12 Uses For Dawn Dish Soap You May Not Know

I love to find multiple uses for products.  I feel like I am saving money when I can use one item to do lots of different jobs.  I have found a few uses for Dawn Dish Soap that you may not know about and so I thought I would share them with you.

My son got a job working for a mechanic and as you can imagine he comes home covered in greasy dirt.  At first I struggled with getting the grease out of his clothes and had nearly decided that his clothes would just have to be considered ruined but then a friend mentioned that she had used Dawn on her husband's clothes.  I have a HE washer so I was a bit concerned with using this in my washer but then I decided to give it a whirl anyway and see what happened.  I pre-treated his clothes and then I filled the soap dispenser part of the drawer with Dawn and just a bit of my normal Tide.  It did wonders!  There were a few spots that had been set from previous attempts but other than those the greasy dirt came out!

HE Washing Machines:  
Because of the actions of the above use, I discovered another use for Dawn Dish Soap.  When I drain my HE washing machine (something I hate to do) the water that drains usually has a horrible smell.  Since using Dawn in my machine so often I have not had the terrible smell!  That is exciting news for me.  I also have not noticed the greasy buildup that will accumulate in washers.  This got me thinking....

Clogged Sinks:
I had a bathroom sink that was hopelessly clogged...not with hair but that blackish green greasy gunk that sinks get clogged with (ewwwwwwwww).  I had noticed my sink wasn't draining so good and had thought about doing something about it but just didn't take the time until it was completely blocked (Of course it happened on the weekend so the plumber was out).  I tried the plunger which only caused my water to become really really gross looking but did not move it down at all.  I dipped the water out and tried the old baking soda and vinegar trick but to no avail.  I tried plunging again (nothing again).  I tried boiling water...(still nothing).  Then I remembered how good the Dawn had worked on my washer so I figured it couldn't hurt.  I dipped all the previous water out again.  I boiled 2 pots of boiling water.  I poured them down the sink then added a good bit of bleach and a really good bit of Dawn.  I tried plunging again (but nothing...awwww).  I kind of gave up and went to bed because it was late...in the morning I had a big surprise.  That bleach and hot water and Dawn had worked on my clog and had completely drained.  I then tried the faucet.  It was completely unblocked!  Update: Since writing this post, it was pointed out to me that it says do not add bleach on the label. Thankfully I didn't inhale any fumes that evening but I wouldn't recommend that anyone add bleach.

People like to dump their found kittens at my house for some reason (I guess I am a sucker).  Some of those kittens will be covered in fleas (virtual flea bags...ewwwww).  I don't abide creepy crawly things in my house so they get a bath (trauma for the poor babies).  I have found some flea soaps that will work but only after leaving them covered in suds for quite some time and I am always concerned that I will poison the little ones but then I found a better solution. Dawn Dish Soap kills fleas.  I didn't believe it when I first heard about this but I thought it was worth a try.  It really does work.  It doesn't have to be left on the pets for long periods of time either.  I usually try to suds them up at least a couple of times and leave the suds on a couple of minutes. At first I didn't think it worked so I was sitting out on my patio with tweezers and a glass of ammonia water (or Mr. Clean works).  I would pick the fleas off and drop them in the glass which kills them dead the only problem (or not) was that they were already dead! (Yay!!!) I picked them all off and she was flea free and much cleaner (that makes them much more lovable too)  I also wash those pet beds with Dawn to kill the stink and the fleas!

Stinky Dogs:
Do you have a dog who no matter how many baths you give them begins to reek again in a couple of days?  Does he/she drag their behind on the grass or worse the carpet?  Is your house starting to smell like the dog?  I discovered that dogs have anal glands that will sometimes get clogged and that can be the source of the above problems. Our Red Dog has this problem.  The glands have to be squeezed every few weeks (I will let you google how to do that one...I take Red Dog to the vet and let him do it...ewwwwww.)  I then give that dog a bath in Dawn Dish Soap because that stuff gets all over him because he licks you know where and then licks his fur which spreads it everywhere (super ewwwww.)  It is really hard to cut the smell.  I tried other soaps but have found that Dawn cuts it better than anything else and it kills any fleas that may be hiding out too.  Now Red dog is more lovable and definitely more hug able too!

Yes, you guessed it...Red Dog just has a hard time resisting the chase when he sees a skunk.  He is an inside dog except when he has been skunked.  We tried tomato juice, we tried the pet products for skunk, we tried lots of things.  Finally we were told to try the lavender scented Dawn.  It worked!  Red Dog no longer had to be banned to the back yard! 

