Dish Soap Hacks To Metaphorically And Physically Clean Up Your Life

Thanks to that one emotion-inducing campaign, we know that dish soap is used to clean up wildlife after oil spills, but there are actually a lot more things it can be used for too. Its grease-fighting and moisturizing capabilities are endless.

No one likes doing dishes, but it's worth it because you need clean dishes to eat off of, and the same goes for these hacks. You don't want to have to de-weed your garden or ward off ants in your house, but if dish soap could make those jobs a little easier, wouldn't you want to know about it? Check out these genius ways to use dish soap all around the house.

Poison The Ivy Yourself

dish soap plant hack spraying dawn
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Photo Credit: Pinterest

Though it won't help with the itch after you touch it, dish soap can be used to get rid of poison ivy in your backyard before it spreads or infects anyone else.

Take a little bit of dish soap and spread it all over the leaves of any of the poison ivy plants you find. Within a few days the plants will wither up and die so you won't have any more popping up and you're free to roam again.

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Homemade Ice Pack

dish soap ice pack trick
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Photo Credit: Pinterest
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If you need a makeshift ice pack or you're looking for one that's more pliable than the typical lunch box ice pack, you can use dish soap.

Fill a plastic bag about one-third of the way full with dish soap then pop it in the freezer. The liquid will freeze but not completely. Then it will be cold enough to help with any bruises or bumps, but still malleable because it isn't frozen solid.

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Be The Lord Of The Flies

dawn fruit fly solution combined with apple cider
Photo Credit: instagram / @wings.n.stings.gardener
Photo Credit: instagram / @wings.n.stings.gardener
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If your kitchen or office is filled with fruit flies and you cannot figure out how to get rid of them, then turn to dish soap to get the job done.

Combine 4 or 5 drops of dish soap (some people swear that it has to be Dawn but that's yet to be cross-tested) with a cup filled about a 1/2 inch full of apple cider vinegar. Then place it wherever the fruit flies are and you'll be good to go.

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Dish Soap Will Keep Your Manicure Looking Fresh

dish soap manicure hack
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Photo Credit: Pinterest
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If you're looking to step up your manicure game without stepping up your budget and decided to be your own esthetician, then dish soap will make it easier.

Soak your nails in dish soap beforehand to make your cuticles softer and easier to work with. It also strips the natural oils from your fingers and will make your manicure last longer because your polish will adhere better. Before no time you'll have the nicest nails on the block.

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Keep Your Shower Floor, And Your Feet, Clean

dawn shower floor dish soap hack
Photo Credit: Pinterest / Pauline Atkinson
Photo Credit: Pinterest / Pauline Atkinson
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Dish soap is meant for cleaning tough stains and food from your dishes, but it's also great as an all-purpose cleaner for tiles. You definitely don't do it as often as you should, but if you're looking to clean your shower floor grab a bottle of dish soap.

Spray a layer of soap over the floor of your shower or your tub, leave it overnight, then scrub away all the grime that built up overnight. It will be satisfying when you see how much grime comes off.

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Greasy Clothing Stains Are No More

dawn clothing stain removal tip
Photo Credit: Pinterest / Karen Pembleton
Photo Credit: Pinterest / Karen Pembleton
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Dish soap is a proven grease-fighter but it doesn't have to be just on dishes. It can also help remove grease stains from clothing. Dish soap will cut through any type of grease including makeup, butter, and cooking oil.

Simply grab a toothbrush, add a couple of drops of dish soap to the stain and gently scrub at it. Toss the clothing into the washer or just rinse it by hand in warm water and it'll be good as new.

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It's Instrumental In De-Skunking A Pet

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Photo Credit: Daniel Bockwoldt/picture alliance via Getty Images
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It can be tiring for a dog owner to run a tomato juice bath each time their dog gets skunked. Instead of your house vaguely smelling of rotten tomatoes, combines 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup of baking soda and a few teaspoons of dish soap to use as a solution on your pet after they get sprayed.

If your pet allows it, let the solution sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing for maximum effect.

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Kills Fleas For Half The Price

cat named Zilli getting bathed in turkey
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Photo Credit: Emin Menguarslan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
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Instead of using expensive and often harsh flea prevention products on your dogs or outdoor cats, you can use dish soap.

During flea season when you're giving your dog a bath, mix some lemon-scented dish soap into the water and use it to lather up your pets. It's a gentler product, it's much less expensive for you, and it gives your pup a lemony-fresh scent as an added bonus.

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Use Dish Soap As A Makeshift Pool Cleaner

kids playing in blow up pool
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Photo Credit: MYCHELE DANIAU/AFP via Getty Images
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If you have an above ground pool or even a blow-up pool, dish soap works as a great cleaner for a fraction of the price.

Put a couple drops of the dish soap in the center of the pool. It will push all the leftover dirt, suntan lotion, or whatever else is floating around to the edge of the pool so you can clean it up easily. It's also won't do any damage to your filter and it's safe to swim in, so you don't have to worry about harmful chemicals.

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Makeshift Bubble Solution

kids making giant soap bubbles in berlin
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Photo Credit: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
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What kid (or adult) doesn't love blowing bubbles? It's a great summer outdoor activity but one kid always ends up dropping the tube or knocking it over and suddenly all the bubble liquid is on the ground.

