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Laundry Detergent Is SO Versatile: 8 Genius Home Uses

 Do you really need a dedicated cleaning product for every area and surface of your home? This question has been bugging me for years, and I’ve learned that some people clean their entire home with simple ingredients like baking soda, dish soap, and vinegar. However, all these ingredients have their limitations, too, and there are certain surfaces in our homes that require special care, so it seems like we do need to have a few cleaning products in our arsenal.
However, I still wanted to minimize the number of such products in my home, and also the overall cost of cleaning supplies. One staple cleaner that cannot be replaced is laundry detergent, but can it do more than just clean clothes? After doing some research, I realized that laundry soap, both liquid, and powder, has a great number of unexpected uses, from dissolving grease stains and soap scum to cleaning carpets and upholstery, and even getting rid of weeds in the garden. Read on to learn about all these and other genius household uses of dish soap.

1. Clean Upholstery and Carpets

Alternative Home Uses of Laundry Detergent Clean Upholstery on Couch
You don't need a separate product to clean carpets, upholstered furniture, and couch cushions if you have some plain old laundry detergent in your house. After all, it has the same gentle stain-removing properties a textile or carpet cleaner should have. Liquid detergent diluted in water is the best for the seasonal cleaning of these textile surfaces. Yes, you can even add in liquid laundry soap into a steam cleaner if you have one - for every ¼ gallon (1 liter) of water, use 1 tablespoon of laundry detergent.
When dealing with persistent stains, however, powder detergent will prove more helpful. To get rid of a stain, apply a small heap of powdered laundry detergent, and then just rub the area thoroughly with a damp clean cloth to work it into the stain. After 5 minutes, you can gently brush away the remaining detergent and repeat as needed. For even more carpet cleaning tips, read our previous article How to Keep Your Carpet Looking Clean and New!

2. Degrease the Stove and Clean Up Oil Spills

Alternative Home Uses of Laundry Detergent Stove
You may not realize this, but laundry detergents are designed to do a great job at dissolving any grease and oil stains from our clothing that are produced by our scalp and skin oil glands, as well as the moisturizers and lotions we use on our body. Gentle yet effective, your laundry soap can be a great help when you're dealing with oil spills and grease stains on practically any surface, from the concrete floors in the garage to thin fabrics. To get rid of a greasy or oily stain, simply pour some powdered detergent on it, scrub the surface with a damp brush or cloth, and then leave for a few hours or even overnight. As the last step, simply rinse or wash away the stain with some water, and repeat as needed.
Laundry detergent is also useful in the kitchen: you can degrease the stove using laundry soap. Here's how: in a spray bottle, add water, liquid laundry soap, and a few drops of bleach. This mixture makes an extremely effective degreaser for the stove and oven racks. Don't be afraid to mix bleach with laundry soap either - the two are formulated to work together and won't cause harm to you or the kitchen, unlike pretty much any other household chemicals mixed with bleach. To learn more about house chemicals that should never be mixed, read our article Mixing These Cleaning Liquids Creates Toxic Fumes.

3. Kill Pesky Weeds

Alternative Home Uses of Laundry Detergent Weeds
You can put your powdered laundry detergent to work in the garden, too, it turns out, as it's very effective at killing off any moss and weeds from your garden and yard. To utilize laundry soap to kill weeds, simply sprinkle some of the powder liberally over the unsightly weeds and let it work for 3-4 days. You will see that the weeds have turned from green to brown over time, which pretty much means that they're dead, and pulling them out will be much easier. Be as precise as possible and don't forget to clean up any excess powder and wash away the detergent with water afterward, to avoid harming any surrounding or future plants in the area.

4. Floor Cleaner

Alternative Home Uses of Laundry Detergent Floor Cleaning
Many natural cleaners, such as vinegar and baking soda are too abrasive and can harm wooden floors, tile, and natural stone over time, so finding a universal cleaning solution for the floors in your home may prove challenging. This is when your ordinary laundry detergent can step in and solve the problem, as the enzymes present in laundry soap also do a great job at dissolving dirt from the floor.
A little detergent goes a long way, too, so it's quite an economical solution. Simply add about 1 teaspoon of laundry detergent into a whole bucket of hot water, and your floor cleaner is ready. A pleasant bonus is that it will also make your floors smell great.

5. A Universal Car Cleaner

Alternative Home Uses of Laundry Detergent Car Washing
Who knew you could clean your car both in and out with just a little bit of laundry detergent? But it's true, laundry soap is great at cutting through all that dirt and grime that accumulates on the car's exterior, and as we've already discussed, it can also do a great job at cleaning upholstery and carpets.
Here are a few key tricks to remember if you want to clean the outside of your car with laundry soap. The first and most important part is to use mild detergents. Second, you only need to use a very small amount of detergent, much less than car soap because laundry soap is actually quite concentrated. Use just 1 tablespoon per bucket of HOT water to activate and dissolve the soap properly.

6. Unclog the Drain

Alternative Home Uses of Laundry Detergent clean sink
Remember we just wrote that laundry detergents are concentrated? Well, the fact that you can unclog a blocked drain using laundry detergent further proves that point. So, if you don't have a dedicated drain cleaner on hand, try using this method.
Pour ¼ cup of liquid laundry soap down the clogged drain and let the product do its job for 15-20 minutes. In this time, the soap will dissolve any of the grease and oils and hopefully loosen up the blockage. Then, turn on the tap on the hottest setting or pour boiling hot water from a kettle down the drain, which should help move the blockage down the pipes. That's it!

7. Get Rid of Soap Scum

Alternative Home Uses of Laundry Detergent cleaning shower head
Who said you had to use harsh chemicals to clean the bathroom? One of the most persistent problems that cannot be cleaned up with vinegar or even dish soap is soap scum, but guess what, powdered laundry soap can help get rid of it, too. Simply take an adequate amount of the detergent and a little bit of water, just enough to turn the powder into a thick paste, and apply it to the sink or any area covered with soap scum. Use firm pressure and work the product into the surface with a cloth moving circles. Let the detergent work for around 20 minutes, and then simply rinse away with hot water, and you're done.

8. Use Laundry Soap to Make a Universal Cleaner

Alternative Home Uses of Laundry Detergent cleaning bathroom
This all-purpose cleaner recipe can be used to wipe down kitchen counters, clean the bathroom, and even the walls and window frames. Simply take a 1¼ gallon (4.7 liters) of warm water and add just 1 tablespoon of liquid or powdered laundry detergent, mixing until the detergent is dissolved, and use to clean the entire house, except for maybe glass and mirror surfaces. To further amplify this cleaning solution and turn it into a disinfectant cleaner, you can also add ¼ cup of bleach into the mix.
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