Can Standard Dish Soap Be Used In The Dishwasher?

Many homeowners enjoy the convenience provided by a kitchen dishwasher, providing their homes with a steady supply of plates, glasses, utensils and more. Dishwasher require specialized dishwashing detergent in order to effectively do their job, and many homeowners believe that if they run out of detergent, they can use standard dish soap instead.

It’s tempting to use liquid dish soap instead of dishwasher detergent, as soap is typically less expensive. However, this seemingly minor change can bring chaos to your kitchen. To ensure that your dishwashing process is completed properly, we’ve gathered some information on why you should not use dish soap in your appliance and what you can substitute for dishwasher detergent.

Image of an open dishwasher

What Happens When Regular Dish Soap Is Used In The Dishwasher?

Using regular dish soap in your dishwasher instead of specialty detergent is a bad idea that can result in a huge mess.

Regular dish soap and hand soap is formulated to create foamy suds that help with basic cleaning tasks. Meanwhile, dishwasher detergent is intended for more powerful cleaning, and does not create such suds. If you use standard soap in your dishwasher, the resulting suds are likely to spill out of the unit and flood across your floor. Most dishwashers will not be damaged by a cycle that uses dish soap, but the accompanying flood of suds can damage your kitchen floors and result in spilled water that impacts nearby electrical outlets or appliances. If you need assistance in managing flood damage or appliance damage, be sure to enlist assistance from an expert appliance repair company.

What Can You Use Instead Of Dish Soap?

While normal dish soap should not be used as a substitute for dishwasher detergent, you can combine it with baking soda to create a suitable detergent replacement.

To do this, you should first fill about three quarters of your dishwasher’s soap container with baking soda. Next, you should add several drops of standard dish soap, and if you have hard water, about one quarter of a cup of salt. Once the soap container is filled, you’re ready to commence your wash cycle.

The use of baking soda should reduce the suds created by the dish soap, improving your cycle’s overall performance. We recommend periodically checking your appliance to ensure it is not leaking suds. Should you notice a leak, stop the wash cycle and begin your cleanup process.

While this solution can be effective, we do not recommend employing this strategy on a consistent basis. Dishwasher detergent is the most effective cleaning solution for dishes and cookware, and is a vital addition to any effective wash cycle.

Maintain Superior Dishwasher Performance Today

You should always try to use specialty dishwasher detergent when operating your appliance, but if you’re in dire need of a wash cycle, combining baking soda with dish soap should get the job done. However, you need to remember that putting foreign substances inside your dishwasher can run the risk of creating maintenance issues or damages. Should you notice any problems with your dishwasher, be sure to contact a professional home appliance repair service for maintenance strategies and assistance.