Original Blue Dawn . . . It’s Not Just for Dishes Anymore

blue-dawn-1.22.13This post is brought to you by Amazon where you can get deals on blue dawn!

If you’ve read my “About Me” page…you will know I used to produce a daily talk show called “Good Things Utah”.  Well, things have come full circle…because TODAY I am APPEARING on the show. :-)  Funny how life turns out sometimes. Anyway, after talking with the producers…we decided that in today’s segment we would focus on some of the homemade laundry products that have been so popular on this website. In gathering up my supplies for the show…I realized that all three of the homemade solutions I was going to feature (Armpit Stain Remover, No-Grate Laundry Detergent and Homemade “Shout”) had Dawn Dishwashing Liquid as an ingredient. When you think about it….Dawn is a pretty amazing. It’s great for washing dishes, pots and pans, flatware and crystal, but all the REST of the stuff it does is what makes it really extraordinary. It’s ALMOST up there with Baking Soda as a versatile cleaning tool….almost.

Here is MY list of the “best of the best” ingenious uses for Original Blue Dawn gleaned from dozens of websites and reader’s comments I have visited:


Ever wonder why Dawn Dishwashing Liquid is the wildlife cleaner of choice after an oil spill? According to the International Bird Rescue Research Center, Dawn effectively removes grease but does not cause harm to the skin of the birds. It’s also biodegradable and contains no phosphates.


According to Bubbles.org, Dawn dishwashing liquid makes great homemade bubbles. Here is the Giant Bubble Recipe used in bubble makers at many children’s museums: 1/2 cup Ultra Dawn 1/2 gallon warm water 1 tablespoon glycerin (available at any drug store) OR White Karo syrup works too! Stir gently. Skim the foam off the top of the solution (too much foam breaks down the bubbles). Dip bubble wand and get ready for some good, clean fun!



Kids get into the darnedest things! Like Vaseline and baby oil rubbed into their hair!  Dawn is mild enough to use on their hair and strong enough to remove the most stubborn grease.


Once a month use original Dawn as you would shampoo. It will remove excess oil from your hair and scalp and strip away any build-up of styling products without any damage. Perform this once a month and you won’t have to buy expensive salon products that do the same thing.


Soak fingers in full-strength blue Dawn. It makes the cuticles soft and easy to work with. And it removes the natural oil from the fingernails, which allows the polish to adhere very well.


A safe, effective way to repel insects from your houseplants, including aphids, spider mites and mealy bugs. Put a drop of Dawn Dishwashing Liquid in a spray bottle, fill the rest of the bottle with water, shake well, and mist your household plants with the soapy water.


Try this recipe from Merry Maids: mix 3 drops Dawn in 1 gallon water and fill a spray bottle with the solution. Spritz and wipe as you would with any window cleaner.


Use it to bathe the dogs. It kills fleas on contact and is much cheaper than expensive dog shampoos.


After you have finished your automotive repair project, soak your dirty tools in Dawn before you put them away to remove all the oil and grime. Dawn also helps prevent rust from forming on the tools.


Partially fill a strong zip-type sandwich bag with Dawn dishwashing liquid, close and freeze. The liquid soap stays cold much longer and it can be re-frozen many times. It will conform to the place you need an ice pack.


Take a spray bottle and fill it halfway with white vinegar. Heat in the microwave. Fill the rest of the way with blue Dawn. Put lid on and shake to mix well. Spray on your tub and shower walls. Allow to sit for a few minutes and rinse away. It will totally melt all the gunk, slime, sludge and other stuff that builds up including a bathtub ring.


Spray counter-tops, cupboards and any other area where you see ants with a solution of Dawn and water. Wipe dry. The slight residue of Dawn that remains will not be a problem at all for kids or pets, but ants hate it. Should you see a trail of ants, go ahead and hit them with the Dawn spray.


Add a squirt or two of original Dawn dish soap to your washer and run a hot wash, then rinse until there are no more bubbles. Dawn is a degreasing agent and helps stripping by removing oily residue. Be sure to rinse, rinse, rinse until the water runs clear.


A cup of Dawn detergent poured into a clogged toilet allowed to sit for 15 minutes and then followed with a bucket of hot water poured from waist height will clear out the toilet.


Poison ivy spreads through the spread of the oil within the blisters. Washing the affected area with Dawn, especially on children who keep scratching the blister’s open, helps dry up the fluid, AND keep it from spreading.


If you have gasoline or motor oil stains on your driveway, you can use the kitty litter method to clean up the excess oil and then use a scrub broom and a solution of biodegradable Dawn dishwashing detergent and warm water to safely and effectively remove excess motor oil from the pavement.


Dawn makes a great facial cleanser for oily skin. A drop or two combined with warm water will do the trick.


Dawn combined with corn oil makes for the perfect paint or grease remover. Simply combine a little bit of both in your hands then rub it over affected areas. The corn oil and the dishwashing liquid both help to dissolve the grease and paint – yet leave skin soft, unlike harsher paint removers.


Plastic wading pools can get very gunky, very fast. Dump the water, then scrub the pool with Dawn and a sponge. More potent cleaners like bleach will weaken and dry out the plastic in the sun.


Merry Maids recommends using a drop of Dawn in water to clean ceramic tile and no-wax/linoleum floors. You can also use the spray on:

  • Bathroom and kitchen counters and sinks.
  • Woodwork, e.g., baseboards, shelves, and wainscoting.  (Dry as you go–wood doesn’t like prolonged contact with water.)
  • Tubs and toilet seats.


For oil-based stains such as lipstick, grease, butter, motor oil, cooking oil, and some pen inks, simply apply some Dawn dishwashing liquid directly to the stain and scrub with a small brush or toothbrush until the oil is removed, and then launder as usual.


