Can You Use Dishwasher Pods For Laundry?

Have you ever started a load of laundry only to discover you were out of detergent? It’s happened to me before! I scoured my house for anything that might clean clothes, but I could only find dishwasher pods. Would they work? After a deep Google search, here’s what I learned.

Can you use dishwasher pods for laundry? The answer is no, absolutely not. Don’t even think about it. Dishwashers run at high temperatures, so dishwasher pods will only work correctly at temperatures that will ruin your clothes. Pods are designed to remove grease and food particles that will be too harsh on your laundry and likely cause damage your washing machine.

Can you use dishwasher pods for laundry

In this article, we’ll discuss in depth why you should never use dishwasher pods to do your laundry and the differences between dishwasher pods and laundry pods. 

We’ll also tell you if you can use plain dishwasher detergent to do your laundry and what to do if you accidentally use a dishwasher pod in your washing machine.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Dishwasher Pods For Laundry

a pile of laundry

There are a few good reasons not to use dishwasher pods for laundry, even in an emergency (the same goes for trying to use your dishwasher).

Water Temperature

The casing on dishwasher pods is created to break down at very high temperatures because you use scalding hot water to wash your dishes.

On the other hand, you should never wash your clothing in such hot water because it can ruin the fabric. Using a dishwasher pod at a safe temperature for clothes won’t allow it to break down all the way.

This partially broken-down pod can become tangled in your laundry in a gooey clump, ruining your clothing and possibly clogging your washing machine.

They’re Too Harsh For Clothing

The detergent in dishwasher pods is formulated to remove grease and food particles on dishes, so it stands to reason that it will be too harsh to use on your clothing.

Some dishwasher pods also include bleach, which will destroy colored clothes.

They Could Ruin Your Washing Machine

Washing machines aren’t made to withstand the chemicals in dishwasher pods, so over time, using them in your washer could ruin the gaskets and hoses.

If your washing machine breaks down because you’ve used dishwasher pods, it voids the warranty because you’ve used your machine in a way that it wasn’t meant to be used.

Dishwasher Pods vs. Laundry Pods: What’s The Difference?

dishwasher vs laundry pods

Though they look similar, there is a lot of difference in the chemistry of dishwasher pods and laundry pods. Most importantly, they have different pH levels that help them do their individual jobs best.

Dishwasher pods are more acidic, so they can tackle the difficult task of removing grease and dried-on food particles from your dishes. On the other hand, laundry pods have lower acidity to protect delicate fabrics from harm.

Dishwasher pods contain enzymes to help them break down the food left on your dishes. These enzymes could ruin your delicate fabrics, and the residue left on your clothing might irritate your skin. 

These pods usually include a rinse agent as well. Rinse agents help water run off your dishes, making them dry faster with fewer streaks. That’s great for dishes, but it’s not so great for your clothes.

If your clothes absorb a rinse agent, it will lower their ability to absorb water. If they can’t absorb water properly, they won’t get as clean as they should.

What To Do if You Have Accidentally Used A Dishwasher Pod In The Laundry?

If you’ve accidentally used a dishwasher pod instead of a laundry pod in your washing machine, there isn’t much you can do about the load you already have running.

You can send it through an extra rinse cycle to hopefully get all the dishwasher detergent out of your clothes, but ultimately any damage that may happen is already done.

Before you run another load of laundry, you’ll need to wash out your machine to remove any residue left inside. You can just scrub the inside of your washer with a solution of water or white vinegar; no need to use a special product.

You should also examine the hose on your washing machine to make sure it isn’t clogged. To get a good look at the hose, you’ll need to pull your washer away from the wall.

If this was the first time you used a dishwasher pod, it’s probably fine, but you should check the connection for leaks.

If you’ve used dishwashing detergent a few times before realizing you shouldn’t, you might want to remove the hose, run hot water through it, and reconnect it according to your washing machine’s instruction manual.


Can You Use Dishwasher Pods to Handwash Dishes?

While you technically can use dishwasher pods to hand wash dishes, you probably shouldn’t. If you’re really in a bind, you might be able to make it work, but you will end up wasting a few of your expensive pods to have enough suds to make you feel like your dishes are coming clean.

Another thing to keep in mind is that dish soap is often formulated to be gentle on your hands, but dishwasher detergent isn’t. This could be an important thing to take into account if you don’t use gloves while washing the dishes.

Can You Use Cascade Pods for Laundry?

No, you can’t use Cascade Pods for laundry. Dishwasher pods are too harsh to use on clothes and could ruin your washing machine.

Can You Use Dishwasher Detergent to Wash Clothes?

No, you can’t use dishwasher detergent to wash clothes. The pH levels are much in dishwasher detergent than in laundry detergent, which could ruin your fabrics.

What Can You Use In Place of Laundry Detergent?

If you run out of laundry detergent, you can use baking soda to wash your clothes. It takes about one cup of baking soda to efficiently clean an average load of laundry.


If you run out of laundry detergent, you might be desperate to find a way to wash your clothes, but there are many reasons that you should never use a dishwasher pod to do the job. If you use a dishwasher pod in the laundry, you’re risking a lot, including”

  • Damage to your clothes with a detergent that’s too harsh for the fabric
  • Damage to the gaskets and hoses in your washing machine with a detergent that they weren’t made to withstand
  • Voiding the warranty on your washer by using it in a way it wasn’t meant to be used

If you’re in a pinch, you can use baking soda in your washing machine to clean your clothes instead.

Shauna Stone