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Why You Shouldn’t Use that Dish Soap Laundry Hack

A bottle of Dawn dish soap sits on top of a washing machine.
Shea Simmons / LifeSavvy

There’s an idea floating around TikTok that supposedly helps you keep your whites bright and clean. The hack suggests that you add some dish soap to your whites, then throw them in the wash like normal for some brightness.

Stop right now and put your dish soap back under the sink where it belongs. This is one laundry hack to avoid.

We’re all for finding new ways to do things—especially if it’s a cleaning hack that’s new, improved, and more efficient—but this one is not it. You could damage your washing machine if you attempt it.


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The hack sees a person adding dish soap to a white towel and then placing it inside the washing machine and running a cycle. But think about this. Have you ever accidentally put dish soap into your dishwasher instead of using an appliance-specific detergent? If so, you probably ended up with a river of bubbles flowing out of your machine. It was a headache, right?

A similar problem can occur when you mix dish soap with your washing machine. Dish soap is designed to foam, and while that’s fine in a kitchen sink, it’s bad for your washing machine.

Putting dish soap in your washing machine can lead to overflowing. The suds can also remain inside your machine, causing issues with your washing machine drain and pumps. Not only that but using dish soap on your clothes can lead to a build-up of soap scum, not bright whites.

Our advice? Use dish soap on the dishes and laundry detergent on the laundry. If you’re looking for hacks to keep your whites white, there are actually multiple pantry staples that work in your laundry. You can also try a bluing agent as well.

The moral of this laundry hack story? Don’t trust everything you see on TikTok and keep the dish soap in the kitchen sink.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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