Sliding glass doors, door knobs, hinges etc. It lasts much longer than any aerosol type spray that I have tried. And Its non-toxic! It does a great job of cleaning the parts that its lubricating as well!


For icy steps and sidewalks in freezing temperatures, mix 1 teaspoon of Dawn dishwashing liquid, 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, and 1/2 gallon hot/warm water and pour over walkways. They won’t refreeze. No more salt eating at the concrete in your sidewalks


Squirt Dawn down the middle of the pool and all of the dirt, suntan lotion, etc. will move to the edges of the pool for easy clean up!  AND it makes the pools sparkle.


Simply rub a small drop of Dawn on eyeglass lenses, and wipe clean. It will leave a very thin film that will prevent them from fogging up.


Cover greasy footprints on shower floors with a coating of Dawn; let sit overnight.  Scrub away the gunk in the morning with a stiff brush.


Mix two tablespoons Dawn to a gallon of water and put in your sprayer. Try to get spray both sides of the leaves, branches and the tree trunks. Let sit for about 15 minutes and then rinse the trees THOROUGHLY!


Here’s a brilliant idea!  Need a hostess gift when visiting friends and family this summer? Print off this post and include it with a bottle of Blue Dawn! Talk about USEFUL ! :-)

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  1. Steffi says

    I tried your shower cleaner the other day … wow … I could not believe the results. I LOVE IT!!! Keep up the great work. I love following your blog.
    Thanks for making my life easier.

      • Lacy Waters says

        I have used it on my dog before…. it works great!!! I also is great for when you have fleas in your house. Mix 2 tbs of dawn and warm water in bowls. Leave around the house the the fleas jump in :). Orkin pest control told me this trick :)

        • Audrey Boltz says

          For Fleas, I used to also add nightlights above the jar lid filled with straight Dawn while we slept. In the morning, the light had attracted to many fleas into the “bait lids” I could barely see any blue Dawn!

          • Shannon Hensley says

            Sprinkle Borax over your carpets and leave on for hr or so not really sure but that kills the fleas. I did a cleaning job that when i walked into the house my white socks were black it was infested. for two or three days we bombed the house spent close to 80.00 on flea bombs and still made no difference. This old lady at working at the store my husband was telling her about it. She said to buy that borax and the fleas will be gone. so we did the next morning there was not one live flea. the Borax cost i think 4 or 5 dollars. awesome

            • Denise R says

              I want to caution you using Borax to kill fleas on carpet. It’s very toxic to cats that walk across the carpet ven after it’s swept up. They absorb it through their paw pads and it causes livr damage and failure. I know this 1st hand… please use something other than Borax.

                • Krista says

                  This works! It can also be used like a once a month treatment for the animals. Did grade DE can be fed to them as worm prevention, tick, and flea repellent! You only treat once a month and it’ll work just as well as the expensive stuff from the vet! If you treat more than that, you can hurt them though. It can also be spread in the yard to stop the pests from being picked up in the first place. We use it regularly for all of our animals (we have a farm).

                  • Debbie Sitzes says

                    Krista, How much per pound of dog do you use? Is it a particular type of DE? How do you get your dogs to ingest it? DE is not harmful to the dog? If you use it in the yard to you run it around with a spreader or is there a better method? I know this is a lot of questioning. I have heard and read a lot of references to DE but have not been able to pin down any specifics. Hope you can help me out…. Thanks! Deb

            • Charlotte says

              Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum!! Studies have shown that no live fleas have ever been found inside a vacuum. Vacuum everything, furniture, pillows, carpets, drapes, mattresses and box springs, every thing. Do this every day because flea eggs will hatch every few days and you want to get them too.
              Vacuuming is cheaper than flea bombs and is safer for pets, too. It is also great exercise.

        • Ashley says

          As a dog groomer I can tell you that Dawn is NOT good for your dog’s skin when used as a shampoo. Using it every once in a while you may not see an issue, but dog’s skin is much different than ours or the wildlife that Dawn has on the bottles. If you contact Dawn they will even tell you not to use it on your dog. If you use it to replace your dog’s normal shampoo eventually you will dry out the skin and start to see sores, and can possible see chemical reactions. If you want a shampoo that works good, not filled w/ chemicals, and not very expensive try Earthbath. You can normally buy it at Petco and some of your grooming salons and specialty pet stores may carry it.

          • Web Chic says

            I groomed dogs for 4 years. Ashley is right. Think about how sore and stiff your Dawn dish pan hands get. It is too drying.

            Also, most dog shampoos are tearless. Have you ever gotten dish washing liquid in your eyes?

          • mavrick says

            Vets say otherwise when my dog had a bad reaction to some flea and tick shampoo they told me to wash her a few times in dawn to strip the chemicals off her if your dog is getting sores more then likely you are bathing them to much in the first place or they could be allergic to it!

          • Kathleen says

            You absolutely can use Dawn regularly to bathe your dogs, but afterward you should use a conditioner on them. You can actually buy Suave conditioner which is inexpensive and works great. I have dogs that the other “Pet” shampoos and conditioners irritated their skin and now have used this for years with out one issue. Their fur and hair is soft and their skin is not dry or irritated. Besides that, they love the smell.

          • Kimberly says

            You can put Dawn in a yard sprayer (a little bit mixed with water) and it will kill the fleas in the yard. You have to repeat every 3 days because of the life cycle of the flea. Repeat this several times and the fleas are gone!!

