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DIY Dawn Powerwash Recipe: The Easiest Dish Spray Refill

This DIY Dawn Powerwash recipe makes meal cleanup so much easier!

Dawn has been my dish soap of choice since I first started blogging back in 2011, so coming up with a Dawn Powerwash recipe was a no-brainer! I’ve used Dawn to make a powerful homemade shower cleaner, DIY cleaning wipes, a homemade granite cleaner, a DIY window and mirror cleaner, and much more!

Their Dawn Powerwash Spray has its uses too, but I thought if I could make Dawn Powerwash instead of continuing to buy those refill bottles, that would be even better! If you also like Dawn’s dish spray but don’t love its price tag, you’ll definitely want to learn to make your own Dawn Powerwash too, and that’s exactly what you’ll learn in this post!

This DIY Dawn Powerwash Recipe works just like the original!

What Is Dawn Powerwash?

According to P&G, more people are adopting a “clean as you go” approach in the kitchen, and Dawn Powerwash is meant to fit seamlessly into the process. When you’re done using a dish or other container, you can just place it in the sink and spray it with Powerwash to start breaking down grease and food stains, which makes post-meal cleanup quick and easy.

DIY Dawn Powerwash Recipe is easy to make and will save you a lot of money.

Dawn Powerwash Spray Vs. Dawn Dish Soap

The main difference between Dawn Powerwash and regular Dawn dish soap is that you have to add water to dish soap in order for it to work properly. On the other hand, Powerwash starts working as soon as you spray it onto your dish, ideally saving you some time and effort.

Powerwash is diluted and made to spray in a fine mist. Powerwash does list alcohol as the first ingredient on the bottle, but their website says it isn’t antibacterial.

After buying the spray initially, I was less enthusiastic about buying a refill based on the price tag. So I decided to do what I do best and make a Dawn Powerwash hack at home! (Wondering how to refill Dawn Powerwash after you’ve emptied the bottle? This recipe works perfectly for that!)

All you need for DIY Dawn Powerwash Recipe is water and Dawn dish soap. Vinegar and lemon essential oil are optional.

DIY Dawn Powerwash Recipe

Ingredients:

It only takes a tiny bit of Dawn dish soap to make DIY Dawn Powerwash Recipe.

Directions:

Add 1 tablespoon of dish soap (either classic blue Dawn or homemade dish soap, if you prefer) to an empty spray bottle, then fill the remainder of the bottle with water.

Adding lemon essential oil to your DIY Dawn Powerwash Recipe will give you extra grease cutting power and a lovely scent.

You can stop there, or add a splash of distilled white vinegar or rubbing alcohol to help offset the effects of hard water. (A couple drops of lemon essential oil for added cleaning power wouldn’t go amiss either!) Replace the spray top and shake the bottle gently to mix.

I recommend making your homemade Dawn Powerwash in an empty Powerwash bottle or continuous spray bottle. (You can use a standard 16 ounce spray bottle if that’s all you have on hand, but the foam will be more likely to clog the nozzle of a standard spray bottle.)

To use your DIY Dawn Powerwash Recipe, simply spray dishes before putting them in the sink. When you come back to do the dishes, food and mess will slide right off!

How To Use Your DIY Dish Spray

When you start making dinner (or any meal, for that matter), set your DIY dish spray out next to the kitchen sink. As you prep and cook your food, spray each dirty dish generously with the dish spray before setting it in the sink.

Later on, once you’re finished eating and ready to clean up the kitchen, the dish spray will have worked its magic! Whether you choose to scrub the dishes by hand or load them into the dishwasher, your dishes will be sparkling clean in no time.

