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Dish soap in the dishwasher.

Written on August 11, 2005 by Kevin.

It has happened many times in the past, and will certainly happen many times in the future. Someone pours dish soap in the dishwasher and all hell breaks loose. I can imagine many parents have had their kids do this type of thing and had to battle the outcome. I wish I could blame it on my unborn child but unfortunately, it was I, that poured dish soap into the dishwasher. Before moving on, look below at the images and get a good laugh. Alright, now that you have gotten that out of your system. Here are some ways to help get the suds to go away.

  • Sprinkle table salt onto suds.
  • Drop ice cubes into bottom to cool the water.
  • Scoop out as much water/suds that you can.
  • Try a cup or two of white vinegar.
  • You may need to run it through the cycle 3 or 4 times to get the suds out completely. After the second cycle, my suds decreased pretty significantly. The second picture below is my wife's idea of a funny picture. Who ever said getting to the back of the dishwasher was easy?

    Suds in the dishwasherCleaning out the dishwasher


    LOLOL! I think every person is required to put liquid detergent in the dishwasher once in their lives. It seems so darn logical! At least you got yours out of the way before the bubble-gobbling baby comes along!

    Written by Suzi on Aug 11, 2005

    LOL.Love the last photo.

    Written by pantrygirl on Aug 11, 2005

    heheheyour wife's right, that IS a funny pic!

    Written by Storm on Aug 11, 2005

    If this becomes an appliance porn blog, I'm outta here. You should only be doing THAT with your wife, and not sharing the photos.

    Written by AJ on Aug 11, 2005

    I heard if this happens to put cooking oil in and that will stop the subs. This has never happened to me ...thats the fix as I understand for using the wrong soap, Hope this helps.

    Written by John W. on Aug 12, 2005

    Dear Dad-to Be...If you absolutely MUST put liquid dish detergent in the dishwasher, you should use just a single drop. That will keep you from being up to your elbows in suds.

    Written by Angelsong on Aug 13, 2005

    Wow, the high chair up already? You aren't messing around!

    Written by Anonymous on Aug 13, 2005

    lol I remember doing that as a young teen when we ran out of regular dishwasher soap Never again .It took me FOREVER to clean it up ..The pics are too funny

    Written by PresentStorm on Aug 14, 2005

    I think this was a complete failure! You barely have a mess at all. Use 5 times as much and try again....

    Written by Guppyman on Aug 14, 2005

    Hey, for a dad to be u have a nice tushy... and I also did this, and my hubby fixed it with vinagar, cause it clean the dishwasher out too!

    Written by Anonymous on Aug 14, 2005

    It's funnier when someone else does it. Your's wasn't as bad as mine. I did it to my granny's compact kitchen in a London flat. The suds overflowed into the living room, carpet areas... is funny now, was not then.

    Written by Christine on Aug 23, 2005

    I just did the same thing ... I scooped alot of the suds out and then added about a capful of cooking oil.. I think it worked.. Suds dramatically disipated... Ah chemistry at its best...

    Written by stupid on Dec 18, 2005

    i had done this when i was at college ... unfortunately, those were the days when i ran the dishwasher at 1am and went to sleep ... needless to say it was a rude (and wet) awakening! :(

    Written by night owl on Feb 2, 2006

    My almost 4 year old put dish soap in mine yesterday. I went into my kitchen and discovered dish soap on the floor (has happen before) so I start cleaning that mess when I happen to look over at the dish washer and notice that some is on the outside of it and the door isn't shut all the way. So here I am think I wonder.... I open the door and sure enough he has squrted soap all over the inside of my washer ggggrrrrr. I wiped as much of it I could with paper towels and prayed for the best when I turned it on. Low and behold within 15 minutes I had sudes everywhere. Hubby and I started getting the water out using cups when a light popped on in my head. I told hubby wait we just bought that Rainbow, lets see what that baby can do lol. we sucked out the sudsy water, closed the door let it run for 1 minute sucked again. repeated this process 5 or 6 times and bingo no more sudes. Then ran for a whole run and happy to say I have my washer back.

