Thrifty Living Tips – 34 Ways to Use Dawn Dish Soap {Besides Dishes!}

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Look under the kitchen sink in any home – even my own –  and you will almost always find one common thing among them. Chances are each home has at least one bottle of blue Dawn under the sink, on a shelf or even on the sink. There is a good reason for that though; not only is blue Dawn incredibly cheap but it works so well for so many things! That’s right; there are quite a few different ways to use Dawn dish soap besides dishes and they’re not all for cleaning! For this post, I’m only going to list 34 new uses for Dawn, but I am positive there are a lot more that I just haven’t discovered yet.

34 New ways to use Dawn - Do you have a bottle of Dawn dish soap under the sink? Grab it and let's get going! It has more uses than dishes that these 34 new uses for Dawn dish soap may just surprise you!

I love finding new ways to use old things for a reason. It saves me so much money in my personal budget! Over the years, I’ve discovered new ways to use old towels, new uses for empty milk jugs, new uses for glass bottles, new ways to use coffee mugs, new uses for old sheets and even ways to use newspaper and ways to use clean kitty litter. Once you begin to look at something in a new way, the possibilities are really sort of endless. In other words, I’m almost always on the hunt for something new to add to my list of things to reuse to save money and finding new ways to use Dawn was right up my alley.

34 Ways to Use Dawn Dish Soap {Besides Dishes!}

Now to clarify, when I say we’re talking about new ways to use Dawn, I mean the original blue Dawn. It can be hard to find in stores and in some areas may even be marketed as Dawn Ultra. If you’re having trouble finding it, you can purchase it on Amazon right HERE. I’m sure there are other ways to use the other versions of Dawn, but for most of us, the blue stuff will be all we need for these new ways to use Dawn.

Laundry Stain Remover with Dawn – 

 One of my favorite ways to use Dawn is as a laundry stain remover and pre-treater. It works fantastic on stains! To make your own homemade stain remover, mix 2 parts hydrogen peroxide with 1 part original blue Dawn. Add 3/4 tsp baking soda and let it soak on the stain. Rinse it well, toss in the washer and your stain should be gone!

Give pets a gentle flea bath with Dawn – 

Any 80’s or 90’s babies will remember this next one on our list of ways to use Dawn. I’m sure we all remember the oil spills of the 80’s (ish?) and how one of the ways they helped clean animals covered in oil was to bathe them in blue Dawn. In fact, they still use it for this purpose to this day because one of the many ways to use Dawn is as a gentle bath for animals. Not only will it help remove dirt and grime from your animals, but it will also help with fleas if your pet has that particular issue. Simply add 1 tsp original blue Dawn to your pets bath water for fleas. Otherwise, bathe them as you normally would, rinse them well and dry.

Dawn won’t hurt your bath tub but if you’re worried about it you can buy a plastic tote to bathe your pet in that will keep the dawn from coming into contact with the ceramic of your tub.

Clean oil and grease spots in your driveway with Dawn – 

If you have a cement driveway, you probably already know how easily oil and grease stains show. If you’re the type that loves a few good landscaping tips for beginners and worries about the curb appeal of your home, this one certainly fits the bill. Original blue Dawn will clean those oil and grease stains and leave your driveway looking as if it was just poured. To clean it, simply make a soap solution of warm water and Dawn. Pour the solution onto the driveway and use a stiff bristled scrub brush to clean it. It should come clean with a little elbow grease. Just know that if your stains are too bad, it may take a time or two to really get them gone.

Use Dawn for streak free windows – 

No one wants to look through a window that has a dirty and grimy track and glass panes that are full of streaks and luckily, Dawn can tackle it! Toc lean the tracks and windowsill, simply mix warm water with a few drops of Dawn and use a sponge to tackle the grime. To get streak free windows, add a few drops of Dawn to an empty cleaning spray bottle with 2 cups warm water and 1/2 cup white vinegar. You don’t need much Dawn in the bottle, just 5-6 drops. Shake well and wash your windows like normal.

