How To Get Washing Up Liquid Out Of Dishwasher

If you’ve accidentally used washing up liquid in your dishwasher instead of dishwasher detergent, don’t worry, you’re not alone! Many people have faced this situation, and while it might seem like a soapy disaster, there are steps you can take to rectify it. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of getting washing up liquid out of your dishwasher effectively.

The Sudsy Situation: Using Washing Up Liquid in Your Dishwasher

How Did It Happen? Sometimes in the hustle of loading the dishwasher, a mix-up can occur. You might have grabbed the wrong bottle, or someone else unknowingly put washing up liquid in the detergent compartment.

The Consequences Using washing up liquid in a dishwasher leads to excessive sudsing. As the machine operates, the suds can overflow, leak, and leave a soapy residue on your dishes and the dishwasher’s interior.

Immediate Steps to Take

Stop the Cycle If you realize the mistake while the dishwasher is still running, pause the cycle immediately. Open the dishwasher door to allow excess suds to escape.

Don’t Add More Detergent Adding more detergent in an attempt to balance out the sudsing will worsen the situation. It’s best to avoid any additional chemicals.

Ventilation Turn on the ventilation in your kitchen to help dissipate the suds and prevent them from spreading further.

Cleaning Up the Suds

Manual Removal Use a cloth or paper towels to carefully remove as much foam as possible from the dishwasher’s interior.

Rinse Aid Solution Rinse aid helps break down suds effectively. Add a rinse aid to the dispenser and run a short cycle without any dishes.

Vinegar Rinse Vinegar is a natural degreaser. Place a cup of white vinegar on the top rack and run a hot water cycle to help remove any remaining residue.

Deep Cleaning the Dishwasher

Empty Cycle Run an empty cycle with no dishes, using hot water and one cup of vinegar. This will thoroughly clean the dishwasher’s interior.

Check the Filter Inspect and clean the dishwasher’s filter to ensure there’s no residue left that could cause future issues.

Baking Soda Power Sprinkle baking soda on the dishwasher’s floor and run a short hot water cycle. Baking soda helps neutralize odors and break down any lingering soap.

Prevention Tips

Label Your Products To avoid future mix-ups, label your dishwasher detergent and washing up liquid clearly.

Educate Your Household Make sure everyone in your household knows the difference between dishwasher detergent and washing up liquid to prevent a repeat occurrence.

Proper Dish Loading Load dishes properly without overcrowding to ensure optimal cleaning and prevent the likelihood of soap residue buildup.


While using washing up liquid in your dishwasher might lead to a soapy mess, there are effective ways to resolve the situation. By taking immediate action and following the right steps, you can get your dishwasher back to its optimal working condition, free from suds and residue.

FAQs About Dishwasher Mishaps

Can I just run the dishwasher multiple times to get rid of the suds?

Running the dishwasher multiple times without proper cleaning won’t effectively remove the suds. It’s best to follow the outlined steps for better results.

Will using more washing up liquid clean my dishes better?

No, using more washing up liquid won’t clean your dishes better. It can actually lead to more suds and a messier situation.

Is it safe to use vinegar in my dishwasher?

Yes, vinegar is safe to use in your dishwasher. It helps break down soap residue and odors effectively.

Can I use regular soap in a dishwasher?

No, you should never use regular soap or washing up liquid in a dishwasher. Always use dishwasher-specific detergent to ensure proper cleaning.

How can I prevent this from happening again in the future?

Labeling your products and educating your household about the differences between dishwasher detergent and washing up liquid can help prevent similar mishaps in the future.

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