            • Angie says

              If a person had fleas, would it be good to use the dawn dishsoaps a shampoo or leave it in my hair and put a shower cap on and let it sit? I ave fleas and can’t seem to get rid of them. I have looked for ways and found this website and was Hoping that the dawn would work. To be honest, I did se the dawn on my hair as a shampoo and I still have them in my hair… any suggestions on this?? I also washed my sheets with dawn and yet the fleas are still on me.. :(

                • Tonnia Williams says

                  Actually blue Dawn is good to use for head lice also. Coat hair with Dawn, leave on 3o minutes,comb through with a fine tooth comb to remove lice and the nits (rinseing comb after each stroke) follow up with a good conditioner since Dawn will take out natural hair oils also.

              • Penny Urban says

                Go to the store and Buy 20 MULE TEAM BORAX its by the laundry detergent and stuff.Sprinkle on your carpet ,floor’s Bed mattresses, furniture. etc Let it sit a couple hours and vaccum it up repeat it in like 3 days or so and the flea’s WILL BE GONE Good Luck .

              • Dana says

                If you have lice or fleas you can shampoo with Dawn soap. I did this many years ago for my girls who contacted lice (from a family that wouldnt treat) and tried the Rid and it never worked. I had a wonderful woman that was in line behind me at Wal Mart tell me to use Dawn orginal blue and it would help. I replaced my Rid ( I think it was my third time) with Dawn and went home washed the bedding, walls, clothes and hair in The Dawn soap and it worked!! I keep a big bottle of Dawn at all times and yes I have always used on my animals as a flea shampoo and I take amd mist my floors as well.

              • Kristine says

                I think you have something more then fleas, body lice, crabs, bed bugs, head lice. Fleas would jump around these other type of bugs would not. I think you need something more then dawn dish soap.

      • Jessica says

        If it was not safe for animals they would not wash the oil covered wildlife with it. Just sayin and I use it on all my animals, and its the only safe thing to wash animal babies that are covered in fleas.

          • David says

            I will believe a vet over a dog groomer, sorry, but 3 different vets have said to use dawn because of how gentle it is. If a vet is going to recommend something cheaper and safer I will use that. My dog has major skin reactions to the chemicals in flea shampoo, so that would be way worse than dish soap!

            • Pam says

              I mix coconut oil with dawn to wash my dog to get rid of fleas to prevent drying of her coat and skin I also use Diatomaceous Earth found at your local garden center, it also kills Bed Bugs we also put it in the yard no ants or fleas in 4 yrs

      • Michelle Miller says

        I”ve used Dawn for years on my dogs for flea control. Also use it to remove TICKS!! Wet a cloth, drop of Dawn, rub on tick, it will pull out of you or your pet,found out abt this when my grandson had a tick on him over the weekend one time. ER told my daughter abt this!!

    • jill says

      It isn’t PH balanced for a dog. It is going to ruin their coat and strip them of their natural oils and ruin the PH of their skin. I am a groomer. The reason why people UESED to say don’t bathe your dog often is because people used dish soap.

      Todays pet shampoos are gentle and will not do harm…dawn will… go spend a few bucks on their own shampoo…and DO NOT use baby shampoo…not PH balanced either, dogs and cats are not babies.

      But hey if you want you dog to itch and have awful fur and skin go ahead…your mistake.

      • Lydia says

        Jill, if it is so awful, then why do vets recommend it? I am sure a vet would not recommend something that is harmful to a pet. And, they have been using it for years for wildlife caught in terrible human oil spills, would they use it for wildlife if it were so dangerous? You say your a groomer and talk about it not being PH balanced, but you do not explain what you mean by this. Just wondering. Oh and the correct spelling on a yelled out word is “USED” not ‘UESED” just saying.

        • Holly says

          I think what Jill is saying is that a vet may have said to use dawn because that was safe for the kitten at the time, I doubt a vet meant to use it regularly and for the rest of the cats life. Same for the oil spilled wild life, those are special circumstances but I think ideally you should use a shampoo that is meant for pets.

          • Bob Goodenough says

            It is the defence of the arrogant to call “stupid” when one has run though one’s arguments. In polite society, it is accepted to just remain quiet in the the face of the unchanged mind of one’s debate opponent.

          • Annabelle says

            Dog Groomers – understandably you don’t want to lose customers….but please remember, these people are NOT washing their dogs/cats every week with Dawn…..they are only using this method as a flea deterant. Your words might be true but only when it is used too much.

          • Bob S says

            Wow what a blanket statement. Must be some sort of Psychological projection, perhaps you might need to seek help.
            I believe using Blue dawn to kill fleas on pets is just fine in moderation as I am sure others are implying. Does that statement make me stupid as well?
            I would love to see you call any of the commenters stupid to their face and not hiding behind technology.

      • Patty says

        Jill- sure if you bathe your animal in this EVERYDAY then the pets skin is going to become dry, but every now and again, its not going to cause a problem. I too am a groomer and have had zero problems using dawn on my very own pets!

      • Dana says

        Jill, I disagree with you! I have a Rat terrier who we all know that most have skin condition. I use Dawn soap on her and then we wipe her down with a little bit of baby oil. Her coat is so pretty and she feels so much better. We did use expensive dog shampoo and we used a brand name and it almost killed one of my dogs and this is when we were adviced by a top vet from A&M to use the Dawn soap. My mom who is a retired Vet tech knew this trick as well and Vets would not tell anyone to useDawn soap on their animals if they would think for a minute it would harm them or hurt the Ph balance. To help with the Ph balance you can use apple cider vinegar as a rinse (mix with water). I want to mention my Rattie is 11 years old and she has never had a bath with anything but Dawn soap.

      • Jenn says

        I believe they are saying to just give the pet one bath with dawn in order to deal with fleas.. I have done this for my dog before and then followed up with a bath a few days later using his normal oatmeal/good skin and coat doggie shampoo. He was fine, the fleas were gone and both of us were happy.

