What Happens If You Put A Dishwasher Tablet In The Washing Machine?

If you have accidentally put a dishwasher tablet in your washing machine, you’re probably worried that your washer will get ruined. However, you’re not alone, there are many reported cases of people putting dishwasher tablets in washing machines.

And while it’s not ideal, and also not recommended, one accidental exposure to dishwasher detergent shouldn’t do any long term damage to your washing machine. However, if you continually make the same mistake, you could cause major problems.

To find out more, keep reading.

What Will Dishwasher Tablets Do To A Washing Machine?

person looking at washing machine

There has been a lot of talk about using dishwasher tablets to clean washing machines. With many people claiming that their washing machine has never looked so clean. 

Experts agree that it’s important to clean your washing machine regularly to remove dirt, bacteria and mould from the pipes, drum and detergent dispenser. A clean washing machine will run more efficiently and clean your laundry better as well.

However, there are products specifically designed for cleaning washing machines that should be used instead of dishwasher tablets. Using dishwasher tablets regularly in your washing machine will damage your machine in a number of ways including;

Dishwasher Tablets Leave Residue Behind In Washing Machines

A person putting clothes into a washing machine

Dishwasher tablets are used in dishwashers to clean all manner of dirty and greasy dishes. To work effectively, dishwasher tablets need extremely hot water which enables the tablets to dissolve fully. 

The problem is, you’re not likely to use such high temperatures on your laundry. This means the dishwasher tablet won’t dissolve properly and will leave a residue behind. This residue can build up in the tub and drum and as many dishwasher tablets contain a bleaching agent, this can cause bleach spots on your clothes.

Dishwasher Tablets Are Not Designed To Clean Clothes

Dishwasher tablets are great for cleaning dirty dishes but not so good for cleaning dirty laundry. For the most part, the only problem you’ll face if you’ve accidentally put a dishwasher tablet in your washing machine is dirty clothes that need rewashing.

However, delicate fabrics could suffer considerable damage as a result of using a dishwasher tablet. Delicate fabrics need extra care and the harsh chemicals used in dishwasher tablets can seriously damage some delicate fabrics. This could lead to the delicate items ripping, tearing or coming out of the machine damaged beyond repair.

Dishwasher Tablets Produce Too Much Foam

If you have ever used too much detergent in your washer, you’ll know the effects of too much foam. Usually however, the foam created by using too much detergent in a washer will typically be gone by the end of the cycle.

Dishwasher detergent is formulated using different chemicals which are not designed for use in a washing machine. This can lead to far too many soap suds which can cause damage to the seals.

Added to this, too many soap suds can adversely affect your washing machine’s pressure sensor. This could cause your washing machine to stop working because it senses that there’s too much water in the drum.

Washing machine detergents are designed to be low foam or even no foam which makes the washer extra sensitive to too many soap suds.

Dishwasher Tablets Can Cause Damage To Internal Components

Some of the chemicals used in dishwasher tablets are way too strong for many of the parts that make up a washing machine. Rubber seals and hoses for example are likely to suffer under the onslaught of chemicals from a dishwasher tablet.

You will need to check the integrity of the drain hose, door seal/gasket as well as the filter.

Dishwasher Tablets Will Prevent Clothes From Washing Properly

Two people putting clothes in a laundry basket from the washer

Almost all dishwasher tablets contain a rinse aid which helps dishes dry better. It does this by lowering the water’s surface tension which makes the water slide off the dishes.

If your washing machine gets a build up of rinse aid, it will mix in with your laundry and could prevent your clothes from absorbing any water. This would result in your clothes not getting clean at all.

Using Dishwasher Tablets In The Washing Machine Will Void Your Warranty

The warranty provided on your washing machine will depend on you using it in the manner it was designed to be used. Washing machines were never intended to be used in conjunction with dishwasher tablets so doing so will almost certainly void your warranty.

Even accidental usage could be enough to void the warranty on your washing machine. Many people swear by dishwasher tablets as a means of cleaning their washing machines, but it’s really not worth the risk. 

There are far safer and better ways of ensuring your washing machine is clean than using dishwasher tablets.

Washing Machine Will Look Cleaner

From all the evidence we have found, accidentally using a dishwasher tablet in your washing machine could result in a cleaner washing machine.

Assuming that you escape any of the problems outlined above, you could have a cleaner machine. However, that doesn’t mean you should use a dishwasher tablet to clean your washing machine.

The Best Ways To Clean A Washing Machine

90 Degree Wash Cycle

If you’ve accidentally put a dishwasher tablet in your washing machine, there’s a strong possibility that it will leave some residue behind. The best way to ensure that this residue is removed is to run a hot (90°C) service wash.

After the cycle has completed, you should clean all around the door seal/gasket and all other nooks and crannies of your washing machine.

For more information on cleaning the various parts of your washing machine, follow this link.

Will Accidentally Putting A Dishwasher Tablet In Your Washing Machine Cause Serious Damage?

dishwasher tablets

In most cases, accidentally putting a dishwasher tablet in your washing machine won’t cause any serious problems. However, you should ensure the washer is thoroughly cleaned after the cycle has completed.

Plus you shouldn’t make a habit of using dishwasher tablets in your washing machine (or washing machine tablets in your dishwasher). Dishwasher tablets are designed specifically for use in dishwashers and shouldn’t be used in washing machines.

Clothes won’t get cleaned properly and there’s a good chance that the washer could stop working due to excess foam. We recommend clearly labelling the container that you keep dishwasher tablets in to avoid any confusion in the future.

SEE ALSO: Do Washing Machine Cleaners Work? (What You Need to Know)

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you put a dishwasher tablet in the washing machine?

Putting a dishwasher tablet in a washing machine could result in damaging your washing machine. Dishwasher tablets rely on hot water to fully dissolve, water typically far hotter than the average wash cycle. This means there will be dishwasher tablet residue left in the washing machine that could damage hoses and seals. Plus the excess foam produced by the dishwasher tablet could interfere with the pressure sensor on the washing machine.

Will dishwasher tablets whiten clothes?

Many dishwasher tablets contain bleaching agents which could result in clothes getting bleach spots if a dishwasher tablet was accidentally used in a washing machine.

Does using dishwasher tablets in a washing machine void the warranty?

Yes, using dishwasher tablets in a washing machine is likely to void any warranty. Dishwasher tablets are not designed for use in washing machines and are therefore likely to cause any warranty to be voided.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *