How To Squirt Dish Soap Into the Sink

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Cambria Bold)

If there’s one cleaning tutorial request we get more than any other, it’s this. Those dang dish soap bottles can be so confusing! Are you supposed to hold the bottle completely upside down, or at an angle for optimal soap dispensing? Should you squeeze near the top, or in the middle? And what about the bubbles? How do you know when you’ve got too many bubbles, or just enough bubbles? So. many. questions.

Well, friends, put all your anxieties aside, because we’re about to show you exactly how to squirt dish soap into the sink. Don’t be shy — we know it’s a tough task to master, but with our step-by-step guide, even the most errant squirter can be a straight-shooter in no time.

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1. Fill your sink with hot water. Turn on the tap and adjust the water temperature until it’s somewhere between arctic and boiling. (Image credit: Cambria Bold)

How To Squirt Dish Soap Into the Sink

What You Need

Dish soap in a bottle
Running water
Hand-eye coordination
Arm strength, although not significant
A will to succeed


  1. Fill your sink with hot water. Turn on the tap and adjust the water temperature until it’s somewhere between arctic and boiling.
  2. Take the soap bottle in one hand. We know your inclination is to grab the bottle with two hands and shake it upside down like there’s no tomorrow. (We did this for years.) But really, a gentle touch is all you need here. If it helps to break the habit, put one hand behind your back while you reach for the soap bottle with the other hand. Once you’ve grasped it, lift it off the edge of the sink and feel what it’s likely to hold it loosely in one hand. Good job!
  3. Rotate your wrist and tip the bottle. With the water still running, rotate the soap bottle from a 12:00pm hand position to an 8:00am position (or a 4:00pm position, if you’re left-handed). The spout should now be pointing slightly down into the sink. It should not be pointed at the wall, the ceiling, the floor, or your dog.
  4. Did you forget to plug the sink? You forgot to plug the sink and all the water is just swirling down the drain. Go back to Step 1 and start over.
  5. Give the bottle a gentle squeeze. Once you’ve got about an inch of water in the bottom of your sink and your dish soap bottle tilted at the correct angle, you’re ready to give the bottle a a gentle squeeze. A gentle squeeze! Stop, stop! I said GENTLE. Repeat after me: your dish soap bottle is not a stress ball. You’re aiming to dispense just a little soap into the water, perhaps a tablespoon or so, not half the bottle.
  6. Wipe off the side of your sink, or wherever else the soap landed. It’s tough to get soap to hit the water the first time you squirt it. If you’re a novice squirter, it’s likely to end up on the side or your sink, or on the countertop, or in your spouse’s eye. I’m assuming that’s what happened here, so let’s take a moment to regroup. Take a dish cloth and wipe away the soap on the sink, or your loved one’s face, and go back to Step 2. Complete Steps 2-5 again.
  7. Swish the water with your hand. If you’ve successfully soaped the water in your sink, you can now move on to swishing. Put one hand in the water and swish vigorously back and forth, about 10 times. This motion is similar to the one you make when attempting to air-dry freshly painted nails. Proper swishing should be vigorous enough to form soap bubbles but not so vigorous that you splash water onto the floor. (If you do splash soapy water onto the floor, see this post: Cleaning the Kitchen Floor with a Sponge.) Once you’ve swished, continue running the water until the sink is full.
  8. Consider the soap bubbles. If you’re not getting adequate soap bubbles from your swishing, consider squirting more dish soap into the sink. If the prospect of going through this all again is just too much to handle, make peace with your wimpy bubbles. If you have too many bubbles and your sink is starting to look like a bubble bath in a network TV sitcom where they’re not allowed to show any naked parts except legs, feet, and shoulders, then I refer you back to Step 5 and the mantra your dish soap bottle is not a stress ball. Repeat ad nauseum.
  9. Time to wash dishes! If you’ve done everything correctly, you should now have a sink full of warm, soapy water with some bubbles but not too many. See? That wasn’t so hard.

Wait, you didn’t really think we were serious, did you? From our kitchen to your kitchen… APRIL FOOLS! Did we get you?