What Happens If Your Baby Drinks Dish Soap? What to Do

Parents are always on the guard against their babies engaging in harmful and accidental behaviors like babies drinking dish soap. And so many moms have asked to know what happens if your baby drinks dish soap. In this post, we try to answer this question, and while doing justice to this topic, we share with you tips on how to protect your baby from drinking dish soap.

We all know that most dish soaps are not edible because of the chemicals used in making them. They can cause swelling and pain in the throat and lips when swallowed and the tongue can also be affected.

Other symptoms that accompany swallowing dish soap are gastrointestinal problems, nausea and vomiting, and in some cases, they vomit blood.


What Happens If Your Baby Drinks Dish Soap? What to Do

Some dish soaps cause allergies, loose stools, and skin irritations. All these symptoms are dangerous for babies, so it is not advisable to expose your baby to dish soap where they can accidentally drink it.

Also Read: What Happens When Baby Drinks Spoiled Breast Milk


Why Is Dishwashing Soap Dangerous?

Dish washing soap is dangerous, including that for little babies. There are hidden toxins in dish soaps that can affect the health of your baby when ingested.

Some of the chemicals that make dish washing soap not safe for your baby are:

1. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)

These chemicals are added to make dish washing soaps create bubbles. Some manufacturers claim that their SLS and SLES are made from coconut oil thereby making them look harmless.

But this is not the truth.

Even the SLS and SLES obtained from coconut oil have been so heavily processed chemically that they don’t look like coconut oil anymore.

These heavily processed SLS and SLES can damage DNA, harm various systems in your baby’s body, like the nervous, digestive, reproductive, endocrine, and respiratory systems.

Scientists and many studies have also classified these chemicals as carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals). These chemicals make dishwashing soaps unsafe for babies.

Also, the making of these chemicals; SLS and SLES involves the use of other dangerous chemicals like the 1,4-dioxane which is a carcinogen.

Ethylene oxide is another dangerous chemical found in SLES and SLS. It is a more dangerous carcinogen than 1,4-dioxane.


2. Fragrance

Manufacturers are allowed to hide about 3,163 chemicals under the term “fragrance”. And about 527 of these chemicals are moderately dangerous while about 158 of them are highly dangerous.

One of these highly dangerous chemicals hidden under the word “fragrance” is phthalate. A carcinogen and hormone disruptor.


3. Methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone

These chemicals cause skin irritation, they also act as neurotoxins and poison the brain. These kind of chemicals shouldn’t be allowed in a baby’s body.


4. Benzisothiazolinone 

This chemical affects the development of children and even cripples the reproductive system. It is also a skin irritant.

There are many other dangerous chemicals in dishwashing soaps, but we don’t want to scare or bore you with a long list of chemicals. These are just the most common ones you should know about and what they do.

Also Read: What to Do When Baby Swallows Bath Water


What To Do If Your Child Has Been poisoned By Dish Soap

What to Do If the Poison is Swallowed

Babies can get poisoned by dish soap when they accidentally ingest it or when it comes in contact with their delicate skin.

Also, prolonged exposure of your baby to dishwashing soap used in cleaning their feeding bottles and dishes can accumulate in the body and cause problems.

When you rinse a utensil after using dish soap, not all the chemicals go away, there are always remnants that are left behind.

This remnant is a thin film that is hard to rinse off entirely. And if the water you use is hard water, the remnant will even be harder to rinse off because they will adhere to your dishes.

These poisonous chemicals will stick around in the dishes and mix with your baby’s next meal and thereby enter his/her body. In the body, the chemicals will spread through the bloodstream and cause harm to many organs.

So, the best thing to do when your child has been poisoned by dish soap is to take him/her to the hospital immediately to see a doctor.

Don’t try to make your child vomit, only a medical professional can do this safely. And make sure you tell the doctor the type of soap and quantity that your baby ingested.

You can even take the container of the soap with you to the emergency room.

The doctor or poison specialist will start by taking the vital signs of your baby which includes the pulse, temperature, breathing, and blood pressure.

