10 Ways To Clean With Dish Soap That Go Way Beyond Plates And Bowls

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While we most often associate dish soap with cleaning our everyday dinnerware, favorite wine glasses, and fine china, this product’s power expands way beyond the reaches of the kitchen sink. In fact, as dish soap has become more regulated and safer over the years, thanks to the elimination of phosphates and other harsh chemicals from most formulations, its high-performing capabilities have become available to more and more areas of the home for safe, efficient cleaning. Here, you’ll find 10 clever uses for dish soap that can solve everyday problems in an instant.

Restore your jewelry’s sparkle.

Dish soap is the ideal at-home cleaning solution for your fine jewelry, according to Coronet Diamonds, as it’s typically gentler than most hand soaps and shampoos. Simply rinse your pieces and place them in a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, letting them soak for 15 minutes. From there, use a clean toothbrush to remove any lingering stains and wipe off with a clean cotton cloth to dry and remove any excess oil. You won’t believe how shiny your engagement ring looks without a trip to the jeweler or buying a special cleaning solution.

Freshen up your pet supplies—but not your pet.

Everyday germs from the outside world and even pet food can contaminate your dog’s bowls, toys, and habitats. The CDC recommends using a solution of dish soap and water to clean everything from crates and bowls to rubber and plastic pet toys. You may need to go one step further and disinfect using beach or a designated spray afterwards to fully kill germs, especially if your pet has recently been sick.

Replace your floor cleaning solution (except if you have hardwoods).

Out of your preferred floor cleaning solution and company is coming over this afternoon? No problem. Flooring superstore Flooring Inc. advises making a homemade cleaner using dish soap and water to get those tile, rubber, stone, and vinyl floors looking good as new. If you want an even deeper clean, the brand also shares a recipe for a solution that also calls for rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, and essential oils or lemon juice for a fresh scent. Just be sure to use dish soap without bleach, oils, or moisturizers that could end up doing more harm than good to your floors.

Remove tough stains on clothes and table linens.

Whether you’re dealing with pesky oil stains from your latest cooking experiment, ink stains from a pen explosion, or grass stains on a soccer uniform, dish soap is the answer to many of your toughest laundry quandaries. Dawn suggests using dish soap as a pre-wash spot treatment by rubbing a little bit into the affected area of fabric before laundering as usual. You can also use dish soap to launder delicate hand wash-only items in the sink for a gentle yet effective clean.

De-grime outdoor furniture.

Outdoor furniture can get pretty gross, especially during pollen season and after a cold winter where it was left untouched for months on end. However, dish soap is up to the challenge, and Merry Maids advises using it to safely clean your outdoor seating. First, spray off your furniture with a hose to loosen and break up dirt and grime. Then squeeze a ¼ cup of dish soap into a bucket of warm water and wipe your furniture down with a microfiber cloth and let it air dry. You can also use this method for cleaning your outdoor cushions, but machine-washable ones will need the extra step of laundering.

A dish soap-water solution is also effective for cleaning wicker furniture. Use a toothbrush to scrub the extra-dirty spots or a scrub brush to refresh an entire piece of furniture before using a microfiber cloth to remove lingering soap bubbles.

Get your grill back in tip-top shape.

The grill is another outdoor item that can get neglected during the chillier months. Ensure it stays at peak performance and shine with a bit of routine cleaning at the beginning and end of your grilling season with dish soap and water, according to The Home Depot.

For charcoal grills, you’ll want to clean the outside of the lid and bowl with this simple solution then dry everything off to prevent rust. Gas grills require a bit more work. Once the grill has been preheated for 15 minutes then the gas turned off, you can clean the burner valve, inside, and outside of the grill with a wire brush dipped in the soapy water. You can also make a paste with dish soap and baking soda to remove even the toughest grime from grill grates.

Eliminate soap scum.

You’ve likely heard of the Solubility Rule, “like dissolves like,” making dish soap the perfect solution to removing soap scum from your tub and shower. Just squirt your preferred dish soap all over the affected areas and scrub with a clean broom or stiff brush to remove it. If the soap scum persists, a bit of distilled white vinegar should do the trick to break down the calcium and other minerals.

Clean up air vents and ducts.

Our home’s ventilation is only as good as the air vents and ducts are clean. Now is the time to start cleaning them, if you don’t already, with, you guessed it, dish soap! First, turn off your A/C unit and unscrew the vent grilles before cleaning them with a soapy water solution and a soft-bristled brush. While you wait for them to dry, use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and debris from the ducts, then secure the dry vent grilles. If you noticed any mold or mildew while cleaning the vents or ducts, it’s worth contacting a professional for remediation.

Freshen up reusable lunch containers and bottles.

Schools and offices are prime locations for tracking bacteria and viruses into the home, so it’s important to have a game plan for cleaning reusable lunch containers and water bottles. L’Avant Collective, a luxury non-toxic cleaning brand, advises freshening up these items daily after school and work with a few pumps of dish soap and water. The brand is a great pick for those who have family members with sensitive skin or allergies—or for anyone interested in non-toxic living without having to sacrifice on product quality and performance.

Use it as your go-to all-purpose cleaner.

Now that we’ve explored the scope of dish soap’s effectiveness, it’s likely unsurprising that dish soap and water is a powerful combination for all-purpose cleaning. Use the mixture in a spray bottle on kitchen countertops, appliances, baseboards, windowsills, and the insides of your fridge and freezer. You can also use a mixture of 1 tablespoon dish soap and 2 cups of warm water to spot treat carpet stains in a hurry.

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