        For those of you that live in areas where fleas are a regular concern – I would heed Jill’s advice and definitely *not* use dawn on your dog on a regular basis. Dogs don’t have the same type of skin pores that we do and it takes them a LOT longer to re-produce the oils that their skin and coats need to stay healthy.

        Jill: If someone does wash their pet regularly with dawn, is there a conditioner that they can use afterwards that helps to restore some of the oils in their skin and coat?

        • says

          I am a veteran pet groomer and a educator to the grooming industry. Blue Dawn is an effective degreaser. The pH (pH is a measure of the acidity/alkalinity of a liquid) is 7.0, which is perfectly neutral, neither acidic nor alkaline. The product contains strong detergents and solvents, including alcohol. Alcohol has an immediate “knockdown” effect on fleas, so they can’t scurry away or hop off during treatment. The strong detergents soften the outer “exoskeleton” of the parasite causing rapid death. It is not necessary to leave the Dawn in contact with the skin for longer than 3-5 minutes. Longer contact increases the risk of irritation. Thorough rinsing is also essential to avoid detergent irritation. For fleas, Dawn can be diluted up to 10 parts water one part Dawn. Ticks need neet, full strength, application as they have a thicker exoskeleton. Any conditioner will replace the lost oils from the skin and coat and restore moisture balance. IMHO, Dawn is less toxic than pesticidal flea/tick shampoos, and less likely to cause allergic reaction than d’limonene products. D’Limonene can be toxic to cats and a potent allergic sensitizer to dogs, especially if it oxidizes over time. Dawn is not for frequent everyday use.

      • faith says

        Jill, I understand you concern, but my vet. Was one of many that help with the exxon valdes wreck, trust me you can ask any vet. And they will say it is safe for animals. P.s. I am a dog groomer and have been one for over 30 years .

      • Mary Ann Redfern says

        My dog is three years old and I have used baby shampoo AND Dawn and have had absolutely no problem with either. Of course with ANY shampoo one should rinse very well.

      • chad says

        if u wash with their regular shampoo afterwards it will not hurt them and u can ballance the ph so it is safe in other ways. however if you do as i said and rewash w/regular shampoo afterwards there will be no problem..

    • Patty says

      I have always bathed my dogs in Dawn dish soap, one is a small dog, the other is large, i put the dogs in the tub, squirt the dawn right on their wet fur and suds em up and rinse them well, I do this about 1-2 times a month during flea season, never had any ill side effects, and they smell alot better then those chemical infested flea shampoos, I have also bathed my cats in this with no side effects, I swear by it and have done it for years!

    • Jenni says

      We found a puppy in the middle of the street in the middle of nowhere where. We called our vet who was closing for the night – they told us to bath the puppy in Dawn original – lather him up and let it sit a few minutes, rinse and repeat – the fleas were dead and gone in no time!

    • Pamela says

      Actually, if you can find the Ivory hand soap, not the dishwashing liquid, the hand soap only, liquid form it kills fleas on contact and kittens or puppies covered in fleas can become extremely anemic from blood loss and thier immune systems are not established enough to protect them from disease from flea bites, this really works well on baby animals!!

  2. says

    Great post! I love Dawn as a cleaning product! I did try the shower/tub cleaner and it did clean very well, however, I thought I had rinsed the shower well afterwards and there were still slippery spots left. Just a heads up to rinse, rinse, rinse after cleaning so no one takes a tumble.

  3. Laurie says

    The group of vets at our pet’s vet clinic and a friend of mine from church who is a vet have all told me to shampoo my dogs and cats (even an approximately 10 day old kitten we saved from becoming an opossum’s dunner) in Dawn dishwashing liquid to kill fleas. It is not harmful to them or irritating to the skin – UNLESS you don’t get it all rinsed out well. That is true of even the best dog shampoo and of people if we do not get shampoo or soap rinsed off completely. And I can personally attest to the fact that it kills fleas better than most dog/cat shampoos. Another thing that works really well on fleas is Avon’s Skin So Soft bath oil. One part Skin So Soft to 5 parts water. Get the pet good and wet with it and rinse well.

    • Tamara says

      Avon’s Skin So Soft is mineral oil and it is toxic for our skin, especially children. I wouldn’t think it would be good for our furry friends either. It’s a distilled byproduct of gasoline. Our skin is the largest organ and it absorbs what we put on it more than what we put in our mouth. Once our skin absorbs the mineral oil, it is broken down by our liver, and in passing it will absorb fat soluble vitamins and minerals from our body, which can cause nutritional deficiencies.

      Young children have died from accidental ingestion of mineral oil. When mineral oil is taken orally, it disrupts your lung function, which can quickly turn into lipoid pneumonia. Dogs lick their skin, so this is not a good idea to put on the skin of your furry friend either.

      Fleas are worse for dogs than Dawn dish soap, but I would say mineral oil is worse than fleas. I wouldn’t want to take the risk.


      • Rachel says

        I would have been dead along time ago. I had a medical condition as a child where I had to drink about a cup of mineral oil a day. The doctor told my mother to have me drink mineral oil. I have never had Lipiod pneumonia. I have never had a lung problem either.

        • Teresa says

          As far as Avon’s Skin So Soft Bath Oil… The University of Florida did a study sponging dogs down with it. By so doing, they saw a 40% drop in the amount of fleas on the dog. You can try it by mixing 1-1/2 ounces of bath oil to 1 gallon of water. It is also recommended by “Field and Stream.”

  4. Teagan says

    I love blue Dawn dish detergent. I’ve been using it as a stain pretreater/laundry booster, hair shampoo, face/body wash for a long time now (and for my dishes). I feel about Dawn the way the Dad from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” feels about Windex, that it can fix anything! Thanks for putting together this list of all it’s wonderful uses. I’m excited to try it out on ants. :)

  5. Lulu Scott says

    What the crap!! I had no idea this stuff has so many uses!! My dog, Suki, is allergic to fleas (I know right, how in the world does that happen!?!?!) so I’m always buying her shampoo in the summer to keep her happy and healthy but that adds up after awhile! Can’t wait to try the Dawn on her!