There are many treatment options for soap poisoning: so the treatment your baby will receive may be:

  • Endoscopy (A process in which camera is inserted into the throat to check the throat and stomach for burns) 
  • A bronchoscopy (A camera is inserted down the throat to check the lungs and airways for damage)
  • Washing the skin thoroughly in cases of skin contact. This is also called skin irrigation 
  • Removal of burned skin 
  • The use of intravenous fluid 
  • A breathing tube 
  • Oxygen 
  • Pain relief medications

Poisoning can be a life-threatening situation. So, don’t joke with it. Let it be handled professionally to prevent severe complications which include brain damage and tissue death.

Also Read: When Can Baby Drink Distilled Water


What To Do If Dish Soap Enters Your Baby’s Eyes?

If this happens, wash your baby’s eyes immediately with a generous amount of water to prevent burns to the eyes. Make sure you wash your hands before touching the eye areas.

Rinse the eyes thoroughly with a generous amount of water for up to 15 minutes.

To do this, tilt the head of your baby over the sink or a basin and make sure the affected eye or eyes are pointed down. Then pull the lower lid down gently and pour lukewarm water steadily over the eyes.

This may not cause serious eye problems if you rinse the eyes immediately but it is advisable to see a doctor immediately.

It is important to know that after rinsing the eyes with a generous amount of water, the eyes will be slightly painful and irritated for a short while before clearing up.


What To Do If Dish Soap Comes In Contact With Your Baby’s Skin

Remove the clothing worn by the baby that has come in contact with the dish soap, but be careful not to touch it while doing so. Rinse your baby’s skin with plenty of cool water.

This should solve the problem but if you can, take your baby to see a doctor immediately.

Also check for signs of skin irritations regularly throughout that week. If it occurs, go and see a doctor and also take the soap along with you.


What To Do If Your Baby Inhales Dish Soap

Take your baby outside to get plenty of fresh air for 15 minutes, you can call the emergency service while outside with your baby or take your baby to the hospital immediately.

Also call the emergency center and they will tell you what to do. If your baby stops breathing after inhaling dish soap, apply mouth-to-mouth resuscitation immediately.

If your baby suddenly becomes unconscious after inhaling dish soap, call the emergency service immediately.


Is Dishwashing Liquid Safe For Babies?

No! Dishwashing liquid is not safe for babies. Just like the soaps, they are toxic also and have more than 8 dangerous chemicals in them that can complicate your baby’s health.

Babies’ little size makes them more susceptible to smaller doses of these chemicals than older kids and adults.


Other Poisons To Be Aware Of Around The Home

Dish soap or dishwashing liquid is not the only poison to protect your little one from. Other types of poisons in the home are:

  • Cleaners of all kinds 
  • Deodorants 
  • Makeup products like lipstick, nail polish, and makeup remover 
  • Moisturizers and gel 
  • Prescription and non-prescription medications 
  • Hand sanitizers, mouth wash, after shave, etc. 
  • Body wash, soaps, shampoos, conditioners, etc. 
  • Alcohol 
  • Air fresheners 
  • DVD and CD cleaners 
  • Bubble blowing solution
  • Essential oils 
  • Cigarette butts 
  • Incense 
  • Glues
  • Paints 
  • Mothballs 
  • Pot pourri
  • Acid (for brick cleaning) 
  • Cement and lime 
  • Resins and epoxies 
  • Fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides
  • Kerosene 
  • Car care products 
  • Turpentine 
  • Petrol 
  • Disinfectant and bleaches 
  • Matches 
  • Dyes, spray cleaners, ironing aids, and stain removers.

In order to protect your baby from all these, adopt the following measures;

  • Place these chemicals high, out of the reach and sight of your children. It is best to put them in a locked cupboard. 
  • Throw your cigarette in a bin instead of an ashtray. Also, smoke outside your home so that your baby won’t be exposed to second-hand smoke. Ask your visitors to do the same too. 
  • Paints, car cleaners, kerosene, pesticides, and other items not used in the home regularly should be locked in the garage and your garage should always be locked when not in use. 
  • Even storage boxes or cupboards inside the garage should be locked. 
  • Keep chemicals/poisons inside their original containers. Don’t put them in juice containers or soft drink bottles. 
  • Put child-resistant locks on all cupboards or drawers having these poisons 
  • Put these chemicals and cleaners away immediately after you finish using them 
  • Any product or chemical that you are no longer using, dispose of them safely. 
  • Use cleaning products or chemicals that are less dangerous. You can even make your own cleaners at home. Baking soda and vinegar is an effective home-made cleaner and it can clean most surfaces. 


