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This morning, like clockwork, I encountered an annoyance that seems to occur every time I finish a cleaning product. I was refilling my dish soap dispenser with my beloved Ivory soap and I came to the end of the bottle. I did what all of us do next, and tried to balance the soap bottle upside down on the dispenser bottle, where it teetered, and I hoped that I wouldn’t come back to a slippery mess of wasted soap all over the counter and the bottle. 

But then I remembered a snippet I saw of a TikTok video recently. Although the video was about something else, a clip of a woman filling an almost-empty soap bottle with water inspired me. “I need to remember that!” I thought, and this morning, I did. Rather than play chicken with a tower of soap containers, I grabbed the nearly-empty bottle of dish soap, added some warm water, and shook it to create a dish soap solution.

I needed to give my counters a good cleaning, so I used my newly upcycled (and super convenient) bottle of soapy solution to squirt a small amount of the cleaner onto my countertops. I know that dish soap is a wonderful mild cleanser for countertops, but I rarely use it because I always reach for a spray bottle with all-purpose cleaner. But not anymore!

The solution worked wonderfully on my countertops — they felt so clean and smooth afterwards, and the soapy water was diluted enough that I didn’t have to do a bunch of rinsing to remove the soap residue. By filling the bottle and giving it a good shake, I’ve instantly got dozens more uses left out of my last drops of soap. Plus, my entire kitchen has an air of the delightfully light scent of my favorite dish soap now. 

Now my wheels are spinning and I’m thinking of other ways I can make this smart hack work for me! Next time, I’ll add white vinegar to the dish soap and water solution and squirt this inexpensive all-purpose cleaner into toilet bowls (before scrubbing them), into sinks, and onto shower walls. The squirt lid is perfect for these kinds of applications because I always seem to want more than what a spray bottle delivers. 

In addition, I love the way this “last thing” hack allows me to use every bit of the dish soap (without any precarious kitchen towers!) and also enables me to prolong the usefulness of the dish soap container. I’m saving money on cleaning solutions, getting the most out of my dish soap, and reducing waste. It’s a win all around!

Shifrah Combiths

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