If you’ve been looking into ways of cleaning your washing machine, you might have come across the dishwasher tablet method.
The idea behind this is quite simple… You pop 1-4 dishwasher tablets into your washing machine’s drum, run a hot wash and voila, you’ve got yourself a sparkly clean machine again!
But is it really that straightforward? Surely there’s a catch…
And right you are!
You see, the problem with using dishwasher tablets to clean a washing machine is simple—dishwasher tablets are designed to be used in a dishwasher. So, while your initial results may be great, you shouldn’t actually use the tablets to clean your washing machine for a long period of time because they’re not designed to go in there.
You should, in fact, use more conventional cleaning methods that have been tried and tested to wash out your washing machine!
In short, it is possible to use dishwasher tablets to clean a washing machine, but you do so at your own risk.
Let’s dive deeper into this matter.
Potential Problems with Using Dishwasher Tablets to Clean a Washing Machine
So, if you’re really eager to clean your washing machine out using the dishwasher tablet method, you can go ahead and do so, but only after you’ve read about the potential issues you may encounter. Check them out below.
1. Some manufacturers warn against doing this, and it may void the warranty
The main issue with popping dishwasher tablets into your washing machine is that most manufacturers tell you not to do this.
If you read your user manual there is probably a paragraph, or two, somewhere that tells you exactly how to clean your washing machine. There may also be a list of products you definitely shouldn’t use to do the job.
This information isn’t there to be ignored, it’s there because you need to wash your machine in a particular way, so that you don’t break it.
Plus, if you don’t follow the advice in the book, your warranty might be voided. This means that if you need any help in the future, you’ll likely have to pay for the work yourself.
2. Dishwasher tablets do not work as well at lower temperatures
Another issue worth considering is the fact that dishwasher tablets need extreme temperatures to work effectively. After all, they are used to clean some of the dirtiest, greasiest pots and pans we have.
Washing machines, on the other hand, can be used at various temperatures because some clothes need specific colder temperatures.
If you don’t set your washing machine to its highest temperature, the dishwasher tablet may not work properly. This may result in residue and chemicals being left behind, and nobody wants them on their clothes!
3. Dishwasher tablets may leave residue behind in the drum, seal and hose
As mentioned earlier, dishwasher tablets may leave some residue behind in your washing machine.
While you may be able to get rid of this by running another hot wash, this is a needless waste of time and energy.
Not to mention that clothes can sometimes feel quite tough and rough after being washed in a machine that has been cleaned with a dishwasher tablet. To rectify this problem, you may need to go out and buy some fabric softener to re-soften the clothes – the end result is just more cost for you.
4. The ingredients in dishwasher tablets are not designed for washing machines
Another problem to think about is the fact that dishwasher tablets are meant to go into dishwashers to clean dishes. A washing machine is not used to clean dishes but to clean clothes.
Therefore, the hardy ingredients in dishwasher tablets will differ greatly from that of clothes cleaning detergent, because they serve different purposes.
This, in turn, may cause damage to various parts within a washing machine, like the seals. A washing machine may start to fail if too many dishwasher tablets are used at once, or if the tablets are used too frequently.
Think about it like this: Would you clean your dishwasher out with washing machine detergent? Probably not. If you did this your plates and cutlery would come out smelling of linen and lavender and you’d end up with a gooey mess at the bottom of the dishwasher! It just wouldn’t work properly.
5. Foam overflow
Additionally, adding too many dishwasher tablets into a washing machine could cause a foam overflow.
Although foam does form in a washing when too much detergent is used, the foam created by dishwasher tablets is slightly different.
The washing machine probably won’t like this very much and it could cause a blockage in the hose. This again is needless work that you’d have to sort out as soon as possible!
What Items Should You Use to Clean a Washing Machine?
There are many different products you can use to clean a washing machine. Here are some examples for you:
- White vinegar
- Calgon, or Calgon alternatives
- Dettol Washing Machine Cleaner
- Soda crystals
- Products that are advertised as washing machine cleaners
- Products noted in your washing machine’s user manual
How Do You Clean a Washing Machine?
There are many ways you can clean a washing machine. And you can also use various products bought from a store, or you can make up your own portions at home to do so.
Follow our step-by-step washing machine cleaning guide and you’ll have a glowing washing machine in no time at all!
Bethan has a passion for exploring, reading, cooking and gardening! When she’s not creating culinary delights for her family, she’s concocting potions to keep her house clean!