Everybody eventually ends up asking this question. Whether you’re new to the dishwasher, new to dishwashing in general, have run out of dishwashing soap, or are looking for a more economically friendly option, there are a hundred reasons why, but you will eventually find yourself stumbling onto this line of thinking.
It can’t be helped; humans are naturally curious. If you’re anything like most people, then it is inevitable that you will only realize your mistake through trial and error.
Of course, if you’re smart enough, you will do the research before being left with a messy kitchen. This is the digital age, and everyone knows that YouTube has tons of DIY videos that can help you with every question. All of this could save you the hassle of doing it all on your own but not to worry, we’ve gone through everything and put it all together for you.
There are usually two different viewpoints on this question, and some people argue that you can use dish soap in a dishwasher. In fact, during our research, our team came across more than one site stating that you can use dish soap in a dishwasher; you just need to spruce it up with a few extra home ingredients, and voila!
Many others vehemently argue that under no certain circumstances should you ever put dish soap into a dishwasher. Ever. And that includes homemade cleaning products.
Of course, some things can only be proven by testing them out, and no doubt, there are a few who can admit to having tried this out.
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Before We Knew Better
Honestly, it would have been better to have researched beforehand or gone to the store for more dishwashing soap. Still, at the time, it’s easy enough to be convinced that – as we’re sure others have as well – there really couldn’t be much difference between normal dish soap and dishwasher detergent. They were both created to clean dirty dishes; then it should just be the packaging that is different, right? Many have been fooled into thinking that the only difference between the two was a higher concentration.
And to make up for that, in our test, we made sure to use just a little more than what would have been used if it had been dishwashing detergent and not the dish soap we had left in the cupboards.
We admit we were expecting some beeping from the dishwasher, a notification of some sort to alert us that we had used the wrong dish detergent, but when nothing happened, we walked out and left it on a normal wash cycle.
How It All Backfired
Spoiler alert, there wasn’t a happy ending.
In hindsight, if we had used less of that dish soap, then the result wouldn’t have been so explosive. This is the only time anyone could honestly say that bubbles proved them wrong.
The result of using dish soap in the dishwasher was an avalanche of soap suds spilling out the sides of the door. It looked like one of those machines they had at a kid’s party, and it left behind soapy water all over the kitchen floor.
As mentioned previously, we should have done our homework beforehand. Had we spent a few minutes on YouTube, we would have learned that you can’t use dish soap in a dishwasher. A couple more minutes and we would have been able to tell you why you shouldn’t use dish soap in a dishwasher. Instead, we had to learn through our own trial and error that the main reason was soap suds. Okay, it’s not all soap suds, but this is the main problem.
The Gist of Dish Soap
Most would assume that the main difference between dishwashing detergent and dish soap is the soap suds. However, it turns out the difference between dishwashing detergent and dish soap – besides the amount of suds – is the chemicals that make them up.
And while there are many different brands of dish soap, most people have a particular bottle of dish soap that they have relied on for years because they know from their own experience that it works.
To think about it, besides the fact that handwashing the dishes is more economically friendly, most of the time when handwashing dishes, people probably aren’t using the recommended cleaning gloves to cover their hands. This inevitably means you don’t want some highly concentrated dish soap wreaking havoc on your skin. With this in mind, most dish soaps are made with ingredients that are gentle on the skin for this very reason.
Looking back on it now, the differences are like night and day.
Dishwashing Detergent in Comparison
First, any dishwasher will have an appliance guide that recommends using dishwashing detergent. Although, reading that is another matter entirely.
So, to start, the first difference is that dishwashing detergent is made with enzymes and bleach. It’s used by an appliance known for powerful cleaning, so it makes sense that the chemicals will be stronger.
Dishwashing detergent is made without the necessary chemicals that cause soap suds because these will harm the dishwasher. Just imagine soap clogging up your kitchen pipes and soap scum on the edges. It’s not a pretty image, and in the long run, it can be costly to keep fixing.
Some dishwashers require additional salt to be added to aid in the removal of soap scum during normal wash cycles.
Further, dishwashing detergent is created to clean your dishes without being mindful of the user; after all, in this case, the user is an electrically-powered machine with semi-intense sprays of water to wash away all the chemicals right afterward, leaving your dishes properly sanitized and ready to be used again.
No, you shouldn’t ever use dish soap in your dishwasher. Never mind how long the clean-up process is after making this mistake! Yes, there are a ton of sites offering you ways around using dish soap in your dishwasher. Just remember, if something was specifically made to be used for that one reason, then it is more than likely that it has a purpose beyond what you may think, and that might save you the damage to kitchen floors or the appliance.