Can You Wash Clothes In a Dishwasher? Answer & Alternatives

Published by Ahmad Jamal on March 21, 2023 | Last updated on May 14, 2023

Having a broken washing machine is a huge inconvenience, especially when there are piles and piles of clothes that need washing.

No alternatives are available at home at the moment, and you’re not going to hand wash those piles of dirty clothes. That’s when you wonder, can you wash clothes in a dishwasher?

“Doesn’t it have (Wash) in the name?” then I may be able to use it to clean my clothes inside of one of its cleaning cycles.

However, in this CleanersAdvisor guide, we’ll answer the question, explain what would happen to both the dishwasher and the clothes if you attempt to do that.

Additionally, we’ll provide you with lists of clothing types you can wash in the dishwasher, in addition to Alternatives to Putting Clothes in a Dishwasher.

Why Will You Need to Wash Clothes in a Dishwasher?

It’s not the normal procedure, is it? Then why would anyone refrain from using the washing machine, to wash their clothes in a dishwasher? What has made people ask “Can You Wash Clothes In a Dishwasher”

Generally speaking, in such scenarios you’re most probably forced to do so, whether your washing machine is broken, or you’re trying to expedite the cleaning operation in as little time as possible.

Or, you’re just sick of waiting for the repairing specialist to repair your washing machine and you want to clean a portion of those piles of dirty clothes.

Regardless of why you’ll need it, it’s common that a dishwasher isn’t regularly used for cleaning clothes, but we’ll explain if Can You Wash Clothes in a Dishwasher or not.

Can You Wash Clothes In a Dishwasher
Can You Wash Clothes In a Dishwasher?

Can You Wash Clothes In a Dishwasher

It’s not a good idea to wash clothes in a dishwasher. You can do so, but at the expense of either your clothes, your dishwasher, or even both.

Your dishwasher is created for a sole reason of dishwashing, it can be used for other washing tasks, but not for all types of clothes.

Therefore, you shouldn’t aim at washing clothes in the dishwasher, to avoid dealing irreversible damage to either parts of the equation.

Additionally, washing machines and dishwashers don’t operate the same way, therefore, you should never expect the same results on clothes operating two different machines with two different purposes.

Next, we’ll explain why you shouldn’t wash clothes in the dishwasher.

Can You Wash Clothes In a Dishwasher
It Looks Disastrous Even Before You Start, Doesn’t It?

Why Shouldn’t You Wash Clothes in a Dishwasher?

We already established that dishwashers are specifically designed, manufactured, and used for washing dishes.

This means that the spraying arm inside the dishwasher moves in a way that suits appliance cleaning, if you attempt to do the same for clothes, they’re most likely going to stick around the spraying arm and obstruct its movements.

If that happens consistently, there’s a higher chance the dishwasher will receive significant damage in the operation.

That’s for the dishwasher, as for the clothes, you’re only getting them wet, without proper cleaning that’s available when cleaned by a washing machine.

Most areas won’t get the cleaning attention it requires since the dishwasher isn’t equipped to deal with clothes, and other areas will remain dry and dirty after a full cleaning cycle is done.

As for the soap used in washing/cleaning, it’s not the same soap whatsoever.

Dishwasher soap consists of bleach and products used for getting rid of food stains and grease.

That’s not the same for laundry, as they require laundry detergent.

However, if you use laundry detergents, you’ll turn the dishwasher into a disaster, as it will form a lot of suds in hot water, overwhelming the dishwasher on the inside.

Can You Wash Clothes In a Dishwasher
Using Laundry Detergent in Dishwashers Creates a Disaster

The temperature to which the water is heated is also different, dishwashers require higher water temperature, to get rid of grease easier.

However, this means most fabric types will either fade and wear easily, while others will shrink in such high temperatures.

Lastly, you don’t want to void the dishwasher warranty. Manufacturers build their warranties around “the right purpose” of usage for dishwashers.

When you use it for other purposes, you’re opening your warranty for voiding.

Can You Put Shoes in the Dishwasher?

Similar to clothes, shoes shouldn’t be put in the dishwasher under any circumstances.

Additionally, shoes collect more dirt, dust, and debris than any other type of clothes, meaning you’ll only be contaminating your dishes instead of cleaning your shoes.

Moreover, shoes are created by materials that aren’t compatible with the high temperatures of water in the dishwasher.

Can You Put Shoes in the Dishwasher
You Shouldn’t Put Shoes in The Dishwasher

Alternatives to Putting Clothes in a Dishwasher

What should you do if you have a broken washing machine, and can’t use the dishwasher?

Here are some alternatives:

  1. Laundromat: It’s not hassle-free and will cost you some money, as you’ll need to take the laundry to the self-serving washing machines down the street, and get them clean by using their washing machines. This is by far the best alternative, as you’re only using washing machines, instead of other effort-needing alternatives.
  2. Dry Cleaning: dry cleaners can get the job done for you, whether it was hard or soft stains on your clothes. They’ll require the same amount of work you’ll do with laundromat, so pick your poison. However, high quality services offer great discounts and services, get them to do the job for you.
  3. Handwashing: it can be a viable alternative to washing clothes in the dishwasher if you have a small pile of dirty clothes. However, if you have a larger pile of dirty clothes, you may be in for a long night of handwashing.

Things You Can Wash in Dishwasher

  1. Baseball Cap
  2. Tool Belts
  3. Wrist and Headbands
  4. Sports Gear

To Wrap Up

Can You Wash Clothes In a Dishwasher? You shouldn’t!

Here’s a simple answer to your query, but we haven’t let you leave empty handed, as you have a deep explanation on why you shouldn’t wash clothes in the dishwasher.

Additionally, we’ve also provided you with a handful of alternatives if your washing machine has broken down and will require some time to get repaired.

If you have any remaining questions, feel free to ask us in the comments section below, and our CleanersAdvisor experts will answer you soon.

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