A sink full of suds with the words, "what to do about dish soap in the dishwasher."

While dish soap and dishwashing detergent both clean dishes, dish soap was not made to be put in the dishwasher. However, that nuance often escapes the notice of children who just want to be helpful around the house. As a result, they might have put dish soap in the dishwasher in their overzealous attempt to make your life easier. 

If this has happened to you, you are no doubt now aware that dish soap actually creates many, many, more suds which can lead to a hilarious but huge mess. Less obviously, you might not be aware that the soap scum could potentially harm your dishwasher. However, all hope is not lost in a mountain of bubbles! Here’s what you need to do to remedy the error. 

Step 1: Stop the Machine

The moment you notice that suds are coming out of your dishwasher, stop the machine. The longer you wait, the higher the risk of water damage to your flooring and damage to your dishwasher. If you are unable to stop the cycle before the suds make their escape, make sure you clean up the overflow as soon as possible. This will help prevent any damage to your floors. Additionally, make sure to also remove the soap suds from inside of the door of the machine.

Step 2: Remove the Dishes From the Machine

Take all of the dishes out of the dishwasher and rinse them off in the sink to help remove any soap scum that is stuck on them. You might also want to consider washing the dishes by hand to ensure that they are properly cleaned. After all, an abundance of soap suds is not a guarantee that your dishes were properly washed and cleaned.  

Step 3: Remove the Rest of the Suds from the Dishwasher

You will need to rinse out and dry the inside of your dishwasher. To do this, fill a small bowl with clean water and use it to rinse away the bubbles inside of the dishwasher. Keep at this until no more bubbles appear when you pour water on the bottom floor of the appliance. Once you have finished rinsing it, you will need to use towels to wipe down the entire machine. You may have to remove the drawers to make sure you are able to thoroughly wipe them down. It is important to make sure the machine is dry before moving to the next step.

Step 4: Running the Machine’s Rinse Cycle

Finally, you will want to run the rinse cycle for three to five minutes to help remove any remaining suds. If you’ve successfully accomplished the previous steps, any remaining suds should wash away and no new ones should form. After this step, your dishwasher should be good to go!

Need Help Cleaning Out Your Dishwasher or Removing a Clog?

If your child had simply asked for help when they were unsure, you probably could have avoided the whole mess of suds. Similarly, when you’re unsure of anything when it comes to your plumbing and related appliances, it is best to consult an expert. Our experienced and skilled team at Bewley Plumbing can help you figure out the best solution to any and all of your plumbing needs, so be sure to contact us today to set up a consultation or appointment!