Can You Use Dishwasher Pods For Laundry?

Last Updated on August 1, 2023 By Emma W. Thomas

No, dishwasher pods are specifically designed for dishwashers and should not be used for laundry. They contain different formulas and may not effectively clean clothes. Always use laundry detergent suitable for washing machines to achieve the best results.

Can You Use Dishwasher Pods For Laundry?

Machines for washing dishes and clothes might seem similar in purpose — getting rid of stains and dirt, but does that mean the cleaning agents, like dishwasher pods, are interchangeable? This listicle explores the question in a structured approach.

  1. Key Differences Between Dishwasher and Laundry PodsDishwasher and laundry pods are expertly formulated for their particular applications. Dishwasher pods are built to degrease and clean food residue while being less harsh on delicate materials like glass and ceramics. On the other hand, laundry pods are designed to tackle organic stains like sweat, grass, and blood on fabric, with different temperature tolerances and soaking mechanisms.
  2. Ingredient DifferenceThe main ingredients in laundry pods include surfactants, enzymes, polymers, and bleach for stain and dirt removal. Conversely, dishwasher pods contain alkaline, enzymes, and bleach to dissolve food matter. The uniqueness of these ingredient mixes makes each pod type work optimally for its specific task.
  3. Interaction with MaterialsHarmful interactions can occur when dishwasher pods come in contact with certain clothing materials. They are more alkaline than laundry detergents and can weaken or discolor fabrics like wool and silk. Also, the absence of fabric-friendly agents in dishwasher pods means they may not fully rinse out, leaving behind unwanted residues.
  4. Efficacy in CleaningA dishwasher pod simply won’t provide the same result on clothes as a laundry pod. The cleaning mechanisms differ drastically, meaning laundry pods break down body oils and dirt, which a dishwasher pod isn’t formulated to do.
  5. Possible Damage to the Washing MachineThe composition of dishwasher pods might not be safe for the workings of a washing machine, potentially causing blockages, foam overs, or damage to components not designed to handle the chemicals found in dishwasher pods.
  6. Safety AspectUsing dishwasher pods for laundry can also raise some safety issues. They can cause skin irritations or allergic reactions when not properly rinsed out of clothes.

In conclusion, while it might be tempting to use dishwasher pods for laundry in a bind, the differences in formulation, purpose, cleaning efficacy, and safety means it’s strongly discouraged. Always stick to detergent forms that are explicitly manufactured for each specific use to ensure the cleanliness, safety, and longevity of your appliances.

How Do Dishwasher Pods Work?

Dishwashers and dishwasher pods have been in use for over two centuries. These substances play an important role in cleaning since they contain cleansing and rinse aids which are both surfactants. Dishwasher pods have hydrophilic molecules, which allow them to dissolve in water hence washing away all the dirt easily. Some have both hydrophilic and lipophilic, serving the same purpose. The rinse aids reduce surface tension, making it easy to rinse the dishes. 

Dishwashing pods also have water droplets to form foam during cleaning and provide dishes with a clean and shiny look. It is usually a result of rinse aid fighting with the water droplets that makes your mugs and plates cleaner than before. Lastly, they have an outer coating made of polyvinyl alcohol, which is a synthetic polymer. It dissolves upon coming into contact with moisture. While It is not so harmful to your skin, it is important to wash an area that comes into contact with the product using cold water. 

How Do You Use Dishwasher Pods?

Dishwasher pods are considered the most effective way to clean dishes using a dishwasher. They are less messy compared to liquids, gels, or powders and are also simple and easy to use. The following are steps for using dishwashing pods;

The first thing is to ensure that all the items to be cleaned are dishwasher-safe. It is advisable to avoid items made of cast iron, plastic, crystal, insulated mugs, copper, and non-stick pans in the dishwasher. These items can easily get ruined by the heat and detergent used in the dishwasher. Most items that are not dishwasher-safe have warnings indicated on their packaging or on the product itself. You should check the items before loading them into the dishwasher. Also, do not let the dishes stay for more than 24 hours to avoid having dishes with accumulated caked food and grease. 

Use one pod for a normal-size load. The best thing about dishwashing pods is that they are packed individually with measurements of a typical dishwasher. Such measurements make it convenient and easy to throw one piece into the dishwasher. However, if you happen to have a full load that is heavily soiled, you can throw in a second pod. Be careful not to overload your dishwasher as it reduces its efficiency. You should also avoid underloading the dishwashers since the dishes may have leftover residue from an unused pod. You will have to wait until the full load to turn on the dishwasher.

Put the pod in the dishwasher detergent dispenser usually located inside the door and whose purpose is for dishwashing detergents and pods. You must ensure the pod is correctly placed in this section. Tightly close the latch before closing the dishwasher’s main door. Avoid triggering the pod for it to work, for example, by piercing it. The outer casing of the pods serves the purpose of measuring individual pods and enables them to self-dissolve with the contents in the dishwasher. Breaking the outer casing of the pod can irritate your skin or, even worse, create some mess in your washing area.

