7 Things You Should Never Do with Dish Soap

updated Jul 1, 2021
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(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

Dish soap is great! It’s handy not only for dishes, but also for cleaning all sorts of other things. It cuts right through grease and makes things squeaky-clean. I truly believe that with a good sponge, dish soap, and lots of hot water, you can clean just about anything.

But I’ve learned — through research and real life experience — that there are a few things you should never do with dish soap. Here they are.

1. Mix it with bleach

When it comes to cleansers, you should never, ever mix them. Why? Because some combos can be toxic! And unless you’re a chemist, you’re probably not an expert. So never ever mix your dish soap with bleach, ammonia, or any other cleanser.

(Image credit: Gina Eykemans)

2. Wash your cast iron skillet

This rule is technically up for debate. While it’s totally fine to wash your cast iron skillet with dish soap, the rule of thumb is generally not to — and if you’re going to, you shouldn’t do it too often. Instead, use oil and salt.

More on Cleaning Cast Iron Skillets

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3. Wash your moka pot

Over time, the coffee’s oils will season the moka pot, which makes the coffee taste better. If you clean it with soap, you’ll remove that thin oily layer. Manufacturers recommend cleaning with plain ol’ water.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

4. Put it in the dishwasher

You may be tempted to put dish soap into the dishwasher if you run out of dishwasher detergent, but don’t! While they both clean dishes, the formulas are totally different, and dish soap’s ultra-sudsy blend could harm the machine or, at the very least, lead to bubbles galore creeping out of your dishwasher.

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

5. Put it in the washing machine

Different appliance, same problem: Dish soap is not formulated to work in your washing machine. It’s fine to use it to spot-clean sturdier fabrics (but not delicate ones like silk or leather), but squirting some in to wash a load can lead to more suds than your machine can handle.

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6. Wash your car

Dish soap is very strong. Your car’s paint looks strong, but it’s actually kinda weak. Using a harsh cleanser can strip away the finish, leaving it more vulnerable to chips and dullness. Shell out for the special car cleaner instead.

7. Wash your face

Look, if it’s too strong for your car, it’s definitely too strong for your face. It’s probably even too strong for your hands — which is why many of us prefer to wear gloves while washing dishes. Especially with young children or if you have delicate skin, try to cut down on the amount of time you spend up to your elbows in bubbles.

Got anything else to add? Tell us in the comments below!