Dishwasher Tabs May Be The Key To A Cleaner Outdoor Space

Most people tend to only use their detergent dishwasher tablets in — you guessed it — the dishwasher. These small, rectangular tabs of pressed powder are designed to fit inside the soap dispenser and produce sanitized, streak-free dishes. However, they can also be used to clean other things around the kitchen, like the oven. What makes these tablets so useful and versatile is that they contain ingredients that help them easily dissolve in water, absorb and lift stains, and clean items more efficiently. 

You can also utilize the powerful cleaning properties of dishwasher tabs beyond the kitchen, to clean up your outdoor space. Perhaps your patio or driveway has stains or motor oil on the surface, or maybe some of your porch and garden furniture is starting to look extra dirty. If so, using just one of these tablets and some water could freshen up your area easily and quickly.

How to use dishwasher tablets outside

While outdoor furniture can quickly become covered in debris and pollen, these stains can easily be removed with a dishwasher tablet, and there are two ways to do this. The first method is dampening the tablet and wiping it over the surface like it's a sponge. The second option is dissolving the tablet in warm water, then dipping a rag or sponge in the bucket and using that to clean the piece. You'll need to rinse it with the garden hose afterward when following either method.

Because dishwasher tablets have ingredients that help break down stains, you can also use them on your concrete patio or driveway to remove oil or grease marks that could have leaked from a car or grill. To do so, dissolve a tablet in warm water, then dip a large outdoor brush in the mixture. Scrub the area until the stain is no longer visible, then rinse with clean water. 

Limitations to this hack

However, while dishwasher tablets are great at removing stains, they shouldn't be used on everything. When cleaning outdoor furniture, make sure it's made out of metal or plastic and not wood, rattan, or fabric, as they can be damaged by the harsh cleaning chemicals. To wash one of these pieces, use a regular multisurface cleaning product or something designed specifically for cleaning wood. Further, even when cleaning metal or plastic furniture with a tablet, it's best to first test it on the underside of the chair or table to make sure it doesn't discolor or damage it.

Another limitation of dishwasher tablets is that they work best on concrete oil stains when the oil is still wet. This means that you will have to work fast after a spill to remove it before it soaks in and starts to set — if you wait too long, even this hack may not fully work.