Aren’t sure on this homemade window cleaner recipe? Try my homemade window cleaner recipe found HERE instead!

Make a homemade ice pack with Dawn – 

If you have kids that play any kind of sports or if you frequently injure yourself, you probably know how expensive buying ice packs can get. Dawn can help for a fraction of the cost since it doesn’t freeze solid when you try to freeze it. To make a homemade ice pack with Dawn, simply fill a quart size freezer bag with original blue Dawn. Throw it in the freezer for 30 minutes or so and you’ll have an ice pack full of ice cold blue gel that will rival any expensive store bought ice pack!

Treat carpet stains with blue Dawn – 

Obviously Dawn is a soap which makes using it to clean dirty carpets a perfect new use for Dawn. To make a homemade carpet cleaning solution, add 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons Dawn to an empty cleaning spray bottle. Spray the solution on the stain liberally and allow it to soak for 5-10 minutes. Once it has soaked, blot it with a microfiber cloth until the stain is gone.

Unclog a toilet with Dawn – 

One of the new ways to use Dawn I never would have considered is to use it to unclog a toilet! Yes, you read that correctly. If you’ve got a stubborn clog in your toilet, fill the bowl with a decent amount (1 cup or so) of blue Dawn and allow it to sit for approximately 20 or 30 minutes. After it has soaked, slowly pour hot water into the toilet bowl. The soap should slowly seep into the clog and lubricate it enough that pouring the water in forces it loose.

Will this work for every toilet clog? Probably not, but if you’re having a tough time, it is certainly worth a shot. If you have a particularly stubborn clog, try repeating the steps once or twice more or letting the soap sit overnight then using a quality plunger to work the clog loose.

Get rid of ants  with Dawn – 

We have such a huge ant issue at our house that I literally ran to make this homemade ant killer the second I found this new way to use Dawn. They come in through where our dryer vent reaches the outside so I had to see if it would work. Guess what? It did! To make a homemade ant spray with Dawn, fill an empty spray bottle with water and add approx 1/2 cup Dawn. Spray the area where you see ants coming into the house and you’re done! Clean up any soap left over and any ants that may be around. Once you’ve done it a few times, the ants will stop finding their way into your home!

Clean your pool with Dawn – 

Okay, before I explain this new use for Dawn, please understand that you will want to rinse your pool very well after so you don’t risk someone slipping on a slippery area of the pool and getting hurt. Do you remember the old Dawn commercials where they would simply add a drop of Dawn to a dirty pan full of water and the grease would literally “run away” from the drop of soap? The same concept can work for removing excess oils from skin and sunscreen from your pool.

To clean your pool with Dawn, add around 1/2 cup of blue Dawn to the center of your pool. Any excess oils will become a film and spread to the outer edges of your pool making clean up very easy. Rinse the pool very well and enjoy your swim!

Make homemade super bubbles with Dawn – 

Every kid loves bubbles and super bubbles are even better! To make a homemade super bubbles solution with Dawn, add 6 cups of water to 1 cup of Dawn and stir gently to mix. Try not to let bubbles form while you’re stirring. Once it is combined, add 1 tablespoon vegetable glycerin or 1/4 cup light corn syrup to the mix and stir again. Add a bubble wand and your kids will have hours of fun!

Gently clean your hair with Dawn –

Because Dawn is so gentle, it is the perfect way to clean excess grease and oil from your hair. Simply wash your hair like normal. Keep in mind that if you have dark dyed hair, using Dawn on it can lighten the color. Be mindful of that if you wish to keep your dark color.

Help treat acne with Dawn – 

Again, Dawn is gentle and removes oil so one of my favorite ways to use Dawn is as a way to prevent acne and way to treat acne. Just wash your face in Dawn twice a day until the oil issue resolves itself and your skin will be clean and radiant!

Clean Eyeglasses with Dawn – 

Dirty eyeglasses are a pain in the rear and as someone who has worn glasses since she was nine, this really is one of my favorite uses for Dawn. Make a solution of Dawn, warm water and rubbing alcohol then spray your lenses with them. Clean them well and rinse well. Your lenses will be crystal clear and streak free!