I know I probably don't get fleas when those little kittens or dogs get their baths but...I still start thinking about all those fleas and before long I am itching.  I know it is probably all in my head but I just can't stand it so I am off to the shower to wash my head.  I use (you guessed it) Dawn Dish Soap.  I figure if it kills them on the pets then it will work on my head and not poison me.  I found it also gets rid of any buildup from hair product residue.  Leaves my hair clean and shiny.  It also does wonder for my shower/bathtub drains.  I don't think it dissolves the hair in those drains but it does dissolve that gunk!

When I wash my cars at home then I like to use Dawn for that.  It dissolves the grease and it gets rid of the dirt.  It also leaves the cars spot free just like my dishes. (that's why I tried it on my car in the first place)  It also works great as an engine degreaser.*  I have been notified in my comments that dish soap can harm the top coat on your cars. I have not noticed a problem on my cars and we get that famous Texas sun but Please be aware that I did get this information just in case I am missing something.

Pet Stains: 
*I will add a new one because of the possible problem with using it on your cars. You can clean pet stains (pheromones and all). Mix 1 C vinegar with 1 T Dawn. Put into a foam making hand cleaner bottle. (I buy a cheap dollar store bottle of foaming hand soap for this) Clean up as much as possible of the stain without scrubbing it into the carpet. Pump the foam mix over the stain and leave it in place. Come back later to repeat if the stain is not gone. You can use paper towels to blot up part of the stain in between treatments as needed. Repeat until stain is gone. The enzymes in the Dawn helps to break down the stain and pheromones in the spot. Eliminate the pheromones to help prevent the pet from returning to this spot. (added 1-25-14)

Driveway or Garage Floors: 
My dad was a mechanic and he was very particular about his floors.  He liked them to be clean.  He used the usual kitty litter to absorb the oil and grease and he would power wash them from time to time.  A bit of Dawn Dish Soap would help get that grease broke up.

Wasp/Hornet Trap:
In the summer I have a terrible time getting rid of the Yellow Jacket Wasps that build huge nests in and around my barn and house. A friend of ours told us about something he saw when his kids were playing with Dawn Dish Soap (for bubbles) in their little swimming pool.  The wasps would try to land on the water for a drink and the soap bubbles would break the water bead and the wasps would drown.  I decided that it might be worth trying so I put a couple of pools out with water and a little bit of  Dawn Dish Soap (or any kind really).  It worked great.  

Bathroom Tile:  Dawn gets your bathroom tile clean and shiny just like it does your dishes.  It works great on shower doors too.  Then if you will use a bit of turtle wax on those doors they will stay that way for much longer.

Pinterest Project:
I found it on Pinterest...you can fill a plastic Ziploc bag with Dawn Dish Soap...freeze it and voila you have a homemade ice pack.  I thought that was cool.  I recommend that you check Pinterest out for more uses for Dawn because I am certain I have seen more uses for it there.  Who knows you may even find some really cool blogs to read.
Until Next Time

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Unknown said...

I totally agree with you on using dishwashing liquid for unclogging sinks. The solution I have used before is composed of vinegar, baking soda and hot water. Though it was effective, I find the smell of vinegar annoying, so I thought of ways to get rid of the pungent smell. I added 4-5 cups of dishwashing liquid to the solution, and it worked like a charm!

Kurt Verdejo

Darryl Iorio said...

When you notice that something is wrong, better do something about it. It’s a shame that the old vinegar and baking soda solution didn’t work. I’m glad that you had an alternative though. Thanks for sharing what Dawn can do!

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Unknown said...

Well, what do you know, maybe the reason the vinegar and baking soda didn't work is because you had to discover a new and better solution. Just as what Darryl said, it's amazing what Dawn can do. One more thing, if the DIY solution you did isn't working, seeking professional assistance is very much advised.

Mark Baker @ Esco Now

Christine said...

I know this is an older post, but I must chime in.
Poison Ivy.
Poison ivy is an oil. I might have the name spelled wrong, but it's something like Urshoil. According to my dermatologist, plants have that like people have blood.
Bleach, turpentine, salt water, etc., do not cut oil.
A degreaser does. Enter Dawn Dishwashing Liquid!

I get total body poison ivy every darned spring. Bad, flesh-burning. steroid resistant poison ivy.
Over the years, I've discovered if I put the soap all over me like suntan lotion, then mow my lawn (for example), then come in and rub more on, wait a few and shower (yes) in hot water, I don't get poison ivy.

If I find I have itchy spots during the course of the summer, I IMMEDIATELY rub Dawn all over the spot, wait and wash. I know I didn't get the oil off if it continues to itch. More Dawn.

I wouldn't venture out my door in the summer without Dawn available. I don't understand why it's not clearly understood that soap cuts oil. Get the oil off quickly, no chemical burn from the oil. It saves life as I know it!

Debra Howard said...

Thank you so much +Christine Freeman for the information. That is really good information and one use I had not thought of. Great idea!

Anonymous said...

Good tips for everything. It is not recommended to use it on cars , though, as it eats away your protective top coat and dulls the paint. Over a short time, the sun will clench the paint after using dish detergent.

