So I’m running low on Cascade, and the delirious, experimental part of my brain is going *it’s just detergent. You wash your laundry with detergent. Detergent’s detergent. *
And the sensible part of my brain is going he’s got some good ideas. You’d save money. And really, what’s the difference between dishwasher detergent, and laundry detergent anyway, except that they come in different sized boxes?
So, what’s is the difference between detergent? Is the smaller, more expensive box just a scam by certain companies to fleece customers? If I put Tide in my dishwasher, will I really, really regret it? What the heck is detergent anyway, and how does it differ from soap?
That’s liquid soap, at least, but I don’t know if it will happen with laundry soap as well. (But I can personally attest to the liquid dishwashing soap thing - my college roomate got our kitchen closed with that one.)
It’s mainly the the low suds formulation, also DW detergent usually has some stiff in it to reduce glass streaking. DW detwergent also has much lower concentrations of phosphates, polyacrylates, and phosphonates than laundry detergent does.
Within just the range of dishwasher detergents, there is a wide range of quality. Check a Consumer Reports review of them. There are a lot of special little additives that make a world of difference. Rinsing well without etching glass is a big one. Some brands recently changed forumlations and have resulted in increased dulling of silverware. So they’re trying to fix that.
And that’s just for stuff designed for dishwashers. Go outside that group and you are most definitely will have big problems.
When someone starts talking about anionic surfactants, I tend to glaze over. I like chemistry, but not that much.
And I know that dishwashing soap would be a very bad idea, but the consensus seems to be that putting Tide in the dishwasher would get my dishes clean-- even it may scratch my glasses. But since my glasses get banged around and scratched anyway just from being put in the machine, that’s not a horrible price to pay.
There are certainly chemicals in laundry detergent that don’t make much sense in a dishwasher – I’m thinking the “whiteners” in particular. After washing, you’d probably have trace amounts on your dishes, and while they’re almost certainly not toxic, why ingest more chemicals than you really need?
Try washing dishes WITHOUT any soap or detergent. The hot water, spritzing action, general internal turbulence and multiple fill/empty cycles seems to do most of the work, even for greasy dishes. I can’t tell the difference after a soap-less rinse or a soap-full wash.
Still, I usually use something. I guess the detergent companies have me brainwashed.
I haven’t used it with a dishwasher, but when I was staying with my aunt and uncle once I washed dishes by hand using laundry detergent. (They ran out of dish soap, and my aunt said just to use the laundry stuff, because that’s what they did). From what I recall, the laundry soap didn’t seem to get the dishes clean and left sort of a soap film on them.