Can You Use Body Wash As Dish Soap?

When you can’t get out due to a storm, and your dirty dishes are piling up, it can be frustrating. But how do you get your dishes clean? Can you use your body wash as a last resort?

You cannot use body wash as dish soap, as they don’t have the same purpose. They’re made from different ingredients and have different pH levels. Most body wash products contain butter or oil to keep your skin hydrated, but dish soap doesn’t because it’s made to cut through grease.

This article examines the differences between dish soap and body wash and why they shouldn’t be used interchangeably. We’ll also discuss using hand soap to wash dishes and if you should wash your hair with body wash. 

Can You Use Body Wash As Dish Soap?

You can use body wash to clean your dishes, but you shouldn’t. Different purposes require different components. Body wash isn’t as effective in cleaning dishes because the ingredients aren’t the same. The skin is much more sensitive, and anything done to it determines its health.  

What’s the Difference Between Dish Soap and Body Soap?

The difference between dish soap and body soap is the ingredients. Dish soap uses ingredients to cut through the grease on your pots and pans. Body soap uses ingredients that moisturize your skin and deodorize your body. 

Dish soap and body wash have different purposes, ingredients, and pH levels, which are essential to consider. 


Dish soap is used to cut through the grease on your dishes, whereas body soap is used to clean dirt off your skin without stripping all of the oil naturally produced by the skin. This is why you cannot use body wash as a dish soap, as it wouldn’t cut through the grease. It would also leave a nasty film of grease on your dishes. 


Many body washes have oil and butter as an ingredient to moisturize the skin during washing, which coats the skin as a protective layer to keep it hydrated and keep harmful bacteria out. 

These oily substances would likely coat your dishes if you used body wash instead of dish soap. 

Additionally, scents are often added to body wash, which will likely leave their mark on pots, pans, plates, and silverware if the soap isn’t rinsed off or the scent sticks to the oils and butter. 

Your dishes should never have a smell after washing them, not even if your dish soap is scented. A perfume smell means the dishes weren’t rinsed properly. 

PH Level Of Body Wash vs. Dish Soap

The pH level of products determines how effective they are in cleaning things. Higher pH levels mean the products are more alkaline, whereas lower pH indicates higher acidity. Dish soap, on average, has a higher pH level than body wash, making it more alkaline. But the protective layer on the skin is mildly acidic.

Dish soap is unsuitable for skin cleaning because its pH levels are too high, between 9 and 10 on average. That pH level might be acceptable for your hands whenever doing your dishes if you don’t overdo it. 

PH Level of the Skin’s Surface

The average pH level of the skin’s surface should be between 4.7 and 5.75, which is mildly acidic, to be considered healthy and balanced. The pH level of oily skin is usually lower, so it’s more acidic than regular to dry skin types. 

The layer on the skin’s surface balances out the alkalinity of soaps, but only if those are mildly alkaline. Any extreme differences in pH level can break down the skin’s protective layer and kill healthy bacteria, which should not happen. 

Surprisingly, many body wash products on the market also have too high a pH to keep the skin healthy, which is why many of us have dry skin when coming out of the shower.  

Is Dish Soap Necessary?

Dish soap is necessary for dishes that have come in contact with fatty substances, which are in most foods. Water and oil don’t mix, so using only water to clean food off plates won’t work. It might look clean, but you’ll feel the fatty substances left on the dishes, even after drying them. 

Dish soap molecules attach themselves to oil and are soluble in water, allowing you to wash the grease off thoroughly. 

Is It OK To Use Hand Soap on Dishes?

It’s not OK to use hand soap on dishes because hand soap is made with similar ingredients to body wash. You can use hand soap on dishes, but you shouldn’t, as it’s not made to clean dishes thoroughly from all dirt and grease. 

However, you can occasionally wash your hands with dish soap, but you shouldn’t overdo it. It will eventually make your hands extremely dry from stripping your hands of all oil. 

If you’ve run out of dish soap and don’t know what else to use, you can use baking soda or vinegar or make your own dish soap. This might be very similar to those suggested as alternatives for laundry detergent in our article

Can I Wash My Hair With Body Soap?

You can wash your hair with body soap, but it’s not recommended. Shampoo and body soap are two very different things with different purposes and don’t consist of the same ingredients. 

Skin and hair are not the same. Using harsh products will harm your hair and remove all the oil from the top of your head and the hydrating ingredients from hair products. Hair care requires more gentle products. 

If it’s urgent, you might be able to use body wash with a lower pH level for only the top of your head, where the oils are produced, but avoiding the rest of your hair isn’t easy. 

Final Thoughts

The ingredients and ph levels of body wash and dish soap are different because they’re made for various purposes. The ingredients in body wash should consider maintaining the pH level of the skin’s surface, which is mildly acidic. 

The alkaline properties of dish soap can strip the skin’s protective layer and kill all the good bacteria. At the same time, body wash isn’t harsh enough to rid your dishes of all dirt and grease. Dish soap molecules attach to oil and allow you to clean it off. 

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