What can I use instead of dishwasher detergent featured image showing dishwasher detergent tablets, 2 white and blue, 2 red and blue

What Can I Use Instead of Dishwasher Detergent?

Dec 20, 2023Andrew Linfoot

This article delves into various alternatives for those looking to steer clear of conventional dishwasher detergents, with a spotlight on the benefits of embracing eco-friendly sheets.

Vinegar as a dishwashing solution  

An image of a white bottle of vinegar with a glass bowl of vinegar in front of it to answer the question can I use vinegar as dishwasher detergent

Vinegar offers several advantages when considered as a dishwasher detergent alternative. Despite its merits, using vinegar in the dishwasher comes with certain drawbacks too. Let’s find out more.

Pros of Using Vinegar in the Dishwasher:  

  1. Natural Cleaning Power: The natural acidity of vinegar serves as a potent cleaning agent, effectively cutting through grease and grime on dishes.

  1. Eco-Friendly Choice: Being a natural and biodegradable substance, vinegar aligns with eco-friendly practices, contributing to a greener and more sustainable approach to dishwashing.

  1. Cost-Effective Option: Vinegar is a budget-friendly alternative compared to some commercial dishwasher detergents, providing a cost-effective solution for those mindful of expenses.

  1. Disinfectant Properties: Vinegar exhibits disinfectant properties, helping to sanitise dishes and utensils during the washing process.

  1. Versatility Beyond Dishwashing: Apart from its role in dishwashing, vinegar can be utilised for various household cleaning tasks, adding to its overall utility.

Cons of Using Vinegar in the Dishwasher:  

  1. Strong odour: One significant downside is the strong smell of vinegar, which can be off-putting for some users. This odour may linger on dishes even after washing.

  1. Limited Stain Removal: While effective for general cleaning, vinegar may have limitations in handling tough stains, requiring additional measures for certain types of food residues.

  1. Potential Corrosion: The acidity of vinegar might pose a risk to certain dishwasher components over time, potentially leading to corrosion or damage.

  1. Incompatibility with Some Materials: Vinegar may not be suitable for certain materials, such as natural stone or some types of cookware, as it can cause damage or discolouration.

While vinegar offers a natural and eco-friendly approach to dishwashing with somewhat effective cleaning properties, you should weigh the pros and cons, considering factors like its strong odour and potential limitations in stain removal and material compatibility.

Can You Put Laundry Detergent In A Dishwasher?

3 laundry detergent sheet pack shots displaying options lavendar, linen and fragrance free, all sitting in a washing basket, can I put laundry detergent in my dishwasher?

 Using laundry detergent in the dishwasher is a topic that intrigues many seeking alternative cleaning solutions. While this unconventional approach has both pros and cons, understanding its effectiveness and potential considerations is crucial.

Pros of Using Laundry Detergent in the Dishwasher:  

  1. Cleaning Power: Laundry detergents are formulated to tackle tough stains on clothing, and this robust cleaning power can translate well to dishwashing, effectively cutting through grime and grease on dishes.

  1. Cost Savings: Laundry detergents are often more budget-friendly than specialised dishwasher detergents, offering potential cost savings for those looking to economise.

  1. Versatility: In households where both laundry and dishwashing detergents are limited, using laundry detergent in the dishwasher provides a versatile alternative for various cleaning needs.

Cons of Using Laundry Detergent in the Dishwasher:  

  1. Excessive Suds: One significant drawback is the potential for excessive suds, as laundry detergents may produce more bubbles than dishwasher-specific formulations. This can lead to leaks, overflows, and damage to the dishwasher.

  1. Residue and Spotting: Laundry detergents may leave residue on dishes, and the absence of certain agents in their formulations designed for dishwashers could result in spotting or a lack of desired shine on glassware.

  1. Potential Damage to Dishwasher: The composition of laundry detergents may not be compatible with the materials and components of dishwashers, leading to wear and tear or long-term damage to the appliance.

  1. Environmental Impact: Some laundry detergents may contain ingredients that are less environmentally friendly than those in dedicated dishwasher detergents, contributing to a higher environmental impact.

