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Doing Laundry With Dishwashing Detergent

Category Laundry
Liquid dishwashing products, such as Dawn, are frequently used to hand wash clothing and remove stains. In a pinch if you are out of laundry soap, dishwasher detergent can be used as well as other products. This is a guide about doing laundry with dishwashing detergent.


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By 0 found this helpful
August 11, 2010

I found out my maid washes the dish-cloths and tea towels with dishwashing detergent rather than washing powder. She was very offended when I brought it up with her.

Can anyone give me advice on whether dishwashing detergent is OK to use on fabric products like this or not? Everything always seems very clean.

By Janedo from HCMC, Vietnam

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August 13, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Truly, in my life experience, she seems to know what's best as a professional and is watching out for your best interests so please just trust her expertise. It's okay to ask her questions but it's best to ask her out of 'how and why does this work well' rather than a mind set that she might be making a mistake. It's all in how you approach the question ;-)

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August 18, 20120 found this helpful
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I am a massage therapist and laundry soap was not reliably getting the oil out of the sheets. I tried dishwasher detergent and it works perfectly. It is also much cheaper than laundry soap (why?). I use it for all my laundry now. I have read some say that it is too harsh for fabric. I have not had that problem. Even with delicate fabrics.

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August 11, 20100 found this helpful

There are people who do laundry using dishwashing liquid, especially Dawn. Even when using regular detergent, you can add a tablespoon of Dawn when washing extra dirty clothes.

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August 12, 20100 found this helpful

My husband splattered barbeque sauce on the front of his new shirt. I rubbed Dawn dishing washing detergent into the spots before putting it into the wash. It took out all the stain and there was no grease spot left on the shirt.

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August 13, 20100 found this helpful

I'm not sure which detergent you are talking about. Is it for handwashing dishes in a sink or for putting in a dishwasher. Dishwashing liquid is recommend here in the U.S for handwashing delicates. Dishwasher detergent is said to be good for stains on light fabrics, because it contains bleach. I'm guessing the dishwasher detergent, as that would be harsher and do a better job.

If everything seems very clean, I wouldn't worry about it. Things like dishtowels are very hard to keep new looking anyhow so they are likely to be replaced or downgraded to rags on a pretty regular basis. You either wash it gently so that it lasts longer (but is dingy and stained) or you wash it more vigorously which causes more wear (but it is clean).

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August 14, 20100 found this helpful

It can't possibly do your dishcloths any harm at all. In fact it's a good idea to get rid of food stains with detergent especially made for the purpose.

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August 17, 20100 found this helpful

Dishwashing detergents are made to clean food stains so its perfectly okay. I also heard that using dishwashing detergent to clean your kitchen floor is supposed to make it shine.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 11, 20100 found this helpful

Has anyone out there ever used dish washing detergent for their laundry? if so, how did it work?

Sandy from Bluff City, TN



Doing Laundry With Dishwashing Detergent

I've used dishwashing liquid before to do a load of laundry, and it worked well enough. I think I used about 1/4 cup for a regular size load. I did find that it gave a different "feel" to my clothes when I removed them from the washer. One tip that I got off this website was to add about a tablespoon of Dawn dishwashing liquid to my regular detergent to help get out extra grime on clothes, and it works exceptionally well! Great for oil/grease stains if you treat the stain as soon as possible. (05/04/2007)

By theroadrunnerla

Doing Laundry With Dishwashing Detergent

I'd say it wouldn't rinse as well. I've used it for hand washing clothes and the trick there is to add it after the water is in the container to minimize the suds. Still you have to rinse and rinse. I'd say regular dishwashing liquid, just a small amount, would be OK in a pinch if you aren't too sensitive. (05/04/2007)

By Estella

Doing Laundry With Dishwashing Detergent

When I wash my white undies, white bras, and white tanks, or anything else white, I soak them overnight with Tide and about 1/4 cup of dish washer detergent. Everything stays really white instead of being dingy gray. (05/05/2007)

By malinda

Doing Laundry With Dishwashing Detergent

I have used Dawn in a pinch and clothes came out clean and had no problem with it bleaching my clothing. (05/06/2007)

By imaqt1962

Doing Laundry With Dishwashing Detergent

I've only used Dawn on dedicates and oil spots. It works great on them, and does not bleach them.

fauxpaslover: I live in a rural area, and many on wells have clothes that are clean, but get dingy really quickly due to mineral content in their wells. Several use bleach regularly, even though it fades their colors quickly. Unfortunately, bleach cannot be used on synthetics such as bras and undies since it makes them yellow. Sometimes, we just want a quicker, easier, or alternative way to deal with things in a pinch. (05/07/2007)


By susanmajp

Doing Laundry With Dishwashing Detergent

If you are in a pinch, you can use shampoo instead of dishwashing liquid. Shampoo is much less harsh on your clothing. If I have to do this, I add a tablespoon or two of baking soda along with the shampoo, for added cleaning oomph. (05/09/2007)

By Elizabeth

Doing Laundry With Dishwashing Detergent

Use white vinegar with baking soda. I use one cup vinegar to 1/2 baking soda and
it gets rid of dingy. (07/08/2007)

By meoowmom

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