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Can You Clean A Washing Machine With Dishwasher Tablets?

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red white and blue tablets

Cleaning hints and tips on the internet seem to be getting more and more popular. With one craze after another, it’s no wonder some of us don’t know which cleaning product to use for the best results.

With that in mind, lets delve into whether you really can use dishwasher tablets to effectively clean your washing machine.

We all know that washing machines are built to clean our clothes, towels, bed sheets and so on.

However, while we’re putting our dirty laundry into the drum day after day, eventually there will be a build-up of dirt and bacteria that over time will decrease the efficiency of the machine.

In order to keep your appliance in top condition you might be tempted to put a dishwasher tablet in the washing machine after seeing the hack on numerous social media or cleaning sites – but first you might want to ask yourself the following things…

Is it safe to use a dishwasher tablet in your washing machine?

clean washing machine

This is probably the most important question to ask before going ahead and trying this cleaning trend.

As you would be cleaning your machine with an empty drum, it won’t directly harm your fabrics, but that doesn’t mean it is safe to use on your appliance.

Dishwasher tablets need a certain temperature to work at, so deciding to use them in your washer is probably not the wisest move.

Washing machines cannot reach the temperatures that dishwashers can, therefore the tablets will not dissolve properly and even though you may get the lather from the tablet, you may also find you are left with a residue or build up – defeating the object of cleaning the washing machine in the first place.

Will dishwasher tablets damage my washing machine?

While nobody can really be certain if these little tablets will affect your washing machine, some experts believe that the chemicals in them can affect your appliance over time, so if you are going to use this method, it is recommended that you do not use them too often to clean your machine.

What are the benefits of using dishwasher tablets to clean my washing machine?

Nobody wants something extra to clean when there is already such a long list of household chores to be done. The main benefit of using the tablets is that it is quick and effortless – you simply throw them into the drum and let them work their magic.

They will also leave your machine smelling clean and fresh, therefore you won’t be left with any stale smells on your clothes because of a dirty washer.

What can I use instead of dishwasher tablets?

If the dishwasher tablet method is not for you, there are alternatives that you can use. Keeping your washing machine germ free and hygienic is a must and using the following products will make a difference.

  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Vinegar
  • Store bought cleaner
  • Baking soda

What if I do decide to use a dishwasher tablets to clean my washing machine?

If you still want to give this method a try, then we advise you follow these steps.

  • Put two tablets in an empty drum
  • Set your cycle to the highest temperature setting
  • Choose an extra rinse programme to ensure you have cleaned away any residue
  • Leave your washing machine door open to make sure you air the drum

Pros and Cons of using dishwasher tablets in the washing machine…



  • Easy to use
  • Takes minimal effort
  • Gives a fresh smelling drum
  • Make leave a residue
  • Could cause irritation to those with sensitive skin
  • It is not known the impact on the machine after several cleaning regimes

So, now you have all those questions answered and you are still confident enough to use the dishwasher tablet method to clean your washing machine, it is worth being cautious and although it is suggested that you use up to 4 tablets, we would recommend only using 2 – simply pop them in your drum.

At this point make sure your drum is empty – you do not want to wash your clothes or any kind of fabrics with the tablets. Although they may be safe to clean your glassware and ceramics, the chemicals in these tablets could cause irritation to the skin, especially if someone in your household suffers from allergies or has sensitive skin.

As we stated above, dishwasher tablets work best when used at a high temperature, therefore choosing the highest temperature setting on your washing machine will ensure you get the most out of using this method.

Once the cycle has finished, we advise you choose an additional rinse programme – this will eliminate any residue that may have not been cleaned away the first time.

After you have gone through the complete method, leave your washing machine door open. This will give it chance to air naturally and stops the risk of any unpleasant odours building up, thus giving you a clean, fresh, and ready to use appliance.

So now you have all the facts about dishwasher tablets and their use in washing machines, we have covered their pros and cons and advised you on the best method in which to use them.

If you are confident enough to try this method, we do hope you get the desired effects. Happy cleaning!

michelle author bio pic

Meet our reviewer – Michelle Vernon

Michelle is one of the lead writers at Washing Check and also holds an editor role. She is a busy parent who understands the needs of daily domestic life and the challenges it can bring.

She genuinely loves cleaning products and equipment, which although is quite strange to many, is a blessing to us here at Washing Check.