      • Cristan says

        Ellen, I would like to know if your cat got scabs, lost hair, and lips swell? Because my cat has not been diagnosed, but I do think that she is allergic to the flea saliva as well.

        • Betsy says

          Cristan, Both of my dogs are allergic and yes the do get very crusty scabs. They chew their hair out i have never noticed swollen lips. Maybe that is a cat thing??? I think I am gonna try the mild dawn soap to see if this helps as they are also allergic to many of the topical chemicals.

          • Susan says

            Not the solution for flea allergic dogs!
            I’m a vet tech and I’ve seen Dawn work well for flea baths (or J&J baby shampoo is my preference since it’s gentler and not as drying- in theory, any soap should kill fleas; they breath through their skin so the thick soap suffocates them). BUT, if you have a pet that’s allergic to fleas, baths aren’t going to cut it. You need to be using a product that will prevent them from getting on your pet and biting in the first place. Flea-allergic pets are allergic to the BITES- what do you think those fleas are doing before you wash them off? Biting! Instead, use a safe, effective product like Frontline Plus or Comfortis to prevent fleas. These products work all month long vs baths where your pet is miserable the next day when the fleas have re-infested.

            • Michelle says

              Ladies: I have a dog who is allergic to fleas/bites/saliva as well. This is the FIRST year of his adult life he has been completely covered in fur. I have to thank my vet for this wonder (although, with the heat, Ted (dog) might not be liking me). I have done the Dawn-as-a-shampoo on him as well. While it worked great for a few tries, eventually (per vet) it does wipe out the animal’s natural oils in the fur, which work for him as well. She suggested using the Dawn BEFORE a regular oatmeal-shampoo bath.

              As for the reason he has fur…She suggested Trifexis, and it has worked wonderfully for him. I haven’t seen my poor baby with fur on the back 3/4 of himself in 4 years. (note: cost = about $90 for 6-month supply), but is helps with fleas and prevents heartworm and intestinal worms. (NO…this is not a plug for it).

            • Candee says

              I have given my dogs baths with Dawn and the fleas do not come back on them the next day. One of my dogs were allergic to fleas and had allergies. the fleas stayed off of them completely and did not re-infest the next day. the small amount of residue left behind, keeps them away. Also got rid of everyone of the fleas.

            • Whitney says

              i agree with Susan, i’m also a vet tech and dawn is very commonly used in shelters for that reason and its donated so they have it, but i also prefer baby shampoo even the generic, if its safe for ur tattoos and piercings should be good for them. but if you think flea allergy, always best to never depend on a bath to solve the problem and help you and ur pet out by getting them on a flea prevention. for flea allergy dogs really like trifexis its a pill however pet has to be up to date on prevention and tests. comforis is awesome and revolution for a cat. if u need imm. relief u can combine capstar and another that topical. i would just advise getting it from a vet then another carrier so ur sure the product will work for the situation and u can ask questions. flea eggs are not on them they are in ur carpet, hardwood, curtains, bed, couch, dark nice hiding places waiting to hatch and then look for ur pet so that’s why a bath wont solve the problem.

  6. Denise says

    Great ideas. Dawn and water in a spray bottle are also great for killing box elder bugs outside the home. Spray it on them and they stop moving almost immediately. We use it on the siding, in landscaping, etc. Rain washes it away and it’s easy to do!

    • Kate says

      I wish I had known this before I moved out of my house.

      A good way to prevent the boxelder bugs is to get rid of all the maple seeds (helicopters) that drop from the maple trees. I had a major problem one year and didn’t realize it was because of the seeds. I had to completely remove all of my mulch and spray Se7en all over the yard. (I hated doing that.) The next year. I went out daily to remove all the seeds as they dropped from my tree. I ended up with a few bugs here and there, but was able to use a hand-held bug spray to kill them. I wish I would have known the dawn trick!

  7. Rhiannon says

    My hairdresser put too dark of a toner on my highlights once. She told me to wash my hair with Dawn for a couple of days to strip out the toner. Sure enough, in a couple days I had the right shade of highlights. Just be sure to use a good conditioner :)

    • Candace says

      Rhiannon I was going to say the same thing. I managed a chain of salons and when some one would come in with dark box color on their hair and wanted to go lighter we would suggest Dawn for a couple of uses as not to do more damage to the hair.

  8. says

    Wow !
    We do love our Dawn… Pa Jim even let in a vaccum salesman the other day because they were giving a bottle of it to you if they could demonstrate… and we were almost out! LOL. But, we had no idea that it did all this, we will have to try all the new ideas. Hugs, you are awesome as always!

  9. L says

    Your blog is amazing and so helpful! I like unscented products and Dawn’s smell is way to ‘loud’ for me. Would other products work as well? I wonder if there is an unscented Dawn and if it would work too. Any ideas?!

  10. jkincolorado says

    Cool list!! I’m a first time Dawn user because of you and have been quite impressed! I love, love, love the tub and shower cleaner and I want to try the Window cleaner soon.

    Whenever I try a new recipe or homemade cleaner, my hubby asks “Is that from Jillee?” More times than not, it is!! I look forward to my daily email :)

    • Elizabeth says

      This is what I use for granite. I omit the essential oil (didn’t have any!), and the smell doesn’t bother me. It evaporates quickly.

