7 Uses for Laundry Detergent You Never Thought Of

Updated: Nov. 01, 2023

Laundry detergent is a powerful cleaning agent that can do a lot more than just clean your clothes! Check out these other ways to put it to good use.

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A general view of a kitchen interior with a modern stainless steel twin sinks by a window with a view into the garden
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Unclog a Drain

Before you call the plumber, try this trick to unclog a blocked drain. Pour 1/4 cup of liquid laundry detergent down your sink, then slowly pour a gallon of boiling water down the drain. The hot water and slippery detergent work together to flush the clog right out.

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All-Purpose Cleaner

The popular and Instagram-famous Go Clean Co cleaning company swears by this all-purpose cleaning solution. Mix 1/3 cup of bleach, one gallon of water and one teaspoon of Tide powdered laundry detergent. It works amazingly well on walls, bathroom surfaces and pretty much everywhere else!

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Upholstery stain,couch,suede
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Upholstery Stain Remover

If you think about it, it makes sense that the same stain-fighting properties that help clean your clothes, also work on upholstery and carpet. Apply powdered laundry detergent to a stain, then rub gently with a damp cloth to work the detergent into the stain. Wait five minutes, then brush away the excess and repeat until the stain is gone.

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Car Wash

Laundry detergent works wonders washing the exterior of your car because it easily cuts through grime and dirt. But make sure to dilute it, just one tablespoon per bucket of water should do the trick, and use a mild detergent. Anything too strong could damage your paint job.

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Young man wiping the floor
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Floor Cleaner

The cleaning enzymes in laundry detergent work great at pulling away dirt from floors. Fill your mop bucket up with hot water, then add one teaspoon of laundry detergent (a little goes a long way). Make sure to wring out as much water as possible from your mop as you clean—too wet and you’ll leave streaks.

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Inside of oven
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Clean Oven Racks

To clean greasy oven racks, place them in the bathtub or large bin and fill with hot water until the racks are submerged. Add 3/4 cup of laundry detergent and let it sit overnight. Then, scrub away the grease and grime with a sponge or soft-bristled brush. You can also do this with dishwasher tablets.

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Removing stain from white shirt measuring determent by hand
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Pretreat Stains

According to Tide, enzymatic stains like grass and blood can be pretreated with straight laundry detergent, as opposed to a separate pretreat product. Pour liquid detergent directly onto the stain. Gently rub the fabric together, or use a soft-bristled toothbrush to help work the detergent into the garment’s fibers in a circular motion. Then wash the garment as usual.