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Can You Wash Clothes in a Dishwasher? (Solved!)

Just like a washing machine is made to wash clothes, dishwashers perform the task of cleaning dishes.

Nonetheless, “can you wash clothes in a dishwasher?” is a question that must have stuck your mind. If that is the case, I am here to answer this query.

I will let you know whether you can clean the clothes in a dishwasher or not. If not, what is an alternative to the washer?

You will find a lot of insights in this article. Stick to the end.

Can You Wash Clothes In A Dishwasher?

No, It can never be a good idea to do laundry in the dishwasher. There are several reasons for this answer.

Firstly, the dishwasher contains extremely hot water. Hot water is bad for your clothes as it fades the color of bright clothes. Also, hot water is not suitable for some fabrics like polyester, vinyl, and nylon. So much heat from the hot water can totally ruin the fabric.

Secondly, if you place the clothes inside the dishwasher, they will become tangled. The clothes are likely to get stuck in the dishwasher resulting in massive damage. Even if clothes do not get tangled with the dishwasher, they will not get clean.

Adding things other than dishes in the dishwasher is considered as misuse of the appliance. This will void the warranty of your dishwasher.

Why Should You Not Wash Clothes In A Dishwasher?

Appliances are designed by keeping in mind the task it has to do. The washing machine is designed to wash clothes only.

If we put something else like dishes in it and expect that they will turn out all clean, this is not true. Doing such a thing will either break all your utensils or damage the machine. In the worst case, both of them can happen.

The same is the case with dishwashers. Here are several reasons why you should not wash clothes in a dishwasher.

1. Your Dishwasher Will Get Damaged

Dishwashers are not designed to wash clothes. If you happen to place the clothes on the rack, they will sit there and get wet. The soapy solution will also get applied to the clothes, but this will not remove the stains.

You are risking such an expensive appliance by putting in something for which the dishwasher was not made.

Placing the clothes inside it will risk your clothes along with the dishwasher. Small-sized clothes can easily get tangled inside the dishwasher resulting in damage to both your expensive appliance and clothes.

Not only this, there is another risk to your clothes. The exposed heating element in the bottom of the dishwasher could start the fire on the clothes. This is the most dangerous thing. Even your house can catch fire.

2. Your Clothes Will Be Ruined Because Of The…

Dishwasher Detergent

The detergent used in the dishwasher is made somewhat differently than the laundry detergent. The ingredients used in it are harsh to clean the dishes thoroughly. Though it cleans oil and dirt, the detergent cannot deal with fabrics and clothes.

The detergent contains a high level of pH and bleach. This makes the detergent toxic for clothes and fabrics. The laundry detergent is made with less harsh chemicals. This does not cause any damage to the clothes.

Therefore, dishwashers are not right for laundry. Even if you replace the dishwashing detergent with laundry detergent, the other risk is still there – the hot water.

Hot Water

The temperature of water in the dishwasher is much higher than that in the washing machine. This makes the dishwasher highly unsuitable for fabrics. During the sanitization cycle, the temperature of the water becomes as high as 170 degrees.

This high temperature worsens your clothes and fades away from their colors. Some thin fabrics can even get broken down.

Heat Drying

Also, in order to dry the washed dishes, the dishwasher uses heat drying. The air is really hot, which dries out the utensils completely. But this hot air is not suitable for the fabrics.

Food Scrap Particles

As you wash the dishes and clothes at the same time in the laundry, the food scrap particles are most likely to stain your clothes. This will again ruin your clothes.

3. The Clothes Will Not Get Clean Properly

The system of washing machines is well suitable for clothes. There is a spinning cycle in which the detergent spreads well on the clothes and removes the stains.

Again for drying clothes, there is a proper spin that dries the clothes. The temperature of the spinner is also maintained according to the clothes.

While in a dishwasher, there is no such spinning cycle. If you place the clothes inside of the dishwasher, the water will get sprayed on them. This will not remove any dirt or stain from the clothes. It will just make the clothes wet.

While drying, the dishwasher will not dry the clothes. Instead, detergent and water will stay in the clothes.

Since there is not any spinning function, that is why soaked clothes will remain as such. The hot air might only dry them up, but do not remove the detergent.

4. It is a Risk

Placing a lot and even a single piece of cloth in the dishwasher poses severe safety hazards. A dishwasher is built merely for dishes. When you place the clothes on the rack of a dishwasher, the clothes will get tangled and stuck in some part of the dishwasher.

Also, when you try to use laundry detergent in the dishwasher, the two different detergents combine, resulting in the production of fumes. This is due to the presence of bleach in a dishwashing detergent.

5. The Warranty of Dishwasher Will Become Invalid

Like every electrical appliance, dishwashers also come with a warranty. This means that whenever your dishwasher gets a problem or finds a defect in the appliance, it will get repaired. When the warranty card is still valid, you do not have to pay for the repair.

