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All the Things Dish Soap Cleans That Aren’t Dishes

A close-up of a person's hands while they put dish soap on a sponge.
Simon Kadula/Shutterstock.com

Dish soap is a household staple primarily used for cleaning dishes, but its cleaning powers extend far beyond your kitchen sink. This versatile product can be a game-changer when it comes to tackling various cleaning tasks around the house.

What can you use dish soap for, you ask? So many things. Cleaning with dish soap is a powerful hack that can help remove stains, unclog drains, and more. Here are 9 surprising tasks that dish soap can tackle.

Clean Shower and Tub Stains

A person wipes down their bathtub with a cloth while wearing gloves.
Budimir Jevtic/Shutterstock.com

Have you ever tried to put dish soap in the shower? It turns out that cleaning with dish soap can be very productive in the bathroom. Dish soap can remove soap scum and other oily buildup in your shower and bathtub.

All you have to do is pour some dish soap all around the surface area of your tub and get to scrubbing with a brush or sponge. When you’re done, rinse with water and enjoy your clean tub.

The dish soap’s grease-cutting properties break down the stubborn residue, leaving your bathroom sparkling clean. Plus, if you put dish soap in the shower by adding it to a dish-washing brush, it becomes a tool you can use to wipe down your shower after use to keep it clean.

OXO Good Grips Soap Dispensing Dish Brush

Keep a dish-soap brush in your shower for easy, efficient cleaning.

De-Grease Stove Tops

A close-up of a person's gloved hand while they clean their stove top.
galsand/Shutterstock.com

But what can you use dish soap for beyond dishes and the bathroom? Try it for cleaning your stovetop.

Cooking can leave your stove top covered in stubborn grease and residue. Sometimes normal cleaning products don’t work to clear up that oil as well as you want them to. In this case, try turning to dish soap instead.

Apply a drop of dish soap directly onto the greasy areas, then wipe with a damp cloth. Buff any especially dirty areas, then wipe away all the remaining soap. The soap’s degreasing abilities make quick work of stubborn cooking residue.

Norwex Counter Cloths

Only use gentle cloths for cleaning your stove top to avoid scratching the surface.

Remove Carpet and Rug Stains

A cup of coffee laying on a white carpet with a large coffee stain.
New Africa/Shutterstock.com

Accidents happen, and when you find spills or stains on your carpets, cleaning with dish soap can be your easy solution.

Mix a few drops of dish soap with warm water and white vinegar. Gently blot the stain with a clean cloth from the outermost edge of the stain towards the middle. Avoid scrubbing, as it might spread the stain. Rinse with clean water and pat dry.

Best Pet Carpet Cleaner

Bissell TurboClean PowerBrush

Stains and spills are no match for this upright carpet cleaner.

Brighten Makeup Brushes

A person cleaning makeup brushes in the sink with a silicon brush cleaner
GillianVann/Shutterstock.com

Give your makeup brushes a thorough cleaning with a mixture of dish soap and water. Dish soap can work wonders on any makeup that’s already caked onto your brushes or deeply penetrated the brush.

Simply add some dish soap and water to a bowl. Swirl your makeup brushes in the soapy water, then rinse and reshape the bristles. This technique effectively removes makeup buildup and oils without damaging the brushes.

Brush Cleaning Mat

A silicone, textured mat can help you clean your makeup brushes and get them like-new.

Hand Wash Delicates

A person washes clothes by hand in their sink.
Ratchanee Sawasdijira/Shutterstock.com

Delicate fabrics require special care, so you don’t always want to throw them in the wash. Hand-washing clothes with dish soap can be a gentle yet effective option.

Fill a basin with lukewarm water and add a few drops of dish soap. Gently agitate the water to create suds, then hand wash your delicates. Rinse thoroughly and let them air dry.

Honey-Can-Do Collapsible Clothes Drying Rack Steel

Make sure you air dry all your delicates to help them last longer.

Lift Sticky Residue

A jar covered in sticker residue.
Rebeca Bolanos/Shutterstock.com

Stubborn labels and sticker residue can be challenging to remove…but not impossible.

Apply a small amount of undiluted dish soap to the residue, let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe clean with a cloth or scraper. The soap breaks down the adhesive, making it easier to remove the extra residue.

Plastic Razor Blades Scraper Tool

This scraper will help you remove all unwanted reside from your surfaces.

Unclog Drains

A kitchen sink full of water and soap.
Igal Vaisman/Shutterstock.com

Dish soap helps clear your drains, especially minor grease clogs in your kitchen sink. Pour a few tablespoons of dish soap down the kitchen sink, wait about 30 seconds, then run some hot water. The soap breaks down grease and other debris, allowing it to flow down the drain more easily.

Omont 4 Pack Drain Snake Drain Clog Remover

Having a few drain snakes on hand can help in an emergency.

Polish Dirty Blinds

A person wipes their window blinds using a cloth.
New Africa/Shutterstock.com

Cleaning blinds can be a tedious task. Thankfully, dish soap simplifies the process. Mix warm water with a few drops of dish soap and dip a microfiber cloth into the solution. Gently wipe down each slat to remove dust and grime.

Endust Multi-Surface Dusting and Cleaning Spray

To make your dusting projects even easier, try this handy dusting spray.

Remove Water Rings on Wood Furniture

Liquid stains and drink condensation marks on a wooden surface.
Kerdkanno/Shutterstock.com

Water rings and stains on wooden furniture can be unsightly, but dish soap can help remove them. Mix a diluted solution of water and dish soap, then gently rub over the water stains. Make sure not to saturate your wood and you can lift the stain without damaging the wood’s finish.

Guardsman Reusable Water Mark Remover Cloth

Removing watermarks early is the best way to maintain your wooden furniture's appeal.


Dish soap is a multitasking cleaning product that goes beyond washing dishes. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way, and it’s always best to perform a small test in an inconspicuous area before using dish soap hacks on your surfaces.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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