Use dish soap for more than washing dishes


Dish soap

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Given the versatility of this common household cleaning product, it's like the duct tape of the kitchen. 

Liz Trotter, owner of American Maid Cleaning in Olympia, Washington, recommends using dishwashing liquid for everything from removing soap scum in showers to cleaning barbecue grates.

“We use Dawn dishwashing soap because of it’s superior grease-cutting properties,” Trotter says “[It’s] so versatile.” She and other experts also recommend employing the ubiquitious brand of dishwashing liquid to handle these 11 off-plate jobs:


Clean surfaces high and low

Floors, windows, mirrors, counters, inside the oven, on the stove top — a little dish soap in a bucket of water goes a long way on any of these surfaces.


Prevent an itchy rash from poison ivy

Wash immediately with water and dish soap any area of your body that came into contact with one of nature’s most annoying flora to remove the plant’s oil, called urushiol, and prevent a rash.


Shine your sneaks

“Any area that is vinyl or rubber,” Trotter says. “Sometimes it is the tread or decoration, or soles.”

You’ll see a significant difference with white parts of shoes, she adds, but any color can benefit from the sudsy scrubbing.


Soak your feet to remove calluses

You’re already cleaning your shoes. See to it your dogs feel better as well by putting them in a bucket with water and dishwashing liquid.


Kill your other dog’s fleas

Shampoo your pooch’s coat with Dawn to kill fleas, rinsing the dog thoroughly to avoid skin irritation from the dish soap.

Eliminate fleas in the carpet, upholstery and elsewhere around the house using a tablespoon of dish soap. Mix thoroughly with water in a 16-ounce spray bottle to shoot them dead.


Prep for a manicure

Soften your cuticles by putting your fingers in dish soap to remove oils, making it easier to polish nails.


Clean grease spots on your driveway

You use it for cleanup after you fix a meal. The same goes for tidying up after you fix your car. 

Put lots of dish soap on the spot, clean with a scrub brush — you’ll need to put some muscle into it — and then hose down the area.


Pre-treat stains on clothing

“The quicker applied, the better the results,” says Susan Webb, who heads cleaning company Executive Home Services in Carmel, Indiana. Rub the soap directly into that grease-marked shirt before tossing it in the washer.


Remove excess hair coloring

Too dark? Wash with a little dish soap to lighten the color; just don’t overdo it.

Trotter says she washed her own hair twice with Dawn, hoping to take advantage of grease-cutting properties, and won’t do it again. “Both times resulted in very dried-out hair that was tough to bring back to a nice condition,” she says.


Clear your lenses

See better by cleaning your glasses with a drop of dish soap.


Kill bugs

Like fleas, you can successfully exterminate some soft-bodied bugs like aphids, white flies and spider mites with a dish soap and water solution.

However, experts counter the common suggestion to spritz household greenery or garden growth with soap solutions to keep bugs away. “There is increased risk of plant injury with these products,” cautions the Colorado State University Extension on its website. “They are not designed for use on plants.”


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RELATED: Keep the dish soap out of the dishwasher and other Dishwasher No-Nos 

Author: This article was written by Michael Schroeder, Angie’s List