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16 Uses for Dish Soap That Save You Time and Money: Manicure Hacks, Pet Flea Solutions, and More

Learn how the liquid soap can prolong the life of a bouquet, eliminate aphids and more!

For anyone who hand washes their dishes after meals, a bottle of dish soap tucked away in the cabinet is a must. But there are even more ways this liquid soap can prove super useful. From giving yourself a perfect manicure at home to eliminating fleas, ordinary dish soap can solve a multitude of everyday problems. Below, 16 uses for dish soap that save you time, money, and hassle.

1. Use dish soap for a flawless manicure

Although you love to paint your nails at home, it seems like it doesn’t take long for the polish to chip. What can help prevent this: Before painting your nails, add a few drops of dish soap to a small bowl of warm water. Then soak your fingers for 3 to 5 minutes before wiping them dry. The soap works to lift natural oils on your nail that can stop the polish from properly adhering to them. Bonus: It will leave your cuticles feeling extra soft! (Looking for manicure ideas? Check out these French tip nail designs!)

2. Use dish soap to keep your flowers alive longer

The beautiful bouquet you made with flowers from your garden really brightens up your kitchen. To enjoy the arrangement as long as possible, add a drop or two of the liquid soap to the water whenever you refill the vase. The suds will kill any bacteria that cause flowers to wilt, so they stay upright and vibrant much longer.

3. Keep your skin free of dried paint with dish soap

A woman using dish soap to keep hands free of paint

The next time you work on a painting project around the house, ensure easy removal with the help of dish soap. To do: Rub the liquid soap on dry exposed skin before you start. The dry layer of soap creates a barrier that ensures paint can’t dry onto skin, making it a cinch to rinse off once you’re done.

4. Silence a squeaky hinge using dish soap

If your bathroom door keeps letting out a loud screech whenever someone opens or closes it, try this: Pour a few drops of dish soap on a clean cloth and use it to rub all over the hinges. The slick soap lubricates the metal so the door can move smoothly and quietly at all hours of the day. (Click through for more ways to silence a noisy hinge).

5. Use dish soap to locate an inflatable leak

Inner tube seem to be sinking fast and you’re having trouble pinpointing where the air is leaking from? Find it by using dish soap. Fill a bucket with water and a few squirts of dish soap, and while somewhat inflated, pour the liquid over the surface while pressing on the plastic. As you apply force, escaping air will cause bubbles to form around the tear, making it easy to find and patch it. Click through to learn how it works on an air mattress too.

6. Solve your dog’s flea problem with dish soap

A dog being washed with dish soap to eliminate fleas

Ugh! Your dog certainly had a blast spending the day at the park, but he brought a bunch of fleas home with him. The low-cost way to get rid of them: Scrub Rover with dish soap while you bathe him. The soap’s surfactant reduces fleas’ ability to latch on to fur or float, essentially drowning them, nixing the problem in a flash.

7. Use dish soap to sew buttons with ease

While organizing your closet, you discover one of your jackets has a button that needs reattaching. When you finally get a chance to try and sew it back on, however, you realize you can’t get the needle through the thick fabric. What can help: Coat the needle with a dab of dish soap, then sew as normal. The slick liquid will lubricate the needle so it can glide through the material without a struggle.

8. Eliminate stubborn stains using dish soap

Dish soap being used to pre-treat laundry stains

The same soap that dislodges stuck-on food from pots and pans works just as well at getting BBQ or pizza sauce off clothes, thanks to its grease-cutting power, says Leslie Reichert, author of The Joy of Green Cleaning. Just turn the garment inside out and flush with cold water to blast the stain from back to front. Add a few drops of dishwashing liquid, gently working it in with your fingers, then rinse and throw in the wash. All done!

9. Use dish soap to create a flexible ice pack

Keeping ice packs handy in your freezer means they’re ready to go for any bumps and bruises you need to treat. The only problem? They’re so stiff that it makes them tough to apply to certain spots like elbows or knees. A better option: Fill a plastic zip-top bag with dish soap, then freeze for future use. The soap still gets icy but won’t completely freeze solid so the makeshift ice pack is softer and more bendable.

This YouTube video shows just how easy it is to do:

10. Ward off garden pests using ordinary dish soap

A dish soap solution in the garden can be used to eliminate aphids

Pests such as aphids and earwigs can wreak havoc on a sprouting garden. To fend them off, “Just add 1 ½ tsp. of dish soap to a 32 oz. water-filled spray bottle and spray it over your plants, including the leaves,” says Emily Fernandes, gardening expert for House Grail. The soap dehydrates and kills bugs on contact, and it deters any future invaders. Wondering how to repel mosquitoes in your yard? Experts share the tricks!

11. Use dish soap to fog-proof a bathroom mirror

When you’re busy in the morning, the last thing you want is to have to waste time de-fogging your bathroom mirror after a steamy shower. To sidestep this, place a few drops of dish soap on a soft damp washcloth and gently rub it all over the mirror before you shower. When the soap dries, it will leave behind an invisible film that repels moisture on the mirror.

12. Help restore lackluster jewels with dish soap

Dish soap being used to clean jewelry

No need to buy pricey cleaners to make non-pearl gemstones look like new again. Simply fill a bowl with warm water, add a few drops of dish soap and let the jewelry soak for 15 minutes. Then gently scrub the gem with a toothbrush before rinsing and drying with a soft cloth. Dish soap breaks down body oils that can dull jewelry, so they’re left sparkling once more.

13. Use dish soap to end poison ivy itching

You accidentally brushed against some poison ivy while doing yard work and now have a rash on your arm. The secret to quick relief: Dab dish soap on the affected skin. The soap helps break down the plant’s rash-inducing oils to keep it from spreading and nix the itch, so you don’t feel the urge to scratch.

14. Unstick a zipper in a flash with dish soap

Zipper on a jacket won’t budge? Reach for some dish soap! Simply dab a bit of the soap on a cotton swab and rub it back and forth over the zipper, adding more soap if needed. The slippery soap works to lubricate the metal so you can get the zipper moving again.

15. Use dish soap to create works of art

Dish soap can be used to create works of art

“Dish soap can be used in art therapy to promote wellbeing and therapeutic effects,” says Jon Brown, founder and CEO of South Meadows Recovery. “What’s great is that you don’t need a paintbrush to produce stunning art with this technique.”

To do: Mix equal parts dish soap, water and paint to a bowl. Next, combine the mixture together with popsicle sticks. Once it’s well blended, place a drinking straw in the mixture, being careful to keep it at the bottom of the dish. Slowly blow into the straw until bubbles begin to form and fill the bowl to the brim.

“When the bubbles reach the ideal size, press the paper onto the colored bubbles,” explains Brown. “To make one-of-a-kind artwork, repeat this process in other sections of the paper using bubbles of different colors.”

See an example of this in the video below:

16. Extend the life of a swimsuit using dish soap

From chlorinated water to sunblock stains, your favorite swimsuit is subjected to many damage-causing seasonal elements. To the rescue: dish soap. It gently removes grease, sweat and chemicals from the suit’s fabric, helping preserve it. “Simply rub a bit of dish soap into the suit before throwing it in the wash,” ” says stylist Erica Ball. “And use the cold/delicate setting to prevent damaging over-agitation. Then just let it air-dry before packing it away for the season.” Click through for more tips on how to wash a bathing suit.

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