Clean your grout with Dawn –

While I love my homemade grout cleaner recipe, sometimes I want something else to clean it with. When that happens, I use Dawn. Mix 1/4 cup white vinegar with a few drops of Dawn and use a scrub brush like THIS one to spread it around into your grout. Allow it to sit for 20 minutes or so and use the scrub brush again to remove any loose dirt. Rinse with warm water and your grout should be sparkly clean!

Keep Bugs out of your garden –

Remember how I said you can use Dawn to get rid of ants? Another great new way to use Dawn is to keep unwanted bugs out of your garden. To do so, simply make the ant recipe and spray your garden down with it. Be careful not to get the Dawn mixture on your actual food or flowers and only on the soil next to them. It isn’t worth the risk of ingesting dish soap to keep a few bugs away.

Degrease your hands with Dawn – 

Steve works as a steel mill operator and let me tell you something; I have never seen someone come home so dirty as him every single day. Luckily, one of my  favorite uses for Dawn is as a hand degreaser so when we first started dating and he was talking about how greasy his hands get, I was able to suggest Dawn to him. He uses it everyday now to get his hands clean when he comes home from work. Just wash your hands like normal with hot water and Dawn and they’ll be cleaner than you would believe. If, like him, you get grease around the beds of your nails, picking up a fingernail scrub brush can help you get the soap into those hard to reach nail beds.

Clean your pool filter with Dawn – 

Pool filters can be hard to clean sometimes, but using Dawn can make it easier. To do so, simply soak your filter in a mixture of water, Dawn and baking soda. Make sure to rinse the filter incredibly well before you reinstall it and you should be good to go!

Treat poison ivy with Dawn – 

Poison Ivy is spread when the oils from the rash are spread around. Because Dawn is so good at removing oils, this makes it perfect to keep poison ivy from spreading. Simply wash affected areas with Dawn and warm water and pat dry with a clean towel. The Dawn should remove any oils in the rashes and keep it from spreading.

Clean Makeup Sponges with Dawn – 

Makeup can be greasy which makes for funky makeup sponges. Luckily, washing your makeup sponges in Dawn can help. Make a solution of 2 cups warm water and only 1-2 drops of Dawn. Soak your makeup sponges in the solution for 30 minutes or so. Rinse well and repeat until they’re cleaned. Make sure to dry them fully so you don’t risk mold or mildew inside of the sponge.

Don’t want to use Dawn to clean your makeup sponges? Try our DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner found HERE

De-ice your sidewalk with Dawn –

If your sidewalk is covered in ice, Dawn can help. Mix 2 teaspoons Dawn Dish soap with 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol and 1 gallon hot water and pour onto your icy sidewalks. Not only will the solution melt the ice, but it will keep them from refreezing again! Repeat as soon as you start to see ice forming again.

Get rid of oily hair with Dawn – 

Dawn is incredibly gentle at removing grease which means if you’ve got a greasy hair issue, washing your hair in Dawn can help! Just wash your hair like normal making sure that you rinse it well and don’t get any in your eyes.

Want to remove grease from your hair without Dawn? Try this homemade coconut shampoo recipe!

Remove gum from hair with Dawn – 

Not only is Dawn great at removing grease from your hair, but it can also help to remove gum from it as well! Simply coat the gum and the hair around it with Dawn and allow it to sit for a few minutes. After about 10 minutes, try to slide the gum out. If it doesn’t come easily, allow the Dawn to sit on it a few more minutes. It should eventually come out with very little pulling and struggling. If you get an especially piece of stubborn gum, you may need to massage the dish liquid into the hair and gum a bit to help lubricate it.

Soften cuticles with Dawn – 

As someone who has done a lot of hard work by hand and who may not have the softest hands, I love this next one on my list of new ways to use Dawn. Because Dawn is super gentle on skin, it can help soften the skin around your cuticles when you make a DIY Satin Hands solution like THIS one. It doesn’t use blue Dawn, but it is still super cheap to make and works great!

