Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Help!! Frugal trick creates big mess


Does anyone know how to get liquid Ivory dish detergent off the floor? If so, will you please give me a clue in the comments?

To save on the wasteful amounts of detergent those squirt caps that come on detergent bottles dispense, I pour my detergent into a squirt bottle. One small squirt goes a very long way and makes a bottle of the stuff last forever.

Well, this morning, just as I was about to run out the door, I spotted one of those ONE MORE JOBS that need to be done right this minute: wash out the blender jar before the remains of the breakfast blendie petrified to it. Picked up the squirt bottle, grabbed the handle, and the thing fell apart. Before I could catch it, the bottle of detergent, now lidless, bounced across the counter, flew into the air, and splatted down on the floor. About 14 ounces of liquid goop burbled out, all over the tiled kitchen floor.

I used a roll of paper towels trying to soak up as much as possible. Then hauled out the bucket and tried to wipe it up with water. Every squeeze of the sponge into the bucket results in a bucketful of suds. And adding water to the gunk on the floor creates a slippery patch of slime—so slippery that when I’m down on hands and knees my knees slide out from under me!

Lordie, what a mess! This is even worse than the time I knocked a quart of paint off a ladder onto the shag carpet! At least paint-soaked rugs aren’t a menace to life and limb. This stuff is right in front of the sink, and if I slip in it and fall, that tile is freaking hard!

I’ve got to go to work. Having done the best I can to soak and sponge it up, I’m going to toss a throw rug over it to keep from breaking my neck until such time as I can figure out what to do. One idea I had is to slop water on it and then suck it up with the shop vac…trouble is, the kickboard around the floor is made of the same wood as the cabinets. It’s already gotten soapy water in behind it, which surely won’t do it any good. I’m afraid if I get a lot more water on that, it’ll wreck the stuff.

Got any ideas?

Image: Ivory Soap poster, 1898: public domain

Author: funny

This post may be a paid guest contribution.


  1. I would grab a stack of dish towels, all dry, and scoop up as much of the goop as possible. When water is added, the stuff just gets diluted and spreads everywhere. In worse case scenarios? I’d go for the beach towel, and scoop and fold, scoop and fold, working from the edge of the disaster towards the middle, until the dry towel has picked up all that it can hold. The towels can go in the wash easily.

  2. I would use bath towels to rub it off and then throw them in the washer. Hopefully the terry cloth will wipe it all off. Be careful!!

  3. I second the suggestions — I would dry scoop till you get down to the last bit, then mop with vinegar to cut the detergent. Yick. What a thing to have happen right before work. I have an image of the doggie sliding helplessly across the kitchen floor.

  4. First I would scoop as much as I can then, I would try to clean it up with vinegar. Vinegar is a very good choice in cleaning but the smell is bad.

  5. I’m sure you are all cleaned up now, but fabric softner is a great suds buster for future reference. It won’t get up all the gunk (don’t think), but it will help the mop water to not suds up by breaking down the soap (I believe that is how the vinegar works too, you can use vinegar as a farick softner in your wash).

  6. Salt or Baking Soda seem to do a really good job of absorbing liquids, even when goopy (like eggs)! Next time, hopefully not, spread lots of salt, kosher salt, or baking soda; go to work, and when you come home wipe with lots of clean towels, rinse the floor, and, voila, a clean floor!

  7. The easiest and most chemical free way to soak up any kind of liquid spill is simply to sprinkle it with sawdust and let it sit for a few minutes. The sawdust will absorb any liquid and will also “clump” in thicker liquids or gels. It can then be swept up with a broom and thrown away. I have used this on everything from water to motor oil to a fabric softener spill.

  8. Just a warning about the suggestions to scoop up all the soap with towels and then throw them in the wash. All that soap will create a suds nightmare in your washing machine that could ruin it or you floor when it all comes flowing out. A similar thing happened to my MIL when dish soap was accidentally used in the dishwasher. Destroyed her floor (vinyl) and dishwasher.

  9. If you use the dry towel scoop method, then mop it up… tricky part is the bubbles.. lots and lots of bubbles, use hair conditioner or fabric softner in the water, just a little, that will cut the bubbles…

  10. Here’s a tip I learned the hard way: when trying to clean up spilled goop, grab your dustpan and a SQUEEGE. Just like washing windows or drying tile in the bathroom, use the squeege to drag the soapy goo into the dustpan. When full, rinse the dustpan in the sink until suds run clear. Repeat as needed until 90% of the mess us up, then use clean DRY rags or paper towels to scoop the remaining bits off the floor. Finally, wipe with damp sponges/towels/rags and then mop the floor until the water runs clear.

    Don’t have a squuege? Use a rubber spatula to encourage the mess into the dustpan!

    • @ Lizliterarius: That is a good idea! One of those strokes of genius that’s so obvious it makes you think “why didn’t I think of that?”