Dish Soap: The Ultimate DIY Cleaning Solution

Kara S.
by Kara S.
2 Materials
5 Minutes

DIY Cleaning Solutions for Six Common Problems

I don’t particularly enjoy cleaning and I certainly don’t enjoy using expensive, branded chemicals that damage the environment just because I have to tackle some tough cleaning jobs. That’s why I was so keen to try these DIY cleaning solution methods that feature dish soap as the star ingredient. They’re quick to make and cost barely anything. They’re also wonderfully effective, meaning that I can spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying my sparklingly fresh home.

If you want to clean less, spend less, and damage the environment less, all thanks to dish soap, read on!

Weed Killer

Tools and Materials

  • 3 cups vinegar
  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 2 tsp dish soap
  • 3 tsp arthritis rub
  • Spray bottle
  • Funnel

Weed killers usually contain so many nasty chemicals that I can’t help worrying about what they are doing to the plants and insects that I don’t want to kill. This dish soap solution provides an alternative that’s quick to make and wonderfully effective. Just be sure not to spray it onto any plants that you don’t want to kill off!

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

This weed killer is so easy to make that I'm left wondering why branded products are so packed full of nasty chemicals. Grab a spray bottle and funnel, then some vinegar, salt, dish soap, and arthritis rub (use one with methyl salicylate, also known as wintergreen oil, in it). These ingredients are all you'll need for a wonderfully weed-free garden

Step 2: Create the Mixture

To make your DIY cleaning solution, tip each of your ingredients into the spray bottle. I strongly advise using the funnel to do this, unless you also want to clean the floor! Once you’ve tipped everything in, remove the funnel and screw on the spray top. Slosh the ingredients gently around in the bottle to combine.


Step 3: Spray on Weeds

Now it’s time to tackle those pesky weeds. Spray your DIY cleaning solution at the base of each weed as you work your way around the yard/garden/pathway. Once you’re sprayed all the weeds, head back to where you started and marvel at the yellowing, shriveled weeds before you. Now all you need to do is clear them away and your outside space will be weed-free, all thanks to this dish soap solution.

Stained Linen

Tools and Materials

  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Dish soap

I love a nice, linen tablecloth. It can give a room a really cozy, finished feel. Unfortunately, tablecloths tend to fall victim to spills pretty regularly (at least, they do in my house!). That’s why I was delighted to come across this simple recipe for removing stains from linens. It takes barely any time to make and use, so is ideal for busy families.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

You’ll need baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and dish soap to tackle those stained linens. I find that a good supply of rowdy, clumsy children also helps to create the stains on your lovely linens in the first place, providing plenty of opportunities to test out this particular DIY dish soap cleaning solution.

Step 2: Create the Mixture

It’s up to you what you use to mix the dish soap solution in. Anything with sufficient capacity to combine a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, a decent-sized dollop of baking soda and a generous squirt of dish soap will suffice. In terms of ratios, I use one part dish soap and one part baking soda to two parts hydrogen peroxide. Standard measuring cups are pretty handing for making up the right quantity.


Step 3: Spread on the Linen

Use a teaspoon to spread your cleaning mixture over the stain. Make sure that the solution covers the entire stain, using the spoon to spread it out as required. There’s no need to be shy with this cleaning solution – I tend to ladle it on pretty generously to be sure I don’t miss any of the stain.


Step 4: Scrub and Rinse

Once your stain is fully covered, pick up that part of the linen and rub it together. You’re basically scrubbing the stain on itself in order to work the cleaning mixture fully into the fabric. Let it sit for a while and then wash the linen on its usual cycle. It should come out of the wash as fresh as a daisy, with all traces of the stain gone forevermore.


Outdoor Patio Tile

Tools and Materials

  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1-2 tablespoons dish soap
  • Bucket
  • Scrubbing brush

Every spring, I find that my outdoor patio tiles are in need of a bit of TLC. The rain and mud of the winter months tend to take their toll, so part of my spring cleaning always involves having to scrub the tiles. Thankfully, with this dish soap-based DIY cleaning solution, I’m able to clean my tiles quickly and thoroughly. Why not give it a try on your own patio?

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

To make this effective outdoor tile cleaner, you’ll need just three ingredients: baking soda, water, and dish soap. You’ll also need a bucket (or other large container) to mix them in and a good, sturdy scrubbing brush with which to tackle your tiles. I also find that using a garden kneeler is a great way to avoid any aches and pains from kneeling on the tiles or crouching over them for too long.


Step 2: Create the Mixture

Are you ready to get mixing? Ok, let’s begin. I use 2 tablespoons of baking soda per gallon of water. Use warm water for the best cleaning results. Squirt in one or two tablespoons of dish soap as well and stir everything together. That’s it – simplicity itself and much cheaper than buying branded patio cleaners packed full of chemicals!


