Can You Use Dishwasher Pods for Laundry? (Experts Weigh In)

Can You Use Dishwasher Pods for Laundry

Laundry and dishwasher detergents have been around for decades, but recently, multi-functional products such as dishwasher pods have become more popular. As a result, many people are wondering whether these pods can be used for laundry as well.

Dishwasher pods should not be used for laundry. Dishwasher pods are designed specifically for dishwashers and contain different ingredients and cleaning agents than laundry detergent. Using dishwasher pods for laundry can result in poor cleaning performance and can even damage clothing.

However, what non-damaging things can you use to wash your laundry? We’ll discuss what can happen if you use dishwasher pods for your laundry and how you can make DIY laundry detergent. So, stick with us to learn more! 

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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

Dishwasher pods can damage your clothing due to their bleach component, so it’s better to keep using laundry detergent for your clothes. However, you can use other ingredients if you run out of laundry detergent.

These ingredients can still be effective in cleaning and odorizing your clothing items. You can even try making your own laundry detergent with them at a much lower price. Here are essential laundry products you should try:

1. Laundry Washing SodaWhenever you run out of laundry detergent, use this to clean your clothes speedily and help maintain a fresh scent.

2. Laundry BoraxThis ingredient is found in most common laundry detergents. Simply add one cup to your load, and you’re good to go.

3. Essential OilsIf you need a powerful odorizing agent for your laundry, you can use essential oils. They’ll do a better effect and will keep your clothes smelling fantastic.

Dishwasher Pods

The problem with dishwasher pods is that they are not built with the same quantity of surfactants that helps preserve your clothing’s fabrics. In addition, its different components could also harm your washer. Let’s discuss why below.

Can You Use Dishwasher Pod Detergent as Laundry Detergent?

Although it seems like a good idea, the truth is that you should not be using dishwasher pod detergent as a laundry detergent. The chemicals in the dishwasher pod detergent can damage and discolor your clothes.

Laundry detergent pods are made with specific components to odorize and protect the fabric of your clothes. Dishwashing pods, on the other hand, don’t have those components. Instead, they have harsher chemicals that could ruin your materials. 

Most dishwasher pod detergents also contain bleach, which can discolor your clothes. Unfortunately, those damages would not be reversible at that point, so you’d need to buy new similar clothing items.

Can I Use Dishwasher Pods in My Washing Machine?

You shouldn’t use dishwasher pods in your washing machine because they won’t break down as they should, which can cause build-up around the drum of the machine. Likewise, the foam provoked by dishwashing detergents can mess up your washer.

The dishwasher pods are designed to break off in high temperatures that the dishwashing machine can provide, unlike the washer. Thus, the remains of the dishwasher pod will stay within the machine and become harder to remove, creating a long-lasting build-up. If this becomes a habit, it could potentially ruin your machine.

Can Dishwasher Pods Be Used for Laundry?

You shouldn’t use dishwasher pods for laundry since they can harm your clothes and washing machine. Your clothes could become stained from the bleach component in the dishwasher pod, and the machine could suffer permanent damage.

Your washing machine could accumulate components formed by the dishwashing pod, which can lead to long-term harm. Likewise, the foam that forms after the machine agitates the clothes inside could mess up the pressure sensor of the washing machine.

Likely, the washing machine won’t be able to function as it should if its pressure sensor does not work properly. In addition, it won’t detect the correct water levels your load needs, which isn’t convenient. Thus, it is best to avoid using dishwasher pods as a substitute for laundry pods.

Can You Use Dawn Dish Soap as Laundry Detergent?

Whether it is Dawn or Palmolive, they cannot be used as laundry detergent if you plan to wash your clothes in the washer. However, if you wash your clothes by hand, you could use Dawn dish soap as a temporary alternative.

Even then, remember that dishwashing soap does not have the necessary soothing ingredients your clothes needs. This means the fabric could come dryer than normal or simply not have the same soft texture you’d expect after washing.

Can You Use Dishwasher Detergent in Your Washing Machine?

It’s not feasible to use dishwasher detergent in your washing machine because of the harm it is likely to provoke, whether it be from the accumulation of dishwashing detergent particles or a lack of function of the sensor of the washer. 

Both situations are inconvenient because they alter your washer’s overall functionality. If the sensor on your machine doesn’t work, you’ll likely need to get a new replacement and start handwashing until then.

Washing Machine Woes

It’s best to use the traditional method to wash your clothes, but sometimes, drastic situations require drastic measures. Yet, these drastic measures can damage your washing machine if they become a habit. So, let’s talk about what dishwasher pods do to your washer.

Can You Use Cascade Pods for Laundry?

Using Cascade pods for laundry is not recommended, as they are a heavy dishwasher detergent and could damage the longevity of your clothing and your machine. Therefore, you should stick to using a regular laundry detergent or create your own.

