Science, Tech, Math › Science Can You Use Laundry Detergent in the Dishwasher? Difference Between Laundry Detergent and Dishwashing Soap Share Flipboard Email Print Chase Jarvis / Getty Images Science Chemistry Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated January 20, 2019 Yes, you could put laundry detergent in your dishwasher. Should you? Probably not. One reason is that you likely void the warranty on the appliance if you use a product not made for dishwashers. You may be exposing yourself to toxins, too. The detergent itself may be the same from one product to the other, but laundry detergents may contain brighteners, fragrances, stain removers, and anti-soiling chemicals that you don't really need to be volatilized by the heat of your dishwasher so that you breathe them. The ingredients in laundry detergent might not rinse completely from your dishes. If you are desperate for a way to wash your dishes, you can try cleaning them in the sink using other types of soap or detergent. You could try bar soap, liquid soap, or bath gel. Shampoo might leave a residue on your dishes. Laundry detergent might leave a residue, too, but at least you would have more control over rinsing in the sink compared with the dishwasher.