Information Guide

Can You Put Dish Soap In A Dishwasher?

Can you put liquid dish soap in a dishwasher? While it seems ok, you should not be putting regular dish soap in your dishwasher & here’s why.

by Josh Mitchell

If you have a dishwasher at home, it’s imperative that you’re using the right soap or detergent in your dishwasher to avoid any problems. If you’re wondering whether you can put dish soap in a dishwasher, this guide is here to help.  

Here, we’ll cover everything you need to know about whether regular dish soap can be used in the dishwasher, what you should do if you've already used it, and provide a great alternative to consider if you've run out of dishwasher tablets.  

A popular question that's commonly asked is, can you put liquid dish soap in a dishwasher? 

While it might seem alright, you should not be putting regular dish soap in your dishwasher as you’ll be damaging your appliance. Dish soap is specially designed for dishes, and they are not meant to be placed in your dishwasher.  

Can You Put Dish Soap In A Dishwasher

Regular dish soap creates suds, and by placing it in your dishwasher, it could make a good deal of foam within the appliance and eventually produce a type of scum that can result in drainage issues like clogged filters – even ruining pipes in the long run.  

Dish detergent, on the other hand, is the correct cleaning agent for dishwashers. Unlike regular dish soap, using dish detergent in a dishwasher will not create a large amount of suds that would cause damage to its components. They are also specially formulated to separate dirt from the dishes in a high-pressure wash environment.

Dish detergents also work best in warm water, while regular dish soap can work well in just regular cold water.  

What Happens When You Use Regular Dish Soap In A Dishwasher?

Wondering what happens if you put dish soap in the dishwasher? Well, since regular dish soap is specially formulated to create foamy suds that help with basic cleaning tasks, you run the risk of these suds spilling out of your dishwasher, flooding across your floor, and causing damage.  

While it’s unlikely that your dishwasher will break down from a cycle of using dish soap, the suds produced could end up damaging your kitchen floors, and in some more dangerous instances, impact nearby electrical outlets or appliances.

It is, therefore, crucial that you do not put regular dish soap in your dishwasher and instead use specially formulated dish detergent, powder or capsules instead 

Safety is key, especially in a kitchen area, and the last thing you would want is to have to contact an expert appliance repair company to assist with any damage caused to your kitchen. Using regular dish soap, in the long run, will also cause permanent damage to your dishwasher and can be expensive to replace or fix.  

What To Do After Putting Dish Soap In Your Dishwasher? 

Can You Use Regular Dish Soap In Dishwasher

If you have put regular dish soap in your dishwasher, it’s important that you follow the steps below to prevent damage to both your dishwasher and the kitchen:  

  • 1
    Turn the dishwasher off right away to prevent any suds from being produced. Once you have canceled your cycle, your dishwasher should start draining. While it won't clear everything out, it will make the clean-up process easier.  
  • 2
    Get a wet mop to help absorb any overflow of suds and water produced from the dishwasher overflowing.  
  • 3
    Before you clear out the pipes and drain, make sure that you remove any dishes in your dishwasher and place them in the sink. Rinse off any residue and consider washing the dishes by hand.  
  • 4
    Once that’s done, go ahead and rinse out and dry the entirety of the inside of your dishwasher. This is a necessary step to avoid any future problems with suds and soap scum. You would want to rinse your dishwasher until you no longer see bubbles appearing when you pour it into the inside and bottom of your appliance.  
  • 5
    Finally, turn on the rinse cycle for about three to five minutes, and your dishwasher should be back to normal.  

Ran Out Of Dishwasher Tablets? What You Can Use Instead 

If you no longer have dishwasher tablets at home, here is an alternative that you can make with a couple of ingredients.  

Ingredients that you will require for this include:  

  • A couple of tablespoons of baking soda  
  • A few drops or even a tiny squirt of dish soap (such as Dawn).  

To make this alternative, you will:  

  1. 1
    Fill a detergent cup with a few tablespoons of baking soda before adding a few drops of dish soap.  
  2. 2
    Then, close the cover and proceed to run your dishwasher.  
Dishwasher Tablet Alternatives

It’s important that you’re using baking soda for this alternative, as it helps prevent the soap from forming suds and ensures that you won’t have bubbles all over your floor. With this combination, the baking soda prevents the suds and allows the soap to clean your dishes.  

If possible, however, it’s always recommended for you to get the proper dishwashing tablets for your dishwasher. That way, you can take comfort in knowing that your dishes will be properly cleaned every single time.  

People Also Ask (FAQs) 

Can some dishwashers not use pods?  

Yes, not all dishwashers use pods. Some dishwashers use alternatives such as powders, tablets, and liquids. It really depends on the needs of your type of dishwasher and what works best with your appliance.  

Can I use vinegar instead of dishwasher detergent?  

Vinegar is mostly used for cleaning and disinfecting your dishwasher instead of cleaning dishes. To do so, you would want to go ahead and fill a dishwasher-safe bowl with a cup of white vinegar before placing it on the bottom of your empty dishwasher. 

Can you run the dishwasher without detergent?  

Yes, you can run your dishwasher without detergent. This is highly dependent on the model of your dishwasher, but there are some instances where only the rinse cycle is required.  

How do I clean and deodorize my dishwasher?  

To do so, you’ll start by placing a bowl filled with white vinegar on the top rack of your dishwasher and run a normal cycle. Once that’s done, go ahead and pour a cup of baking soda at the bottom of your dishwasher and run a second cycle.  


As seen from the above, it’s important that you’re not putting regular dish soap in your dishwasher. Doing so will not only cause your dishwasher and kitchen to overflow with suds, but it’ll also damage your dishwasher in the long run.

Instead, opt for dishwashing pods, liquids, or tablets to ensure that you've got clean dishes and a dishwasher that will continue to work for many years to come.  

Josh enjoys researching, testing and diving into home improvement & DIY products. He has a passion for tools, learning new skills and fixing the everyday problems that arise around the house.