Your machine could give you a SUD warning, which indicates that there are too many suds in the washer. Unfortunately, this means excess foam in your washer, and since dishwashing detergent’s foaming agents are hard to reduce, they’ll accumulate and cause build-up.

Dishwasher Tablet in Washing Machine Drawer or Drum?

If you plan to use a dishwasher tablet to wash your laundry, it should go inside the drum at the highest temperature setting. Nevertheless, using this product to wash your clothes is not recommended.

Dishwashing tablets must be at the highest temperature possible to break down effectively. If exposed to lukewarm or colder temperatures, it won’t work to wash your items as intended. Either way, you should use the correct products for each purpose. 

What Can I Use in a Washing Machine to Clean Clothes Besides Laundry Detergent?

You can use multiple options to clean clothes besides laundry detergent, including borax, washing soda, and oxygen-based bleach. Many of these ingredients are found in regular laundry detergents, hence why they’re effective.

Of course, their method of use varies per product. For example, if you want to use washing soda, you must insert it into your machine’s drawer. Normally, the drawer is the same compartment you use for bleach products.

Can I Use Dawn to Wash My Clothes?

If you plan to wash your clothes by hand, you can use Dawn dish soap as a temporary substitute for laundry detergent. However, this method is not recommended if you intend to use it for the washing machine. 

Dishwasher tablets cannot go inside the washer. This is because they can damage it permanently due to the excess foaming that the dishwashing soaps can produce. Moreover, they can also damage your clothing if they are induced with bleach.


You can try creating your own laundry detergent if you’re on a budget. However, where to begin? There are many ingredients you need to make laundry detergent. Let’s discuss these ingredients below.

How Do I Make My Own Laundry Detergent?

Begin making your laundry detergent by purchasing active ingredients like borax, washing soda, and other fragrance ingredients. Several of these ingredients are often included in laundry detergents, hence the reason for their effectiveness.

You can make your laundry detergent in two ways: liquid or powdered. Each process is different, but the ingredients are the same. One may require more time than the other. We list the steps for both methods below.

Steps to make your powdered laundry detergent: 

  1. Get borax, washing soda, castile soap (bar), and a label. Ensure to have the right tools. These include a box grater, a measuring cup, a sealable container, and a wooden spoon.
  2. Grate the bar soap until it forms one cup of flakes. 
  3. Add two cups of borax and two cups of washing soda, then mix it with the flakes using the wooden spoon.
  4. Once thoroughly mixed, add the laundry detergent into an air-tight container. Label the container and put the instructions for the use of the product. Use a half cup per load of laundry.

Steps to make liquid laundry detergent:

  1. Bring four cups of water to a boil. Then, add castile soap flakes to the water. Keep the heat on medium-high, then stir everything until mixed.
  2. Add four cups of boiling water to a big bucket, and add the soap flakes into the mix. Once this is done, add a cup of washing soda and a cup of borax.
  3. Include essential oils to enhance the fragrance (optional, although highly recommended). The quantity of essential oil to use is up to your preference. Once added, mix everything thoroughly.
  4. Finish by filling up the rest of the space in the bucket with warm water. Cover it with a lid, and let it sit overnight.
  5. Once the mixture settles, you can add the laundry detergent into other secure containers for storage. 

What Is the Best Homemade Laundry Detergent?

Many agree that the best homemade laundry detergent is the liquid one due to its strong stain-removal capacity, which is even better than regular liquid laundry detergents. Thus, this method for homemade laundry detergents is strongly recommended.

Additionally, it also leaves a higher sensation of cleanliness. It leaves a smoother fragrance and cleans a lot more debris, which is convenient in all circumstances. Plus, it’s cost-effective and can be cheaper than buying regular detergents.

How Do You Make Laundry Pods?

In a mixing bowl, you make laundry pods by mixing soda, castile soap flakes, Epsom salts, white vinegar, and essential oils. Then, you add the final result to ice trays and wait for them to dry. Once compact, add to a labeled air-tight container.

Here are the measurements for each ingredient:

After grating the soap, add the ingredients together and stir them well. Use gloves if you plan to use your hands, or better yet, use a wooden spoon. Once mixed well, add to ice trays. Let dry for 24 hours, then store in an air-tight container.

How Do I Make My Laundry Smell Good?

You can add fabric softener to your laundry load to keep it smelling good and maintain your clothe’s soft fabric texture. However, other methods can be as effective and practical in preventing stinky laundry.

For example, vinegar instead of fabric softener can help erase awful odors from sweaty clothing items. Likewise, whether with vinegar or fabric softener, it’s best to use the amount you need and not overdo it.

Can I Use Baking Soda Instead of Laundry Detergent?

You can use baking soda for your laundry to help keep the color of light-shaded clothing items, but it can’t replace a laundry detergent. Likely, it will only boost its function and provide a long-lasting fresh fragrance.

However, baking soda is good for hard-to-remove stains. All you have to do is mix a spoonful of baking soda with a small amount of water until it forms a paste, and then apply it to the affected area. This can help you eliminate oil, grease, and food stains.

