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Can You Wash Clothes in a Dishwasher? (Things to Know)

If you’re like me, you might assume washing clothes in a dishwasher is impossible – or perhaps just highly improbable. Dishwashers are designed to clean dishes and it seems weird to even try washing your dirtiest clothes inside one of those machines. But can You Wash Clothes in the Dishwasher? In the rest of this blog post, I will tell you everything you need to know. Read on.

Can You Wash Clothes in a Dishwasher?

You should never put clothing in your dishwasher. The heat and harsh chemicals will ruin your clothing. You should only use the top rack of your dishwasher to clean dishes, serving trays, or other items that are safe for high heat (i.e., not plastic).

Even if you do not place clothing in the bottom rack, all of the debris that gets caught in there will ruin any clothing it comes into contact with during washing or drying cycles.

Why Can’t You Wash Clothes in a Dishwasher?

Here are some of the reasons why you should never wash clothes in a dishwasher:

The heat is too high

Dishwashers are designed to use hot water and high temperatures, which can damage delicate garments. The heat from the dishwasher will cause synthetic materials (like polyester) to melt, shrink and become distorted. Cotton garments may fade or develop holes. Even wool sweaters can be damaged by too much heat.

The washing cycle is too short.

Clothes need to be given enough time to soak so they can release stains and dirt efficiently. If they’re not given enough time, they’ll retain stains, which will result in dingy-looking clothing when you finally use them again.

Can You Wash Jeans in the Dishwasher?

No, you can’t. Washing your jeans in the dishwasher is not a good idea. The heat and moisture of the dishwasher will break down the fibers of your jeans and cause them to wear out faster than they normally would.

The best way to wash your jeans is to hand wash them with cold water and gentle detergent. You can also dry clean them, but make sure that they are dry cleaned by professionals who know how to treat denim fabrics properly.

Is it Better to Wash by hand or use a Dishwasher?

Dishwashers are great, but it’s hard to beat the hands-on experience of handwashing dishes. There are many reasons why you might choose to wash by hand instead of using your dishwasher. Here are three:

Careful attention to detail

If you’re washing a delicate item or one that needs extra care, then there’s no better way than washing by hand. You can give your dishes the attention they deserve and ensure nothing gets broken or scratched during the wash cycle

Time savings

If you have just a few items to wash, then you can save yourself time by washing them by hand instead of loading up the dishwasher with everything in sight. This is especially true if you’re just cleaning up after a meal and don’t need to run an entire load of dishes through your machine.

Energy savings

You can save on energy costs. Washing dishes by hand doesn’t require extra electricity or gas usage, unlike running a dishwasher. If you live in an area where electricity or gas prices are high, this could be big savings over time.

What Cannot Be Washed in a dishwasher?

You might think you’re doing your dishes a favor by loading them in the dishwasher, but some things are better done by hand. Here are 11 things you should never put in the dishwasher.

  • Milk glass
  • Wooden utensils or wooden cutting boards
  • Plastic-coated wood spatulas and wooden spoons
  • Many types of plastic
  • Acrylic dishware
  • Anything with paper labels
  • Dishes with big pieces of food on them
  • Antiques and other delicate items
  • Ceramic plates and bowls (they’ll crack)
  • China with metallic decoration
  • Hollow-handled knives


Dishwashers are, first and foremost, meant to clean dishes—and ideally without assistance from bleaches and other chemical-containing products. Secondly, good dishwashers should essentially sterilize the dishes once they’re done washing them. Thus, laundry is likely to be damaged by a dishwasher’s high-temperature water.


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