      1/4 cup rubbing alcohol (you may also use vodka)
      3 drops of dish detergent
      1 cup water
      A few drops of essential oil (to help mask alcohol smell)

  11. Melanie says

    I love Dawn and have for years. I used to work in a Maintenance department and would often get grease on my good clothes. I started keeping a bottle of dawn at the office and spot cleaning. Saved me TONS of money. I use it for cleaning my kitchen floor, shower, and used it for the outside of our soft side above ground pool!

  12. CSH says

    Almost 28 years ago, I had my white wedding gown laying across the backseat of the car when my maid of honor and I arrived at the church (we were dressing there). Somehow in transporting, a small dark oily spot got on the skirt of my gown–probably the guests wouldn’t have noticed it but as a nervous bride I could see nothing else. Luckily, the church kitchen had Dawn and my mother rubbed a little in with her fingers. The spot immediately disappeared! All these years and Dawn (and the same husband) is still something my home cannot be without!

    • Jan says

      Loved this Dawn story! God Bless your Mom for taking initiative that day and making the stain on your lovely wedding dress go away!!! I hope you thanked her properly for making your wedding day memorable!!

    • thayerwife27 says

      I had the same problem on my wedding day. While getting out of the limo I got a grease spot on my dress. I wish I would have known this trick. At the time I was too busy freaking out about the spot and arriving to the church late that I didn’t even think about using Dawn.

  13. Melanie says

    You can also use Dawn for head lice. Put on the head and cover with plastic wrap. And as far as using other detergents…I have never found anything that works like Dawn.

  14. Ann says

    For those asking, YES it has to be Blue Dawn, not other brands or colors of Dawn. It is a special blend and NO other companies do not have the same “recipe” to get the same results. If it irritates your hands, wear rubber gloves to wash your dishes or when you use it. It’s worth the effort.

    • Karen says

      I consistently substitute orange or grapefruit Ajax for Dawn in cleaning and bug killing recipes with excellent results. The Dawn just plain stinks and even in ventilated areas I have needed my inhaler after exposure to it.

      Try what you have in the house. If it doesn’t work to your satisfaction you can go buy the Dawn.

  15. 1momof4 says

    This is such great info! I wanted to add one amazing use for Dawn. A military survivalist friend of mine said that Dawn dish soap is a great wound wash. I went and stored up a few gallons of this stuff! Now I have more reasons to use and store up! Thanks, Jillee!

    • Kathy says

      I can attest to the effectiveness of Dawn for wound care…I was bitten on the hand by a cat and ended up with a puncture wound that went all the way through my hand. Cat bites are notorious for infection and mine was no exception. The ER doctor told me to soak my hand in a mixture of Dawn and very warm water several times a day. The swelling, redness, heat and drainage in my hand was gone within a few days. Dawn has been a permanent part of my first aide kit ever since!

    • says

      Kathleen…you can always try a different dish liquid…but most likely it won’t be as effective in most cases.

      Just an fyi….according to Procter and Gamble…the grease-cutting part of Dawn is made from petroleum, but it’s less than one-seventh of the product as a whole.

      Alice Berkner, founder of the International Bird Rescue Center, said she knows there are greener cleaners, but she won’t allow any substitutes for Dawn because they don’t have the same “magic”.

  16. SheilaB says

    Someone please help me out here. And please know I’m not complaining, just seeking understanding or experience with this product! :-) All the pics I see using Dawn in household products, people are using the “ultra concentrated” version. When I look at the store, the “original” Dawn is in the old, familiar tall bottle, the kind shaped like a woman’s figure. So my question is, do you all just halve the amount of the ultra concentrated in these recipes? Or do you double the original brand? Or, has no one noticed or cared about this before? LOL! :-D I am serious though. There’s a marked price difference and if I use the P&G .50 coupon on the original version and get it crazy cheap, I want to know that it will work just as effectively. Thanks so much! :-)

    • Marie Foster says

      No mam, The concentrated does not work as well for me. I dont even like it to wash my dishes. Even tried the other formulas but did not like them either. They just dont seem to do the trick. Of course it could be just me. My kids say Im weird. I do like the Total whatever Dawn has for clean some pots and pans. I use Dawn for alot of stuff but did not know all of these hints. Keep up the good work.

  17. says

    I have really been enjoying your blog and all the cool info here for a few weeks now.
    But…. Dawn dish liquid contains triclosan, a very bad chemical.it is a hormone disrupter and is terrible for anything aquatic. There is no info on their website that they have cleaned any oil damaged birds,just that they donated to the cause,but was it actually used??? Here is a website with more information on dawn and it’s dangers.

    I have used your super miracle shower cleaner with a natural dish detergent and it works beautifully!!! I actually can use half of the amount of the dish liquid you have in the recipe. I started making my own laundry detergent to stop using all the bad chemicals, saving money is just an extra bonus.

  18. Lauren says

    I often find that big box pharmacies have great sales on the small bottles of Dawn (usually 99 cents) – combine that with the almost guaranteed coupon(s) in the P&G flyer at the beginning of every month, and it’s a pretty good deal! :)

  19. Martha says

    Whenever I’ve asked someone how to get out a stain or clean something, the answer is almost always “use good ol blue Dawn dish soap”. We have ferociously hard water, and the shower cleaner conquers it. While my house smells a bit like a salad bar after cleaning the shower, it’s better than having to leave the house (we are both very sensitive to chemical fumes). We also use it on our dogs and cat to kill fleas (does it ever). While other brands are good on dishes, only Dawn gets put into the cleaners I make at home.

  20. Susan says

    Dawn + Peroxide + Baking Soda + H2O will get rid of skunk smell on a dog. And a spray bottle with water & Dawn sprayed on a bee hive or wasp nest will keep the fliers grounded while you knock down the hive/nest.