Have you tried a Dawn Powerwash recipe before?

woman making DIY dawn powerwash

DIY Dawn Powerwash Recipe

Jill Nystul
Dawn's new Powerwash soap spray has several great advantages, but my DIY version works just as well and costs pennies to make!
3 from 2 votes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Active Time 3 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Cost $15
Yield 1 soap dispenser

Equipment

  • Continuous Spray Bottle or empty Powerwash bottle

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tbsp dish soap
  • 10 oz water
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 5 drops lemon essential oil

Instructions
 

  • Squeeze a small amount of dish soap into a spray bottle, then fill the remainder of the bottle with water. (I just eyeballed the amounts here, but I probably used about 1 tablespoon of soap and 10 ounces of water.)
    I recommend using a continuous spray bottle if you can get your hands on one. If you’ve already got an empty bottle of Powerwash at home, you can simply refill that bottle!
    It only takes a tiny bit of Dawn dish soap to make DIY Dawn Powerwash Recipe.
  • You can also add a splash of white vinegar to the bottle to help fight hard water and mineral content in your water, and a couple of drops of lemon essential oil for added grease-cutting power wouldn’t go amiss either (but both the vinegar and lemon oil are totally optional!)
    Replace the spray top and shake the bottle gently to mix.
    Adding lemon essential oil to your DIY Dawn Powerwash Recipe will give you extra grease cutting power and a lovely scent.
  • As you prep and cook your food, spray each dirty dish generously with the dish spray before setting it in the sink.
    Later on, once you’re finished eating and ready to clean up the kitchen, the dish spray will have worked its magic! Whether you choose to scrub the dishes by hand or load them into the dishwasher, your dishes will be sparkling clean in no time.
    To use your DIY Dawn Powerwash Recipe, simply spray dishes before putting them in the sink. When you come back to do the dishes, food and mess will slide right off!

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • Hi, I read somewhere of a hack to keep your stainless steel sink shiny after you finish the dishes but can’t find it now. I don’t know if it was rubbing alcohol or something else. I remember you spray it down and wipe out. Any suggestions?

  • I’m loving these bottles alone! I’m adding one to my cart for my bathroom (water to spritz my hair) and a larger one for Dawn in the kitchen. I may switch this around a bit by adding the water first so not to end up with too many suds. Thank you for the link and great ideas, Jillee!

  • My son showed me this trick about 6 years ago using just a regular cheap spray bottle. It is the handiest hack EVER. It’s great for cookouts, camping, traveling, wherever you need to wash something up real quick. I am never without my Dawn spray!

  • Been DIY for years with this homemade dish spray. I use approx 2 tablespoons of Dawn in a 32 oz sprayer of water. That is plenty of Dawn to do the job, no need for as much as the recipe here.

  • This is only as good as the soap you buy, so why not just use Dawn? Also why is this being repeated 3x over? I now remember why I hate this site, all the ads are ridiculous. And to pay, please

  • Then ingredients on the Dawn power wash list alcohol as the first ingredient, I add two tablespoons and one cup of Dawn and fill
    With water , seems to work well for us

  • Here’s another version that I found works when other tries didn’t and the spray output before did not look anything like the original Dawn power wash spray, so here goes.
    The container bottle of original Dawnn power wash contains 16 ounces. Following the advice of others who have posted before me, after totally rinsing out the original power wash container to remove all the bubbles, I then poured slightly over 12 ounces of tapwater into the base. Then I tried 70% rubbing alcohol followed by pouring in 2 ounces of dawn ultra dish soap, replacing the spray handle and gently shaking it back-and-forth.
    This did not work well at all and was very runny so, based on a tip that I read it perhaps elsewhere, i used four pumps of SANELL, 63% hand sanitizer which the bottle states also contains moisturizers and vitamin E? The picture of the Sanell ha d sanitizer wouldn’t post but it’s a 30 oz bottle and I imagine each ‘pump’ may be about 1/2 oz,
    When I tried the solution it replicated the original bottle perfectly.
    It appears that the isopropyl alcohol may be the ‘secret sauce’ ingredient.
    I then refilled all of my empty Dawn Power wash containers, tested all three and ‘voila’! I am one happy clam.
    Hope that helps.