    Written by Bridget on Jun 18, 2006

    yes, it happened thsi morning...
    boy am i relieved.

    Written by Ally on Aug 2, 2006

    Well I will share my embarrassing moment. I did just as has previously been mentioned. Soap everywhere. However my wife is not home and I frantically am trying to keep it from her because I know I will become the brunt of her and my families jokes for years to come. so I am hoping to get this under control before she gets home thanks to your suggestions. And no my kid didn't do it I thought it was a logical idea. Lesson learned.

    Written by Andrew on Aug 24, 2006

    Liquid fabric softener works wonders.

    Written by AN on Aug 27, 2006


    Written by Lisa on Sep 19, 2006

    Table Salt- best thing. Fill all soap dispensers up with it, sprikle it on the suds to break them down and run a whole cycle. Works like magic

    Written by SM on Oct 8, 2006

    tried the table salt & vinegar...even took off hot water option, still suds when running..

    Written by wendy on Oct 10, 2006

    I would just like to thank you for the information my husband was trying to help me out since I had a long day at work and since we didn't have very much dishwasher soap he fill it the rest of the way up with dish soap it worked like a charm the only thing that I added was tang because tang will unclog your water lines soap or not tang is actually good for something. I always knew tang was not meant for consumption that stuff is nasty:) Thanks again

    Written by Carrie on Oct 18, 2006

    I come on the internet because my wife do this to our machine dish cleaner. It make a bubbles go everywhere, from kitchen to lavoratory. I going to the library to use internets to find answer how cleaning it.

    How cleaning it?

    Written by gilgamesh on Oct 23, 2006

    My son just did it! He was doing the dishes and started the dishwasher and all was fine until his twin brother screamed for me to come into the kitchen. As soon as I saw all the bubbles I knew what happened even if he won't admit it. He must have filled both of the cups on the door! I tried baking soda and it helped a tiny bit. I'm trying the vinegar and salt now. One load of dishes is going to be VERY clean! Thanks for the suggestions.

    Written by Debra on Oct 28, 2006

    I put Dawn liquid dish soap in the rinse aid compartment, where the jetdry usually goes...any ideas since isn't that something you only need to fill like once a month, will I have suds for a month?

    Written by Alvin on Oct 31, 2006

    I just discovered this morning that the babysitter put ultra dish soap in the dishwasher last night! She didn't tell me either-she must have been so freaked out when all the suds appeared-I imagine she called her parents wondering what to do!! Guess I'm going to have to warn all sitters now not to use real soap!! I thought I was safe-the kids never do anything around here, so I haven't ever told them not to use dish soap! Too funny. Thanks for the suggestions, I will try the salt and vinegar. About the tang-everyone should have powdered tang in their house and use it every once in awhile to unclog their water jets. A friend of mine paid a technician $120 just for him to come and tell them their water jets weren't working because they were clogged and that's why the dishwasher wasn't working properly. Even Sears recommends it when you call for a service.

    Written by jen on Dec 23, 2006

    I have the done the exact same thing. And it took two days for the bubbles to go down but now the water wont go all the way way down>? how do i fix it. not i cant run the dishwasher without it bubbling up.

    Written by Lynette on Apr 1, 2007

    My 36 year old wife just did this for the first time! thanks for the suggestions.

    Written by Dylan on Jun 17, 2007

    What a life saver! My 12 year old son is diabetic and apparently his sugar was a little off during chores... he just wasn't focusing and the giant bottle of dawn was right next to the cascade.

    "Mom, come here, now... please!"

