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Soap filled dishwasher

Bubble Trouble: Dish Soap in Dishwasher

Dish Soap in Dishwasher

Did you put dish soap in the dishwasher? We can’t blame you. It’s called dish soap, after all. Your kids may think it looks amazing, but this bubbly mess can be tricky to clean up. And it won’t wash out in a single cycle. If you don’t clean out the suds now, you’ll have another foam party the next time you run a load—and the next several times after that too!

How to Get Dish Soap out of the Dishwasher

Turn the dishwasher off as soon as you see the bubbles. To prevent water damage to the floor, place towels on the floor beneath the dishwasher. Crack the door open, and leave it open to allow the hot water and the dishes to cool off before you remove the suds.

Remove Suds from Your Dishwasher

If you have a wet/dry shop vacuum, use it to suck up the bubbles. Always empty the debris bin and remove the paper air filter on wet/dry vacuums before sucking up liquids. If you don’t have the right type of vacuum, you can use towels, your hands and a small bowl to scoop out the suds.

Once you’ve removed as many bubbles as possible, remove the dishes and rinse them in running water. After that, you’ll have more room in the dishwasher. Use the vacuum, a towel, or a bowl to remove more suds. It may help to remove the dish trays and hose them off outside.

Run a Rinse Cycle

Once you’ve removed as many bubbles as possible, run the empty dishwasher on the rinse cycle. This will likely create more suds, which is OK. You want to get the dish soap out of the sump and sprayer arms. Remove these new suds with the steps outlined above. Repeat as necessary.

Once a rinse cycle stops producing more bubbles, replace the dishes and run the dishwasher (without soap) with a cup of vinegar and a few tablespoons of salt. If you just can’t contain the suds, you may drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of the dishwasher, which is a very effective anti-foaming agent.

After these steps are complete, you should be able to run the dishwasher as usual, with dishwasher-approved detergent.

Professional Plumbing Services

Learn from your mistake (or your kids’ mistake) so you can avoid an impromptu foam party. If you ended up with a watery dishwasher mess even though you used the proper detergent, you may need professional help. We’re available 24/7. You can also request a job estimate online.

If your kitchen floor sustained water damage from an overflowing dishwasher, our sister company Rainbow International can help. Rainbow International uses IICRC-certified water damage restoration techniques to reverse the effects of water damage. Rainbow International is part of Neighborly’s network of home service providers; you can trust them to help when disaster strikes.

This blog is made available by Mr. Rooter LLC, for educational purposes only to give the reader general information and a general understanding on the specific subject above. The blog should not be used as a substitute for a licensed plumbing professional in your state or region. Check with city and state laws before performing any household project.

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