Can You Use Dishwasher Cleaner In Washing Machine

In our fast-paced lives, household appliances like dishwashers and washing machines have become indispensable. They save us valuable time and effort, but they also require proper maintenance to function effectively. One common question that often arises is whether it’s safe to use dishwasher cleaner in a washing machine. In this article, we will delve into this query, providing you with insights, tips, and recommendations to keep your appliances in top-notch condition.

Understanding the Difference Between Dishwasher and Washing Machine

Before we dive into the compatibility of dishwasher cleaner in a washing machine, let’s first understand the fundamental differences between these two appliances.


  1. Designed for cleaning dishes, utensils, and cookware.
  2. Uses hot water and detergent to remove food residues and stains.
  3. Typically operates at higher temperatures to disinfect and sanitize.

Washing Machine:

  1. Designed for laundering clothing, linens, and fabrics.
  2. Utilizes water, detergent, and agitators to remove dirt and stains from fabrics.
  3. Operates at varying water temperatures depending on the selected wash cycle.

Can You Use Dishwasher Cleaner in a Washing Machine?

Now that we have a clear distinction between the two appliances, let’s address the primary question at hand – can you use dishwasher cleaner in a washing machine?

The short answer is no. Dishwasher cleaner and washing machine cleaner are formulated differently to cater to the specific needs of each appliance. Here’s why you should avoid using dishwasher cleaner in your washing machine:

1. Chemical Composition:

Dishwasher cleaners often contain strong chemicals and enzymes tailored to break down grease, food residues, and mineral deposits found in dishwashers. Using such cleaners in a washing machine may damage delicate fabrics and cause discoloration.

2. Foam and Suds:

Dishwasher cleaners can produce excessive foam and suds when agitated. This is unsuitable for washing machines, which rely on a balanced water-to-detergent ratio to clean clothes effectively. Excessive foam can lead to poor cleaning results and potential damage to your washing machine.

3. Residue Buildup:

Using dishwasher cleaner in a washing machine may leave behind residues that can clog the machine’s internal components, including the pump, hoses, and filters. This can lead to reduced performance and costly repairs.

How to Properly Clean Your Washing Machine?

To maintain the efficiency and longevity of your washing machine, it’s crucial to use the right cleaner. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean your washing machine:

Step 1: Empty the Machine

Ensure the washing machine is empty of any clothes.

Step 2: Select a Washing Machine Cleaner

Purchase a washing machine cleaner specifically designed for the task. These cleaners are formulated to dissolve residue and odor-causing bacteria without harming your machine or fabrics.

Step 3: Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions

Read the instructions on the cleaner’s packaging carefully. Typically, you’ll need to add the cleaner to the detergent dispenser or directly into the drum.

Step 4: Run a Cleaning Cycle

Select a cleaning cycle on your washing machine. If your machine doesn’t have a dedicated cleaning cycle, use the hottest water setting and the longest wash cycle available.

Step 5: Wipe Down the Drum and Door

After the cleaning cycle is complete, wipe down the drum and door with a clean cloth to remove any remaining residue.


In conclusion, it is not advisable to use dishwasher cleaner in a washing machine due to differences in chemical composition, foam production, and the potential for residue buildup. To keep your washing machine in optimal condition, opt for a washing machine cleaner designed specifically for the task. Regular maintenance will ensure that your appliance functions efficiently, resulting in cleaner clothes and fewer repair bills.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Can I use vinegar as a washing machine cleaner?

Yes, white vinegar can be used as a natural and effective washing machine cleaner. It helps remove odors and mineral deposits. Simply add it to your machine’s detergent dispenser and run a hot water cycle.

2. How often should I clean my washing machine?

It’s recommended to clean your washing machine at least once a month or more frequently if you notice unpleasant odors or residue buildup.

3. Can dishwasher cleaner be used for other cleaning purposes?

Yes, dishwasher cleaner can be used to clean other household appliances like the coffee maker or microwave, but always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

4. What causes a washing machine to smell bad?

A washing machine may develop a bad odor due to the accumulation of detergent residue, mold, and bacteria. Regular cleaning can help eliminate these odors.

5. Are there any eco-friendly washing machine cleaners available?

Yes, there are eco-friendly and biodegradable washing machine cleaner options available that are safe for the environment while effectively cleaning your machine.

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