Skip to main content
Dishwasher Issues

I Accidentally Put Dish Soap In The Dishwasher: Now What?

Putting dish soap in a dishwasher is a recipe for a soapy mess that is hard to clean up. It might be a bit funny when it happens, but you will be cleaning up soap for hours. If you continue to put dish soap in your dishwasher, it can lead to soap scum buildup. This can cause damage to your dishwasher. If you put dish soap in your dishwasher, you will want to get it cleaned up as soon as possible.

Turn the Dishwasher Off

As soon as you realize that you have used dish soap in your dishwasher, cancel the wash cycle immediately. The sooner you stop it, the earlier you can prevent the soap from going into your dishwasher. As soon as you cancel the cycle, your dishwasher should kick into draining mode. While it will not get all the detergent out, it will help to get rid of some of it.

Clean Up the Overflow

If you cannot get the detergent overflow stopped in time, you need to clean the overflow as soon as possible. Do not let the soapy water go to your cabinets or floorboards. Mop up the overflow and ensure the floors are dry. If you notice that they are still wet even after mopping, you should put a fan on the floor. This will help to dry where the overflow happened.

Remove the Dishes

Once the washer finishes draining, you will want to remove all the dishes. You will want to wash your dishes by hand to remove any of the detergent residue. You can also put them back in the dishwasher once you finish cleaning it. Make sure there is no soap residue left on them, or you could have to do this process all over again.

Cleaning The Inside of The Dishwasher

This will take some elbow grease. If you do not clean out all the detergent, you will continue to deal with soap and suds coming out. Get a small bowl and fill with clean water and use it to rinse away the bubbles. If your sink sprayer will reach, you can also use this to clean your dishwasher.

Once you no longer see any bubbles, use a towel to dry the dishwasher. Your next step will be to turn the washer on a rinse cycle. Running a rinse cycle will help to ensure that there is no leftover soap residue. Even a small amount of detergent leftover can make your washer have issues in the future.


To prevent soap residue, you will want to make sure that all your detergent has clear labels. Accidents happen. If you put dish soap in the washer, and you cannot remove it, call us out as soon as possible. At Robert Bair, we know the importance of having a good functioning dishwasher. Our team of plumbers can help to ensure that your washer does not have any permanent damage.