Can You Use Dishwasher Pods for Laundry – Chemist Speaks Out

Have you had an experience wherein you have many clothes to wash but discovered that you ran out of laundry detergent? Frustrating. You rummage through your kitchen cabinets and find out that you have stocks of dishwasher pods!

Then, you wonder, can you use dishwasher pods for laundry? You cannot use dishwasher pods for laundry because their chemical composition is not designed for clothing. A dishwasher pod has foaming agents that remove fat, stains, and grease on your pots, pans, dishes, and utensils. As a result, your clothes don’t need them, and the excess suds may damage your washing machine.

Moreover, the washing machine can’t eliminate the extra foam during the rinse cycle. Dishwasher detergent also has ammonia and bleach that can discolor your clothes. Furthermore, it leaves residue in your washing machine. Finally, a dishwasher runs on hot water, which can dissolve the pods efficiently, but you usually don’t use hot water for laundering your soiled clothes. 

The University of Wisconsin – Madison chemistry lecturer Allen Clauss adds that dishwasher pods have high chlorine content and pH levels unsuitable for laundry. In addition, dishwasher detergent will only cause the clothes to lose color and the fabrics to break down.

What are the differences between dishwasher pods and laundry pods?

The differences between the dishwasher pods and laundry pods are that dishwasher pods have enzymes targeting crusted food actively. On the other hand, laundry pods have stain removers, fragrances, brighteners, and other chemicals that are designed to work with fabrics.

Consumer Reports also say that laundry pods have more pods that may block the dishwasher’s water spray used in cleaning your dishes. Moreover, the suds can also ruin your dishwashing machine. 

The dishwasher dispenser releases the pod into the water and dissolves the film and disperses the detergent inside. Next, the water with the soap rotates in the machine to break down the food grease and dirt. Then, the polymers suspend them in the water to prevent re-depositing them onto the dishes. 

Dishwashing pods are more convenient and less messy because they’re premeasured liquid detergent inside a water-soluble film. However, they’re not advisable for super light loads because the pod remnants will remain on the dishes. Therefore, waiting for the dishwasher to have a full load before running is best.

Similarly, laundry pods have detergent inside a film that dissolves upon hitting the water. People use it because it’s convenient and premeasured; therefore, it’s better performing because of the correct measurement. Moreover, it has additional concentrated ingredients that make clothes cleaner.

Some brands have three chambers to separate the active ingredients and release them at different intervals into the wash. They use several technologies for the user to save money by refraining from buying detergent, odor eliminators, and fabric softener. Each pod has these three ingredients.

However, laundry pods aren’t better than conventional detergents because they’re expensive. In addition, it’s wasteful if users will only wash a small load. They’re better off using powder or liquid detergent because using too many ingredients in a pod to clean a few clothes will result in chemical buildup on them.

Moreover, the CDC warned about using laundry pods when there are kids in the house. In 2012, the consumption of these pods by five hundred children resulted in their poisoning. Therefore, keeping them out of a child’s reach is advisable.

What can I use if I do not have laundry detergent?

If you do not have laundry detergent at home, you can use pantry items, such as white vinegar and baking soda, especially for heavily soiled or stained clothing. Use ½ cup of baking soda during the wash cycle, and during the rinse cycle, use ½ cup of vinegar instead of a fabric softener.

Sometimes, you run out of laundry detergent but can’t go to the store to buy one. Instead, you have loads of clothes to wash, and today is the only time you must launder them. Fortunately, aside from the vinegar and baking soda solution, you can also use these top hacks:

Pantry Ingredients Measurements Procedure
Lemon juice and baking soda ½ cup baking soda½ cup lemon juice Use baking soda during the wash cycle and lemon juice during the rinse cycle. You may pretreat stubborn stains with lemon juice before washing
Dishwashing soap Pea-sized dollop of dish detergent (Optional – ½ cup of vinegar) Use a small amount of dish soap for colored clothing only. Not for clothes requiring special care. Not for use in high-efficiency washers. Use vinegar during the rinse cycle to ensure the detergent doesn’t leave any residue
Shampoo Small amount of gentle-formula shampoo Use on colored clothing only. Don’t use a lot of shampoos because the suds can damage the washing machine
Soap bar A few shavings only (use a vegetable peeler) Suds can damage the washing machine, therefore use a few shavings only. Run an extra rinse cycle to ensure rinsing out of the soap on clothes
Vodka Equal parts of water and vodka in a spray bottle Spray the solution on delicate. Not for heavily soiled delicate clothes
Hydrogen peroxide 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide Use on white clothes only during the wash cycle
Oxygen-based bleach ½ cup of oxygen-based bleach For colored and white clothes. Use during the wash cycle

Can I use Dawn dish soap as laundry detergent?

You cannot use Dawn dish soap as laundry detergent. Generally, the suds create a mess and can damage your washing machine’s drains and pumps. In addition, dawn dish soap isn’t for washing the laundry because it can leave soap scum on your clothes, making the fibers break down faster. 

Laundry detergent and dish soap may have the same cleaning agents, colorants, and enzymes. However, they use different additives. For instance, dishwashing soap has additives to maintain the softness of your hands as you wash your soiled pots and pans. On the other hand, a laundry detergent may consist of fabric softeners to ensure your clothes are static-free and wrinkle-free.

A dishwashing liquid may have bleach that can damage your colored clothes. Moreover, it may have harsh chemicals that can result in an allergic reaction or skin irritation. It may contain scents and dyes that can irritate your sensitive skin. 

