Dish detergent might be a sink-side staple, but its cleaning power is incredibly helpful all over the house. Because the liquid is mild, it's often a great choice over harsher chemicals (plus, we bet you've got an ever-ready stockpile of the stuff under your sink). Next time you're giving your house a once-over, consider these new ways to use the sudsy liquid.
1. Erase greasy stains on clothes
Spot salad dressing on your shirt? Rub a little dish detergent into the stain and rinse with water (this method works great for removing rings around the collar, too). The soap is gentle enough for spot-treating most fabrics—even washable wool and silk, which could be damaged by laundry detergent that has stain-fighting enzymes.
2. Clean your kitchen and bathroom floors
To transform a bucket of warm water into a helpful floor cleanser, just add two tablespoons of dish liquid. Use the solution on vinyl or tile flooring, but avoid hardwoods (the water could warp the boards).
3. De-grime patio furniture
Add a squirt of dish detergent to a bowl of warm water, and use it to wipe down your outdoor tables and chairs. Then, rinse clean with the garden hose.
4. Shine your jewelry
A little dish soap mixed with seltzer is a quick way to clean your baubles—the bubbles help loosen dirt and help the soap get into tiny nooks and crannies. Combine the seltzer and soap in a bowl, soak the jewelry for five minutes, and then swish it through the suds. Use a soft toothbrush to scrub out any stubborn grime.
5. Clean hairbrushes and combs
Combat build-up from grooming products and greasy hair with a sudsy solution of a few drops of dish soap mixed with warm water.
6. Launder hand-washable clothing
In a pinch, you can use a tablespoon of dish soap in place of the detergent you use to hand wash delicates.
7. Trap and kill fruit flies
Add three drops of dish soap to a bowl of vinegar (which attracts the little buggers). The detergent will cut surface tension, so the flies will sink and drown.
8. Remove stains on carpeting
Dissolve one tablespoon of dish liquid into two cups of warm water, and blot the stain with a clean white cloth dipped into the solution. Repeat until the stain absorbs into the cloth and disappears from the carpet. Then sponge with cold water, and blot dry with a clean cloth.
9. Wipe down kitchen cabinets
Just like your cooking tools, cupboards can get greasy when you're making dinner. Add a little dish soap to a spray bottle with warm water to mist away the grime. Then, rinse with a well-wrung cloth and dry.
10. Banish oil stains from concrete
If you spy a spot on your garage floor, cover the stain with baking soda and then pour some dish liquid over it. Scrub with a plastic brush, and let everything sit for a few hours. Rinse and repeat until the stain is gone.