Image of a sunny kitchen counter and sink with bubbles floating and a bottle of Dawn Dish Detergent on counter. Text overlay read 42 Awesome Uses for Dawn Dish Soap

42 Dawn Dish Soap Uses You Never Thought Of

We all know that Dawn dish detergent does an amazing job of cleaning our greasy dishes and pots and pans. At the same time, it’s famously gentle enough to be used to clean spilled oil from birds and other marine animals. 

But did you know that there are many other multi-purpose uses for Dawn dish soap around your house? We have compiled a list of Dawn dish soap uses that will blow your mind! 

What Makes Dawn Dish Soap Different?

Dawn dish detergent, introduced in 1973, was designed to easily remove grease from dishes without harming your skin. The exact formula is a secret, but Dawn is phosphate free and contains biodegradable surfactants that promote suds, remove dirt and cut grease. 

With a PH between 8.7 and 9.3 (moderately basic) this formulation is so effective at removing oil and grease without harming skin that Dawn is the soap of choice for wildlife organizations responding to oil spills.

Additionally, Dawn dish soap is concentrated, so only a small amount is required. This means your bottle of Dawn will last for weeks, saving you money.

Does Dawn Dish Soap Kill Bacteria And Viruses?

Like hand soap, Dawn dish soap alone does not kill bacteria and viruses. When mixed with clean water, the molecules in the soap suds help lift the bacteria and viruses from your skin and surfaces so that they can be washed away by water.

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What Can Dawn Dish Soap Be Used For?

There are so many uses for Dawn dish soap around your home that it’s impossible to list them all. Use it to clean your kitchen, bathroom and other items in your home. It’s great for getting stains out of laundry, controlling pests and weeds, for personal care and you can even use it on your pets. I’ve compiled this list to give you some great ideas.

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Cleaning Uses For Dawn Dish Soap

As Dawn dish soap is concentrated and formulated for maximum degreasing abilities, it’s an effective and budget friendly cleaning detergent that can be used all around your home. These are just a few examples. The possibilities are endless!

Note that we used the original Blue Dawn when we tested these tips.

Clean your Dishes

This tip kind of goes without saying, as that’s exactly what Dawn dish soap is designed for. But did you know that burned food on pots and pans can be cleaned with a drop or two of Dawn added to water in the pot? 

Put it on a burner, turn on your stove and bring the mixture to a boil for a minute or two. Reduce the heat and scrape the bottom with a spatula or other flat-ended utensil. Let the pan cool and the scrub and rinse clean as usual.

Text reads 42 household cleaning uses for Dawn ultra overlaid onto an image of a half full bottle of Blue Dawn ultra.

Cleaning Floors

Use 1 tsp of Dawn dish soap in a bucket of hot water to clean ceramic tile, linoleum and vinyl floors. This mixture is also safe for most natural stone flooring such as marble, travertine, granite and more.

I like to use this microfibre spin mop when I mop my floors as it allows more control over how much water is spread around the floor.

Remove Iron Rust and Hard Water Stains from Tubs, Sinks, Showers and Toilets

Citric acid powder, mixed with hot water and Dawn dish soap, is an effective solution to remove iron rust and hard water stains from your bathtub, sink, shower doors and toilets. The suds from the Dawn dish soap help the solution cling to vertical surfaces to allow the citric acid to dissolve those stains.

There are many other uses for citric acid powder around your house, including daily maintenance of your bathroom fixtures.

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Window Cleaner 

Add 1/2 tsp Dawn dish soap and 1 cup of vinegar to each half gallon of water. Use a soft cloth or brush to scrub the windows, then wipe with paper towels or newspaper, whichever you prefer. 

To clean exterior windows, use the same Dawn dish soap and vinegar mixture with an extendable brush to scrub. Before the window dries, rinse it with a hose. You can then squeegee any excess water from the window. 

