The Many Uses of Dish Soap!

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There’s a simple reason why dish soap is a true workhorse in the cleaning world: because a good rule of thumb is to always start every cleaning job with the gentlest, safest, most basic product available to do the job—and that product is almost always dish soap.

Dish soap has a million cleaning uses. Here are a few of my all-time favorites.

Floor Cleaner

Just add a few drops of dish soap to a bucket of very warm water. This is a simple solution that will leave your hardwood, laminate, tile, and even cement floors looking fantastic!

Grease Stain Buster

Dish soap is easily one of the safest things you can put on fabrics, and it’s especially good at tackling grease stains. Apply dish soap directly to grease stains, rubbing it in gently with your fingers. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse the area with cool water and launder as you normally would. In my experience, this even works on older stains that have been around for awhile!

Quick Blender Cleaner

If you want to quickly clean your blender after each use, add a couple of drops of dish soap, then add enough warm water to come up about a quarter of a way up the side. Pop the blender back on the base and blend that mess away. Dump out the contents and rinse well.

Kitchen Cabinet Cleanser

Here’s something I get asked a LOT: How to clean kitchen cupboards. The answer is pretty straightforward if you have some dish soap handy. Just add 1 part dish soap to about 10 parts water in a container and mix it up. Dunk a non-scratching sponge in the mixture, and gently scrub to remove greasy build-up.

Pre-Manicure Soak

Here’s a handy tip for those, like me, who have a fascination with nail polish! Before you apply your polish, soak your fingertips for five to seven minutes in a mixture of 1 part dish soap and 20 parts warm water. This will remove some of the oils from your nails and make it easier for the the nail polish to apply evenly!

Weed Killer

This is a wonderfully safe and affordable alternative to harsh weeding chemicals. Add a squirt of dish soap to a clean, empty spray bottle, then add 1/2 cup salt. Fill the rest of the way with another Clean My Space staple—vinegar!

Just spray this solution directly on any weeds, or in weed-prone areas. Do be careful to contain it, though—it’s non-toxic, but will kill any plant you spray it on.

Marble and Granite Cleaner

Don’t over-complicate things when it comes to caring for these delicate natural stones. Combine a few drops of dish soap with water in a spray bottle, and use this whenever it comes time to clean up your countertops!

Clarifying Shampoo

If you get something really gross in your hair, here’s a quick and easy way to wash it out. When showering, just add a dabble of dish soap to your hands and work it into your hair, just as you do with shampoo. Be sure to rinse well. Hair product junkies, you can do this about once a month to tackle any greasy build-up that hair products leave behind!

Window Cleaner

Did you know that dish soap is also an awesome window cleaner? It cuts through greasy films and leaves a nice, clean finish. Just add a few drops of dish soap to a pail of warm water, and you’re good to go. You can also add about a 1/2 cup of vinegar for extra grime-fighting action!

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Pretty amazing stuff, huh? Here’s one last tip – anytime you see reference to “warm soapy water,” this is the stuff they are referring to. Dish soap is a pH-neutral cleaner, which means it’s one of the safest soaps you can use on dirt, grease, and grime!

Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.

27 COMMENTS

  1. Hı Melissa, thanks to you I began to like cleaning and am able to keep my house clean. I like the way you don’t show yourself as somebody who is perfect and there is no speck of dirt in your house. I watched some other house cleaning videos and I just knew it would be impossible for me so I didn’t even try.After watching your videos I started cleaning right away. You make cleaning so easy and make us believe we can achieve it if we want it.thank you very much.

  2. Dish soap is typically not PH neutral, it is a base. When you add a base to an acid like vinegar, it will typically diminish the action of both. It’s simple chemistry. I would clean with the soap, and then go back with the vinegar to get rid of residue.

  3. Hi Melissa, thanks to you I’m excited about cleaning for the first time! It is actually something I look forward to now. I have sensitivities to many commercial cleaning products, so your simple ingredients have helped me out a ton. I have already recommended your methods to my family, and will continue to do so with friends. A big huge thanks all the way from Greece!

