Can You Put Bleach in Your Dishwasher With Dishes?

You may have heard that you can use bleach in your dishwasher. This is because it prevents mold, bacteria, and odor on dishes. It can also disinfect a dishwasher, and it’s a good alternative for disinfecting plastic dishes after family gatherings and other events.

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However, if you have been wondering if you put bleach in dishwasher with dishes, then read on! This article will also explain how to safely use bleach in your dishwasher with dishes and the precautions you need to take to avoid damaging your dishes.

Is It Safe to Use Bleach in Dishwasher?

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

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

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. 

It’s necessary to use a small amount of bleach in a dishwater 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.

 In most cases, half a cup of bleach is 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.

Is It Safe to Wash Dishes with Bleach?

Bleach is a strong cleaner and can severely damage stainless steel and plastic components of your dishwasher.  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 a toxic gas, and you should avoid using them together.

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

Is It Safe to Use Bleach on Plastic Dishes?

It is important to remember that the 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 on using bleach 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 small 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?

If you’d like to sanitize your dishes without using bleach, you can use natural products. These products are a safe alternative to bleach because they don’t cause any 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 10% vinegar solution for 30 minutes kills disease-causing bacteria on dishes. Vinegar has antibacterial properties and is a safe, effective way to disinfect dishes without using bleach.

You can also make 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 amount of 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 parts per million (ppm) to be effective. The ratio may change over time, however, depending on the minerals in the water. So, the amount of 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: 

  • Make sure you rinse all your dishes thoroughly with water after you have used 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 together can lead to serious 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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