    The sink was full of dawn suds on both sides. It was backing up through the drains and disposal and the bottom and sides of the dishwasher itself. My first thought was "oh boy, wait till hubby gets home!" and then I thought to check online for a solution. The table salt reduced the suds minimally but the vinegar worked liked a charm! The suds were cleared away, I ran a normal cycle with no soap at all to clear the vinegar and we mopped up the floor and had a great laugh. No harm, no foul!

    Written by Hannah on Jul 16, 2007

    Man, it was after midnight last night, my husband and I are in the middle of cleaning the house to prepare for moving... He calls me downstairs and asks me "hypothetically speaking" what happens when you put dish soap in the dishwasher. I thought he was joking at first until he opened it.

    I couldn't help but laugh though! So I came online and came across this. I took some table salt and just shook it everywhere in there. Then I dumped like a half of bottle of vinegar in it. I can't say much for the smell, but there were almost NO suds in there after the first cycle. I ran it about 3 times, and it seems fine now.

    Thanks for the info :)

    Written by Nubia on Oct 25, 2007

    Glad to have been of some assistance.

    Written by Kevin on Oct 25, 2007

    Late at night, during a party that we had at our house, we noticed that the kitchen had become overwhelmed by suds form the dishwasher. Having no idea why the dishwasher was on at that time of the night with barely any dishes in it, we were all quite confused. The next morning, we concleded that none of us turned the dishwasher on, and found inside the dishwasher an empty bottle of palmolive, which had been one quarter full the previous day. It was quite a funny prank, and we will probably all pass it on when we are the guests.

    Written by Jonathan on Oct 28, 2007

    thanx a ton! i used all of your suggestions, and the suds were gone completely.

    Written by cantuseewhaturdoin on Dec 9, 2007

    I just did this for the first time as well and at 36, you would think I'd know better!! I ran out of Cascade after filling the cup that closes and with a big load, my big brain decided to use regular dish soap to fill the little cup. I sprinkled some salt over the foam and waited for a few minutes and ran the dishwasher for the 2nd time. Two loads of towels later, I hope this works, thank heavens for this website. My husband will NEVER let me live this one down and by the way, thanks for the men who have admitted to doing this also, my husband said "Only a woman would do something so silly"!!!! Shows what he knows!! LOL

    Written by Kelly on Dec 11, 2007

    HOLY COW, I am laughing out loud and thanking you at the same time... What a nightmare... Just the way I wanted to spend my afternoon... Not. Oh, but thankfully, the timer didn't work so that the thing didn't go on automatically last night, as was intended. :)

    Written by Suzanne on Dec 30, 2007

    My 12 year old daughter just did the same thing. I got out my husbands wet/dry shop vac and sucked out all of the water and suds. Back to new..

    Written by Leslie on Jan 6, 2008

    Ugh! I just used dish soap in my dishwasher and as I was cleaning the rest of the kitchen I thought "that's odd, I smell lavender" When I looked behind me I saw foam coming out of the bottom of my dishwasher. I immediately panicked because I live in a rental apartment and the dishwasher isn't mine. So of course I rushed to the computer and thankfully I found that I am not the only one who has done this. PHEW! I'll try the table salt thing. PRAY FOR ME! LOL

    Written by Jason on Jan 25, 2008

    Here is a fresh one - Laundry Detergent

    I just (accidentally) put laundry detergent (I think, it was unmarked) into the dish-washing machine and it really sudded up. Thanks for the tips.

    Written by Scott on Jan 30, 2008

    Too funny! I recently documented this problem and it's potential solutions on my blog KP (Kitchen Patrol) and then stumbled across your story. My blog deals with problems like this-- and tactics for dealing with them. Check it out if you need a laff or two:

    Written by craig on Feb 6, 2008

    I'm staying at my cousin's house, and in an effort to pitch in and clean up while he's at work, I loaded up all the weekend's dishes. I did not grow up with a dishwasher, so I figured that it wouldn't matter that he was out of detergent - dish soap would be fine! Oh my god. I turned the thing off, and searched online. I haven't tried salt or anything yet, but I scooped out & soaked up all the bubbles and water - it seems to be fine. I'm relieved to hear that, at 22, there are people out there older than I am who still haven't learned this lesson. It's been a pretty good laugh though!

