Written by Using Guide

Can You Put Dish Detergent in a Dishwasher? [Yes, with caution]

Can You Put Dish Detergent in a Dishwasher? [Yes, with caution]

When I first put dish detergent in my dishwasher, it was only because I ran out of my dishwasher liquid and going to the store was the last thing to do on my list.

On the back of my head, I was thinking both of them are a detergent right? Then what much of a difference can they make? But then I thought dishwasher salt is manufactured specially to function in a dishwasher and putting table salt can seriously damage the machine.

So, it might be the case that both of the detergents are different.

But anyhow I made my mind to put dish detergent in the dishwasher. And do you want to know what happened after that?

My dishwasher flooded with bubbles when I opened it. Bubbles were seeping out of my dishwasher from the bottom. The kitchen floor was flooded.

The suds are running towards the cabinets. Bubbles were literally everywhere. It was a mess. I was panicking. And in between that kids were playing with the foams (facepalm).

Still my answer to the question, ‘Can you put dish detergent in a dishwasher?’ would be yes you can but with baking soda. Baking soda helps with the oversudsing nature of the dish soap and gives you deep and odor-free cleaning. So, the mixture of baking soda and liquid dish soap will work as a great substitute whenever you ran out of your dishwashing detergent.

After the bubble bonanza I faced, I started doing some research to see if the dish soap I put in the dishwasher caused any damages to my machine. And while searching this, I found out that dish soap can be used in a dishwasher with the conjunction of a baking soda only.

I found out putting dish detergent in a dishwasher can not only be a last-minute option when you ran out of dishwasher liquid but also can be a regular thing to save some dollars.

So, yes, we can surely use dish detergent in a dishwasher, but how we are using it makes all the difference.

Why putting dish detergent in a dishwasher can give you some serious trouble if not maintained caution?

As I said earlier, you can surely put dish detergent in a dishwasher but putting only dish soap in a dishwasher is a terrible idea. Have you ever thought about why dishwasher detergents, liquids, pods are so darn expensive?

The natural ones that claim to be environment-friendly and biodegradable are sometimes more expensive than the premium brands of dishwasher detergent.

The dishwasher detergents that are labeled as HE or High Efficiency are the ones that give us maximum performance. Now to replace such a good quality dishwasher detergent with a dish soap that is absolutely different in content is a challenge.

Dishwasher detergents are manufactured keeping in mind the working process of a dishwasher.

The specially formulated content of a dishwashing soap creates low suds. Whereas any dish soap we use, even the ones that claim to be low-sudsing create suds.

And this sudsing nature of dish soap is bad for a dishwasher. The machine is not built to handle suds. Hence the plumbing system of a dishwasher can get seriously affected by foams. Even the stainless steel dishwasher which has some iron, steel, and aluminum chassis parts is prone to corrosion because of the suds-effect. Suds can seep out of the dishwasher from the bottom and make the kitchen floor slippery or can water damage your kitchen cabinets.

Also, cleaning the dishwasher after such a bubble-trouble will involve a lot of handworks that will cost you time, effort and devotion (trust me, been there, done that).

Not to mention the precious dishes, glasses, pots, and pans that will go under the suds treatment, need to be hand-washed for better results. Overall it will be an upheaval task to perform after you run your dishwasher with only a dish soap.

Then how to put dish soap in the dishwasher to avoid suds-trouble?

To make the suds go away you definitely need to do something about the dish soap so that you can safely use it in the dishwasher and get effective cleaning.

It’s actually not that hard and less expensive. And the solution lies in your kitchen cabinet.

Two teaspoons of baking soda will do all the difference in the world and can surely save you from a heck lot of trouble.

The mixture of baking soda and dish detergent will minimize the amount of suds and maximize the cleaning.

But why baking soda?

Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. It is a naturally occurring substance and present in all living beings. The main function of a baking soda is to maintain the pH balance of a living body.

The cleaning capability of baking soda:

Do you know that industrially baking soda is used to clean commercial kitchen equipment and large machinery?

Yes. Baking soda works wonder on tough grease.