Carpet Stain Cleaner  

Put 1 tbsp. of Dawn dish soap and ¼ cup of white vinegar in a spray bottle, and fill the rest with tepid water. Don’t use hot water as it could make the stain set.

Spray the stained area liberally and let it soak for 10-15 minutes. Press down on it with a clean, dry towel to remove the moisture and stain. Keep blotting until the stain is removed and the carpet is mostly dry.

Mattress Stain Cleaner

Mix 1 tsp. of Dawn dish soap, 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide and 3 tbsp. of baking soda in a spray bottle, and fill the rest with tepid water. Don’t use hot water as it could make the stain set.

Spray the stained area with the Dawn cleaning mixture and let it sit for a few minutes. Brush the stained area with a soft brush until the stain is gone. Press down on it with a clean, dry towel to remove the moisture and stain. Keep blotting until the stain is removed and the mattress is mostly dry. Use a fan or a hair dryer to finish drying.

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Jewelry Cleaner

When you can’t get to the jeweler’s, you can create a homemade jewelry cleaning solution for cleaning silver, gold, platinum, and gemstones like diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires with Dawn dish soap

Mix a few drops of Dawn dish detergent in a small container of warm water. Let your jewelry sit in the solution for 10 to 15 minutes, then gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and rinse. 

Broom Cleaner

Deep clean your synthetic or natural bristle broom by soaking it in a bucket of warm water mixed with 1 tsp. of Dawn dish soap. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then rinse the broom with warm water. To dry your broom, place it bristle-end up and leave until dry.

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Wall Cleaner

Dawn dish soap is mild enough to use to clean painted or wallpapered walls without damaging the finish. Mix 1 tsp. Dawn dish soap into a bucket of warm water. Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the mixture and wring it out. Use only as much cleaning solution on the walls as you need to. 

Wipe the wall in a circular motion until all the dirt has been removed. Then rinse the wall with a soft cloth or sponge that has been dipped in fresh, clean water and wrung out to remove any residue. 

Cleaning Countertops & Appliances

Dawn dish soap is a natural for countertops and appliances as I usually wipe them down at the same time I wash our dishes. Because it’s so mild, Dawn dish soap is safe for cleaning practically any countertop surface. It’s important not to add anything acidic, such as vinegar or citric acid, to your cleaning solution if you have natural stone countertops.

To wash your countertops and appliances, just add a few drops of Dawn dish soap to a sinkful of warm water and use a wrung out cloth or sponge to wipe them down and then rinse with clean water. 

This method even works to remove dirt and grease from stainless steel appliances. Use a little mineral oil to shine them up after drying them with a soft cloth.

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Clean your Blender

Fill your blender pitcher about halfway with hot water and add a drop of Dawn dish soap. Put the blender pitcher back on the base and put the lid on. Turn on the blender and let it run for 10-15 seconds. Then rinse it with clean, warm water. This technique is particularly useful if you’re blending anything sticky that can be hard to clean.

Remove Grease from Kitchen Cabinets, Range Hoods and Filters

The degreasing properties of Dawn dish soap are particularly useful for removing grease from kitchen cabinets, range hoods and any other sticky surface.  Fill your sink with hot water, 1 tsp. Dawn dish soap and 3 tsp. baking soda. 

Use a clean cloth soaked in the sudsy mixture to cover the greasy surfaces and let sit for a few minutes. Then use a cleaning brush to scrub the loosened greasy dirt. Once the greasy dirt has been scrubbed free of the surface, rinse it with a clean, wet cloth to remove the suds.

To clean a range filter, soak the filter in the hot cleaning solution for 20 to 30 minutes. Use a cleaning brush or toothbrush to scrub away the loosened grease. Continue scrubbing until the range hood grease filter is clean and then rinse with clean water.

Remove Burnt on Residue from Glass Stove Top

A combination of Dawn dish soap, citric acid, baking soda and water can remove burnt residue from your glass top stove and make it look brand new! 

