10 Things You Didn’t Know Dish Soap Can Do

It may seem like all that dish soap's good for is getting your plates and cups sparkling again, but this soapy solution can do so much more. Here are 10 ways you should be using dish soap outside the sink.

By Jennifer Noonan | Updated Jan 19, 2016 06:17 PM

Whack Weeds

Make a Non-Toxic Weed Killer

Mix up a nontoxic weed killer by combining dish soap, salt, and vinegar. Add one tablespoon of dish soap and one cup of salt to a gallon of vinegar. Pour it all into a spray bottle, and use liberally on problem areas. Remember that this solution is nonselective, so be careful not to get any on your grass or landscaping plants, as it will harm them as well.

Related: 7 Weirdly Effective Ways to Weed


Soothing Solution

Make an Ice Pack

Fill a ziplock bag with dish soap to create an effective and easy DIY ice pack. The soap won't become solid but will instead form a cold gel that can soothe whatever's ailing you. 

Related: 10 Unexpected Things to Put in Your Freezer—And Why

Youtube via Lifehacker

Locate Leaks

Locate Air Leaks

Concerned that you might have a puncture in your tire, kickball, or air mattress? Mix up a simple solution of dish soap and water, and then spray it over the area of concern. If there's a leak, the spot will start to bubble up, alerting you to the problem zone. 

Related: Make Room for the Car - 7 Easy DIY Garage Organizers

Youtube via Fixbook

Goodbye, Flies

Make a DIY Fruit Fly Trap

If fruit flies are taking over your home, you can quickly lay a simple trap for them with vinegar, dish soap, and water. Fill a small tumbler a little more than halfway with vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Then add six to eight drops of dish soap, and fill the rest of the container with warm water to make it bubble. This trap is gruesomely effective!

Related: A Dozen 10-Minute DIYs for a Pest-Free Home

Flickr via uberculture

Stop Lense Smog

De-Fog Your Glasses

Prevent your glasses or goggles from fogging up with a little bit of household dish soap. Apply a few drops to a clean cloth, and rub it on the lenses, both inside and out. Once the soap has dried, buff it off with a cloth, and you’ll be seeing clearly again.

Related: 23 Brilliant Hacks to Help You Weather Winter


Silence Squeaks

Lubricate Loud Door Hinges

If you're suffering from the shrill sound of a squeaky door but don't have any commercial lubricants on hand, reach for your bottle of trusty dish soap to provide temporary relief. Add a few drops to the troublesome hinge, and then enjoy your peace and quiet. 

Related: 10 Fast Fixes for Annoying House Noises

Youtube via WatchMeFixIt

Protect Plants

Pest-Proof Plants

You can make a nontoxic insecticide with some common dish soap and water. Just mix a couple of teaspoons of plain liquid soap (avoid those with degreasers, bleach, or antibacterial ingredients) into a cup of warm water, put the solution in a spray bottle, and then mist your plants. Most soft-bodied plant pests, such as aphids, whiteflies, and mites, are susceptible and will be eradicated from your leafy greens.

Related: 10 Plants to Grow for a Pest-Proof Yard


Combat Clogs

Remove Stuck Rings

If you're suffering from a clogged toilet and the standard measures have failed you, try a little dish soap and hot water to help alleviate the blockage. First, pour about half a cup of soap into the toilet. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so, and then check to see if that strategy alone fixes the clog. If not, follow up with a gallon of hot water to get things running again. 

Related: No Plunger Needed - 7 Easier Ways to Clear a Clog


Fight Grease

Make a Homemade Cleaner

The cleaning power of dish soap can extend past cups and plates. In fact, you can use it to bust grease and grime from a variety of items, including clothing, carpets, tile, and more. Next time you're confronted with a tricky stain, look to dish soap before purchasing a specialty cleaner. 

Related: 9 Potent Cleaners You Didn't Know You Had


Blow Bubbles

Homemade Bubble Mix

All work and no play makes dish soap a dull cleaner. It can obviously help you with your household chores, but it can also provide you with some fun in the form of a DIY bubble mix. Just add 2/3 cup of dish soap and two or three tablespoons of corn syrup or glycerin to a gallon of water. Then let the kids (or kids at heart) make merry.

Related: Banish Boredom with 7 Kid-Friendly DIY Projects


Don't Miss!


Want a cleaner, tidier, more organized home? Sign up for the Clean Sweep newsletter to receive weekly tips, tools, and bright ideas that will help you maximize your next cleaning session.