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Can You Use Hand Soap to Wash Dishes?

Can You Use Hand Soap to Wash Dishes?

Don’t you hate it when you are standing at the kitchen sink, ready to wash the dishes, and you realize there’s no dish soap? You search the sink cabinet, but there’s no dish soap there as well. But you need to wash the dishes now, so what can we use? Can you use hand soap?

You’ll be able to use hand soap to wash some dishes that are only lightly dirty, but not the dishes that are soiled or burnt. However, make sure you do not use hand soap that has lotion in it. Hand soap also works better if you soak the dishes before washing them.

Also, you may use any of these substitutes below if dish soap hurts your hands, causes them to itch, or causes a rash. Certain dish soaps, even name brand soaps, have strong chemicals that can hurt people who have sensitive skin.

Can I Substitute Hand Soap for Dish Soap?

If you don’t have any more dish soap and you can’t run to the store, then certain types of hand soaps are perfectly fine to use as a substitute.

You don’t want to rely on hand soap to wash all your dishes, but washing spoons, cups, and cutlery in unscented and lotion free hand soap will clean your plates and have them ready for the next meal.

What Can I Use If I Don’t Have Dish Soap?

If you don’t want to sacrifice your beautiful lavender hand soap for the dishes, what are some other household products you can use instead if you don’t have dish soap?

There are 4 or 5 common household products which are safe and effective to clean dishes.

  • Baking soda mixed with hot water
  • Castile soap – effective for cleaning many surfaces, including your own body
  • White vinegar and hot water
  • Lotion-less hand soap

Because you do not have dish soap, it is best to rinse all the dishes so any food particles and debris wash away. Then, fill the sink with water and allow the dishes to soak.

Is Dawn Hand Soap Okay for Dishes?

Dawn also makes hand soap on top of dish soap. Some of the dish soaps Dawn creates are not only formulated to clean greasy dishes, but the soaps are also formulated to protect your hands and keep them from cracking.

So, does that mean Dawn hand soap is safe to wash dishes? It makes sense why their hand soap would be perfect for dishes, but no, Dawn hand soap is not safe to use for dishwashing.

Will Hand Soap Ruin a Dishwasher?

Just because certain types of hand soaps are safe to use If you do not have any dish soap at home, it does not mean that they are safe to use in the dishwasher. Dishwasher soap differs from other types of soap because it is not designed to become sudsy and make bubbles.

If you add any type of soap into the dishwasher machine that creates soaps and suds, like detergent, hand soap, or regular dish soap, it can ruin the machine.

Will Hand Soap Ruin a Dishwasher

When bubbles and suds build up in the dishwashing machine, you can pour out of any open crevice and leak onto your kitchen floor. Also, the bubbles will find their way into the mechanisms and moving components of the machine.

These components are not designed to get wet or have soap on them. You may find about an hour after you add dish soap or hand soap to your dishwasher, you hear squeaking noises coming from your dishwashing machine.

Hand soap coating the moving components causes the squeaking noises. If you continue to add dish hand soap to your dishwasher repeatedly, the dishwashing machine will eventually break down.

Can I Use Any Other Washing Agent in the Dishwasher?

The only type of cleaning products you should consider as a substitute for dishwasher detergent is cleaning materials and chemicals that do not make bubbles.

The first cleaning agent that comes to mind as an effective substitute for dishwashing detergent is baking soda. Baking soda to the rescue once again!

All you need to do is add 3/4 cup of dish baking soda and one or two drops of regular dish soap to your dishwasher. Mix the drops of soap and the dish baking soda powder together and pour it into the dishwashing detergent compartment. Do not pour the baking soda directly on the dishes.

Conclusion to Using Hand Soap to Wash Dishes

Baking soda, plain unscented lotion-less hand soap, white vinegar, and castille soap are a few effective substitutes if you do not have any dishwashing liquid.

Never add anything that causes bubbles to your dishwasher, as dishwashing detergent is not designed to make bubbles. 3/4 cup of baking soda with one or two drops of dish soap is an OK substitute once in a while.

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.