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Upholstery Cleaner

Make your couch or other upholstered items smell and look like new again by mixing 1/4 cup vinegar, 1 tbsp Dawn dish soap, and 3/4 cup warm water in a mixing bowl. Use a clean cloth soaked in the dawn dish soap and vinegar mixture and dab it onto the affected areas, saturating the most problematic areas.

Scrub the mixture into the fibers of the couch using a clean, soft cleaning brush until stains are removed. Then sprinkle the damp surfaces with baking soda. Wait 24-48 hours to make sure the baking soda is completely dry.

Once completely dry, vacuum up as much baking soda as possible. Then take a warm damp cloth and wipe away any remaining baking soda that the vacuum didn’t get. Let completely dry again and enjoy your stain-free and odor-free furniture!

Remove Sticker and Label Adhesive

Mix hot water and 1 tsp Dawn dish soap in your sink or in a large bowl or bucket, depending on the size of the item that has the label on it. Place the item into the hot water and Dawn mixture. 

Let it sit for 20-30 minutes to let the mixture dissolve the adhesive. Use a soft cloth or sponge to scrub whatever residue remains from the item and rinse. Repeat the process for stubborn residue.

Clean your Earbuds

Dawn dish soap and water will effectively clean your earbuds’ outer casings and wires, but should not be used to clean the inside of the earbuds. Put some warm water in a bowl and add a few drops of Dawn dish soap. Do not submerge your earbuds! 

Dip a soft cloth into the solution, wring it out so there’s no drips and use the damp cloth to clean the outside of the earbuds. Once cleaned, let them air dry for an hour or two before using.

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Dawn Dish Soap for Laundry

Dawn’s ability to cut through grease and remove dirt make it ideal for boosting your laundry game.

Pretreat Laundry Stains

Just squeeze a little Dawn dish soap on the stain and rub it in with your finger. If it’s a biologically based stain like blood, soak with hydrogen peroxide before applying the Dawn. Wash with your next load and the stain will be gone!

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Wash Delicate Fabrics

Wash delicates such as underwear, lace, wool etc. with Dawn dish soap. Combine a few drops of dawn in a bowl or sink of cool water and gently swirl the items around with your fingers for 2-3 minutes. Let soak for 20-30 minutes. 

Drain the soapy water and refill with fresh cool water. Swish the item again, this time to remove all soap residue. Keep swishing and adding fresh water until no suds remain. Hang to drip dry.

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Pin reads 42 everyday uses for Dawn you never thought of. Pin contains 4 images: 1st image is glass top stove cleaned using Dawn; 2nd image is of a woman mopping her tile floor with Dawn; 3rd image is a interlocked patio with weeds that will be killed with a Dawn mixture between the bricks; 4th image is a sparkling clean kitchen faucet and sink with Dawn bubbles floating

Dawn Dish Soap Around the House

There are so many other uses for Dawn dish soap around the house that aren’t cleaning. Check out these ideas!

Pest Control

Dawn dish soap helps to control ants, spiders and other small pests because it breaks down their exoskeleton and dehydrates them.

Pests on Plants

If you’re finding aphids, spider mites or other tiny pests on your houseplants, you can control them without using chemicals that can harm your children or pets. 

Create your own insecticidal soap with 3 tbsp Dawn dish soap and water mixed in a spray bottle. Spray flowers, buds and stems with the solution and reapply every 7 to 14 days as needed. 

This mixture can also be used on outdoor garden plants.

Ant/Spider Killer

Mix 3 tbsp Dawn dish soap with water in an empty spray bottle. Spray pests with the mixture, making sure to saturate them. 

Fruit Flies

Mix a few drops of Dawn dish soap with a ½ cup of apple cider vinegar in a jar or bottle, preferably with a narrow opening. If you don’t have a narrow opening, put a layer of plastic wrap over the top of the container and poke a few holes in it with a skewer. The narrow opening (or holes) will allow the fruit flies to easily enter the container, but they won’t be able to exit.

