We’ve all been there. There’s a mountain of dishes to do, but it’s late at night and you’re all out of dish soap. No backup supply, either. You may be looking around the kitchen wondering “What if I used hand soap? Would anybody notice?”
Experts have gone back and forth on whether or not this is a safe option when you’re in a pinch. Many hand soaps include additives that aren’t food-safe (triclosan being the main one), which of course is cause for concern. Dish soap is also specifically designed to break down oils so it can penetrate food stains. Hand soap won’t work quite the same way, so we don’t recommend it. Liquid hand soap is milder than dish soap, which dissolves easier and foams better, but this is not advantageous for your dishes. (If you do decide to use hand soap, make sure you rinse them several times to ensure you remove all chemicals and avoid buildup.) This may seem obvious, but it isn’t wise to try to use dishwasher detergent on your dishes either. Not to worry; we've got advice if you find yourself in a dish soap-less pinch!
Here is your best option if you are out of dish soap:
Mix ½ cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water to form a paste. Put on rubber gloves, scrub dishes with the baking soda paste, and rinse with the hottest water possible to disinfect. Allow dishes to air dry.