While using laundry detergent in the dishwasher has its merits, including cost savings and effective cleaning power, the potential for excessive suds, residue, and damage to the dishwasher underscores the importance of using a different solution.

What if You Just Use Water?  

water in a glass on a wooden coaster sitting on a wooden table as an alternative to dishwasher detergent

Pros of Water-Only Dishwashing:  

  1. Environmentally Friendly: Opting for water-only dishwashing is an environmentally conscious choice, as it eliminates the use of detergents and chemicals, reducing the overall environmental impact.

  1. Cost Savings: This minimalist approach incurs no additional cost for dishwasher detergents, contributing to potential cost savings over time.

  1. Less Residue and Chemical Exposure: Without the use of detergents, there is minimal risk of chemical residues on dishes, offering a safer option for those concerned about chemical exposure.

  1. Preservation of Natural Oils on Cookware: Water-only washing may help preserve the natural oils and seasoning on certain types of cookware, especially cast iron.

Cons of Water-Only Dishwashing:  

  1. Limited Cleaning Power: Water alone may struggle to effectively remove grease, grime, and tough food residues, leading to subpar cleaning results.

  1. Inability to Tackle Bacteria: Unlike detergents with disinfectant properties, water alone may not effectively eliminate bacteria or sanitise dishes.

  1. Potential for Residue and Spotting: Water-only washing may leave mineral residues on glassware and dishes, resulting in spotting and a lack of shine.

  1. Challenges with Stains and Odours: Tough stains and persistent odours from certain foods may not be adequately addressed without the cleaning power of detergents.

  1. Environmental Impact of Increased Water Usage: While reducing chemical impact, water-only dishwashing may lead to increased water consumption, posing environmental challenges in regions facing water scarcity.

Water-only dishwashing may offer environmental benefits and cost savings. However, its limited cleaning power and potential for residue and spotting may impact overall effectiveness. Read more about using a dishwasher without detergent here.

Why Natural Sheets Are A Safe Dishwashing Detergent Alternative  

Eco-friendly sheets have emerged as a noteworthy alternative to traditional dishwasher detergents, offering a range of benefits that prioritise both efficacy and safety.

Natural Ingredients:

Eco-friendly sheets boast a formulation rich in natural ingredients. Derived from plant-based sources, these sheets harness the power of nature to effectively clean dishes without relying on harsh chemicals.

This natural composition not only ensures a thorough cleaning experience but also minimises the environmental impact, aligning with sustainable and eco-friendly practices.


One of the standout features of these sheets is their eco-friendliness. The production process often involves fewer resources and generates less waste compared to traditional detergent manufacturing.

Additionally, the sheets typically come in minimal and biodegradable packaging, reducing the overall carbon footprint associated with their use.


Safety is paramount, especially in a product that comes into direct contact with items used for eating.

Eco-friendly sheets prioritise safety by excluding harmful chemicals, making them a suitable option for households with children or individuals with sensitivities to conventional detergents.


The convenience of these sheets is undeniable. Pre-measured for each use, they eliminate the need for users to gauge and pour detergent, preventing overuse and reducing the risk of spills. The user-friendly design simplifies the dishwashing process, making it more convenient and efficient.


Eco-friendly sheets contribute to a clutter-free and organised kitchen environment. Unlike bulkier detergent containers, the compact and flat nature of sheets makes storage hassle-free. Users can easily stow them in a drawer or on a shelf without taking up valuable space.


Versatility is a key advantage of eco-friendly sheets. Their innovative composition allows them to adapt to various water types, ensuring consistent performance in both hard and soft water. This adaptability makes them suitable for a wide range of dishwashing machines and settings.

Opting for eco-friendly sheets as a dishwashing detergent alternative is a holistic choice. Their natural ingredients, eco-friendliness, safety, convenience, storage benefits, and versatility collectively contribute to a more sustainable and efficient dishwashing experience, reflecting a commitment to both cleanliness and environmental responsibility and making them the best dish detergent choice.

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