Laundry Detergent Concerns

You don’t have to worry about not having laundry detergent. There are other options you can consider if you run out. For example, you could make your own or use an alternative product. Let’s talk about these alternatives below.

What Can I Use Instead of Laundry Detergent?

Instead of using laundry detergent, you can try using borax or washing soda since these ingredients are often included in normal laundry detergents and can provide a similar level of effectiveness. If you require bleach, try to go for an oxygen-based one.

To use washing soda, add a cup to one load. You can do the same thing if you choose to use borax instead. However, if you plan to use oxygen-based bleach, you must put it in the drum and not elsewhere. 

Is Laundry Detergent Really Necessary?

Laundry detergent is necessary because it helps get rid of rough dirt and debris from your clothes and provides them with a good scent and sensation of freshness. In addition, they are designed to wash clothes in a way that won’t harm the fabric materials.

Although laundry detergent and water work together to get rid of the dirt from your clothes, using water alone won’t be effective. This is because the detergent has chemical reactions with the water to help loosen the dirt so it can wash thoroughly. Without it, the clothes will remain stinky and filthy.

Can I Use Any Pods in My Washing Machine?

You can use laundry detergent pods in your washing machine because laundry pods are suited to the clothing items you’re about to wash, but you cannot use dishwasher detergent pods. The latter can damage your washing machine and your clothes.

Dishwasher detergents can contain chemicals that aren’t suited for the washing machine. They are supposed to break down rapidly when exposed to high temperatures, something that a washing machine won’t always provide.

Since the washer won’t provide the conditions that the dishwashing detergent needs to work, it will likely leave remnants accumulating around essential parts of the washer, thus creating a build-up. In addition, the foaming agents of the dishwashing pod can also mess up your washer. 

Do Pods Hurt Laundry?

Laundry detergent pods don’t hurt your laundry, unlike dishwashing detergent pods, since they are designed to treat your clothes and preserve your fabrics. Their components help get common stains, grease, and debris from your clothes.

Laundry detergents are composed of alkali ingredients, surfactants, and enzymes to help loosen the dirty particles from your used clothing. That is why it’s so effective for cleaning your clothes. They also don’t damage the fabric like dishwasher detergent could.

You might also enjoy our post on Do Dishwasher Tablets Clean Toilets?

Related Questions

What Else Can You Use Dishwasher Tablets For?

Dishwasher tablets are effective at getting rid of grease and food stains. Thus, they can also help you eliminate grease inside your oven, coffee machine, and even the refrigerator.

For example, if your oven has hard stains from constant usage, and you don’t have an oven cleaner to get rid of them, you can use dishwasher tablets. Surprisingly, it provides good results.

Likewise, you can also get rid of the weird smell inside your garbage can with dishwasher tablets. It can disinfect and clean them efficiently, reducing the chances of harmful bacteria appearing inside. 

Like dishwashing liquid, dishwasher tablets can help you clean your sink and free it from food stains. All you have to do is rub the pods against the sink while using a rubber glove and let the detergent sit for a few minutes. Then, rinse. It will look as good as new!

Can I Use Shampoo as Laundry Detergent?

Shampoo can be used as a laundry detergent because of mild ingredients that allow it to be gentle on fabrics and eliminate unwanted odors. However, before using it to wash your clothes, there are many things to consider.

For example, you may need to set your washer on the longest cycle if you plan to use shampoo as laundry detergent. This is because shampoo can be hard to wash away, so the washer needs more time to rinse it properly. If not, the residue could remain on your clothes.

Another thing is that you cannot use hot water when using shampoo as a laundry detergent. If so, your clothes could dry, wrinkle or discolor due to the shampoo’s ingredients. Keep in mind that shampoos don’t have chemicals clothing needs to soften, so this is always a risk.

Even then, your clothing may not clean well since the amount of shampoo you need is much less than what you need when using laundry detergent. So, in the long run, sticking with laundry detergent is still a better option than shampoo.

What Is the Difference Between Dishwasher Detergent and Laundry Detergent?

Dishwasher detergent is made to wash kitchen items, such as plates and utensils, while laundry detergents are made for fabrics. Their components vary in quantity and PH levels, each formulated to fit their specific purpose.

Laundry detergents have surfactants, alkalis, and enzymes that keep your clothes smooth, fresh, and nice-smelling. Meanwhile, dishwasher detergents have a bleach component fabricated to kill the strongest bacteria from food particles. 

Final Thoughts

You cannot use dishwashing detergent inside your washer, but you can use it for handwashing. Nevertheless, don’t expect your clothes to have the same soft texture since the components of dishwashing detergent are not the same as laundry detergents.

Further, you can try using borax and washing soda whenever you run out of laundry detergent. And, even better, you can try creating DIY laundry detergent. It can be cheaper in the long run, and you can make as much as you’d like!

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