The Last Thing You Should Do with a Bottle of Dish Soap Before You Recycle It

updated Nov 30, 2020
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Someone squirting dish soap onto sponge.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Every once in a while, I do a little balancing act that I’m guessing you’re all familiar with: It’s called oh-so-carefully standing a nearly empty bottle of dish soap upside down so that every last drop comes out. What’s that? You know it well? You set the bottle up perfectly. And then someone in your household (who shall remain nameless) knocks it over and doesn’t stand it back up, undoing all the good you’ve done. Or maybe you forget to close the spout and then you return to the kitchen to find a puddle of liquid soap on your counter.

So much thought and drama over a little bit of dish soap, right?

Instead of trying to salvage every drop of dish soap for washing dishes with methods that frequently fail despite our best intentions, there’s another option: Fill it back up (about half way) with warm water and shake. Then, and this is where the fun comes in, use your new sudsy cleaning solution to clean your kitchen cabinets.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

Clean Your Kitchen Cabinets with Dish Soap Dregs

When your dish soap bottle is practically empty, fill it about half way with warm water and shake it. Next, squeeze some of your soap-y solution onto a cleaning rag or sponge and wipe down your cabinets. (You may want to lay a few towels on the floor or counters beneath the cabinets in order to catch any drips.) Then, wipe the cabinets again with a clean damp rag. Finally, in order to avoid streaking, wipe down your rinsed cabinets right away with a dry cloth.

See, your cabinets get far less attention than, say, your stovetop and counters. But splatters and grease (and the dust that clings to both) don’t discriminate and, if you look closely, you’ll realize that both your upper and bottom cabinets could probably use a good wipe-down. And dish soap is the perfect cleaner for the job, considering it was literally formulated to cut through food and grease.

By pairing this chore with an almost-empty bottle of dish soap, you’ll actually remember/think to clean your cabinets on a decently regular schedule. And you’ll use up every last drop of your dish soap. One more plus: You won’t have to waste any more energy precariously balancing that stupid bottle on the edge of your sink! Yay!

Read more: 7 Ways to Use Dish Soap — Aside from Cleaning Dirty Dishes