20 Things You Can Do With Dish Soap

Dish soap makes an excellent bubble blowing solution. (Photo: Jayson Kingsbeer/sxc.hu)Call it economy, frugality, thriftiness, or just plain prudence. The bottom line is same: in this day and age, it’s essential. And one of the best ways to pinch your pennies is to buy in bulk. Purchasing large volumes of multipurpose items means saving cash and time. Some items, like olive oil, can do double duty (foot scrub!). Others, like baking soda, make appearances all over the home.  And dish soap? Well, here’re 20 quick ideas to get you started . . .

1. Spot-treat oil-based stains in clothing and other materials with undiluted dish soap. (If you have a front-loading washer, rinse well before machine-laundering. An excess of suds may damage the controls.)

2. Use it as a pre-laundry aid, soaking soiled clothes in a diluted mix of the soap and water. This is reported to work especially well on whites.

3. Dawn dish detergent kills fleas and ticks, and therefore makes a great doggie shampoo. Check with a vet before trying this on your furry friend.

4. You can also use it on your own hair. Great in a pinch, and especially helpful if you’ve got something greasy stuck in your hair.

5. Ants dislike dish soap. Try mixing a bit into a spray bottle of water, then dowse the door jams and windowsills and gently mist the countertops. This should help to keep your home and kitchen clear of ants.

6. Spray it in your garden to control pests. It only takes 1 tbsp dissolved in a gallon of water. Put this solution into a spray bottle and then apply to the tops and bottoms of leaves.

7. DIY a “gel ice pack” by filling a sandwich baggie with dish soap, sealing it well, and then freezing.

8. Dish soap makes the best bubbles for bubble blowing! Use it (diluted with 6 parts water to 1 part soap) to refill your kid’s old containers.

9. Soak automotive tools in a bath of dish soapy water, to cut through and remove the grease.

10. Try using it on those grease stains in the driveway. It really works!

11. Wipe down those fingerprint-prone stainless steel kitchen appliances. Dilute dish soap with water and wipe in the direction of the grain.

12. Use dish detergent, highly diluted, to wash your window glass. 

13. Try it in the bathroom! It's great at removing soap scum, especially from glass and tile.

14. It works well as a fruit and veggie wash (many pesticides are petroleum-based).

15. Clean your small kitchen appliances, especially grease-covered ones such as the microwave.

16. You can use it to clean patio furniture, especially plastic, aluminum, and wrought iron.

17. Mix it into the mop bucket; just 1-2 tablespoons in a pailful of hot water will do the trick.

18. A diluted solution effectively cleans painted surfaces like walls and windowsills. This is especially effective to remove the oils that can build up on push doors (or around door handles).

19. With a little bit of prep, it also makes a great carpet stain remover. Dissolve ½ cup dish soap in 2 cups hot water. Then use an electric mixer to whip the solution into a stiff foam. Apply the foam to carpet stains using a wet rag.

20. Beauticians have been known to soak their clients' nail beds in dish soap, prior to applying nail polish. Try it next time you give yourself a home manicure.

Updated April 9, 2018.

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