Not to fear though, dish soap is a great backup so that you don't burst your kids' bubbles. Mix 6 cups of water with 1 cup of dish soap, stir in 1/4 cup of corn syrup and voila, instant bubbles!

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Cleaning Your Oil Stains

dish soap oil stains from concrete
Photo Credit: Pinterest / The Krazy Coupon Lady
Photo Credit: Pinterest / The Krazy Coupon Lady
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Sick of looking at those oil stains on your garage floor or on your driveway? Dish soap can help you get those concrete stains out.

It isn't just the dish soap that you'll need though. First, sprinkle some baking soda over the stain, add dish soap and scrub it with a plastic or non-metallic brush. Let the mixture sit on the stain for a few hours then come back to it and scrub again, repeating until the stain is gone.

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Ward Off Those Ants Or Spiders

dawn dish soap dispenser giant bottle
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Photo Credit: Pinterest
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If your kitchen or your entire home has been taking over by ants and they're literally coming out of the woodwork, dish soap is here to help. It can also help you out if you have one too many spiders crawling around.

Mix water and dish soap into a spray bottle, then spray it around vents, windows, door frames, or anywhere that met be letting the ants into your house. It should stop the infestation in no time.

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Add Some Shine To Your Life

cleaning jewelry with dish soap
Photo Credit: Pinterest / Linda Spurdle
Photo Credit: Pinterest / Linda Spurdle
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Dish soap can save you time and money when it comes to dull jewelry. Mix seltzer with any dish soap and let your jewelry soak for about 5 minutes. Pull it out, scrub off any grime or film with a toothbrush, then lay it out to dry and see the sparkle.

Now you don't have to feel about all those times you told yourself you would take your jewelry to a jeweler and watched TV instead.

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Say Goodbye To Upholstery Stains

cleaning the couch with vacuum
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Photo Credit: Instagram / @spotlessnyc
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Dish soap is good for cleaning up the mess that your car leaves on the garage floor, but it's also good for cleaning up the mess your kids make inside your car.

Using a hand mixer, whip together equal parts of dish soap and water, then use a rag to clean any spots from your car upholstery. It also works for other upholstery stains that you might find on your chairs or couches.

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Skip The Peanut Butter And Use Dish Soap To Get Gum Out Of Your Kid's Hair

dawn liquid soap display
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Photo Credit: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images
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On top of getting stains out of your clothing, dish soap can do wonders for your kid's hair if they manage to get something stuck in it.

We've all heard the trick about using peanut butter to get gum out of hair, but then that just means they have another stick substance in their hair. Use dish soap instead. It can get out gum, silly putty, Play-doh, or the peanut butter you inevitably tried first.

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Revive Your Hair With Dish Soap

dawn shower pic for shampoo
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After you manage to get the gum out of your hair, you can also use dish soap as an overall hair mask instead of buying a fancy expensive one from the drug store.

Once a month, swap out your shampoo for dish soap and lather away. It'll strip away all of the oil build-up and residue from the other hair products you've been using in the past weeks, and leave you with squeaky clean shiny hair.

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Keeping Your Outdoor Furniture and Toys Worthy Of Your BBQ Guests

cleaning patio furniture with dish soap
Photo Credit: Pinterest / Karen Pembleton
Photo Credit: Pinterest / Karen Pembleton
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Obviously, patio furniture or a kid's playground is going to get dirty when it's sitting outside all day, but you still want to impress your guests and you need to clean it.

Dish soap will have your furniture looking brand spanking new. For things like a kid's pool or a slide, it will wipe all the grime and dirt off without drying out the plastic (which would cause it to break down faster) and it'll have your patio table clean enough to eat off.

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Be Gone, Squeaky Hinges

Detail of an old wooden door with rusted hinges
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Paul Grogan/PhotoPlus Magazine/Future via Getty Images
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Dish soap is a better, safer alternative for fixing squeaky sliding doors and doorknobs that always get stuck. You've tried every aerosol spray money can buy and yet, you can't get your bedroom door or your front door to stop squeaking. The sprays work for a few days or maybe even a few weeks but then it always comes back.

The dish soap solution lasts longer than aerosol sprays, and it's better if you have children running around touching those doors and knobs.

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De-Fog Your Car With Dish Soap

car windshield that's foggy
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Photo Credit: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images
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Yes, you read that right. Dish soap can be used to de-fog your car if you're one those people who still haven't quite figured out if you should turn your windshield de-fogger to hot or cold air.

Squirt some dish soap onto a clean, dry cloth and work it into the glass until the soap disappears. It'll create a layer over the glass that will prevent it from fogging up in the future! You can also use that trick for glasses lenses.

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No More Weeds In Your Yard

bottles of dawn dish soap with flowers
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Photo Credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images
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It can be frustrating to watch weed popping up on your driveway and no matter what you do, they always seem to come back.

To fight the weeds without chemicals, combine dish soap, salt, and vinegar into a spray bottle. Then spray it all over the spots where you've just pulled weeds from, or from spots where your weeds usually pop up. It will deter them from growing back as quickly and will kill some of them off altogether.