  • I’ve been spraying my dishes this way for years. I usually ‘clean as you go’ while cooking but sometimes they get sprayed and sit overnight, to be washed the next morning. Put a tiny drizzle of Dawn in the bottom and fill up a 32 oz trigger sprayer with water. You can spray a lot of dishes and get plenty of suds. I buy the slightly more expensive ‘chemical resistant’ trigger sprayer bottles because they’re higher quality. The triggers work well, have excellent spray patterns, and last many years.

  • I’ve been making a Dawn and water mixture for several years. I spray it on my stovetop and counters after cooking so I can easily degrease and clean them. I then do a quick follow up with a plain wet dishcloth to remove any residue. Makes cleanup so easy.

  • If you hate chemicals, Dawn is full of toxins…the regular dishwashing liquid all they way to the powerwash. I check products on EWG.org for the chemicals which are graded A, B, C, D, F. If you can’t find your product then you can type in the name of the chemical or cut and paste the name from the list of ingredients you find online on the products. Powerwash wasn’t on the site yet but many others are which have been graded mostly D’s and even some were graded F.

  • Jillee, I have been a fan for a while now. Love your tips, hacks, etc. I must share this w/u. I am a subscriber to Consumer Reports. The latest had warnings re: white vinegar as a aditives to dish washers, and front loading washers. I have been using vinegar as a water softener in dishwasher, as a clothes softener in wash., etc. there was skeptism on the part of CR, as a water softener. they claim the vinegar did absolutley nothing to soften clothes, also, it does significent damage to the rubber gasket in the washer, especially front loaders. i have been using vinegar for decades, w/o noticible damage to the gasket. what is your opinion? thanx.

  • I really liked the idea of this DIY wash but decided to purchase the Dawn bottle first. I tried it and then made yours. My first bottle I thought was a little runny and didn’t quite do what the Dawn did so when I made another bottle I used a little more soap and a good dose of lemon essential oil. My oh my did it do a great job of cutting grease and the smell was wonderful. Thank you so much for the starting point, Jillee.

  • Would this recipe and spray bottle work on the tub and shower? I usually spray the tub/shower with white vinegar. If it is bad or has been longer than it should’ve been I spray it liberally two to three times letting it sit between spraying. Next, I use a generous amount of Dawn Liquid Detergent and squirt it all around the tub. Instead of a scrub brush I use a small to medium sized broom that is only used for the tub (easier on my back.) If the soap scum is heavy I may do a repeat.

    I was thinking this recipe, since it sprays so fine, could be used daily after showers therefore preventing buildup. Would that work?

  • I was all excited to make my own spray, which I may still may I like to soak or pre soak things to clean up easier. But the bottles run about $18-24!!! That is a bit pricey if you are trying to save money but spend a fortune on a bottle. Thanks for the recipe. Will have to try in regular spray bottle.

      • Some cleaners on the market now come in a continuous spray bottle. One in particular is 16 ounces of cleaner for $4.99. The cleaner is great, and once the bottle is empty, it can be reused for this DIY idea.

  • I always clean as I go. I learned this as a child and it has served me well! I hate to go to someone’s home and instead of rinsing as they go save it until after dinner. I want to groan at the mess as I offer to help!!

  • Totally clean as you go and seldom use the dishwasher any longer unless there is a crowd at the house and it just makes sense. But there are currently only 2 living here :)

  • I love Dawn! When I have say a dirty pan that I just cooked rice in, I will put it in the sink, put 1 drop of dawn and fill it up with hot water. Then when I have time, I will wash it and pour the soapy water into another dirty dish that needs soaking. I don’t need to buy the Powerwash dish spray. I saw that in the stores and thought ” I don’t need to speed extra money on something that I don’t need. I need to save money not spend it on something like this.

    But Thanks for all your Wonderful/ helpful posts! I love them!