    Written by Too Funny on Feb 26, 2008

    great website!!! I just put a little dish detergent in the dishwasher to take away the awful smell and thought it would do no harm....uggggggggg. Liquid fabric softner seems to work well for getting rid of suds as well. That bit of info comes from an appliance repair guy. Hope that helps!

    Written by emily parks on Mar 18, 2008

    LOL! My eight year old daughter was trying to help me out by running the dish washer....she filled both cups on the door with palmolive..xxtra concentrated dish soap!!! HOLY CRAP! suds are out of control....just poured salt and vineger in there....LETS SEE WHAT HAPPENS!!!!

    Written by Cindy on May 17, 2008

    The other half thought it would be OK to soak dishes in Dawn overnight and then (unknowingly) I loaded those dishes into the dishwasher and left the kitchen without realizing they were covered in Dawn.

    Two tons of suds later, I'm online just to see what others have done. I didn't use salt or vinegar but toweled up all the suds and water from the dishwasher, rinsed it with some cold water using the sprayer and ran the "DRAIN" cycle and repeated. It's working fine now, just a little suds on the surface and, after the first cycle, it's now suds-free.

    Written by jippy on Aug 3, 2008

    Trying the salt and vinegar right now, oh god please work. The girlfriend will never let me live this down. Thank you very much if this works... I have 1 1/2 hrs till she is off work!

    Written by OOPS on Aug 12, 2008

    Veggie oil, white wine vinegar, and table salt!!! Worked great! Two runs, no more suds. She'll never know lol ^_^

    Written by OOPS on Aug 12, 2008

    So I decided to do my girlfriend and roommate a favor and clean their kitchen while their gone. Little did I know I was going to create a bubblebath... My first thought, "Whats wrong with their dishwasher!?" Then it hit me... Whoops, hope it doesn't happen again.

    Written by Keith on Aug 13, 2008

    I've done this more than once.
    And if we all have Dishwashers why are we buying dish saop anyway?

    We HAVE our dishwshee

    Written by Noelle on Aug 17, 2008

    Thank goodness for your blog as I am now trying the vinegar and salt trick. The continuous input definitely puts this clean filled day in a funny light. Who would have known? I thought the liquid solution was the dishwasher one and your website definitely explains why it isn't along with our multiple trips of towel drying the dishwasher.

    Written by soapy day on Sep 21, 2008

    Vinegar, some salt and dash of oil after two quick rinse cylce and the suds disappeared! Thanks a bunch!

    Written by soapy day on Sep 21, 2008

    I hope this works...
    I accidently put the dish detergent in and now the dish washer is on the blink.
    Have to have it fixed before Mum gets home...

    Written by Cassandra on Sep 29, 2008

    THANK YOU!!! The salt, vinegar, veggie oil combo did the charm - you're a lifesaver. Didn't want to spend the next 2 days fighting bubbles!

    Written by noodlebang on Dec 5, 2008

    ...My 11 year old daughter just did it. She poured in some Palmolive anti-bacteria liquid soap and the bad news is that she ran down stairs to the basement to inform me she was about to do it but I ignored whatever it is she was telling me since I was hooked onto my pc. I already knew what would happen since I had done something similar in my early 20's but can't remember how my mum got rid of it. We used a bunch of towels to soak out the foamy water and squeeze it out into the kitchen sink. We repeated this process for something like 20 times between cycling the dishwasher. We poured a bunch of cold water into both receptacles and drained it out with more towels. (Remember there is a heating coil inside most diswashers which raises the temperature to kill bacteria and make your dishes dry but which in this case will be bad for you since the heat causes more foam to form). I then got onto the internet to see how I can solve this mess. I was informed to use white vinegar, Crisco cooking oil, baking powder and or table salt. I had to ask myself why white vinegar since we had only red vinegar. Lol I had to drive to Meijers to get this White vinegar and when I got back, I mixed it with the salt and poured it into the soap receptacles. Then I got about a cup of crisco vegetable oil and poured it in the machine as well. (Remember never to mix baking soda and vinegar as it will cause more sud). My daughter and I started the machine as we opened it from time to time to pour in some more cold water. After a complete cycle, the good news is that not only did the suds disappeared but the inside of the diswasher looks like brand new. I am glad my 11 year old has learned something new.

