Can You Use Hand Soap to Wash Dishes?

Updated March 23, 2017

Dish soap is specially designed to get your dishes clean and grease-free. If you run out of dish soap, however, there are alternative ways to get your dishes clean.


For most of history, one type of soap was used to complete many different household tasks. A bar soap made with lye and various fats was used to wash hands, do laundry and clean dishes.

Properties of Liquid Hand Soap

Many types of liquid hand soap have antibacterial and antifungal additives that can help clean and sanitise your dishes. In addition, liquid hand soap will dissolve in your dishwater easier.


Most hand soap you buy from a store or market is actually a type of detergent. Detergent hand soap will foam better in the dishwater, but soap will be gentler on the skin. Both are milder than dish soap but can work well when used in hot dishwater.

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About the Author

Rosa Lyn has been a freelance writer since 2009. She has worked as a ghostwriter for companies such as eBay and was the editor-in-chief for the member newsletter at the websites SewingMamas. She specializes in subjects such as home and family, parenting, alternative health and crafts.