This Type of Soap Can Be Used to Clean Everything Around Your Home and Body

Kori Williams - Author

Aug. 14 2023, Published 10:46 a.m. ET

A person refilling a bottle with liquid soap.
Source: iStock

When you think of the things you have to keep clean regularly, it can become overwhelming. Your body, clothes, car, home, food, and more all need your attention. And considering all the types of soap you have to buy, the costs can easily add up.

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Understandably, you'd want to cut some corners and wash things with the same soap, like a 3-in-1 body wash. But is that even safe? More specifically, can you use laundry detergent to wash your dishes, or should it stay in the laundry room?

A person using a yellow sponge to wash a pot in a sink.
Source: iStock
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Can you use conventional laundry detergent to wash dishes?

No, it's not a good idea to clean your dishes with laundry detergent. According to In the Wash, conventional laundry soap is great for cleaning your clothes because it has all kinds of chemicals to get the job done. Fragrances, stain removers, brighteners, bleaches, softeners, and more are all used to make your wardrobe look great. But those aren't things you want on the dishes that you eat from.

If you hand wash your dishes using laundry detergent, you're breathing in all those chemicals. What's worse is that they can become gaseous when exposed to heat. This means it's even more dangerous to put this detergent in your dishwasher since it's very warm at the end of the washing cycle.

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Additionally, the eco-friendly cleaning brand Dropps says you should never use liquid laundry detergent in a dishwasher. The chemicals used in them produce a large amount of suds that can easily leak from the machine can cause a big mess.

A white dishwasher with dishes in it and steam coming out.
Source: Getty Images
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Can you use eco-friendly laundry detergent to wash dishes?

Eco-friendly laundry detergents aren't supposed to have harsh chemicals. But still, this kind of laundry detergent is still not recommended for washing dishes. When used in a dishwasher, it can still create lots of suds that could spill out.

To be safe, we'd avoid using any laundry detergent, even if it's nontoxic or eco-friendly, to wash your dishes.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

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Castile soap and other multipurpose soaps can be used for both dishes and laundry.

There are some natural Castile soaps, like the ones made by Dr. Bronner's, that are marketed as a cleaner for everything. Dr. Bronner's states on its website that you can use its soaps for 18 different uses, including washing both your dishes and laundry.

That said, it's recommended that you use the soap differently depending on what you're washing. When it comes to hand-washing dishes, the company states that you should pre-dilute 1 part soap with 10 parts water. With laundry, the steps depend on if you're washing delicate or regular clothes.

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A laundry basket on top of a washing machine.
Source: Getty Images

Dr. Bronner's also says you can use its Castile soaps on makeup brushes, food, mopping all kinds of floors, for getting rid of ants, and on your body and face. Just make sure to follow the company's directions how to dilute the soap for different uses.

There are a few other brands that make Castile soap, such as Public Goods, Mild By Nature, and Desert Essence. Additionally, the natural personal care brand Alō Goods makes an All-Purpose Utility, Laundry, and Dishwashing Soap bar.

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