  4. Is all dish soap really pH neutral? (Comments about adding bleach, and ruining car paint, are confusing.)
    I like Dawn, too; but, it isn’t nontoxic. They use the same ingredient BP used that killed the fish, recently.
    I started adding a few drops of bleach to dish water, after getting a cat who licks the ice cream bowls.
    It really made a difference for me: 1) kills germs, 2) water doesn’t turn sour, 3) dishes sparkle,
    as it clears hard water spots, and (last, but not least), 4) my dry, wrinkled hands responded
    as to a miracle anti-aging cream, and are beautifully soft and smooth, now!
    P.S.: While I’m on the topic, it doesn’t take a cup of bleach in the washer to kill germs.
    The county extension office said it only takes a teaspoon per tub to do the job.
    So, save money on bleach and clothing (broken down by bleach).

  5. I have given up on store bought cleaners after watching your videos. My house smells a lot cleaner and i feel like i can breath better with no toxins in the,air. My friends laugh at me as I’ve given up spending money on clothes for cleaning ingredients and storage things. Lol
    At least my bank account is alot cleaner and healthier too!!

  6. Melissa you are such an integral part of my every day cleaning now. You have been an incredible support and have helped achieve things I thought I couldn’t achieve! Thank you and a huge thumbs up:)

  7. I am so happy that I have found this site!! I even have “Clean My Space” written on a post-it note on my refrigerator so that I won’t forget it. I have always loved to make homemade cleaners but life ( school, degrees, kids etc.) took priority! Your videos are short and to the point, with a good dash of humor thrown in. I suspect that your husband is a winner, too. We have 3 little dogs and 3 cats and we also have an old house (1932) that is unique to my part of the country and is challenging to keep clean and to keep up with repairs. Anyway, just wanted to say thank you for your helpful and inspiring web site. Blessings.

  8. I just happen to come to your site because I am just discovering the many ways to use dish soap. Specifically on plant pests. Great advice and will try alternatives. Keep up the great work.

  9. I’ve been searching for your daily shower spray recipe. Is it the same one as the window cleaner Melissa?
    Thanks!
    Hilly in Norfolk, UK

  10. I just tried the weed killer and it was amazing! I had a little trouble with the salt plugging the sprayer but once I worked that out within 2 hours the weeds were looking sad, and by the end of the day they were dead. Thank you for the recipe Melissa, now my garden pathway is ‘clean’ (of weeds) in an environmentally friendly way! I love all video’s and cleaning ideas. (and Chad’s great editing) : )

  11. Melissa I loved the video it helped me but can vinegar protect car windows from the rain and can you use dish soap on cars.

  12. I love your idea’s, and alway’s have been a firm believer in that dish soap, and it grease fighting powers. I do have a few questions, can you put some fragrance in with the solution you make? And do you have a solution recipe for animal urin spots from puppy’s that i can spray and get rid of them, that way i don’t have to rent a rug cleaner all the time, please let me know.
    Thanks for all your tips, love to watch them and always love saving money.
    Michelle Shackelford

  13. Dish washing liquid is a wonderful cleaner. Never mix bleach products with dish soap. It will create noxious fumes. Thanks for the informative video.

  14. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this website!!!!! I am a weirdo who already likes cleaning (whenever I actually do it) but coming across your website (2 days ago) just motivated me to clean my entire house this weekend. The tips are AWESOME!!!! This is an OCD dream!

  15. Awesome! Seems like there are a lot of dish soaps out there. In the spirit of using the most basic products possible – what are the key ingredients that make it what you want?

    • Melissa has a great video on this you should see. Squeeze lemon in a bowl with some water and throw the peel in. Microwave 5 min. Wipe. Use lemon water to clean outside and anything else you want. 50/50 water/vinegar works great, too, but the lemon makes the house smell delicious when you’ve got it. My 4-year-old watched the video and said “We’ve got to try that!” He’s a big fan!

    • Microwave a (microwave safe) mug of about one cup of water and let it steam the inside.

      Carefully remove the hot mug (and add a tea bag…green tea bag can be used-if water has cooled to about 170 °).

      Wipe out with clean paper towels. Then enjoy your beverage.

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