But in case your appliance gets damaged due to misuse, the warranty of the appliance becomes invalid. In this case, you have to pay yourself for all the damage and even if it needs replacement.

The Difference Between Dishwasher And Washing Machine

A washing machine is an appliance, which is used to wash clothes. Similarly, a dishwasher is also an electrical appliance, but it is used for cleaning the dishes.

These appliances are made very differently for the function they have to perform.

The washing machine spins the clothes when placed inside to get the stains removed perfectly. However, a dishwasher only sprays water on the dishes. There is no such spinning feature in a dishwasher.

In washing machines, the temperature of water used is normally 70 degrees. This temperature is appropriate for washing clothes. While in a dishwasher, the water must be 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature less than this might damage the dishes.

The detergent used in both these appliances is different. You have to use a laundry detergent in a washing machine, while in a dishwasher, dishwashing detergent is used.

Dishwashing detergent contains harsh chemicals comparatively, so it should avoid use in a washing machine.

Can You Wash Clothes Using Dishwashing Soap?

Yes, you can use dishwashing soap or liquid to wash your clothes. However, you should remember that only a small amount of dishwashing soap is used.

If you use the same amount of dishwashing soap as you use the laundry detergent, the soap will eventually flow out after mixing with water. Therefore, only a considerable amount should be added.

Here’s how you should wash the clothes by using dishwashing soap:

  1. Measure the correct amount of dishwashing soap to be added to the washing machine. Here is a small guide on how to do that:
  • One tablespoon of soap for small clothes.
  • Two tablespoons of soap for medium-sized clothes.
  • Three tablespoons of soap for large clothes.
  1. Take the correct measurement, add the dishwashing soap into the detergent compartment of the washer. There is nothing different in it. Just do the same as you do with the laundry detergent.
  1. Wash the clothes and let them dry. This step will also be the same as you would do with laundry detergent. The clothes will be fresh and clean.

Laundry detergents are usually expensive when compared to dishwashing soaps. Therefore, it is a good idea to use it.

You just need to be careful with the amount you are adding. A large amount of dishwashing soap will form bubbles and overflow from the washer.

How To Wash Clothes Without A Washer?

If your washer got damaged, power ran out, or you cannot wash clothes in the washer for some other reason, and your mind hits with the question, “Can You Wash Clothes in a Dishwasher?” then the answer is no.

Don’t try to ruin your clothes and such expensive appliances. There are other methods as well with which you can wash your clothes in an emergency.

Washing Clothes with Hands

This is the most effective method of washing clothes other than a washer. Comparatively, less detergent and less water are used when you use your hands to wash the clothes.

Let us see the whole method of doing laundry with hands:


Step One

Separate out the colored and white clothes before starting. Some clothes start bleeding during the process, which ruins your white clothes. It is also recommended to separate the light and dark-colored clothes.


Step Two

Place your clothes in a small plastic tub or a container. You can also use a bucket, but a wide container is preferred. Don’t try to put all the clothes in the container at once. You will not get the desired results. Make sure to add the minimum amount of clothes at a time.


Step Three

Before adding the water, you can use a pre-wash or soap to remove some serious stains. After adding it, leave the clothes for four to five minutes.


Step Four

Open the tap and then add the water. It is recommended to add lukewarm water as stains get removed this way easily. Do not wash your clothes with hot water. This will damage certain types of clothes and cause their color to bleed.


Step Five

Add the laundry detergent into the container containing clothes. For two to three pieces of clothes, two tablespoons of laundry detergent will do the job. After that, let the clothes get soaked. As detergent takes time to work, it is necessary to leave them for half an hour.


Step Six

After a while, move the clothes inside the container and gently press them against the container walls. This will remove the dirt perfectly from your clothes. Do not twist your clothes as it can damage them.


Step Seven

Now, you need to remove the soapy water and fill the container with some new cool water. Continue to press the clothes against the water in clean water. Repeat the same again until no soap suds are remaining.


Step Eight

Finally, twist and wring the clothes to remove the water.

To dry the clothes, you can spread them in the sun. If you live in a cold region, make sure to place the clothes in a well-ventilated room.

Washing clothes by hand is a good and convenient way. You can use an agitator to make the process easy. However, the results are not as great, as if you have washed in a washer.


“Can you wash clothes in a dishwasher?” is a question that crosses many people’s minds. Dishwasher doesn’t wash your clothes in the first place.

Even if it does, this is the worst way of washing your clothes. Also, there are many risks and hazards associated with it.

In case of an emergency, you can wash the clothes with your hands. Everyone has a container in their home; take it out and do this simple task right away.

If you have run out of laundry detergent, there is no harm in using dishwashing soap. Add it in the washer the same way you add the laundry detergent.

I hope this article helped you and answered your question. Thank you for stopping by.

Queen of Chores