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

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Diana Liang)

Dish soap: Not just for dishes! It’s time to start thinking outside of the box (soap dispenser?) when it comes to tackling household grime. This super degreaser has the power to remove soil from all kinds of surfaces, including hard ones like metal or glass, and soft ones like fabric and upholstery.

Check out these non-dish-related things you can do with dish soap.

(Image credit: Diana Liang)

1. Clean kitchen cabinets.

Wooden cabinet doors can get splattered with drips and spills, or get a built-up film of grease over time; a dish soap mixture and microfiber cloth can gently remove these things without ruining the finish on your cabinets.

See the full tutorial: How To Clean Painted Wood Cabinets

(Image credit: Erika Tracy)

2. Spot-clean accidents on clothes.

The same grease-cutting power that works on dishes can lift stains from clothing made from cotton and cotton blends (use care on more delicate fabrics). Just squirt a dime-sized drop of soap onto the stain, rub it in with your fingers, let it sit, then launder as usual.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

3. Clean food spills in the car.

Whether you’re transporting a casserole to a potluck or your kid is eating applesauce, food stains are inevitable in the car — and dish soap is your go-to cleaner.

(Image credit: Lucy Hewett)

4. Clean the stove.

If you’re out of your usual kitchen spray, consider using dish soap instead. Squirt a very small drop of dishwashing liquid onto a sponge or cloth. Wet, then squeeze out most of the water. The soap will cut right through the greasy film!

Read more: How To Clean a Greasy Gas Stovetop with Just Soap and Water

(Image credit: Susanna Hopler/Studio_G)

5. Kill fruit flies.

While your best defense against fruit flies is to remove their source of food, a simple trap made from vinegar and dish soap is a reader favorite trick for killing fruit flies in the kitchen.

6. Shine your rims.

Your car and bike tire rims can get caked with dirt and grease — but dish soap can fix them up! To do: Mix one teaspoon of concentrated dish soap into a bucket of hot water and then dip a rag in the mixture (use a toothbrush for tight spots). Rinse with clean water and dry to shine.

(Image credit: Diana Liang)

7. Clean hand tools.

Your hammer, wrenches, screwdrivers, and other tools in your toolbox can get grimy after a while. Scrub them with a cleanser made from one teaspoon concentrated dish soap to one gallon water, then rinse and dry thoroughly.

How else do you use dish soap around your house?