Can You Use Oxiclean in a Dishwasher? (Answered)

You probably recall watching the old OxiClean commercials featuring the late and great Billy Mays. OxiClean is tough on food and grass stains. But there’s one question many people have asked: is it safe to use in dishwashers?

OxiClean can be used in dishwashers to replace the traditional detergent. There is also a rinse aid booster from OxiClean that helps dry your dishes without streaking through the power of steam.

In this guide, I’ll explain what OxiClean is, how to use it safely in your dishwasher, and whether or not it’s a good alternative to traditional dishwasher detergent.

What Is OxiClean?

OxiClean was first introduced to the world in 1997. 3 years later, Orange Glo International hired Billy Mays to star in infomercials to promote the product, which was marketed as a “miracle cleanser.” When Church & Dwight acquired several of Orange Glo products, including OxiClean, the company expanded its product line to include an OxiClean-based laundry detergent.

The active ingredient in all OxiClean products is sodium percarbonate, which is also goes by the name “washing soda.” It’s an eco-friendly type of bleach that dissolves in water to create hydrogen peroxide—the main cleaning, whitening, and disinfecting agent. The best part about hydrogen peroxide is that it doesn’t leave a toxic byproduct, though it can lead to skin irritation in high doses.

Can You Use OxiClean in a Dishwasher?

Now, let’s go to the crux of the matter. Is it safe to use OxiClean in a dishwasher? The answer to this is a resounding yes.

OxiClean works just like traditional dishwasher detergent. In fact, because of its chemical makeup, OxiClean does more than just eliminate grease—it also promotes whitening and sanitizes your dishes. After the “miracle cleaner” has done its job, the final rinsing cycle will eliminate any leftover traces of hydrogen peroxide, leaving your dishes food-safe and ready to re-dirty.

However, if, for whatever reason, you don’t want to dump spoonfuls of standard OxiClean in your dishwasher, you are more than welcome to try out the OxiClean Triple Action Booster dishwasher detergent.

All you have to do is add 1 or 2 squirts of this cleaning agent to the bottom of your dishwasher’s tub, turn the machine on, and let it handle the rest. Your dishes will come out sparkly clean when the cycle is complete. Take a look at this commercial if you want to see how OxiClean Triple Action works.

How to Use OxiClean in a Dishwasher

Using OxiClean in a dishwasher is no different than using powdered dishwasher detergent.

  1. Open your dishwasher and remove the detergent receptacle’s cap.
  2. Add a scoop of OxiClean into the receptacle, making sure not to overfill it.
  3. Shut the receptacle cap.
  4. Run your dishwasher in any mode you want.

Some users have found that OxiClean works best in dishwashers when the water is heated to as high as it can go. However, even if you run a cold cycle, you can still enjoy the cleaning effects of this super-versatile cleaner.

OxiClean is also available in paste form. It consists of the same active ingredients that perform similarly to powder and liquid OxiClean. If you want to use it in your dishwasher, dilute a tiny dab of the paste in about a cup of water before adding it to your dishwasher.

If you don’t want to add OxiClean to the detergent receptacle, you can place a few scoops onto the bottom of the dishwasher tub. However, you should only do this during the washing cycle. If you put it in too late, your dishes may be covered in hydrogen peroxide, which is not safe to consume in high doses.

Will OxiClean Damage Your Dishwasher?

Not in the slightest.

While OxiClean is tough on grease and stains, it does nothing to damage the plastic or stainless-steel tub inside your dishwasher. Also, you don’t need to pour entire scoops into your dishwasher. Some people have that half a tablespoon per cycle is more than enough to leave their dishes spotless, so there’s less of a risk of “chemical damage” to your dishwasher.

With all that said, if you’re still afraid of what OxiClean can do to your dishwasher, you can stick to using specially made dishwasher detergent, tablets, or pods.

Is OxiClean Better Than Dishwasher Detergent, Tablets, and Pods?

Is OxiClean Better Than Dishwasher Detergent, Tablets, and Pods

It’s pretty difficult to say. There are some food stains that may require the extra grease-cutting capabilities of OxiClean, but there’s nothing that it can’t do compared to traditional detergent.

The great thing about dishwasher tablets is that they are pre-portioned, so you don’t have to worry about adding too much or too little to your dishwasher. The thing is that for the added convenience, tablets and pods come at a higher cost. Of course, I’m only talking about a few cents per wash cycle, but it can add up.

Something you should know about OxiClean Triple Action is that it doesn’t go into the detergent or tablet container. Instead, place the miracle cleaner at the bottom of your tub, and your dishwasher will gradually mix it in with the water. The regular OxiClean can go inside the detergent receptacle.

Overall, they all work extremely well at eliminating stains and leaking your dishes sparkly, but OxiClean has a “built-in” rinse aid to reduce the risk of streaking and spots.

Alternatives to OxiClean in Dishwashers

Other than dishwasher detergent, tablets, and pods, you can use white vinegar during the wash phase. Simply pour a few capfuls of the vinegar into the bottom of your dishwasher’s tub before the wash phase. It will dilute with the water and be sprayed all over your dishes to cut through grease and eliminate odors.

However, you should never mix vinegar and OxiClean in your dishwasher at the same time. I’ll explain why in a minute.

Will OxiClean Rust Silverware?

Prolonged exposure to OxiClean can, in fact, cause silverware to rust. If you’re afraid of what it can do to your fancy cutlery, either reduce how frequently you use OxiClean in your dishwasher or eliminate it from your wash cycle completely.

The typical dishwasher cycle will use around 4 gallons of water. A dishwasher’s detergent receptacle holds roughly 2 to 3 tablespoons. That’s about 1/512 of the total detergent mix used per cycle, which is nowhere near enough to lead to rust or corrosion.

Other Uses of OxiClean

As an all-around house cleaner, you can use OxiClean for almost any cleaning task, including but not limited to:

  • Removing sticker residue
  • Treating stubborn carpet stains
  • Whitening tile grout
  • Deodorizing garbage cans
  • Cleaning shower curtains
  • Whitening shoes

A Brief Warning Before Using OxiClean in a Dishwasher

As great as OxiClean is at getting rid of food stains, there’s something you should never do—mix it with vinegar.

So, why shouldn’t you mix OxiClean with vinegar? To put it simply, combining vinegar and hydrogen peroxide creates peracetic acid, which is highly corrosive. Not only that, but if you get the acid on your skin, it can lead to some pretty gnarly rashes.

Now, you’re probably wondering when you would need to introduce vinegar to the inside of your dishwasher. If you want to remove old detergent stains from inside your dishwasher, get rid of odors from the filter assembly, or create a barrier that repels ants, you might find yourself grabbing a bottle of vinegar.

If you have exposed your dishwasher to vinegar within the last couple of days, allow for a few wash cycles to pass before adding a few scoops of OxiClean to your dishwasher.

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