Is it Safe to Do Laundry in a Dishwasher? – Things to Consider

Is it Safe to Do Laundry in a Dishwasher -featured-image

We all appreciate the help from our dishwashers. This handy machine is a great assistant that saves the hassle of washing dirty dishes by hand. You can simply load up the dishwasher and let it do its job.

Considering all the attributes of a dishwasher – washing with hot water and detergent, one might wonder if it’s the same as a washing machine. Following that thought, you might also wonder if it is safe to do laundry in your dishwasher.

You might be dealing with a broken washing machine or simply running out of time and might consider washing your clothes in the dishwasher. We shall discuss whether your dishwasher is multipurpose or not in the article below.

Can you do laundry in a dishwasher?

No, you should never do laundry in a dishwasher. This is because the extremely hot water and harsh chemicals in the detergent can significantly damage your clothes. Moreover, dishwashers aren’t designed to clean your fabrics, thus your clothes will not come out clean and can also get stuck in the dishwasher.

Why you shouldn’t wash clothes in a dishwasher

You will find many videos and blogs on the internet claiming its fine to do laundry in a dishwasher. Don’t get tempted! Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t do laundry in a dishwasher.

It can damage your clothes

The dishwasher detergent can cause damage to your clothes. This is because it is formulated at a higher pH level and often contains bleach which is supposed to break down grease and oil, but it will ruin your clothes.

It will be harsh on your clothes, a laundry detergent, on the other hand, is formulated so as to clean clothes while also being gentle on the clothes. You can’t use laundry detergent in your dishwasher either as it will foam up, overflow, and damage your dishwasher. 

Another factor that can damage your clothes is the extremely hot water. The water in a dishwasher reaches a temperature of 170 °F, which is way hotter than the temperature of water in a washing machine that is only about 70 °F. The hot water can break the fibers of your fabric.

Furthermore, the hot air used to dry the dishes is way too hot to be used to dry clothes. If there are food stains on the linings of your dishwasher then it will only create a mess rather than cleaning it.

You’ll end up damaging the dishwasher

You are at a risk of breaking your dishwasher if you wash clothes in it. Clothes can get tangled around the spray arm of the dishwasher or fall off the rack and clog the drain as well.  If there’s an exposed heating element in your dishwasher, the clothes could even start a fire because of it.

You’ll reduce your dishwasher’s durability

Dishwashers have a great durability, with a warranty of up to 10 years. This warranty will cover you if you face problems related to the defects in electrical components. However, if you damage your dishwasher misusing it, then you’ll have to pay the whole cost of the repair, voiding the warranty of the dishwasher.

Your clothes won’t be clean or dry

Washing machines are built to catch the dirt and stains from within the fibers of the clothes gently. The clothes are cleaned by spinning and rinsing which also clears any excessive detergent buildup.

Dishwashers, on the contrary, spray water which will neither clean the clothes nor lift any stains from them. The detergent will not be rinsed away properly either. 

The clothes coming out from the dishwasher will not be dry either. Dishwashers can dry only damp dishes and isn’t built to dry soaking wet clothes.

It’s a big safety hazard

You should only use a dishwasher for the things that it’s supposed to do. You might be tempted to experiment things like boiling water in it or hooking it up to cold water and what not. Similarly, stuffing your dishwashers with clothes can be a safety hazard.

Dishwashers have many uncovered, moving parts in which clothes can get stuck, posing a big safety threat. 

What cannot be washed in a dishwasher?

All of the following things should not be placed in a dishwasher:

  • High-end and delicate china, glassware and silver
  • Wooden or bamboo cutting boards
  • Wooden tools or utensils
  • Kitchen knives (especially carbon steel)
  • Cast iron pots and pans
  • Enameled cast iron pots and pans
  • Copper pots, pans and cutlery
  • Pop-top pantry storage containers
  • Aluminum cookware and cutlery
  • Ashtrays
  • Blenders
  • Bone-handled cutlery
  • Brass or soft alloys
  • Hand painted ceramics
  • Pewter
  • Pizza stone
  • Pressure cooker lids
  • Thermos

Can I wash towels in the dishwasher?

No, it is not safe to wash any kind of clothing in a dishwasher as it can significantly damage your dishwasher. Your towels will not come out clean and can also get torn in the dishwasher.

Is it safe to use laundry detergent in the dishwasher?

Though you can put laundry detergent in a dishwasher, it is still not safe. You are at risk of voiding the warranty of the dishwasher if you use a product that is not supposed to be used in it. The laundry detergent will not wash off completely from your dishes and will end up excessively foaming up and might overflow from your dishwasher.

How do I know if something is dishwasher safe?

Look for the instructions mentioned on the packaging or the dish itself. On most pots and pans you will be able to find a “Dishwasher Safe” label if it’s safe to be kept in the dishwasher. If you don’t see a label, try looking for the dishwasher safe symbol engraved on the dish or handles of pans.

What happens if you put something not dishwasher safe in the dishwasher?

If something is mentioned not safe for the dishwasher, you should never put it in. This is because the kitchenware could be composed of material that could be damaged in the dishwasher. The harsh chemicals in the detergent and the extremely hot water could warp or damage your pans. This also goes for putting non stick pans in the dishwasher.  

What happens if you put aluminum in the dishwasher?

Putting aluminum cookware in the dishwasher can cause a reaction that may darken and dull your aluminum pots and pans. They can get blackened due to the excessive heat and from the harsh chemicals in the detergent.


Though a dishwasher is a big help in today’s hectic life, it still should only be used for the purpose it is built for – washing dishes. Trying to stuff anything other than dishes in the dishwasher can not only damage the dishwasher but can also be problematic and a safety hazard. It is best to keep your clothes or anything other than dishes away from it so that you don’t damage it.

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Immad Amir

Hey there, I'm Immad! I'm an SEO and appliance fanatic. Amna, my fiance, and I combined our interests and came up with RavvyReviews to help you all with our well-researched kitchen appliance reviews and foodie informative articles. We aim to learn more along the way and keep bringing you authentic trustworthy articles so all of us can have fun in the kitchen! We love interacting with you guys, do share yours thoughts in the comments. Get in touch with me through

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