Dishwasher Powders - A Corrosive Poison We Use Every Day

Dishwasher Powders - A Corrosive Poison We Use Every Day

Many households have a dishwasher, which may use powder or tablets. These agents are often highly alkaline and can cause corrosive injuries. A few simple hints will help us lessen the risk of injury through prevention and appropriate first aid.

Product Identification
The correct identification of the dishwasher powder is very important. If you are calling your Poisons Centre it is a good idea to bring the product to the phone. A wide range of dishwasher powders are available, and some may be more corrosive than others. The exact name is important so that the most appropriate and accurate information can be given if a poisoning has occurred.

General Advice
Dishwasher powder may cause chemical burns if eaten, left on the skin or flicked into the eyes. Even the residue left after a dishwasher cycle can cause burns and must be treated with caution. Immediately call your Poisons Centre, to find out the most up to date first aid following any exposure to dishwasher products.

Dishwasher powders may cause burns to the mouth or throat and could cause damage to the stomach if appropriate first aid is not given. They will often make someone feel ill and possible vomit after an exposure. They are very dangerous to the eyes and can cause serious injuries. Immediate flushing and appropriate first aid is always required, even after only very minimal exposure to the eyes. Skin exposures to dishwasher powders may cause burns and long term damage if not treated appropriately.

General Prevention Advice for Dishwasher Powders








More advice on preventing poisoning can be found by clicking here

First Aid for Dishwasher Powders - What Should I Do?

If Swallowed
If Spilt on Skin
If Sprayed in Eyes

If Swallowed
Immediately rinse the mouth and remove any remaining powder and seek medical advice from your Poisons Centre or your Doctor.
If the person is having difficulty breathing:

If on Skin
Immediately flush the exposed area with lots of water and seek medical advice from your Poisons Centre or your Doctor

Do not leave the powder on the skin, even for a few minutes. It is corrosive and causes burns to the skin

If in Eyes
Immediately flush the eye with room-temperature water for at least 30 minutes and seek medical advice from your Poisons Centre or your Doctor

Click here to find out how best to flush an eye

The eye will then need to be examined at your Medical Centre or Hospital.

Click here for further first aid advice

Related Resources
Put Your Kid's Safety First - A brochure detailing the risk of dishwasher detergents and simple safety tips for their use