    • Kathleen says

      If you have a bee hive I recommend finding a bee keeper in your area that can relocate it. Bees are essential in our ecosystem. I found a volunteer group in my area that just asked for gas money to remove and relocate the hive that was in my backyard. He then sprayed apple cider vinegar to deter them from returning.

        • Mac says

          I would lay you money that if you contact the local Farmer’s Co-op or your local County Agricultural Extension Office, they would be able to give you a list of Bee Keepers. If you have Wholesale Commercial Flower Nursery in your area they probably have someone that works for them or is on a list of contacts should they have to have a “Swarm” removed. Also try looking in your phone book under Apiaries, that is what a Bee yard is called. You might also try Plant Nursery Suppliers, Hobby Stores, Exterminators, Animal or Wildlife Control offices, Department of Game and Wildlife Enforcement, County Sheriff. Someone in your area is quietly keeping bees and would love to have any Honey Bee Swarms that you could direct them to. I know that I would, I am a Hobby Bee Keeper.

    • Rhonda B says

      My poor dogs have been sprayed by skunks hundreds of times. So much they simply get in the bathtub by themselves! LOL! I have tryed it all but the only thing that really works is Dawn. Just a Dawn shampoo’ing. Dawn cuts the skunk spray which is an oil base. Great stuff!

    • Mary Ann Redfern says

      Dawn is great for killing wasps. One hit with Dawn and they drop immediately. They may crawl around a little while but they never fly again. Trust me–I’m from the deep south, Louisiana, and wasps are a real problem here.

  21. Amy says

    @Barbara: I think I recall the Triclosan is only found in the anti-bacterial formulas. I agree with you on the chemicals. Ridiculous how saturated our environment has become. @Jillee thanks for another great post. Always great ideas!

    • drgnflyblue says

      A a vet tech, dawn is safe and very useful in many pet situations. Puppies and kittens especially. It is a de- greaser and shouldn’t be used for flea control. Advantage is safe for use on nursing mothers and puppies and kittens who have stopped nursing (6weeks). Fleas reproduce constantly and hatch according to the temperature, humidity, and vibrations such as running the vacuum. Bombs are toxic to you and your pets and leave resadue everywhere. Prevention is your best bet. REMEMBER ADVANTAGE IS SAFE!

  22. Robin-Taine says

    Hi Jillee. I’m fairly new to your site (found you on pintrest). You have some fabulous ideas here! I’ve been using vinegar and baking soda around the house for ages, but you have certainly inspired me to try other things. I was wondering if you have compiled a list of essentials for making your own cleaners, beyond the vinegar and baking soda! Thanks!

  23. says

    LOVE this post! I was going to mention the hair-dye stripping tip as well; it worked wonders on a too-dark color job for me a few years ago.

    Jillee, I wish you had told us sooner that you were going to be on Good Things Utah today, I TOTALLY would have DVRed it!

    LOVE you blog – thanks for all the info!

  24. says

    You are such a smarty!! Thanks for all the terrific tips! I have always used Dawn in the tub/shower just because I think it’s fairly “non toxic” and does such a good job. It’s great for those pregnant mommies who need to clean but shouldn’t breathe in harsh chemicals.

  25. says

    Love your blog, Jillee. It was so fun to see you on the show after following your blog for months. Thanks for posting the link.

    Do you know what is the secret ingredient in blue dawn that makes it work great? I can’t get it where I live, so I’m wondering how to search for the best dishwashing soap here.

    • Demaroge says

      Order it from the internet! I buy practically anything on the internet!

      Did you know that Cream of Tartar sells in BIG bags? It is a bi-product of making wine (somehow!) and it sells for a ridiculous amount in a little jar at the store. However, I use it to make play-dough and I have been reading about using it for cleaning as well….. and it isn’t so expensive when I can find pounds of it online!

      I also order Johnny’s seasoning salt and Uncle Dan’s ranch dressing packets because I can’t get them where I live!

  26. Amy says

    Hi everyone, I wanted to mention about the tub & shower cleaner. I’ve made it with Palmolive just because that’s what I had on-hand. I scrubbed the shower walls like crazy with one of those plastic scrub pads & the result was so-so; the soap scum was mostly gone on any smooth part of the shower, but a large part of my shower wall is textured, & this is where the soap scum is particularily built-up; the palmolive/vinegar mix just didn’t cut it (haha pun)… I even tried dipping my scrub pad in some baking soda for extra abrasive power, but still wasn’t enough… so I’ll have to invest in some Dawn & try again. I loved what the cleaner did for the chrome in my shower (I have hard water too) & I think it would’ve been fine if I didn’t have soooo much scum. So word to the wise, if you are using the cleaner to bust thru soap scum, don’t expect these amazing results from Palmolive. I guess it just doesn’t have what Dawn has!

    Jill, thanks for such a great site. I’m looking forward to trying out more of your recipes!!

    P.S. You looked great on the show! I was so happy I was able to view it online even tho I live in Canada!

  27. Rhoni says

    If you have a dog with a bad flea problem, you can get them wet lather them up with Dawn and leave it on them for about 5 mins then rinse. About 7 years ago my Scottie “Eddie” had gotten in to fleas bad, bad BAD. I had to do this to him, it was a tip from a farmer in my area, it worked the first time. Eddie also brought fleas into the house I used a few drops of Dawn in the carpet cleaner/shampooer, killed them too! Fast forward a few years, I now have horses that get bathed in Dawn it helps with the ticks and flies!

    • Autumn says

      so does it KEEP the fleas off or just get rid of the ones they have? i have a chihuahua who the fleas LOVE (they don’t bother her or us) and a mixed mutt that is allergic to them. i keep my yard sprayed, flea stuff on all of them, etc but UGH they are so hard to keep away from my chi!

