This dish soap detergent hack that could be damaging your washing machine, experts say

If you're out of detergent, don't start experimenting

Utility room with built in cupboards
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If you’ve ever been tempted to try using dish soap in your washing machine, we can officially confirm that it’s a bad Idea. Sure, someone out there had to be the first to come up with the trick of using shaving foam to remove red nail polish from carpet, or toothpaste and a toothbrush to get rid of brown marks on a toaster. 

See also: Do these top social media cleaning hacks work? We put them to the test

But, sometimes it’s best to use cleaning products for their original purpose. If you use dish soap rather than laundry powder or detergent to clean your clothes, it can cause a domino effect of problems. 

First of all, dish soap creates lots more suds and foam compared to laundry products, which could cause your washing machine to overflow. Second, any suds that remain in the machine can cause problems in the pumps and drains.

We spoke to two cleaning experts to get their verdict. 

How to get rid of moths - a washing machine in a stylish utility room - getty

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Can you put dish soap in your washing machine?

'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 Real Homes.

'The washing machine will become overloaded with suds, which will free flow from your washing machine drawer. Laundry detergents are specially designed for washing machines and that is why you don’t get suds overload,' Mrs D explains.

Sadie Sillett, cleaning and ironing expert and co-founder of The Funky Appliance Company (opens in new tab) agrees. 'Whether you intend to wash clothes or clean the drum, putting washing liquid in your washing machine is definitely a bad idea. It will create a massive amount of lather and you will most likely end up with bubbles all over the floor.' 

'Stick to traditional detergent for your laundry. The best way to clean a washing machine is to add a couple of cups of white vinegar to the detergent tray and run on a hot cycle. You can repeat this exercise over again by adding baking soda too,' she adds.

spurling cottage utility room

(Image credit: Future / Jody Stewart)

Using dish soap for your weekly wash load could mean you're faced with a room full of bubbles, which, while it might go down well with the kids, will be a nightmare to clean up.

Mrs Hinch and her legions of fans have given birth to endless cleaning hacks online. There are all kinds of weird and wonderful tips out there, with varying results when tried at home.

See also: Mrs Hinch's secret weapon for cleaning an oven is a total game changer - and less than £5

We’re safe adopting some hacks into our cleaning routines, like putting a tumble dryer sheet into cushions to keep them smelling fresh or putting a fizzy drink to clean the toilet.

Alex and Sam Reid put their DIY skills to the test, transforming a dilapidated 1950s house with reclaimed wood, upcycled furniture and vintage French finds

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However, when it comes to the washing machine, stick to the products made for them.

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.