What To Do If Your Child Drinks Soap Bubble Solution

Call the emergency service immediately, and while they are on their way, wash the mouth and areas surrounding the mouth thoroughly. Use a barrier device if you have one.

If your baby is not breathing, do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Keep the container of the soap, know the amount that was ingested, and when it was ingested. This will help the emergency team to help you better.

Don’t try to induce vomiting or give your baby any fluid without the supervision of a professional.


What Happens If Your Baby Drinks Dish Soap

If your baby drinks dish soap, he/she will have complications. The complications depend on the product, which part of the body is affected, and how much was ingested or how much came in contact with the skin.

This is what happens if your baby drinks dish soap:

  • There will be pain in the throat or swelling. The lips and tongue can also be affected. 
  • Your baby may experience stomach pain and vomiting. And in most cases of poisoning, the affected individual vomits blood. 
  • Your baby will complain of abdominal pain 
  • You may see blood in your baby’s stool. 
  • Your baby may experience a burning sensation in his/her throat.

If dish soap enters your baby eyes, you may experience the following:

  • Eye pain and irritation
  • Difficulty focusing because of the burns caused by the chemicals
  • Redness of the eyes
  • And sometimes, loss of vision

If dish soap comes in contact with your baby’s skin, the following can occur:

  • Skin irritation and redness can occur 
  • You will see blisters and burns on your baby’s skin 

If your baby inhales dish soap, the following can happen:

  • He/she may have difficulty breathing 
  • There may be swelling in the throat 
  • There may also be difficulty swallowing 

Other complications of dish soap poisoning are:

  • Low blood pressure 
  • Low heart rate 
  • In serious cases, the heart can collapse 
  • The pH level can change and this can cause damage to vital organs


How To Prevent Baby From Drinking Dish Soap

1. Never leave your baby unsupervised. Make sure they are within your view every time.

2. Be mindful of the type of chemicals you use in cleaning your home. Go for 100% natural versions, you can even use a natural baby dish soap for your baby’s utensils to reduce the risks of dish soap poisoning.

3. Don’t keep dish soap within the reach of your baby. If you do this, your baby can easily have access to it and ingest, inhale, or spill it on their skin.

4. Open the windows and make sure your home is well ventilated when using cleaning products to prevent your baby from inhaling too much toxic chemicals.

5. If you have a toddler, avoid using single load liquid detergent pods for your dishwashing. Apart from being dangerous, these are tempting for toddlers.

6. If you have these detergents at home, you can get baby locks on your drawers or cabinets where you keep them so that your child cannot easily have access to them.

7. You can also use magnetic locks inside your cabinets and drawers. If you want something cheaper and less permanent, you can use the adhesive latches to secure your cupboards where your dish wash soaps are.

8. Put the dish soap away immediately after use. If you forget them on the counter, your child can easily have access to them.

9. Rinse the package or pack of the dish wash soap thoroughly when you want to discard them.


Dishwasher Safety Tips

1. Buy natural dishwasher soaps, liquid, or powders. Make sure they are 100% natural and free from these chemicals mentioned above.

2. The dishwasher liquid, soap, or powder you buy should be in a child’s-resistant container. Then you store this out of sight and reach of your child.

3. Make sure your child is away when you are adding detergent to the dishwasher. Put the detergent last when filling the dishwasher and then you close it immediately.

4. Regularly check for powder caking or sludge in or near the dispenser. This is important if your young children help you unload the dishwasher. This sludge can cause serious mouth burns if they come in contact with it.


Conclusion On What Happens If Your Baby Drinks Dish Soap

It is possible to protect your child from all kinds of poisoning and we hope this post serves as a guide in helping you do so.