      • Melissa says

        Autumn, it only kills the ones on them as far as I can tell. But, when you have 3 week old kittens with fleas, you do it. My cats get regular flea treatment but when I bring home foster babies, I need to get those fleas off them FAST!! And it’s fairly effective. I had a litter for only a couple of nights and gave them dawn baths both nights. There long term foster mom said she saw no fleas on them when she got them on Saturday (I was just a temp home until the foster home became available).

        And, the shelter I volunteer at SWEARS by blue Dawn for cleaning the dog kennels. I’d gets dog poop off the floors and walls better than commercial cleansers that cost a small fortune. We now specifically ask for Blue Dawn detergent on our wish list.

  28. Pinkdrops says

    Love your blog!Living in Portugal we dont have Dawn dish washing liquid so I have to make do.I use a concentrated local dish washing liquid for cleaning products. I mix alcohol, water and a few drops of dish washing liquid for cleaning bathrooms, stoves and windows and everything gets real clean and shiny without much scrubbing. Ive got all my friends using this. For stain remover I use the dish washing liquid and oxiginated water, rub it on stain and its great. Im weary about using it on my animals as I dont know if it will be harmful or not.

    • Kimberly says

      Thanks for these extra tips! Just as an FYI for anyone reading this, I thought I’d “translate” one possible confusion…. oxiginated water is hydrogen peroxide. :) It took me a little bit to figure that out when I was living in South America and in need of “agua oxigenada.”

  29. Leah says

    You have mentioned dawn as a clothes pretreater. I use it for leaks with my little ones. If their diaper has an explosion…dawn will always get it out! I breast feed, so I don’t know if it works for formula fed diaper messes. I have used it for the last 3 of my children’s clothes.

  30. jessie monson says

    What is the difference between regular Dawn and the ultra concentrated version? I tried 16oz of vinegar with 4 oz of Ultra Concentrated Dawn when I made your shower cleaner and I was rinsing for a half hour to get rid of all the bubbles. On the plus side my shower looked fantastic!

    • Mary Brien says

      I used a 5 parts vinegar to one part Dawn when I made up the spray solution. Does a brilliant job on my 50 yr old bath and tiles (including the grout which has always had a problem with mould. Spray on, leave for about 5 minutes and then lightly wipe with a micro cloth. Rinsing takes no time with the smaller amount of Dawn. Even this old tub that’s over due replacement shines!

  31. Steph says

    I also use Dawn dish liquid to clean my cat’s litter box. Gets rid of that yucky litter box smell so much better than bleach, baking soda, or even vinegar and lasts longer too!

  32. Dominique wallace says

    It also works wonders on bees!!! Mix a little dawn with warm water, put it in a spray bottle and squirt those suckers :-) they will fall dead almost instantaneously :-) I recommend a pressurized spray bottle so that you can get a constant flow of solution… Gently squirt them as if it was raining so that they do not become alarmed … Just die lol :-)

  33. Erin says

    Dawn is my WONDER cleaner for my clothes. You know those mystery stains that appear after you have put the laundry through the dryer? Dawn removes nearly all of them! I would be lost without my Dawn.

    • Andrea says

      I get those mystery stains, too! They’re not even consistent, they just pop up when they feel like it. Soooo aggravating!!! They always like to appear dead front and center on my cotton or cotton blend shirts and I never notice them until AFTER they’ve been through the dryer. I squirt a drop of Dawn on the stain along with a little Shout gel and scrub it in with this little battery operated scrubber I got with a Tide promo and just wash it again and the stain comes out. Now, if I could just figure what’s causing the stains in the first place . . .

      • Bonoca says

        @Andrea…Yes, I get those “mystery” stains too and I think it’s from my washer, not my dryer. I’ve googled this problem and found out that running the washing machine with very hot water and bleach works wonders. I’ve tried it and it works. I believe the problem stems from buildup in the washing machine. Also, I leave my washer open after every load to let it totally dry out (and hopefully keep any mold from growing inside).

        Unfortunately, I haven’t been successful getting the stains out of my clothes so I’m thrilled to find out about using Dawn to treat the stains.

        Please let me know if the bleach trick has been helpful to you!

  34. Megan says

    Great article!! I cant wait to try some of these out!!

    Dawn also works GREAT on carpet stains. There were some stains on my carpets when we moved in and I tried every product I could find and it didnt help at all. I also have a 3 YO and a Newborn so we had plenty of new stains to add. For old stains wet the spot and pour baking soda on it, wait for it to dry then vacuum it up. In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix up 1 tbsp white vinegar, 1 tbsp blue Dawn, then fill the rest of the way with warm water. Use a soft cloth and scrub the stains out! Ive used this on baby poop, vomit, koolaid stains, high traffic area dirt, EVERYTHING, and I gave the recipe to a friend whose dog was sick and kind of destroyed their carpet, this recipe got up EVERY stain even after every other product wouldnt.

  35. says

    Sadly, Dawn changed their formula a few years ago and it now irritates my asthma. I’m not saying it will irritate everyone’s asthma, but it certainly has for me and everyone so far with whom I’ve had a discussion about it. Complaints have been made. I occasionally check it to see if they have changed back, and so far no-go. I still find myself gagging and reaching for the inhaler at one whiff.

  36. Kathy says

    Correction re poison ivy: Dawn would be great for removing the oil that causes blisters, but has to be done immediately after contact (like within 15 minutes). Blister juice is NOT going to cause spread of the rash. Different areas may break out at different times because of site sensitivity or amount of antigen deposited on that particular area of skin. Others cannot get the rash from contact with blisters. They can, however, get it from touching skin that still has the stuff from the plant on it. Also, contact with items of clothing, pets, horses, sporting equipment, etc. that has been in contact with the leaves can transfer the oil to your skin and give you that oh-so-delightful rash.


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