Baking soda acts as a cleaning agent as it is a mild alkali. It helps to dissolve the dirt and grease on your dishes into the water and aid in effective cleaning.

Baking soda can also act as a scrubber. If sprinkled on a damp sponge the abrasive nature of the baking soda when it is not dissolved will lift dirt from the dishes. It is gentle and non-toxic, hence safe to use around children, pets and ideal for cleaning dishes from which you directly take food.

As it is a natural product you can easily and effectively clean glasses, chrome, steel, enamel, and plastic. You can also use baking soda to clean sinks, tile, tubs, plastic containers, microwaves, and even teeth.

So using baking soda in a dishwasher will not at all be harmful to your machine and at the same time, you will get clean dishes.

The deodorizing capability of baking soda:

Baking soda does not cover up bad odors like perfumes or dyes that many detergents have as a content. It actually has the power to neutralize odors.

Unpleasant odors usually come from strong acids like sour and milk, or from strong bases like spoiled fish. Baking soda brings both acidic and basic order molecules into a neutral state, or you can say the odor-free state.

Many even use it to remove the bad odor from shoes, as baking soda can remove mild to strong any kind of smell.

Clearly, no matter how bad your dishes are smelling, or how funny baby bottles smell, using baking soda will make them all go away naturally.

How to use baking soda and dish soap mixture in your dishwasher?

Baking soda is a gentle cleanser. So, it will not be tough on your dishes, pots, or pans and make them rough. Rather it is tough on grease, oil, and dirt. It is a natural agent too. So, mixing baking soda with dish soap will certainly maximize the overall cleaning ability, and running it in the dishwasher will give you better results without any health hazards.

Another benefit of using baking soda is, that it is safe for septic systems, hence the plumbing system of your dishwasher will remain unharmed and any bad odor in the dishwasher will be removed naturally.

Now that we are ensured about the fact that baking soda will not harm our dishwasher rather it will aid in dishwashing. Let’s find out how to mix baking soda with the dish soap and run it in the dishwasher.


Mix two teaspoons full of baking soda with two drops of liquid dish soap. In case of dish, detergent powder use a half teaspoon.

The idea is to fill the 2/3 of the detergent dispenser with baking soda. And 1/3 with dish detergent powder.

The less you put the dish detergent is better. As dish detergent creates suds, putting more can cause bubble trouble. And we don’t want that. Since you are putting in a considerable amount of baking soda cleaning will not be an issue.

Not to mention this mixture will be a lot cheaper than any expensive dishwashing detergent. Still, I will suggest you to use a natural dishwashing pod, once a week to clean all your dishes to have a beautiful shine.

It is true that baking soda is a great cleaning agent but the dishwashing detergents are made with far more premium ingredients that add a beautiful shine to your dishes. I use this one from Amazon for years now. It adds that sparkle and shine to my dishes which makes serving more aesthetic.

I save enough dollars by using the mixture of baking soda and dish soap regularly. So, using the dishwasher detergent pods once a week does not hurt my budget. It is optional of course. If you are satisfied with the cleaning of baking soda and dish soap then you don’t need a dishwashing detergent or pods.

But if you think of using one, then I will recommend you to use something natural, biodegradable, and environment-friendly. If you are looking for a septic-safe dishwashing detergent that is natural at the same time, you can use this one.

In the end, dishwashing should be according to your preferences. Because every household has different needs in terms of dishwashing. In my house, we have 5 members. Two adults and three kids. So, whatever I use in my dishwasher, it is a challenge for me to select the best natural product available in the market as kids are having food directly from the dishes.

Baking soda has made our life a lot easier because of its natural content. And I save some dollars too, so it is a win-win situation for me. I will suggest you give the mixture a try since we all have baking soda sitting on our counter. You don’t need to buy it to try it. If that does not work well for you, don’t use it again. As simple as that. But if it worked then congratulations you are about to save a lot of money!

So, next time someone asks you if he/she can use dish soap in a dishwasher give the trick. 🙂

I hope the blog helps.

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