Can you wash clothes in the dishwasher?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you wash clothes in the dishwasher?”, and what other items should never go into the dishwasher?

Can you wash clothes in the dishwasher?

No, you cannot wash clothes in the dishwasher. There are a variety of reasons why that is a bad idea. The important ones are discussed below in the article. This article also includes a brief guide on things you should never put in the dishwasher. 

You will damage your cloth

A dishwasher is not designed to wash clothes. It uses jets of water and high temperature to get rid of the grease and dirt on your dishes. But clothes are different. Centrifugation is required to get rid of the stains on clothes. 

Moreover, the harsh detergents and the hot temperature of the dishwasher will damage the fiber of your clothes. Your clothes might tangle in the dishwasher. 

Unlike the low temperature of the washing machine (about 70 degrees), the dishwasher reaches temperatures as high as 170 degrees which is enough to shrink your clothes and lose their color. 

The detergents of the dishwasher contain bleach and are maintained at a low ph which is effective for removing the grease. The detergents used in the washing machine are mild, at ph 7, and contain chemicals like surfactants, enzymes, starches, fats, and water-soluble polymers. 

The food scraps in the dishwasher might get stuck in your clothes. Last but not the least, the dry heating function of the dishwasher will lead to further damage to the fiber.

You will damage the dishwasher 

Damaging your dishwasher is more costly than damaging your clothes. So, this is a very compelling reason why clothes in the dishwasher are a big no. The clothes might tangle and get stuck around the spray arm. 

They may also be stuck in the drain resulting in a clog. The exposure of clothes to the heating elements at the base of the dishwasher is a fire hazard. 

Lastly, the dishwasher detergent will not properly rinse off the clothes. It will eventually cause the buildup of detergent chemicals, thus, damaging the dishwasher. 

You’ll lose the Dishwasher’s warranty 

The manufacturer does not provide a warranty If you misuse the appliance. This means If you damage your dishwasher because of washing clothes in it, you have lost the warranty. The repair or the purchase of the new dishwasher will be your problem. 

Your clothes won’t clean or dry properly 

The dishwasher does not involve the rinse and spin function of the washing machine. It only sprays water and detergent. Consequently, your clothes will get stuck on detergent and persistent stains. The dry heating function of the dishwasher will only lightly dry the clothes superficially. A dishwasher cannot dry soaking wet clothes.

It is a safety hazard 

Unlike the dishes that stay put on the racks, the clothes will be displaced and might present a safety hazard. If you are thinking of using laundry detergent in the dishwasher or mixing it with the dishwasher detergent. 

Here to inform you that ding the former will result in an overspill of the spud out of the detergent while doing the latter serves as a safety hazard. Laundry detergent contact with the dishwasher detergent will give rise to toxic fumes. 

Other items that should never go into the dishwasher 


The high temperature of the dishware can easily melt or at least warp the plastic. Therefore, hand-wash your plastic plates or dishes. Even If the plastic is labeled “Dishwasher-safe”, It is not the best idea to put it in the dishwasher.

Wooden utensils

Wooden utensils are prone to warping and molding in the dishwasher. Hand wash these utensils and do not forget to dry them afterward.

Sharp knives and garters

The harsh detergents and the high temperatures will dull the blade of the knives and graters. Their handle adhesive will also be damaged. It will become loose and come off easily. 


The dishwasher environment is extremely corrosive to the shine of the copper pots, pans, and mugs. For the longevity of copper utensils, prefer hand washing them. The same applies to cast iron and non-stick pots and pans

What unusual things can be washed in the dishwasher?

Some things like potatoes and root vegetables, combs and brushes, lego toys, teethers, waterproof keywords, garden tools, small countertop trash cans, fake flowers, etc can be washed in the dishwasher. 


In this article, we answered the question “Can you wash clothes in the dishwasher?”, and what other items should never go into the dishwasher?


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