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 Can You Use Dish Soap in the Dishwasher

Can You Use Dish Soap in the Dishwasher?

On running out of handy dishwasher tablets, powder, or gels, many dishwasher users must have asked themselves whether they can use dish soap in the dishwasher or not. 

It is a really bad idea to keep it cut and dry! Keep reading the article to learn why these two soap solutions are not perfectly interchangeable and what happens if you try using dish soap in a dishwasher. 

What happens if you use dish soap in a dishwasher? 

If you use dish soap in the dishwasher, it will create a thick, sudsy foam in the appliance that will eventually overflow through the dishwasher door. Only detergents specially formulated for dishwashers should be used in these appliances. 

This will happen because, unlike dishwasher detergents that rely on enzymes to clean your dishes, dish soap relies in part on suds and bubbles to get your dishes clean.

The dishwasher tablets, powder, or gels all dissolve the moment they come into contact with the water, and the enzymes work to break down proteins and starches until they can be completely dislodged with water.

What do I do if I accidentally put dish soap in my dishwasher?

If you have accidentally used dish soap in a dishwasher, follow the instructions below to clear out the dish soap from your dishwasher: 

  1. Cancel the wash cycle and stop the dishwasher immediately. Clean the sudsy water with dry towels if the spill has already occurred. 
  2. Press the drain button to remove any residual water from the appliance after stopping the wash cycle. 
  3. Once you have stopped the wash cycle in the dishwasher and the water has drained, remove all the dishes and utensils and place them in your kitchen sink to rinse the remaining soap.
  4. Run a quick wash cycle on your empty dishwasher to remove any remaining dish soap. Do not add detergent.
  5. Lastly, when all the visible signs of the soap suds are gone, it is advised that you run another wash cycle to remove any leftover dish soap residue, as this can lead to soap scum buildup. 

What can I use if I run out of dishwasher soap?

Avoid using substitute detergents in your dishwasher; only stick to dishwasher detergent, such as Finish, the #1 recommendation by the leading dishwasher manufacturers. 

Ensure you regularly purchase Finish detergent online to prevent running out of dishwasher detergent supply. 

Frequently Asked Questions

No, you shouldn’t mix dish soap with the dishwasher detergent. Mixing the two can disrupt the balance of the dishwasher’s cleaning cycle and result in unsatisfactory dishwashing or, worse, cause damage to the dishwasher.

Several signs may indicate that your dishwasher has been damaged by using dish soap, including: 

  • Excessive suds
  • Leaks or overflow
  • Poor cleaning performance 
  • Lingering odors
  • Visible damage (corrosion, rust, or damage to the seals and gaskets)

Before putting them in the dishwasher, you shouldn’t pre-wash or pre-rinse the dishes. Doing so will compromise the cleaning efficiency of the dishwasher as its sensors won’t pick up any food particles; hence, running a shorter cycle leads to less thorough cleaning.