Can You Wash Dishes with Laundry Detergent

Can You Wash Dishes with Laundry Detergent?

Detergents are produced according to the job they had to do for either cleaning the dishes or clothes. Their formulas are different and the substances they have are also different that is the reason we have a variety of detergents in the market to choose according to our requirements.

Whenever we go to market, we find different detergents that have different functions labeled on them. The difference in every detergent or dish liquid or dish soap or anything that we use to wash clothes or dishes is the formula with which they are made.

Can You Wash Dishes with Laundry Detergent?

Yes, you can wash your dishes with laundry detergent but keep in mind there they have many different substances added to them that can be toxic to our health if combined with our food.

Also, when we wash your dishes with laundry detergent it leaves some residue on the dishes because laundry detergents are slimmer and make more form then dish soap it is harder to remove the detergent from your dishes and you need to work allowed to remove it.

If you are still eager to wash your dishes with laundry detergent and having nothing else then we advise you to wash them completely to double rinse them with the hot water so that all there is it you can we wash off from your dishes and it would enter your body.

What is the difference between dish soap and laundry detergent?

The main difference between dish soap and laundry detergent is that laundry detergent washes the things that touch your skin while dish soap washes the things that touch your food. Thus, both of them are produced according to the purpose they serve.

The ingredients that are added to laundry detergents to clean your clothes have no effect on your skin if you wear them. but the same ingredients when mixed with your food can have many harmful effects on your health.

Is using laundry detergent to wash dishes safe?

Dishes are used to cook as well as eat food if washed with something that can be toxic to health it can cause real health issues. Laundry detergents have many ingredients that when mixed with food can cause eye irritation, lung, and kidney problems, or even cancer. It is better to avoid using laundry detergents to wash dishes.

The following are the reasons you should avoid using laundry detergents to wash your dishes either with hand or in a dishwasher.

Synthetic musks

Laundry detergent mostly include synthetic musks or also called ‘laundry musks’. These are added to the laundry detergents to keep the clean laundry smell on them for a long time. Their durability makes them very hard to wash off. Yes, it will not harm your clothes but if these synthetic musks will go into your body through your food it can make you sick it can cause many health problems like

synthetic musks smell like clean laundry and perfume and they hide the smell of sweat and any other unpleasant smell from your body and give you a clean laundry smell for longer durations.

synthetic musks are fat-soluble that when entering the body, rest in the fats of a human body. They were considered safe to use but recent researches show that they have the potential to disrupt or break down the body defense against other toxic chemical exposures that we are widely exposed to.

Optical brighteners

Optical brighteners are the chemicals that are added in the laundry detergents to make the clothes look white and bright. These chemicals absorb UV rays when coming in contact with the sun and radiate them back to the human eye. They simply cover the discoloration or stains by enhancing the whiteness of the clothes. They play no role in removing the stains or even in the cleaning process.

Optical brighteners can increase sun sensitivity and cause irritation in people with allergies. These are also bad for the environment as they do not biodegrade and remains into the wastewater for a long time which is a hazard to aquatic life.


Laundry detergents also have fragrances in them, we mostly buy the detergents that are good in smell and can clean our clothes completely. So, whenever we go somewhere our sweat smell will not embarrass us in front of others.

Difficult to wash off

The ingredients present in laundry detergents are added to remove those tough stains from the clothes which are much different than washing dishes. These ingredients are difficult to wash off from the dishes.

Laundry detergents have chemical substances that are added to make the clothes smell fresh and clean. These substances have long durability and stay on your clothes to make them smell good for a long period of time. Laundry detergent also makes more foam. Dishes, when washed with laundry detergents, have a slimy surface that can be difficult to rinse off.

So, if you really need to wash dishes with laundry detergents you must double-check them because if any of these compounds get mixed with food it can cause harm to your body.

Bad for skin

Laundry detergent is more caustic than standard dishwashing liquids. They keep your skin moisturized because dishes are washed multiple times a day. If you are hand washing your dishes with laundry detergent, your hands will come in contact with all those chemicals that are present in it many times. These chemicals can be harmful to your skin. Due to repeated exposures to laundry detergents, you can have allergies or rash on your skin.

Laundry detergents have a variety of ingredients that can be irritating to the skin. These include surfactants that loosen the dirt and oil particles to allow them to wash away. Laundry detergents can make your hand sour. We will recommend not using such detergents but if you really need to use laundry detergents for washing dishes, then wear gloves while washing dishes.

Bad for dishwashers

Now if we talk about dishwashers if you add detergent laundry detergent in your dishwasher it can do more harm than good do your body as well as your dishwasher. Laundry detergents other than the skin can also, cause damage to the dishwashers.

It can cause serious damages to your machine and could lead to a breakdown. Because every machine has a specific requirement that makes it work properly. If you add something that is not prepared for dishwashers it can damage its function. So, adding a laundry detergent to your dishwasher can cause some greater damage to it and will make a lot of foam which will overload your dishwasher with soap foam and you will not be able to see anything inside and your dishwasher will not be able to rinse all of that detergent from the dishes.

It can be a real mess and very hectic to wash everything later.

Stain removers

Stain removers dissolve, hides, emulsify or digest the stain. Stain removers contain emulsifiers or surfactants that can be harmful to the skin. It can provoke the chances of rash and allergies on the skin of your hands if come in contact with the skin multiple times.

Some stain removers also have ammonia in them. ammonia solutions help in killing the bacteria and other microorganisms and also breaking up the stains. Be careful if using ammonia-based launder detergents, it can cause irritation in your eyes as well as your skin.


Some laundry detergents also contain 1,4-dioxane but it is never listed on the label. It is a by-product that when inhaled for a longer time can cause irritation in eyes, nose, and throat. It can also cause kidney and liver damage and sometimes can lead to cancer.

Final Verdict

You might have a clear answer to ‘can you wash dishes with laundry detergent’ by reading this article. Dishwashing liquids or soaps are produced by keeping in mind the contact with food and skin as we eat and cook our food in those dishes and wash them with our hands. But laundry detergents are different. The substances added to them can be harmful.

So, by keeping in mind all the above points we advise you not to use laundry detergent to wash your dishes. But if you still need to wash your dishes with laundry detergent then rinse the dishes carefully and double-check so that no residue will be left on the dishes that can be harmful to your body.