Before turning on the dishwasher, add some finishing liquid to the load for best results. Sometimes, the added finishing liquid helps clean away caked food and grease, leaving your items shiny and streak-free. You can fill the finishing liquid into the rinse aid dispenser, and automatically it will measure the right amount to go into the load. It helps avoid loading the finishing liquid each time you use the dishwasher.

Lastly, turn on the dishwasher and let the cleaning begin. Some dishwashers have temperature control settings and do not require manual settings. The optimal heat for dishwashing pods is 52 degrees to 60 degrees for best results.

How Do You Choose Dishwashing Pods?

Choose A High-Quality Dishwasher Pod.

You should ensure that the dishwasher pod will provide effective cleaning to your dishes. For this reason, be sure to select the right pod. High-quality dishwasher pods have the following properties:

  • It must be powerful enough to ensure that you will not need a second one after the first load. A pod that is powerful enough clears all food and grease from the dishes effectively in one go. Therefore, one does not need another loading which will involve extra pod water and energy.
  • High-quality pods have concentrated cleaning power which is usually labeled on their packaging. Most of the labels appear, such as 15 X power. A highly concentrated cleaning power pod means that it has more grease-fighting ability making it more effective.
  • Most high-quality pods come with different scents such as lemon or fresh fragrance. Depending on your preference, you can decide whether to go for scented or odorless pods.
  • High-quality dishwasher pods steer clear of toxic ingredients such as synthetic dyes and other chemicals used to print labels on the items.

Choose An Environmental Friendly Dishwasher Pod.

People who like to rinse their dishes well before loading them into the dishwasher and like going for eco-friendly products should select environmentally friendly pods. There are biodegradable dishwasher pods that are free from artificial phosphates and fragrances. It would help if you went through the ingredients used in the manufacture of the dishwasher pod to ensure that it is environmentally friendly. Not all products labeled green on their packaging are eco-friendly.

What Are The Other Uses Of The Dishwasher Pods?

Other than the most obvious uses of dishwasher pods, they can be used in various households. They tend to have properties that make them suitable for use, such as chemicals that make them soften hard water. They contain bleach that is used to tackle hard stains. They also contain enzymes that easily dissolve starch and protein foods, and lastly, they are surfactants hence providing a clear and sparkling finish. Some of these uses include:

Removing Stains From White Garments

As seen earlier, dishwasher pods contain bleach that can deal with tough stains. Therefore, it can be used to clean stained garments effectively. But, you should avoid using the pods on colored garments or clothes as this may cause discoloration. It works best on white garments which cannot be easily bleached.

Outdoor Furniture Cleaning

Dishwasher pods are strong enough to clean dried dirt from outdoor furniture. They easily dissolve in warm water, making it easy to clean. Additionally, its bleaching and cleaning chemicals properties make them serve this purpose better.

Oven Cleaning

Dishwasher pods can deal with tough stains, caked food residues, and grease, making them the perfect option to clean a stained oven. You can place warm water and a few pods on the oven floor for about ten minutes. After that, the stains will be loose and can be easily scrubbed off.

Removing Colour Pencils And Crayon Writings From The Wall

This use is applicable in households with young children who stain the walls now and then with pencils and crayons. You can dissolve some dishwasher pods in water and use them to clean the wall. The bleaching property enables it to get rid of the markings from the wall, leaving it as clean as new.

Polishing Metal Surfaces

Dishwashing pods are surfactants, and this property helps maintain a clear shiny, and sparkling finish to glass and metals. You can use the pods to polish metallic kitchen sinks, metallic cutlery, and other kitchen surfaces. Dissolve the pods in water and use them to polish the surfaces, leaving an impressive shiny look.

Cleaning The Washing Machine Drum

You can also use dishwasher pods to clean the washing machine and leave it looking as good as new. They also help eliminate and stop microbial growth from the washing machine due to their ability to dissolve starch and proteins. Drop the dishwasher pods in the washing machine, leave it to run on high heat, and wait for the outcome. 

Toilet Cleaning

 Dropping a dishwasher pod a few minutes before you begin your toilet cleaning routine helps soften the dirt. It makes scrubbing much easier and gives your toilet a sparkling clean finish. Since some pods are scented, they get rid of smelly toilets and provide a fresh scent that you can put up with.


Dishwasher pods have many uses but using them in the laundry is not one of them. They contain bleach which may discolor your clothes. Unless you are washing a white and stained garment, it is better to keep the pods as far as possible from your laundry. They also foam easily, and this may make it difficult to rinse your clothes, leaving them stained. However, they are perfect for use when it comes to dishwashing as they are less messy than other dishwashing detergents that appear to be messy and less effective.