Soap and detergent aren’t interchangeable because they function in diverse ways. The former eliminates dirt by rinsing the dirt molecules away. On the other hand, the latter has ingredients affecting the water to remove dirt from clothes effectively. For example, it has surfactants that lessen surface tension and boost the water’s ability to spread over it evenly. As a result, it becomes easier to remove dirt. However, soap doesn’t have surfactants, so it doesn’t clean the clothes as well as the detergent.

Therefore, you should choose your cleaning products well. For example, opt for laundry detergent in washing clothes using a washing machine and dish soap in your dishwasher.

Can you use dishwasher pods to hand wash dishes?

You cannot use dishwasher pods to hand wash dishes because the alkaline content in the pods will dry out your hands. The chemicals in dishwasher pods are stronger than the chemicals in dishwasher soap.

Dishwashing pods aren’t the best product for your hands. If you have sensitive skin, the detergent’s alkalinity can subdue your skin’s natural oils; thus, making it extremely dry. In addition, if you have respiratory issues like asthma, the scent of the dishwasher tablets can trigger an attack. You may also have an allergic reaction if your skin encounters the detergent’s chemicals.

Moreover, you’ll notice a residue on your dishes from using too much detergent. The utensils will look unappealing, and if you don’t catch them early, you may eat using them. Consuming chemicals from the detergent is unsafe. Moreover, getting excess detergent into the sewage isn’t environment friendly.

You also need more water to dilute the dishwasher pod. On the other hand, you don’t need more soapy water if you’re hand washing your dishes to produce suds. Moreover, the dishwasher tablets may contain a high pH level and bleach to clean the plates effectively. Using them to hand wash the dishes is disadvantageous to your skin. Using dishwashing soap is more beneficial because it’s bleach-free.

What should you do if you accidentally put a dishwasher tablet in a washing machine?

If you accidentally put a dishwasher tablet in a washing machine, you should switch the setting to the rinse cycle and then remove the clothes after this cycle. Now you need to complete another rinse cycle while the washer is empty to remove any leftover dishwasher pod chemicals.

Errors can occur, but you should strive not to do the same the next time. A dishwasher tablet is perfect for a dishwasher to eliminate the dirt and grease in your plates, pans, and trays.

Moreover, the high-water temperature makes the dishwasher tablet perform efficiently. However, you’re not able to choose a high enough temperature with a washer to dissolve a dishwasher pod. I recommend the Affesh Washing Machine Cleaner Tablets that are available on Amazon. Click here to have yours delivered.

Therefore, the dishwasher tablet may not completely break down, leaving residue on your clothes. Moreover, your clothes may smell like a dishwasher tablet. On the other hand, you may run another hot cycle to eliminate the residue from your washing machine, but it’s a waste of energy and time because you should run it without any clothes.

Manufacturers didn’t design the dishwasher tablet for use in a washing machine. Therefore, it may damage your delicate clothes. The harsh chemicals may react with the fine fibers, and you may be surprised that you can no longer wear your favorite clothes again.

You should make it a habit to read the washing machine’s user manual to learn if it has provisions about using dishwasher tablets in cleaning it. The instructions will tell you to use a detergent designed for washing machines. Unfortunately, a dishwasher tablet isn’t part of that list. Therefore, you may not claim a warranty if something happens to your washing machine while using a dishwasher tablet. For your dishwasher, I recommend Finish Powerball Pods that are available on Amazon. Click here to have yours delivered to your front door.

Manufacturers are strict about the dos and don’ts in the user manual. Therefore, you should follow them if you don’t want them to void the warranty.

Can you clean your washing machine with dishwasher tablets?

You cannot clean your washing machine with dishwasher tablets because it may damage your washing machine. It contains highly caustic ingredients that may damage your washing machine’s seals and hoses. Moreover, the manufacturer may forfeit the warranty because you’re not following the proper instructions.

You may find it tempting to join the bandwagon of this viral hack on social media. However, you shouldn’t because the washing machine may have issues. It would help if you listened to experts when they warned about using dishwasher tablets in cleaning your washing machine. These tablets may be inexpensive, but you’ll be spending a hefty amount should anything happen to your washing machine.

At the outset, you may marvel at how sparklingly clean your machine is after using dishwashing detergents. But unknowingly, when you check the drum, it has a residue that may attach to your clothes the next time you launder them. Unfortunately, your clothes will look dingy, and you may not want to wear them again.

You should use products specifically for cleaning washing machines because manufacturers have tested them to produce excellent results. Moreover, experts recommend them. Dishwasher tablets have highly caustic ingredients that may damage some parts of your washing machine, like hoses and seals. Furthermore, the manufacturer may void the warranty if they discover that you used products unsuitable for the washing machine.

Final Thoughts

Please don’t believe all the viral things you read on the Internet because many of them aren’t true and may prove harmful. For example, a dishwasher soap, detergent, or pod is specifically for dishwasher use, while the laundry detergent, soap, or pod is for washing machine use. In addition, they have different formulations; therefore, you can’t use them interchangeably.

Subjects that pop up often on dishwashers

If you have a new dishwasher, why is it that sometimes a new dishwasher smells like mold? Also, a bosch machine sometimes has a bosch dishwasher flashing red light situation that is annoying.

Some people have the problem of why is there water in the bottom of my dishwasher that happens again and again.

Aron Blake

I am the lead copywriter on Homezesty and the Webmaster. I have a lot of experience in home renovations and the creation of style. I enjoy writing and sharing my tips on how to create the best living environment. My Linkedin Profile, My Twitter Account

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