How to Fix a Dish Soap Fiasco

Can you use dish soap in the dishwasher? Mr. Domestic CEO finds out the hard way.

Amanda Thomas
2-minute read

How to Fix a Dish Soap Fiasco

Some lessons are best learned the hard way, and with as many people present as possible. 

Here’s an example:

On our trip back to the Midwest last month, Mr. Domestic CEO learned one of those lessons. And as someone who was lucky enough to witness it, I have to say it was awesome. 

I grew up in a house without a dishwasher. But in my work with Moxie Girl Household Assistants, I’d heard many stories about what could happen if you use dish soap instead of dishwasher soap in a dishwasher. I guess I half-believed these tales to be urban legends, but was never brave enough to test it out.

Well, it seems Mr. D-CEO never got the memo, because during our stay in a rental condo with 8 other couples and a ton of little kiddos, my husband started the dishwasher with dish soap instead of dishwasher soap.

We didn't realize what was going on until someone went into the kitchen and stumbled on a huge cloud of fluffy suds. It was incredible! The fact that soap bubbles can spew out of a well-sealed dishwasher defies logic in my mind. It was like a college foam party, without nearly as much liquor and a few extra toddlers to play in the foam. Amidst all the laughing and sopping up suds with bath towels, we tried to figure out a way to de-sud the dishwasher.  

An online search yielded the following prescription: Remove everything from the dishwasher, wipe the entire interior dry, pour in oil or vinegar and a layer of salt, then run another cycle. 

Well, that seemed like a lot of work, and we didn’t have a whole bunch of oil, vinegar, or salt. So we improvised. The solution we came up with was to stop the current cycle, switch the dishwasher to a rinse-only cycle, and continue to wipe up the excessive amounts of suds that came out. To my surprise, this lazy, cheap process worked very well.

While it was slightly ironic that my husband was the one to make this domestic mistake, I am so glad he did. Otherwise the whole issue would still be an urban legend and we wouldn’t have had such a fun foam party.

See also: 

How to Organize Your Kitchen

How to Use Vinegar to Clean Your Home