Diluted dish soap: good for all sorts of things

The subject line of Kip's email to me was "Dilute! Dilute! OK!" — a quote from the bizarre treatise-label on bottles of Dr. Bronner's soap:

I keep a squeeze bottle of diluted dish soap by the sink. I used to keep a spray bottle, but the bottle would eventually become clogged, and I was too lazy to keep going out and buying more bottles. Now I use a bottle that spring water came in, with a squirt top. One modest squeeze of detergent to a full (~20 ounce) bottle of water does it.

This is useful for a bunch of things. When we lived in cockroach country, I squirted the bugs with it and watched them die — happy that I hadn't sprayed pesticide in my food preparation area. (Just today I used it on some ants that had snuck in, attracted by a table where a four-year-old routinely drops food.) And when you wipe it off with a sponge afterwards, you've just cleaned part of your counter.

Other uses: it's handy for a quick hand wash, or for cleaning a dish or two. Or the window, or the sink. Best of all, when my daughter (see above) wants to "wash" some dishes, she can use copious amounts of the stuff, and use at most a spoonful or so of actual detergent. After having the bottle on my counter for a couple of decades now, I am ready to state that most people are using too much dish soap anyway. A bottle of it now lasts us many, many months. (Of course it went a bit faster when we didn't have an automatic dishwasher.)



  1. Sara says

    And I found a product that makes dilluted soap even better! I discovered an affordable (under $5) foaming soap dispenser at Storables (I’m sure they have them other places). My daugher loves the foam and it saves a lot of soap. By the way, Trader Joes has a less expensive version of Dr. Bronners that works just as well.

  2. Thorton says

    Adding a little rubbing alchohol works extra well for bugs and cleaning. Just be extra careful about getting it in the eye.

  3. Nancy says

    Diluted dish soap makes cheap bubbles! I did about 1 part soap to 2 parts water and it was the perfect bubble solution. It lasts longer than the stuff you buy and is cheaper.

  4. Melanie says

    Dr. Bronner’s is phenomenal stuff! I use it for showering, cleaning my floor, etc. etc. I love that it’s all natural and safe for anything – you can even brush your teeth with it, should you be so inclined.