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  • Can You Really Wash Your Hands With Dishwashing Soap or Liquid?

    Is it really safe to use dishwashing detergent or should you just stick to hand soap?
    by Kate Borbon .
Can You Really Wash Your Hands With Dishwashing Soap or Liquid?
  • C'mon we have all washed our hands in the kitchen with dishwashing soap because running to the bathroom is plain inconvenient and takes up time. The ideal is we have a bottle of hand soap near the sink, but when you've got food oil all over your hands, we want to wash it off with something stronger.

    Yes, you can use dishwashing soap or liquid to wash your hands

    According to Jennifer Gregory, brand manager of a cleaning company in the U.S., dishwashing soap can actually be used to wash your hands, especially if you wash your hands often.

    “In the kitchen where hand-washing is extremely frequent, dish soap is all that is truly needed,” Gregory told Apartment Therapy. “Dish soap, in general, is pH neutral (not acidic, like other cleaners) so it’s great for granite and other stone countertops, pet bowls, and obviously the dishes we eat out of — but it’s also very good and soft on hands.”


    Another reason washing with dishwashing soap can be useful is it can help adequately remove lots of the bacteria, according to dermatologist Kally Papantoniou, M.D.

    What to remember when using dishwashing detergent

    According to Dr. Papantoniou, if you regularly use dishwashing detergent to wash your hands, it pays to use mild dishwashing liquid, which will not dry up your skin. This is especially important if you have dry skin or conditions like eczema.

    Finally, although this is unlikely but will just say it anyway, avoid using dish soap on the rest of your body. “Using dish soap on the rest of your body will likely be too harsh and drying on more delicate skin,” said Dr. Papantoniou.

    Can you use handwashing liquid or laundry detergent for dishwashing?

    Handwashing liquid or soap, however, is not an ideal alternative for dishwashing detergent because it may have ingredients that are not food-safe. “Dish soap can be used to clean multiple surfaces and hands, making it more multi-purpose, whereas hand soap shouldn’t be used on dishes,” said Gregory.

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    If you do use hand soap to wash dishes every now and then, make sure to be diligent about rinsing: do it several times to avoid buildup, advised Allen Michael, editor of Home Viable.

    According to Gregory, bar soap without any added scents is a safe option to use if you absolutely need to use it on dishes. Unlike detergent made for plates, utensils and cookware, it won't be as effective because it is not formulated to get rid of oils and grease and to kill bacteria.

    Meanwhile, experts say laundry detergent should definitely not be used in washing dishes. “Laundry detergents contain chemicals such as brighteners, fragrances, stain removers, and anti-soiling agents that might not be rinsed off completely from your dishes and may be harmful to your health,” cleaning professional Lily Cameron told Apartment Therapy.

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