Is It Ok To Put Bleach In Dishwasher With Dishes?

Are you looking for ways in which cleaning products are safe in your dishwasher?

If so, you’re not alone. One common question is whether it is safe to put bleach in the dishwasher with dishes.

The answer is no. It’s not recommended. Putting bleach in the dishwasher with dishes is not recommended as it can damage certain materials and create harmful fumes.

However, alternative ways exist to disinfect your dishes without damaging your dishwasher. Read on to learn more about safe and effective sanitizing kitchenware methods.

This article will also explain how to safely use bleach in your dishwasher and the precautions you need to take to avoid damaging your dishes.

Is it ok to put bleaching powder in the dishwasher
Putting Bleaching powder in the dishwasher

Is It Safe to Use Bleach in Dishwasher?

Many homeowners wonder whether, while functioning or for dishwasher cleaning purposes, “Can I add bleach to my dishwasher?” While it might seem like a good idea, there are several considerations to remember.

Bleach is an antibiotic that can destroy the energy needed for cleaning your dishes. This is especially problematic when you use a dishwasher with a sanitizing cycle.

Bleach is useful in many ways, such as a powerful disinfectant that kills bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. It’s commonly used in households to clean and disinfect surfaces, including laundry. After seeing its effectiveness, most homeowners consider using it in their dishwashers to ensure the dishes are free from harmful germs.

While it may sound like an effective way to kill germs and stains, putting bleach in your dishwasher is not a good idea. It is potentially harmful, and its chlorine can ruin your septic system.

At least, bleach is not always suitable for all dishwashers or dishes. For instance, bleach can be corrosive to certain metals and damage your dishwasher’s rubber seals and components. Over time, this can lead to leaks and reduce the lifespan of your appliance.

Certain materials, especially delicate ones like fine china or certain plastics, can become discolored or weakened when exposed to bleach. This can ruin the appearance of your dishes and make them less durable.

It may be safe for occasional use, but it’s not safe for regular use. It can cause chemical reactions that damage stainless steel. In addition, bleach can damage your dishwasher’s rubber door seal

Furthermore, mixing bleach with dishwasher pods or detergents can produce harmful fumes. For example, combining bleach with ammonia in some cleaning products can release toxic chloramine vapors. These vapors can be dangerous when inhaled and can lead to respiratory issues.

How to Add Bleach to Dishwasher?

If you’re considering how to add bleach to your dishwasher, it’s essential to do so cautiously. It’s necessary to use a small amount of bleach if you must use it to disinfect your dishwasher. It’s also important to read the dishwasher’s instructions. You should use up to one cup of bleach per cycle, but you should not exceed that amount.

Half a cup of bleach is usually sufficient for a deep clean. It will also clean the filter. You can also use the dishwasher without the drying cycle. Bleach has powerful cleaning properties, and it can help you get rid of germs, sticky mildew, and mold.

Can You Put Bleach in Dishwasher with Dishes?

Firstly, while bleach effectively kills a wide range of germs and bacteria, it’s not always compatible with every dishwasher or the dishes’ materials. Bleach can be corrosive, especially to metals.

This means that silverware and other metal dishes can tarnish or corrode when exposed to bleach. Additionally, certain plastics and delicate dishware, like fine china, can become discolored or weakened after contact with bleach.

Bleach is a strong cleaner and can severely damage your dishwasher’s stainless steel and plastic components. Also, the usage of bleach can be a reason to weaken faster the internal components of the dishwasher, such as rubber seals, hoses, and metal parts. This can lead to potential leaks, malfunctions, and a reduced appliance lifespan.

If you decide to use bleach, you should always use it in the top rack of the dishwasher. Note that the chlorine in bleach can cause corrosion and discoloration of stainless steel and aluminum, so use plastic tubs instead. Using plastic tubs also avoids the risk of bleach residue on stainless steel and aluminum. 

You should never use bleach in your dishwasher if you don’t need to. The ingredients of conventional dish soap usually contain harsh chemicals, including ammonia. Mixing bleach with ammonia can produce toxic gas; avoid using them together.

Besides, you should wear rubber gloves when washing dishes with bleach. Tiny tears can still allow the bleach-laden water to seep inside the gloves, even if you wear rubber gloves.

Is It Safe to Use Bleach on Plastic Dishes?

It is important to remember that bleach is highly concentrated and may react with plastic. If you’re unsure whether or not it’s safe to use bleach on plastic dishes in dishwashers, read the manufacturer’s instructions to know how it reacts with different materials in your dishwasher. 

Dishwashing detergent contains amines, an organic form of ammonia, which may react with bleach. This chemical is toxic and can even kill people if they are exposed to it. 

Use only a tiny amount, and make sure you have a ventilation system. The vapors produced by bleach can be hazardous and should not be breathed in. 

How to Disinfect Dishes without Bleach?

You can use natural products if you’d like to sanitize your dishes without using bleach. These products are a safe alternative to bleach because they don’t cause harmful chemicals to stay on the dishes. 

Plus, they sanitize a wide range of items, including metal dishes. Read on to learn more about the other alternatives to bleach in a dishwasher. 

  • Boiling water is an effective sanitizer. It kills common food-borne bacteria and germs that can cause illnesses. Ideally, you should use boiling water to disinfect your dishes, especially those made of glass or ceramic. To do this, place your items in the water and leave them in for at least one minute. However, this method won’t work for wood and plastic dishes. 
  • Another option to disinfect dishes without bleach in a dishwasher is to use vinegar. A recent study by British researchers showed that soaking items in a 10% vinegar solution for 30 minutes kill disease-causing bacteria on dishes. Vinegar is antibacterial and is a safe, effective way to disinfect dishes without bleach.

You can also make a vinegar solution by filling a bathtub or a large pot with vinegar. Once the dish is clean, place them in the solution and let them soak for the recommended time. Using a kitchen towel to dry dishes is counterproductive. 

Is Bleach in Dishwasher Detergent Safe?

The amount of bleach in the water must be at least 200 ppm (parts per million) to be effective. However, the ratio may change over time depending on the minerals in the water. So, the bleach you use should be between one and two ounces per gallon of water.

Using bleach in dishwasher detergent is safe when you follow the below precautions: 

  • Ensure you rinse all your dishes thoroughly with water after using bleach. Otherwise, the organic residues that remain after washing your dishes with bleach will react with the bleach, reducing the concentration.
  • Always use cold water, and never mix the detergent with hot water. The bleach will not be able to sanitize the dishes if the water is too hot, and mixing them can lead to severe damage. In addition, you need to be careful when mixing bleach and detergent, as it can be harmful if it comes into contact with other chemicals.


While some homeowners swear by the cleaning power of bleach, you should always use it safely. It doesn’t have the same power as chlorine. Instead, the chlorine it produces will corrode stainless steel and discolor it. 

It’s therefore recommended to use bleach in your dishwasher with dishes only when necessary. 

A safer way to clean your dishwasher is to run the dishwasher empty and then place a cup of bleach solution in the top rack. Don’t use bleach if you don’t have to. 

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