Debra Howard said...

Wow! that is good to know. I will have to amend my post so that I don't encourage others to use it on their cars. Thanks for the tip.

Anonymous said...

here's some i didn't see,
insect spray (dulited in spray bottle) so far i have found it affective (and kinder)
will usually kill w/in 8 seconds
fleas, cockroaches/waterbugs, yellow jackets, hornets, wasps, scorpions, spiders
bedbugs (i have an old mattress and have never had problems)
ants (i haven't had any kitchen/house ants since using this spray, still trying to figure out if it will work on the outside ant mounds w/o damaging my plants)
there are afew more insects i want to try this spray on like grasshoppers and mites
i have used this spray on all my animals including cats, dogs sheep, goats, chickens
it keeps them cleaner thus healthier
it also does wonders on carpets, slippers and other materials that tend to house insects
it's much safer and more effective than the usual go to remedy aka poisons
i'm located in fl. and the insect problems can be major, besides the poisons that are too often used and more often than not are more harmful than the bugs
i wonder if there is a generic product that compares
michelle aka nemo
hope your week is wonderfilled
G-d Bless

Debra Howard said...

Wow that is really great info to add. ! I wonder how it would do in the garden too? Anyone out there try it in the garden? I would love to know!

Anonymous said...

You should never mix dawn with bleach....ever..it causes toxic fumes .it's on the dawn label

Debra Howard said...

I will warn everyone about that in my post. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I use it to wash my face.I use to get a lot of break outs. Out of desperation I tried it. It got rid of it. I thought it was fluke. I went back to using my cleanser and I broke again. Now it is all I use.

Anonymous said...

4-5 CUPS of dish liquid? could this be a typo?

Evie Dawson said...

This seems like fun.... We Unknowingly the chemicals we use in our personal care products. We can not even imagine the damage these chemicals can do to our bodies over time. This is something serious to consider next time you buy any of your personal care products...

Seriously? said...

That's amazing!

Anonymous said...

And, it cleans Spanish Moss. Who knew? :) http://www.campmakery.com/content/diy-cleaning-spanish-moss

Debra Howard said...

It never ceases to amaze me all the uses for that soap!

Anonymous said...

I was thinking the same thing...That would be pretty expensive.

Anonymous said...

If you get fruit flies, put some cider vinegar, wine vinegar, or balsamic vinegar in a small cup with a dab of Dawn (or any other brand) dish soap. Really just a tiny dab is all you need.

The flies are attracted to the fruity vinegar and come to drink, but the soap has broken the surface tension so they fall in and drown.

I've seen suggestions of making a cone on top of the cup but over the 6 years since I first heard this I've found those aren't necessary.

Dump and replace every day or two, and the fruit flies will be gone in under a week!

Anonymous said...

I put a small amount of dawn in a spray bottle mostly filled with water and it makes a fantastic ant killer.... at least for the little black one i occasionally find in the kitchen.

Anonymous said...

She must mean teaspoons. Using 4 or 5 caps (capfuls) of Dawn will produce massive amounts of bubbles. Even that many capfuls is way too much.

Anonymous said...

dawn antibacterial is great and cheap fly repellant for horses. and it helps any skin funguses

RSF said...

Dawn is the best shampoo, body and face wash I've ever found. It reduces blackheads and pimples tremendously.

Anonymous said...

Whoever said it kills scorpions?! Lies.

Lol we use it for ant killer and such but I just soaked a scorpion in straight dawn for 20 minutes (HE WAS IN MY DAUGHTER'S CUP! AHHHHH)

Dumped that sucker in the garbage and he CAME BACK TO LIFE! Then I couldn't stab him with a dowel because he got tangled up in dryer lint poof. So... Dawn for ants... YES. Dawn for scorpions? Hell to the no. Unless you just really want to make a scorpion mad... don't do it.

Anonymous said...

ever color your hair and the box was completely wrong!!!4 or 5 washes with dawn will take it all away. then you can call and yell at the company who gave you bright red hair when your a blonde!!!

Unknown said...

Cock roaches hate Dawn dish detergent. Put a drop in the drain and sink and they will flee in fear!

SteveO said...

On your HE washer smell... Leave the door open between loads. I just leave it about two fingers open and never have a smell.

Home Plix said...


So amazing post here we found, I like it and appreciated your works.
Thanx for your kind info.

ArtNJr said...

"Cars: . . . I have been notified in my comments that dish soap can harm the top coat on your cars."

Nope -- but it does strip wax off. Which is fine if your vehicle needs to be waxed again. Do it right away so as not to seal in any dust / dirt / road grime. I use Meguiar's (liquid) Cleaner / Wax after washing with a mixture of car wash liquid & Dawn. Usually won't have to do it again for 6 months.