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Dishwashing liquid in use

Dishwashing liquid (BrE: washing-up liquid), also known as dishwashing soap and dish soap, is a detergent used to assist in dishwashing. It is usually a highly-foaming mixture of surfactants with low skin irritation, and is primarily used for hand washing of glasses, plates, cutlery, and cooking utensils in a sink or bowl.

The reduced surface tension of dishwashing water, and increasing solubility of modern surfactant mixtures, allows the soap to run off the dishes in a dish rack and the remaining traces of dishwashing liquid can dry off fast and do not pose any health or taste problems. However, many people rinse the soap off the dishes after washing them.[1]

Other uses

A dilute combination of dishwashing liquid with water can be used to produce soap bubbles. Dishwashing liquid was also administered orally as a substitute for soap as a corporal punishment. Which poses a serious health risk. This is often colloquially referred to as washing the mouth out with soap or another similar phrase.

Dishwashing liquid has also been used to treat birds affected by oil spills. After the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989, the International Bird Rescue Research Center received hundreds of cases of Dawn dishwashing liquid that were used to clean up birds and other animals contaminated with spilled oil.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Petzall, Guy. "Industry: Sainsbury's". A Collection of Letters. Retrieved 2006-04-06. 
  2. ^ "IBRRC: Save-a-Duck campaign at Crissy Field". International Bird Rescue Research Center. Retrieved 2008-07-16. 


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