Wasp Killer

You can even kill wasps with Dawn dish soap. Mix up ¼ cup Dawn dish soap with water in a spray bottle and spray away! The soapy water mixture can also kill bees and hornets. 

Household Lubricant 

Do you have a lock that’s catching or a handle not turning properly?  Windows or sliding glass doors that won’t slide? Hinges that squeak and drive you batty? You can apply a drop or two of Dawn dish soap to a clean surface with a small brush to help them move easier. 

Dawn dish soap is NOT recommended as a personal lubricant as it can cause dryness and irritation to sensitive skin.

Homemade Bubbles 

Entertain your kids (or your friends) on a budget with this homemade bubble mix. Put 6 cups of water into a container and add 1 cup of Dawn dish soap. Gently stir (try not to create any suds) until the soap is mixed in. Optionally, you can add 1 tablespoon of glycerin or 1/4 cup of corn syrup to the container to make the bubbles last longer. 

Clean green slime from the kid’s pool

Empty the pool and prepare a mixture of 3 tbsp Dawn dish soap with a gallon of water in a bowl or bucket. Scrub all surfaces of the pool with a cleaning brush or sponge. Rinse with clean water and refill the pool. Add a ¼ cup of household chlorine bleach to the fresh water and let sit for an hour or two before swimming to inhibit algae growth and extend the period between cleanings.

Prevent Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac

After being outside around trees and bushes, thoroughly wash any exposed body areas with Dawn dish soap and a wash rag within 2 hours. Wash and rinse thoroughly 3 times. Wash your clothing immediately to prevent exposing others. 

DIY Weed Killer

While pulling weeds by hand is the most reliable way to kill them, this DIY weed killer does a great job of killing small outbreaks of stray weeds on your patio. Mix 1 tbsp Dawn dish soap and 1 cup of salt with a gallon of vinegar. Fully saturate the weeds in full sunlight and watch them wilt and die.

Clean Patio Furniture

2 tbls of Dawn dish soap mixed in a bucket of warm water will cut through grime, pollen and dust buildup on outdoor furniture. Just scrub with a cleaning brush, rinse and dry with a soft cloth.

Clean your Grill Grates  

Get your outdoor grill ready for the summer! First, run it for 30 minutes as hot as it will go to burn off any stuck-on food or grease. Mix a bucket of hot water and 3 tbsp Dawn dish soap, dip your wire grill brush in the mixture and scrub the grates with the hot, soapy water.

Once the grill is cool, remove all the grates and submerge them into your bucket of warm, soapy water. Let them soak for at least 30 minutes. Then take them out and scrub them with the wire grill brush again. 

Rinse the grates clean, making sure to remove any loose wire-brush bristles. Thoroughly dry cast-iron grates to avoid rusting.

Clean paint brushes

If you’ve been using craft paint, latex paint, or even water based stain, Dawn dish soap and running warm water can help clean up those brushes. 

Rinse the paint brush well with water to remove most of the paint. Squirt a little Dawn on the brush and work it through the bristles with your fingers to loosen the remaining paint, then rinse clear with clean water.

Wipe the bristles against the side of the bowl or sink when done rinsing. Blot the bristles on newspaper, paper towel or a clean cloth until the brush has mostly dried.

Find air leaks

To locate a leak in a tire, air mattress or any other inflatable item, put a few drops of Dawn dish soap on a dripping wet sponge, squeeze it a few times to create foamy suds, and then apply it to the surface of the fully-inflated item. Watch for any areas where bubbles form and grow and you will most likely find your leak.

Dawn Dish Soap for Plumbing

Dawn’s grease cutting and lubricating properties make it ideal for keeping plumbing drains clear. Here are a couple of ideas you can use in your home.

Keep Drains Clear

To keep your drains clear of grease build up and prevent clogs, use Dawn dish soap before you have a problem. Simply pour a few tablespoons down the drain, put in the sink drain plug, and run some water as hot as your hands can stand it. Fill the sink full, then pull the plug. The weight from the water will force any build up and debris through the pipes and clear them out.

