If you spend any time on TikTok, you’ve probably seen the latest virtual cleaning trend– pouring dish soap into your garden hose while it’s bent, releasing it, and using it to clean an outdoor rug or kiddie pool.
Seems like a great idea, right? But don’t go busting out the dish soap and garden hose just yet.
According to the American Ground Water Trust, if you dump dish soap into a hose without any sort of backflow prevention device, you’re risking cross-contamination. Yes, even if you bend the hose first.
Basically there’s always a risk of some water flowing in the opposite direction it’s supposed to, i.e. if you’re spraying water out of your hose, some of it will trickle backwards into the hose instead. And it’ll bring the dish soap along with it.
Since hoses connect to your home water system, trying out this hack may lead to you accidentally contaminating your drinking or bathing water with dish soap. Not a risk you want to take, no matter how dirty your outdoor rug or patio mat or kiddie pool.
That said, there is a solution if you still want to give this cleaning hack a try– install a backflow preventer onto your hose.
Homewerks Worldwide VACBFPZ4B Backflow Preventer
Don't pour any kind of soap down your hose without this attachment or one just like it. Seriously.
These little attachments are designed to stop water from flowing backwards into hoses. Depending on where you live, the law may even require some sort of backflow preventer on any semi-permanent or permanent hose that’s attached to your home anyway.
If installing a backflow preventer is beyond you, use a garden hose nozzle with a built-in soap dispenser instead. They’re specifically designed to let you create a foamy stream of water with your garden hose, without the soap or detergent finding its way into your plumbing system.
But seriously, don’t go dumping dish soap into your garden hose without one of these two attachments. We’re begging you.