11 Ways You Didn't Realize You Could Use Dish Soap

dish soap
credit: Ana Stanciu

One of mankind's greatest inventions? Dish soap. That little bottle on your kitchen sink is a cleaning powerhouse: gentle(ish) on hands, hard on grease and grime, to riff on one old-school brand's slogan. But guess what? It has a plethora of uses that don't involve dishes — dish soap is also good in the laundry, on your floors, all around the kitchen and bath, and even outside.

Here are 11 things you can do with your dish soap, while that sinkful of dishes soaks.

1. On the floors.

Squeeze a few drops of dish liquid into a big bucket of warm water and you can easily clean your tile or linoleum, even concrete. If you have hardwood or cork, just stay conscious of how much water you're using. You want a just-damp mop, not a wet one.

2. In the laundry.

Dish soap makes quick work of all types of grease — even oily stains on your clothes. Apply directly. And it's also typically gentle enough to pinch-hit when you are hand-washing delicates.

3. In the bathtub.

Dish soap and a broom? It's an odd way to clean a grimy tub, but it works.

4. For the countertops.

Acidic cleaners aren't great for granite and marble, but a mild, diluted dish-soap solution is — most because the pH is neutral.

5. For the windows.

A 1:1 vinegar and water solution typically does the trick, but for long-neglected windows, Bob Vila suggests some dish soap and warm water to start.

6. And the window screens.

Don't forget the window screens! Twice a year, hose them down and clean them off with a mix of dish soap and water.

7. On the cabinets.

A mild dish soap solution does wonders on oft-neglected cabinets, especially when they get greasy.

8. In the blender.

If you're on the daily smoothie grind, you know that sometimes a plain old hand-washing doesn't do the trick. Run the blender with a drop of dish soap and warm water to really get those crevices clean.

9. For the carpet.

For a DIY carpet stain cleaner, all you need is dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and some elbow grease.

10. On your plants.

A mild, soapy water mixture keeps bugs away — and helps remove dust and grime from broad leaves, like the Fiddle Leaf Fig, which can hinder growth. (Type-A plant parents will insist that there's no degreaser in the soap, which can strip natural, protective waxes and oils).

11. For the patio furniture.

Real Simple suggests water, dish soap, and borax for the cushions, and Bob Vila calls for a mild dish soap solution for most furniture, aside from pieces made of wicker or wood, which benefit from an oil-based soap.


Laura Lambert

Laura Lambert

Laura Lambert is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor who covers lifestyle, design, and women's health.