  • My husband is a neat freak…. sometimes. He’s a nut about keeping the kitchen clean. We won’t discuss the piles of Stuff that surround him everywhere else. :)

    I have been cooking for umpty-ump years and I don’t interrupt the process to clean things. I set them on the counter or in the sink till I’m ready to clean them. I fill them full of hot soapy water if I’m not going to get to them quickly. The idea of soaking dirty dishes drives my husband berserk. I don’t know why. He just won’t do it. Therefore I’ve seen him time and time again trying to use the full force of his arm to get things clean. I have long since lost track of how many times I have said “If you have to use that much energy to clean something, you are using the wrong tools or the wrong technique.” I have also seen him interrupt the process of cooking to carefully scrub something clean, and scorch whatever it was he was trying to cook while his attention is diverted to washing things.

    Now that he’s retired he’s cooking more often. I think maybe he’s finally coming to understand the reasons why I wouldn’t stop in the middle of something to carefully wash all the pots and pans. I’m thinking that something like this might persuade him that soaking things till later won’t cause the world to come to an end either. Gonna go buy another spray bottle. :)

    • I don’t know if you consider it a “power” spray, but I added some diluted Dawn to a spray bottle, and spray it into dirty pots or frying pans, it works quickly and the dishes are clean. I do not need to use the D/W for the two of us as our kids are all on their own. I do sometimes load the clean dishes into the D/W and run the water until HOT, and put the D/W on “rinse only.” In nine minutes I have hot dishes that do not need drying, and I put them away.

  • I love the Dawn Powerwash for washing my plastic storage containers. I just spray the dish and let it sit for a few minutes. It completely removes the odor and the tomato stains.

    • A really easy way to keep your plastic containers free from tomato stains is to spray the inside of the container/s with PAM or coat with Olive Oil prior to adding your tomato sauce. This has worked for me for years.

  • Here is the link: Dawn Power Wash on Amazon

    Just ordered, 2 pints of PowerWash from Amazon – one in the continuous spray bottle, and one a refill, on Amazon, for $8.50 total. Shipping delayed til after July 3… guess Jillee’s folks have found this also :)

    I’m rationalizing the ‘expense’ (and will do Jillee’s DIY as soon as I use up the purchased stuff) as I won’t use water to ‘wet’ what is sitting in the sink, then rinsing the big stuff before putting in the dishwasher, and, hopefully, not using the dishwasher as often.
    Just ordered, 2 pints of PowerWash from Amazon – one in the continuous spray bottle, and one a refill, on Amazon, for $8.50 total. Shipping delayed til after July 3… guess Jillee’s folks have found this also :)

    https://amzn.to/2Z2X9L7

  • I’ve been making my own version with Cleaning Vinegar and Dawn and it works great! I sure do like the looks of their bottle tho’ so I’m thinking of buying it once just so I can get the bottle for using my own formula in

    • I think I’ll probably do the same thing. The bottle Jillee linked in her article is “currently not available” on Amazon with no mention of when or if it’ll be available again. If I buy the Dawn Power Wash once, I’ll have the bottle to make my own.

  • Hi Jillie,

    I clean as I go! That’s how I was taught when I learned to cook as a kid and that’s stuck with me over the decades. It’s never pleasant to be faced with a mess after finishing a meal when what I would really like to do is relax!

    I use the same approach with any project because I can stop at almost any point and not be faced with a big clean-up.

    I loved the reference to the continuous spray bottle and just ordered one on Amazon. I had no idea they existed and need to get a spray bottle anyway. Thanks!

    • My mother-in-law was a “clean as you go” person and that’s why my husband does it. The problem is that she was an experienced cook and could easily take a minute away from the stove. My husband is not that experienced and he’s also obsessive about getting things CLEAN. So it takes him a lot longer to wash things and meanwhile whatever is on the stove is getting scorched. And then he gets upset, and…….

