping out the bubble mess from your dishwasher. Just flush the bubbles down the sink. Then make sure to thoroughly wash the soap compartment.
  • Towel off the Bottom of the Dishwasher – Make sure the bottom of the dishwasher is bubble free. Then you can run a rinse cycle for a few minutes before rewashing your dishes, but with liquid dish detergent this time.

Want to Make Sure Your Water is in Tip Top Shape? Call Service Champions!

All homeowners want to trust their plumbing system and water quality are the best when navigating any sort of dish disaster. This is why the experts at Service Champions recommend a yearly Plumbing Safety Inspection. Think of a Plumbing Safety Inspection as a tune-up for your pipes. A licensed plumber will come to your home, check every aspect of your plumbing—including water quality and water pressure—and let you know how everything is looking. Call the number at the top of the screen or click here to book an appointment online.