    Written by 4 days before christmas on Dec 22, 2008

    OK, so I'm the idiot that did it this time. Put a little dawn in both things, but didn't fill it up. Of cours that didn't matter. Luckily I caught it before it was all over the kitchen. I tried many combos, but the salt, vinegar and oil seemed to do the trick. I found the spot where it drains it, so did that a few times before I let it run too much. Hopefully I can get it all out soon.

    Sad thing is, I even knew better than to put the stuff in there. Duh!! But for some reason I did it anyway thinking that a little bit wouldn't matter....boy was I wrong!

    Thanks for all the help!

    Written by Rachel Schmidt on Dec 26, 2008

    Yeah, I just did this. While I was having flashbacks to old cartoons warning me not to do this. I figured it was a myth.

    So as soon as I hit start, I googled it and found this site. I looked back at the dishwasher and soap was spraying out on the cupboards.

    I scooped out a bunch of suds and dumped in some oil (I don't have vinegar) then I switched it from a normal wash to 'rinse only' and 'SO FAR' there are no suds. I'm gonna run it a few times to clear. I can't imagine that oil is good for drains, but hey, for now, I'm off the hook.

    Written by Ben on Jul 23, 2009

    I have to say, this was hilarious! I thought I was the only person that could've came up with the clever decision to use diswashing liquid when I ran out of Cascade...Not long after, my eight year old called me to point out my mistake. With the help of salt & vinegar, it worked like a charm!

    Thanks a bunch!!!

    Written by Kysha on Feb 21, 2010

    I just think it is hilarious how long the comments went on after this was published, but the funny thing is that it happens to a lot of people. Yesterday, I was loading the dishwasher after being very sick for a few days and noticed that my daughter had tried to clean something in the sink herself by pouring dishwashing liquid into it. Little did I know what I was about to experience. I was going about my business, when all of a sudden, bubbles were POURING out of the dishwasher. The picture you show looks very modest compared to the disaster in my kitchen. Many towels later, I thought it was over. But then yesterday, I ran it again and now there was water leaking out. I am hopeful that if I let it sit awhile, it will fix itself. Ya think?!!!

    Written by Laura on Mar 21, 2010

    Hello! Well I'm desperate, I'm broke.. no cash for soap and company is coming EEP! I've read that to use the DAWN in the dishwasher you must use a small amount. I'm thinking... 1/4 Tsp. I'll let you know how it goes!

    Wish me luck!

    Written by Gen on May 10, 2010

    Well, today is the day that our 13yr old daughter filled our dishwasher with dish soap!! LMAO! And after I told her to problem solve, I am on here searching for the answers "just in case" I need them when i get home from work. hahaha! Pics were funny! Hope all is well when I get home. If anything, it was Im sure, a lesson WELL learned!!!

    Written by Amanda on Jun 14, 2010

    i just did it and now I'm freaking out...oh well, just have to get dad involved...he'll explode worse that the dishwasher.

    Written by telia on Jul 18, 2010

    The absolute fail-proof solution is a about 1/4 cup olive oil tossed allover the suds. It 100% breaks the suds down. Add a sprinkling of table salt over the entire surface of any remaining bubbles if you'd like, and some white vinegar for extra assurance (and a nice fresh scent) and you're as good as new! The bubbles dissipate in less than a minute.

    Written by AJ on Sep 21, 2010

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