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Can You Put Dawn In The Washing Machine?

Can You Put Dawn In The Washing Machine?

Oh no! You forgot to buy detergent the last time you went to the grocery store. But you have an idea!

You have a full bottle of dawn liquid dish soap sitting in your kitchen. Can you use Dawn dish soap instead of detergent in your washing machine?

It is not a good idea to add Dawn, or any type of dish soap, to a laundry machine. Dish soap is not designed to work within a washing machine. Actually, if enough Dawn is added to a washing machine, the soap can destroy the machine.

If you don’t have laundry detergent, make a temporary solution by mixing borax, baking soda, hot water, and Zote soap flake from the 99 cents store.

If you don’t have borax, then zote soap flakes and baking soda are ok to mix, but your clothing won’t be soft.

There are several DIY laundry detergent mixes that you can mix with household ingredients.

Whatever you do, do not add dish soap into the washer. If you truly have nothing but Dawn dish soap, then it’d be better to wash your clothes by hand.

Can You Put Dawn In The Washing Machine?

Don’t you hate it when you forget to buy laundry detergent? It’s like you forget about the existence of laundry detergent the moment you walk into the store! But you do have some dish soap left at home.

Surely a substance made to remove grease and spaghetti stains from white plates can remove grass, dirt, and food stains from your clothing. But is it safe to put laundry detergent in the washing machine?

No, it is never safe to add Dawn dish soap to your washing machine.

Dishwashing soap

What Happens When You Add Dawn Dish Soap To a Washing Machine?

When Dawn dish soap mixes with your laundry, it will also mix with water falling from the spout.

As these two substances mix together and then are jostled around by the rotation of the machine, they will create a massive amount of suds.

A washing machine can handle some suds, but not as much as dish soap can make.

The building suds can also rise up into the mechanisms and components inside of the washing machine and affect the machinery.

Dish soap is not meant for fabrics. It does not have the chemicals that keep clothing and fabrics soft.

Dish soap will break down fabrics like cotton and nylon. Repeatedly washing with dish soap can also ruin the dye in your clothing.

Can You add Other Types of Dish Soap to a Washing Machine?

Maybe you don’t use Dawn at home and have an entirely different brand of dish soap available.

Are these safe to add to your washing machine?

No, they’re not safe to add to your washing machine and they can break the machine just like Dawn dish soap will. Dish soap is not meant for washing machines.

You can’t add Dawn dish soap or any other type of dish soap into your washing machine.

But that does not mean you can only put laundry detergent into the washing machine.

There’s several household cleaning solutions or cleaning ingredients that can be great ingredients to boost the washing power of laundry detergent.

Here are some of those ingredients:

  • Baking soda
  • Borax
  • Vinegar(rinse cycle)
  • Washing soda
  • Castile soap
  • Zote soap (must grate first with a grater)
  • A few drops of your favorite essential oil (rinse cycle)

If you have borax, washing soda, zote soap flakes, then you can make a DIY detergent.

Dissolve these ingredients in warm water and then add it to the main compartment of your washing machine.

But if you only have zote soap, then grate the soap into flakes and add a cup of the flake to the washing machine.


You Can Wash Your Clothing With Dish Soap – But Only in the Sink!

Anyone who washes their clothing with dish soap washes the items in the sink.

They do not add dish soap to their washing machine.

Washing your clothing in the sink is a great idea, especially if you only need to wash a t-shirt, socks, or underwear.

Add a bit of dish soap to some room temperature water and wash your clothes in the solution.

Fill up your sink with slightly cold water and then wash your clothes by hand.

Rub the fabric in a circular motion and not up and down.

Just Head to the Laundromat

If all else fails, head to your nearest laundromat, purchase detergent, and wash your laundry there.

Laundromats sell laundry detergent, clothing softener, and dryer towels to make it easier for their customers, in case they forget their soaps and laundry chemicals at home.

Laundromats also have a service that washes, dries, and folds your clothes for you.

Just drop the laundry off, check it in and pay, and pick it up when it’s ready.

Conclusion to Using Dawn in the Washing Machine

Never add anything to your washing machine that isn’t laundry detergent.

You can make a DIY laundry detergent or use store-bought laundry detergent. But do not add any type of dish soap to your washing machine.

If you only have dish soap, then wash your clothes by hand in the sink.

You can take your laundry to a laundromat. Laundromats sell laundry detergent.

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.