The original hack suggested that individuals should place the dish detergent directly into the machine or apply it onto a rag and put that into a washing machine for brighter, cleaner laundry. All seems well and good — but Consumer Reports noted that this tip isn’t what it seems.
Laundry expert (yes, that is a thing) Rich Handel noted that the sud action is a little too much for your washing machine. “I would be concerned about the dish soap causing a lot of suds,” he shared. These appliances are designed for low suds, so extra bubbles can cause your machine to gunk up and leave your clothes soapy.
Your laundry machine may also break down if you use fabric softener in your laundry loads, which can also leave a gross residue in your machine and harbor mold.
In addition, your detergent is designed to clean and protect your fabrics, while dish detergent is designed to break down grease. This abrasive compound can break down your clothes — especially delicate materials like silk.
If you have sensitive skin, you might also have a reaction to the abrasive cleaner. Stick with traditional laundry soap, and you only need about one or two tablespoons for each load.
How it’s helping
It’s clear that there are numerous reasons to avoid this hack, but it all bubbles down to one thing: waste. If you fail to use your appliance according to the intended use or direction, it can cause the machine to break down and force you to replace it.
Not only is this a lot of money out of your pocket, but it’s also a lot of machines sitting around in landfills.
What everyone’s saying
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from this example, it’s that critical thinking is very important when it comes to doing your research on internet hacks. Although it might seem that dish soap is a way to clean your clothes without having to buy detergent, Consumer Reports makes it clear that this hack can do more harm than good.
Some commenters on the TikTok video were thankfully putting their critical thinking to use.
“That will ruin your washer!” said one commenter, while another had an alternate suggestion saying, “Oxi clean + vinegar + normal detergent = ultimate formula that won’t harm the washer!!!”
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