Accidentally Put Dish Soap in Washing Machine? What to Do Now

If you just accidentally put dish soap in the washing machine, this post will help you to understand what will happen and what you should know. Usually, manufacturers of washers only prefer to use compatible detergents. So, Should you use it? No, it’s not an ideal idea, through this post we will show you why.

It will not wash out the load if you’ve put dish soap in the washing machine even accidentally or simply. Additionally, excessive sud will get formed in the drum and may cause drain issues. Stop your washer, try to remove garments, and drain out the current water. After this add the load again and first clean it with clean water, then add detergent.

We’ve described important steps you should take when you accidentally put dish soap in your washing machine. Let’s dive deeper into the guide.

Dish Soap in Washing Machine\

Can You Use Dish Soap in Washing Machine?

Practically, using dish soap in a washing machine is not a great idea. We know you can put it in the washing drum as you add detergent, but it will not clean the clothes effectively. On the contrary, this produces too many suds, can damage sensitive fibers, and may add up dish soap cents in the garments. 

We know that when our detergent gets totally used and the box gets empty, our mind can say “Wash clothes with dish soap in the washing machine”. But unluckily and technically, this is bad for both fabric and appliance.

Nowadays washing machines come with sensors. When these sensors detect there is excessive sud produced in the washing drum or this too mud sud went into the drain system, machines start displaying an error code. 

When this happens a washing machine immediately stops spinning and the error remains displayed until the user fixes the issue. 

Moreover, dish soap is only designed for cleaning dishes, not clothes or other things. 

Undoubtedly they also produce suds and look like a similar cleaning agent as detergents. But the fact is, we must avoid using detergent in place of dish soap and dish soap in the place of detergent.

What Happens If You Accidently Put Dish Soap in the Washing Machine?

If you just accidentally put dish soap in the washing machine, it will start dissolving in the drum water. But, if you immediately stop the machine, it will stop it from dissolving. Now, you can remove it from the washer and prepare the load and machine to rewash clothes with detergent.

However, if you run the machine with dish soap added to the washing machine, then things can go wrong. 

Below we have collected all the possible cases that can happen if you accidentally or simply wash clothes with dish soap.

  • Your washing machine can overflow due to excessive foam and suds, which can cause a mess on your floor.
  • The excess suds of dish soap can cause damage to the machine’s internal parts, such as the drain pump.
  • Dish soap’s excessive suds can also cause the washing machine to stop working properly or make it run less efficiently. This happens when an error code gets displayed because of blockage due to suds in the drain system.
  • The soap residue can also inferior the quality of certain fabrics or leave stains on your clothes.
  • It may take several cycles to completely remove all of the soap from the machine, which can waste water and electricity.
  • The soap residue left in the washing machine can attract dirt and bacteria, which can cause odors or make your clothes appear dirty even after washing. So, you will need to remove it as soon as possible from your unit.

Will Dish Soap Ruin a Washing Machine?

Yes and No. Yes when you use it during the entire cycle, and no when you immediately stop your washer when it is accidentally put by you in your washing machine.

In simple words, we’ve reported that using dish soap during the entire cycle can potentially cause damage to the washing machine. 

However, stopping the cycle immediately and cleaning out the soap residue can help mitigate any potential damage. So it also depends on your efforts and decisions aside from the dish soap effect.

It’s still best to avoid putting dish soap in the washing machine altogether to prevent any possible issues.

In case you accidentally use dish soap in your washing machine, stop the cycle immediately and clean out the soap residue as much as possible. If soap residue still persists, you will need to run additional rinse cycles to remove it from your machine.

Take note that every dish soap is not designed to be used with a washing machine’s delicate components such as rubber seals and hoses. 

This cleaning solution can cause these parts to dry out and crack over time. If rubbers and seals get dry and cracked, this will lead to water leaks and even mechanical failure.

How to Get Dawn Dish Soap Out of a Washing Machine?

As you know now, we can’t use any dish soap in a washing machine, it’s important to take immediate action to remove the soap residue.

Here’re the steps to get dish soap out of a washing machine:

  1. First of all, Stop your washing machine immediately. Turning off the machine immediately will prevent the suds from building up and overflowing. You can do this by pressing the pause button or unplugging the machine.
  2. Use a towel or cloth to remove any excess soap suds from the inside of the washing machine. Make sure to get into all the corners and crevices where soap residue may have accumulated.
  3. Now, Run a rinse cycle. Set the washing machine to run a rinse cycle on the hottest setting. Add no laundry detergent or fabric softener to the cycle. This will help break down the soap suds and remove them from the machine.
  4. If necessary, you should run the rinse cycle several times until all the soap residue is removed from the machine. Moreover, After each cycle, check for any remaining suds.
  5. Next, After running the rinse cycle, inspect the washing machine for any remaining soap residue. If you still see suds, repeat the rinse cycle until all the soap is gone.
  6. Once all the soap residue is removed from your machine, finally run an empty cycle with hot water to ensure that all the soap is completely removed. This will also help to remove any remaining residue left over from the dish soap.


Accidentally putting dish soap in a washing machine can cause excessive suds to form in the drum and may cause drain issues. However, the same happens to you. It is important to stop the washer, remove the load, and drain out the current water. 

Once you have done this, the load should be cleaned with clean water before adding laundry detergent to avoid any further issues.