FYI: Experts say the dish soap detergent hack could be damaging your washing machine

Bubble trouble 😬

A washing machine on a blue bubble background
(Image credit: Future)

Have you ever put all your clothes in the washing machine only to realize that you're completely out of laundry detergent? It's a real stressful sitch. Maybe you've scrolled through TikTok to find an alternative, stumbled on the dish soap as detergent hack, and wondered if it's actually a good idea.

When it comes to cleaning products, you're def better off using them for their intended purpose. If you use dish soap rather than laundry powder or detergent to clean your clothes, it can cause a domino effect of problems. 

Firstly, dish soap creates lots more suds and foam compared to laundry products, which could cause your washing machine to overflow. Secondly, any suds that remain in the machine can cause problems in the pumps and drains. Neither of these sounds like a good time and you'll end up with a pretty cranky landlord at your door.

Still eyeing up the dish soap? We've spoken to two experts to get their verdict on the hack...

Can you put dish soap in your washing machine?

Let's get to it. This is the answer to the all-important question. "Although you can wash your clothes with washing up liquid and you will get good results, it’s not something I would recommend, especially in your washing machine," Instagram cleaning expert Mrs D tells us. "The washing machine will become overloaded with suds, which will free flow from your washing machine drawer." Yikes, that doesn't sound good. She adds that laundry detergents are specially designed for washing machines, which is why you don’t get suds overload with them.

Sadie Sillett, cleaning expert and co-founder of The Funky Appliance Company agrees. "Whether you intend to wash clothes or clean the drum, putting washing liquid in your washing machine is definitely a bad idea," she says. "It will create a massive amount of lather and you will most likely end up with bubbles all over the floor." Foam parties are totes fun, but not when you've created them by accident.

Got a clothing crisis and need to get your garments clean? Here are three better options.

3 alternatives to using dish soap in your washing machine

Now you know what you can use instead of laundry detergent, be sure to stay away from using liquid soap. It may seem like a convenient option, but the damage it can do to your machine and your kitchen just isn't worth the bubble trouble.

Up next: These 8 dishwasher cleaning hacks will make this chore so much easier 

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.

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