      Yeah, I’m going to get some of the Dawn spray and have him use that. I think that’s a good happy medium between his method and mine. :)

  • I don’t pre rinse/per wash dishes that are going into the dishwasher anyway. Our dishwasher manual recommends against it. Our dishes come out clean.

    • I repair/refurbish used dishwashers as a retirement “hobby”, and I can tell you quite definitely that if you do not at least pre-rinse dishes before putting them in the machine, you will have issues further down the line. Firstly, it’s called a dishwasher, not a garbage disposal. and secondly, the macerators built into the machines are only designed for small amounts of soft food, not hunks of meat, bone, fibrous vegetable matter, jewlery, screws, toothptcks, plastic debris, and the like (yes, I’ve found all of those and more in the ones I’ve worked on). Those pieces of food that the dishwasher cannot grind and pass through and then just sit and rot in the sump, eventually causing odors, and in some cases, stopping the water flow to the pump entirely. Know what happens next? You either pay a repairman big bucks to come out a rectify the (silly) problem, or you throw more money away replacing the machine. The choice is yours, but I will tell you that I’ve received many perfectly good machines where all I had to do was open the sump and clean them out to revive them to like new running condition because people didn’t use common sense when running them. Consider yourselves warned.

      • Absolutely dead on. Not only can you clog up the dishwasher filter but also the drain hoses over a period of time. Further, the dishwasher drains into the garbage disposal, so you’ll end up with a dirty/smelly garbage disposal sooner or later. Same holds true for the garbage disposal too: I use a strainer there, catch all solid stuff in the strainer, then dump it in the trash bin. When I go to clean the garbage disposal and the rubber flap, it hardy needs cleaning and never smells. A little extra work up front saves a lot of work later.

      • No need to pre-rinse dirty dishes with water before putting into the dishwasher. We scrape any hard food debris off the dishes before putting into the dishwasher. We keep a rubber scraper in the dishwasher or our used napkin for scraping / wiping.

        It is true that dishwashers are not garbage disposals, so scraping will prevent the hard particles from clogging the filter. I have been doing this for over 30 years and never had a problem, my dishwasher filter never clogged. I was told to do this a very long time ago by an appliance repair tech.

      • Thanks for sharing this great information. I know this is an ongoing debate… To rinse or not to rinse! I think people misunderstand “not rinsing”. You should always scrape the food off and give things a quick rinse before putting items in the dishwasher.

      • It depends upon the age of the D/W. Mine is 15 years old so I “baby” it by pre-washing the dishes.

  • I use a dish pan, I fill with hot soapy (Dawn) water and soak those that need it, I wash my dishes all at once then rinse all at once….. saves water !!!

  • How about half filling sink with water and place bowls, utensils, etc in it until after dinner is over then the water has done the hardest work. I haven’t bought into the hype and haven’t had to store another product. We take a walk after dinner every night let everything soak them rinse when we come back and load dishwasher. Super easy!

    • This is a great option but I don’t have a dishwasher and super limited counter space so one side of my sink is for draining dishes. If I did what you do, my garbage disposal is blocked when I’m cooking and if I need water to cook, it’s more difficult to maneuver. Plus, I end up with a sink full of cold, yucky dishwater that I have to deal with later. I keep a small bowl of hot soapy water and a sponge in the sink as I cook and clean as I go, then after dinner there’s only a few plates and pieces of silver to wash. We wash those quick and put everything away. Super easy, too! I’m going to try Jillee’s recipe to replace my bowl. Thanks Jillee.

      • I spray my dishes down as I put them into a big household mop bucket while I’m cooking. It holds as much as the sink does and keeps my double sink clear for all the other tasks like those you mention.

  • GUILTY!! I’d already bought the hype!! I am very happy to say I will refill my “Power Wash” bottle with Jillee’s recipe!!

  • Spray bottles are already unavailable and they don’t know if they will be available in future. Others that “popped” up say, only use water or they will clog. Other suggestions?

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