When it comes to soap, I don't really think about the different ways that different types can be used. Soap is just one of those things that I never worried about buying when I was younger because my mother did all the shopping and there was always soap readily available. Now, as an adult, soap has made its way to the top of the list of things to buy when I run to the grocery store.

Like most people, I go through a lot soap. Soap can get pricey due to all the different types, like dishwashing soap, dish detergent, laundry soap, bathroom soap, body soap, hand soap, etc. There have been (many) times when I've run out soap and had to find create ways to save on it. Sometimes if I'm low on hand soap, I'll add a little water to it, or I'll use one of the other soap types I have at home and use it temporarily.

dishes, sink, dirty dishes
Jocelyn Hsu

I must admit that I'm guilty of using dish soap in the dishwasher. Even though I've always had soap in my house, it wasn't always the right kind. When I was younger, my main chore in the house was to wash the dishes every night. When my family ran out of dishwashing detergent for the dishwasher, we would usually forget to buy more right away. The dishwasher was full of dirty dishes to a point where there were no more clean utensils for my family to eat with. When we ran out, we would use dish soap and sometimes even use laundry detergent in the dishwasher to clean our dishes.

When this first happened to me, I thought my mom was crazy for using laundry soap as dish soap. I thought to myself, "This is strictly used to wash clothing, not to clean dishes!" I thought she was completely crazy for making me do this, and that the soaps were not the same. But who was I to question to my mom? After all, mom knows what's best.

Growing up, I found my mom to be really resourceful. If you're like me, and lazy af, you'll use this idea temporarily until you pick yourself up and go to the store. If you really think about it, dish soap and laundry soaps are both used in order to clean dirty things....so why not? And if laundry soap is okay in the dishwasher, why wouldn't liquid dish soap be okay too? 

Should you use dish soap in the dishwasher?

sink, dirty bowl, dirty dishes
Jocelyn Hsu

Truthfully, the answer is HECK NO. This is because these products are designed specifically for what they are made ti clean (i.e. dish soap for dishes and laundry detergent for laundry) and if not used correctly, it can cause critical damage to your appliances.

The main issue is that dish soap creates suds and dishwasher detergent does not. By using this for your dishwasher, suds will develop, possibly make a foam party in your kitchen, and eventually produce a type of scum in your washer. The washer may later develop drainage issues like clogged filters and dish soap can even ruin the pipes.

In conclusion, do not follow my example when washing dishes. Using detergents for things other than what they're made for may seem brilliant and economical at the moment, but may not fulfill your cleaning needs in the long-term. I now buy and use only dish soap to wash dishes by hand, and use dishwasher detergent for the dishwasher.