16 Surprising Uses for Dawn Dish Soap

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Dawn Dish Detergent is useful for so much more than washing dishes, everything from killing weeds to cleaning jewelry! Check out these 16 surprising uses for Dawn Dish Soap.

holding dawn dish detergent ways to use

We all know and love that familiar bottle of blue Dawn Dish Soap, don’t we? It’s a classic essential cleaning supply that shows up time and again in my cleaning tips.

We all know that it’s great for cleaning dishes, pots, and pans, and glasses but this little blue bottle is capable of so much more. Here are my favorite uses for Dawn Dish Soap.


Can I substitute another type of dish detergent?

I do not recommend substituting other dish soaps. Blue Dawn is concentrated and lends the best results.

Can you use Dawn dish soap for shampoo?

It is not recommended to regularly wash your hair with Dawn as it can dry it out because it cleans so well. I have heard of both regular people and cosmetologists using it as shampoo to remove too-dark hair color mistakes but I have not tried it myself.

Is original Dawn dish soap antibacterial?

No, the original blue dish soap is not antibacterial. They do currently have 2 antibacterial dish soap options but they are not as concentrated as the blue kind and I do not recommend them for these uses.

Uses for Dawn Dish Soap

Making Bubbles

You can use Dawn dish soap to make your own bubble solution! With three kids we’ve gone through some bubbles over the years, which is why I started making my own. To make the perfect bubble solution simply combine 2 cups of warm water, 1/3 cup detergent, and 1/4 cup light corn syrup or glycerin. It’s super easy and affordable!

Unclog a Toilet or Drain

You heard me, this powerhouse can help you unclog your toilet or clogged drain! Simply pour 1 cup of the deter in the toilet and let it sit 15 minutes. *This works on smaller blockages. DO NOT follow other DIY suggestions to pour hot water down the drain after this step, you can damage your PVC pies, crack the porcelain on your toilet or melt the wax seal on the toilet. (reference here)

dawn detergent clean makeup brush

Cleaning Makeup Applicators

While maybe not as cute as that duckling, your makeup brushes and sponges need to be cleaned too! Cleaning makeup applicators in Dawn and warm water is key to preventing gunky buildup. Simply wet with warm water, add the detergent and work into a lather. Rinse until water runs clear, reshape and let air dry.

Tools & Tires

Tools and outdoor supplies can get super greasy, and Dawn cuts that grease like a champ! Everything from wrenches to tires to bike rims can be cleaned with a teaspoon of the dish detergent in a gallon of hot water. Scrub with a sponge and rinse thoroughly, you’ll be shocked how easily the grime is scrubbed away! Dry immediately after cleaning to prevent rusting.

Kitchen Grease

You’d be surprised how much grime can build up on your kitchen cabinets, counters, and appliances just from everyday cooking. Wet a sponge with a little Dawn and warm water and wipe away grime on your kitchen surfaces, no specialized cleaners required!

Remove Hard Water Stains & Soap Scum

Mix equal parts vinegar, lemon juice, and Dawn detergent and use to clean tough hard water stains and remove soap scum in the bathroom.

Windows & Stainless Steel

One of my favorite shiny surface cleaners for glass and stainless steel is to add 3 drops of Dawn to a gallon of water. Pour into a spray bottle and use as you would any other glass cleaner.

dawn detergent clean jewelry

Cleaning Jewelry

Did you know that you can use Dawn to clean your jewelry too? Soak the jewelry for two minutes in a bowl of warm water with a few drops of Dawn dish detergent. Rinse well and dry immediately to keep your jewelry sparkling!

Remove Tomato Stains from Plastic

Yes! Those dreaded red stains on your plastic containers don’t have to be there forever! Simply hand wash with Dawn dish detergent, dry, and place in a sunny window. Leave up to a few days and be amazed as the sun bleaches those stains away!

Homemade Stain Remover

Mix Dawn with hydrogen peroxide for a super effective homemade stain remover!

Trap Gnats and Fruit Flies

Mix 4 parts red wine vinegar to 1 part dish soap and place in a glass. Cover the top with plastic wrap and poke a few small holes in the top. The flies will be attracted to the mixture and fly in the holes but won’t be able to fly back out.

Pretreat Laundry Stains

Have a stain? Apply a button size amount of Dawn to the stain and cover it completely (no more or your washing will get too sudsy!) Wash as normal and say bye-bye to stains!

Prevent Eyeglasses from Fogging

Wipe glasses with a drop of soap, then wipe clean. The soap leaves a thin layer on the glasses which prevent them from fogging up. *Do not do this on glasses that have specialty coatings such as anti-glare or anti-scratch.

DIY Ice Pack

Freeze a plastic baggie filled with Dawn dish soap to make your own gel ice pack.

Kill Weeds

I shared this homemade weed killer recipe recently and so many of you wrote in to thank me, it really works! Simply mix two cups of white vinegar with two tablespoons of Dawn dish detergent and shake well in a spray bottle. Spray on the weeds preferably on a sunny day. Be careful to spray on the weeds only, don’t get it on your good plants!

Kill Aphids on Plants

Mix 1 tablespoon of Dawn and 1 quart of water and put in a spray bottle. Spray on infested plants to kill the aphids without harming your plant.

So there you have it. Dawn is the superhero of detergents, saving wildlife and helping you to keep your home sparkling. Did I miss any additional uses you think I should add? Leave them in the comments below!

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  1. I had a recipe for cleaning a glass shower with blue Dawn and I think vinegar but I don’t remember, does anyone have this recipe?

  2. Unfortunately I spilled an entire full gallon of paint on my cement patio. It splattered everywhere! I used warm to hot water from our garage hose and Dawn. I scrubbed with a brush. It all cleaned up. Disaster averted.

  3. I have another great reason for dawn dishsoap it kills fleas I gave my kitten a bath with it and the fleas started to fall off alot of the fleas died great product

  4. It’s a super easy, & far less caustic) toilet bowl cleaner. Just put a few drops in the bowl, suds it up with the toilet brush, after a bit come back and everything comes off super easy!

  5. I ran out of Tide and couldn’t get to the store for a few days. Tried a couple of Tablespoons of Dawn in the laundry water in place of Tide. Fabulous! Much cheaper, too! I used it with bleach or Rit ( the once in a small lime green and white and purple box, the whitener and brightener. Walmart.)

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