Step 3: Scrub Tiles 

Grab your trusty scrubbing brush and get to work. Splash a little of the mixture onto your patio and scrub in circular motions. Work your way methodically along the tiles so that you don’t miss any bits. Then, sit back and let nature get to work on drying your lovely clean tiles. Job done!


Grass Stains

Tools and Materials

  • Dish soap
  • Hydrogen peroxide

My children seem to attract grass stains whatever the season. Regular washing often isn’t enough to get them out, so I was delighted with this simple mixture that works every time. No matter how much grass my little ones have rolled around in, now I always have the tools at hand to ensure their clothes are sparklingly fresh once they come out of the washing machine.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

All you need to make this DIY cleaning solution for grass stains is some dish soap and some hydrogen peroxide. Oh, and a bowl to mix them in. And a spoon to mix them as well! Plus, of course, a heavily stained item of clothing on which to test your mixture.


Step 2: Create the Mixture

The perfect grass stain solution involves one part dish soap to two parts hydrogen peroxide. Simply mix the two ingredients together in a bowl and you’re ready to tackle even the most stubborn of grass stains. I usually find that a half cup of dish soap mixed with one cup of hydrogen peroxide is easily enough for a load of laundry.


Step 3: Scrub the Clothing

While this cleaning solution is good, you will still need to use a tiny bit of elbow grease. Spread the mixture over the grass stain and then pick up the item of clothing. Rub the material together both to spread the cleaning mixture out and to help it get deep into the stain.

Step 4: Wash the Clothing

All you need to do now is launder your clothing in the way that you normally would. No need to add harsh chemicals into the machine or to wash at a higher temperature. The dish soap cleaning solution should be all you need to get rid of the stain once and for all.


Baked on Food

Tools and Materials

  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Aluminum foil

I love it when friends and family come over for dinner, but I don’t look forward to washing the dishes afterwards – particularly those baking dishes that have been in the oven and ended up with food baked solidly onto them. However, this quick and easy cleaning solution means that I can finish the washing up with far less scrubbing than I used to, which is great, because who wants to spend the final part of a lovely evening relentlessly scrubbing baked-on food?

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

You’ll need a good supply of dirty dishes to try out this particular cleaning solution. Anything with a sauce or fat that has baked onto the dish should really put this method through its paces – the grubbier the better! For the cleaning solution, all you need is dish soap, a little warm water, and some aluminum foil.


Step 2: Create the Mixture

First, apply the dish soap to the dish. Give it a good squirt and then spread the soap around so that it covers the base of the pan (and the sides too – basically, any places that have food baked onto them). Next, add a small quantity of warm water. I tend to use enough to cover the base of the dish fully.


Step 3: Scrub with Aluminum Foil

This is where your foil comes in. Leave your usual brush or scourer aside and instead crumple up a piece of aluminum foil. A kind of loose ball works best. Now use that foil ball to scrub away the baked-on food. It should  lift off easily, meaning that all you need to do to finish up is rinse and dry the pan.


Tools and Materials

  • Baking powder
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Dish soap

Grout seems to get dirty so easily, but it really doesn’t matter now that I have this fabulous DIY cleaning solution to tackle it. Quick to make and a breeze to use, I can’t imagine going back to expensive, branded chemical sprays now that I’ve discovered this! It’s become my go-to grout cleaner.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

This is another cleaning mixture that’s really easy to make. You’ll need baking powder, hydrogen peroxide and, of course, a bottle of trusty dish soap. Plus a grubby kitchen or bathroom with some grout that is in dire need of a clean – most busy family homes tend to supply these pretty readily!


Step 2: Create the Mixture 

For beautifully clean grout, take half a cup of baking soda and add a quarter cup of hydrogen peroxide to it before stirring in a teaspoon of dish soap. You can use larger quantities if required, just stick with the two parts baking soda to one part hydrogen peroxide ratio and adjust the amount of dish soap accordingly.


Step 3: Spread on Grout

Apply the mixture generously to your grubby grout. You want to ensure that it covers every part of the grout. Leave it to work its magic for a couple of minutes while you relax, safe in the knowledge that dirty grout need never be a problem in your household again.


Step 4: Wipe Clean

Grab a clean cloth and wipe away the mixture. As you do, marvel at the way that the dirt and grime wipe away at the same time. Rinse your cloth periodically to get rid of the dirt, then continue wiping until you’ve cleaned the mixture off all of your grout. And that’s it!


A DIY Cleaning Solution for Every Situation

As the above examples show, dish soap is an incredibly effective and versatile DIY cleaning solution ingredient. It’s cheap, too, meaning that you can enjoy a cleaner home with minimal outlay. If you haven’t tried these cleaning solutions before why not give them a go next time you clean your house? I think you’ll be glad you did! You can leave a comment below to share how you got on.

Get the step by step instructions here:

- Weed Killer

- Stained Linen

- Outdoor Patio Tile

- Grass Stains

- Baked on Food

- Grout

Suggested materials:
  • See individual posts
  • See individual posts
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