I do this on a monthly basis and haven’t experienced a clog since I started doing it. Make sure you don’t pour greasy substances down the drain, or keep it to a minimum. This preventative measure also works on bathroom sinks, bathtubs, and shower drains to prevent clogs.

Unclog a Toilet

If you have a clogged toilet and no plunger, try using Dawn dish soap. Put about a half a cup of Dawn into the toilet and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. While you’re waiting, fill a kettle or pot with very hot water from the tap – about a gallon will do. 

Quickly pour the hot water into the toilet bowl. Wait another 5 minutes or so, then flush the toilet. The degreasing action of the Dawn, along with the hot water, should act as a lubricant to help to break up the clog.

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Personal Care

As Dawn is so good at removing greasy grime, it’s also a good choice for removing oils from skin and hair. 

Clarifying Shampoo

If you use a lot of product in your hair or you have unusually greasy or oily hair and need a really deep clean, Dawn dish soap is a great option. Use a few drops to get a good lather and make sure you rinse well. Add a cup of vinegar to your rinse routine for extra shine. Follow with a deep conditioner to restore moisture. 

Paint and Grease Remover

Dawn dish soap combined with olive or coconut oil is a perfect paint or grease remover. Combine about a tsp of both in your hands then rub it over affected areas. The oil and the Dawn both help to dissolve the grease and/or paint and wash it away. Rinse well with warm water. This combination also works well on sticky plant residue.

Makeup Remover or Face Wash for Oily Skin or Acne

As stated earlier, Dawn dish soap is formulated to remove grease and dirt while being gentle on skin. These properties are what make it an excellent makeup remover or face wash for oily skin. 

Put a drop or two of Dawn in the palm of your hand and add a few tbsp of warm water. Later in your hands and then use your fingers to wash your face. Rinse well and apply a good moisturizer for your skin type while it’s still wet to retain moisture.

Fade Hair Dye

If you’ve just tried a new shade of hair color and it’s shockingly bright or dark, Dawn dish soap can help fade that color. Wet hair, put a few drops of Dawn into your hand and then lather in your hair. Let it sit for 10–15 minutes, then rinse with warm water. Follow with a deep conditioner to restore moisture.

Clean Makeup Sponges and Brushes

Get your makeup sponges and brushes squeaky clean with Dawn dish soap. Wet the sponge or brush bristles with lukewarm water. Then put a drop of Dawn on the palm of your hand. Gently massage the tips of the bristles or sponge in your palm.

Rinse thoroughly and squeeze out any excess moisture with a clean towel. Let them air dry completely.


In a pinch, Dawn dish soap can be used for shaving. While it doesn’t have the thick, foamy lather of shaving cream, it does lubricate the skin. Apply a thin coat of dawn to the area to be shaved and rinse well when finished. Follow with a good moisturizer.

Remove Lice Nits

While Dawn dish soap doesn’t work on lice directly, it does dissolve the sticky glue on the eggs, making them easier to comb out. It’s also good for removing the mayonnaise, Vaseline or anything else you may attempt to kill the lice. Thoroughly wash the hair with a drop or two of Dawn and rinse well. Apply a good conditioner to restore moisture.

Clean your Eyeglasses

Clean lenses gently with a drop of Dawn dish soap on your fingers, rinse and dry with a 100% cotton towel. 

Flea Killer for Pets

If your pet has fleas, use Dawn dish soap and warm water to bathe them. It kills fleas (drowns them) and is much cheaper than expensive flea shampoos. Do this only as necessary, as regular use can cause their skin to become dry and/or irritated.

I hope you enjoyed this list of Dawn dish soap uses you may have never heard before. If you know of any other uses for Dawn dish soap, please let us know in the comments!

If these tips worked for you, please share with your friends!

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