Can Laundry Detergent Be Used To Wash Dishes?

Can You Use Laundry Detergent to Wash Dishes?

 can you use laundry detergent to wash dishes

Laundry detergent can be used to wash dishes. But…keep in mind that some of the chemicals present in laundry detergents can be toxic when they come into contact with food.

Although your dishes will be clean, the detergent may leave some residue. Remember, laundry detergent particles are slimmer, meaning they get foamier than dish soap.

Removing the residue requires more effort.

Therefore, without a choice, it’s best to avoid using laundry detergent to wash dishes. And if you must use the detergent, ensure you rinse thoroughly using hot water to remove any residue. Alternatively, you can use dishwasher detergent on your dishes.

What Are Some Consequences of Using Laundry Soap for Dishes?

Laundry soap can be used to clean your dishes, but be wary of the following consequences:

  • Chemicals present in laundry soap, such as brighteners, stain remover, and fragrances, are toxic. These are not harmful in a washing machine, but when you heat them in the dishwasher and inhale them, they can be poisonous.
  • UV brighteners and fragrances are unsuitable for dish soap. They contain synthetic masks that are never easy to wash off. They retain a fresh and clean smell in clothes, but this is not for dishes.
  • If you don’t wash dishes in a dishwasher, you no doubt handwash in a sink. While this may not release any toxic fumes, the laundry detergent may leave unwanted residue on your dishes which can be harmful when combined with food.

Before you decide to use laundry soap, it’s better to try other types of soap or detergent, like bath gel, liquid soap, and bar soap. And to ensure you rinse thoroughly, wash manually in the sink.

Can You Use Liquid Hand Soap to Wash Dishes?

can you use liquid hand soap to wash dishes

Liquid dish soaps typically come as detergents with antibacterial and antifungal elements that can clean your dishes. Additionally, liquid hand soap is milder and dissolves and foams better, especially in hot water.

Also, since one of its components is glycerin, the soap is gentle on your hands if you are hand washing.

Is Bar Soap an Option for Washing Dishes?

is bar soap an option for washing dishes

Another better substitute for dishwasher detergent is bar soap.

Although it’s not as effective as dish detergent, bar soap is safer than laundry detergent. That said, there’s a downside to using bar soap. Like laundry detergent, it also leaves residue. Therefore, you have to rinse your utensils several times before letting them dry.

While bar soap is not the best option, especially for many dishes, it will save the day if you have run out of dishwashing soap.

How to Wash Dishes Without Dish Soap (A Safe Alternative)

how to wash dishes without dish soap

One of the safest alternatives to dish soap is washing your dishes without any soap. This is better than using laundry detergent. All you need is vinegar and baking soda.

Baking soda has an effect similar to soapy water. It absorbs the grease and deodorizes, while the vinegar gives the clean dishes a sparkle. The baking soda will also clean the moving parts of your dishwasher.

Simply pour a quarter cup of baking soda before a cycle. It will strip of grease and clean out bits of food and sauces. Then put half a cup of baking soda in the dishwasher tub and a cup of vinegar at the bottom.

If you’re cleaning manually, do the following:

  • Then, put all your cutlery in one basin, add a spoonful of baking powder, and fill with hot water.
  • Add a tablespoon of baking soda to a basin of hot water. Do the same in another basin, but this time add some vinegar.
  • Wash every dish in the baking soda water, and rinse in the vinegar water.
  • Let your utensils dry and rinse.
James Marshall
About the author

James is a business management professional and consultant with a former background in maintenance, repair, and hands-on projects. He enjoys DIY tasks and maintenance around the home as well as part-time writing. Read more »