Can You Wash Clothes In A Dishwasher? (Find Out Now!)

Can You Wash Clothes In A Dishwasher?

Clothing is one of those things I don’t mess around with. I am all about professional laundry services, simply because my photoshoots require it. Other folks, though? They get creative. A friend of mine actually heard about someone who washed their clothes in a dishwasher. Was it actually a real thing, or was it an urban legend…?

No, you cannot wash clothes in a dishwasher. Doing this will probably destroy your clothing and also permanently damage your dishwasher. There is absolutely no reason why anyone should consider trying this. 

Are you wondering why this is a bad idea, or just want to read a little humorous jab at the concept? Well, I’m here and I’m going to get more into the topic below.

Why Can’t You Wash Clothes In A Dishwasher?

Clothes don’t have a uniform temperature setting for washes, unlike dishes. Most clothes will not do well with the ultra-high temperatures found in a dishwasher. Moreover, the scrubbing actions of a washing machine aren’t really able to be mimicked in a dishwasher.

No matter how you look at it, a dishwasher is not the same as a washing machine. It’s not built for it and the features you’d need for a good batch of laundry are not there. Just like you wouldn’t put your plates in a washer, you wouldn’t want to put your clothing in a dishwasher.

What Happens If You Try To Wash Your Clothes In The Dishwasher?

I guarantee you that nothing good will end up happening if you decide to do this. If you try to wash your clothes, be warned that this is what will happen:

  • Your clothes will get wrecked. Clothing needs to have specific temperatures and have to be churned around at a specific speed in order to be laundered well. Dishwashers don’t have specific speeds. Your delicates will be sprayed and maybe wiggled lightly among your jeans. Most of your clothes will look like garbage after you do this.
  • There is a good chance that your buttons might come off and jam the dishwasher. Dishwashers will have a lot of clogs from loose fabric fibers, lint, and buttons that get caught in the machinery. Yeah, clothes are not meant to be put in a dishwasher. Oh, and it could also break your spray arm.
  • Laundry detergent may also choke out your dishwasher’s plumbing. Laundry detergent is totally different than dish detergent, and will not behave the same way in a machine. If I remember correctly, laundry detergent is way more frothy than dish detergent. This could easily lead to plumbing problems and flooding around your kitchen area.
  • Food residue will harm your fabric. You know that pasta dinner you had yesterday? Tomato sauce will probably get cooked into your jeans if you try to put denim in the dishwasher. It’ll smell foul and look just as bad as it smells. Unfortunately, once certain types of food get into your clothing, it’s almost impossible to get the smell out, too.
  • Oh, and the laundry detergent might get in your food. Laundry detergent needs more rinsing before it disappears. This means that your next batch of dishes might end up harming your food’s flavor after the detergent clings to plates. Speaking of bad flavor, we should also make a point of talking about the health risk. I mean, is eating detergent ever safe? No, no it is not.

Will Washing Your Clothes In A Dishwasher Void Your Warranty?

Dishwasher warranties do their best to be accommodating, but there is only so much that your warranty will cover. Since putting clothing in your dishwasher is not considered to be a form of “normal use” (or even sane use) by manufacturers, you will end up voiding your warranty.

Should anything happen to your dishwasher after you stick your jeans in it, you will have to be the one to funnel money into replacing it. If you are lucky, and I mean very lucky, you might just be able to squeak by with something along the lines of a broken sprayer arm.

Related Questions

What is a Swedish Dishcloth?

A Swedish Dishcloth is a towel that is meant to be an eco-friendly, reusable, washable blend between a sponge and paper towel. Unlike all other fiber-based cloths, Swedish Dishcloths can be cleaned by putting them in the top rack of your dishwasher. If you want to go for a purist option, you can also pop them in the washing machine.

Can you use laundry detergent pods in your dishwasher?

Laundry detergent might smell terrific, but it has no reason to go anywhere near your dishwasher. It is not meant for it. Laundry detergent is thicker than dishwasher detergents, which means that it might be more prone to clogging the smaller plumbing tubes that help conduct water and detergent through the dishwasher.

Laundry detergent pods also have another issue that can harm your dishwasher’s plumbing: foaming. Laundry detergent, when agitated, foams more than regular dish detergent. This means that having the same amount of laundry detergent in a dishwasher can lead to extreme leakage.

Can I use liquid dish soap in a dishwasher?

If you want to save on dishwasher detergent, make the switch to dish soap. There’s no reason why you can’t just use dish soap in your dishwasher. In fact, some folks even swear by it. It’s important to use less dish soap if you want to use it in a washer. You only need to put a squirt or two of dish soap into the soap slot in order to make your dishwasher run well.

Don’t Put Clothing In The Dishwasher!

I don’t know how this conversation even started on the net. Was it a fake Tiktok hack? Was it something else? I don’t really know or care. However, you should never take the advice of anyone who tells you to put your clothing in the dishwasher. Even if they swear it worked for them, I can tell you it didn’t. So yeah, don’t do it.

Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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