Clean tile or linoleum floors with Dawn – 

I love my homemade floor cleaner recipe , but if you’re looking for something that doesn’t use vinegar and for another new ways to use Dawn, you’ll love this one! Simply mix original blue Dawn with warm water to clean your tile or linoleum floors. You’ll want to add 1 drop for every 8 oz of water in your mop bucket.

Stop a creaking door with Dawn – 

While I’m totally up for finding new ways to use WD-40, Dawn con sometimes stop a creaking door better than the spray can. Simply add a drop to each door hinge and use your hand to spread the dish soap over the hinge. Your squeaking issue should stop immediately!

Clean your car headlights – 

Anyone with a car will love this next one on our list of ways to use Dawn. If your car headlights are dirty and grimy, it can make it hard to see where you’re going at night. You could use toothpaste to clean them or you can simply wipe them down with a Dawn/warm water mixture. Dawn is so good at removing grease and dirt that it will help them stay sparkling clean!

Loosen a tight bolt with Dawn dish soap – 

Like the squeaky hinge, another new ways to use  Dawn is to use it to help loosen a tight bolt or screw. Simply coat the bolt or screw with Dawn and allow it to sit so the soap can seep under the edges. It should help lubricate the bolt enough for you to get it loose.

Treat oily skin with Dawn – 

Remember that Dawn is great at removing oils and that includes oils from your skin. If you have an oily face or an acne issue, wash your face with Dawn. It will help dry up any oil issues and help keep your skin looking amazing.

Make Kitchen Cabinets look new with Dawn – 

I have white kitchen cabinets and let me tell you, they can look dirty and grimy even if they’re not. To combat this, simply wipe them down with a mixture of warm water, white vinegar and blue Dawn. Make sure to dry them fully so you don’t risk the wood warping.

Make tires shine with Dawn – 

Grab a scrub brush and a mixture of Dawn and water to keep your cars tires looking new. This can be useful if you live in an area where you deal with a lot of slushy snow or salt since those can be damaging to the undercarriage of your car.

Clean Stainless Appliances with Dawn – 

Commercial stainless steel cleaners can be expensive, but a drop of Dawn dish soap on a microfiber cloth to fully clean your stainless steel without spending a ton.

Clean your microwave  with Dawn – 

With 2 teen girls and a man in the house, my microwave can get really funky, really quickly. Luckily, a spray bottle filled with 2-3 drops of Dawn, white vinegar and warm water helps to get it clean and shiny super quick!

Clean combs and brushes with Dawn – 

This is one of the easiest uses for Dawn dish soap on this list!Combs and brushes can get greasy and oily quickly as the oils in your hair transfer to the brush or comb. To clean that oil away, soak them in a solution of 2-3 drops of Dawn and warm water. Leave them soak for 30 minutes or so then rinse fully.

Clean Car Upholstery with Dawn – 

If you have kids, you’re well aware of how dirty your car seats can get which makes the last thing on our list of uses for Dawn dish soap a must know for any parent!. Mix a spray bottle of 2-3 drops of Dawn and water then spray down your seats. Use a fine bristled scrub brush to work the cleaning solution into the seats to remove the grime. Once you’ve scrubbed them clean, use a Wet/Dry vacuum to remove any water or dirty solution from the seats and allow them to dry fully. If you’re concerned about not rinsing the seats, spray them down with clean water and vacuum it all out. Make certain that you get as much water as possible out of the seat and that you allow them to dry fully. Not doing so could risk mold growing on the inside of your seats.

34 New ways to use Dawn - Do you have a bottle of Dawn dish soap under the sink? Grab it and let's get going! It has more uses than dishes that these 34 new uses for Dawn dish soap may just surprise you!

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Stacy Williams

Stacy Williams is a 37-year old wife to a USAF Gulf War Veteran, mother of two teen girls and fur-mamma to a rescued pit bull. The face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family, she also owns and manages Long Haul Wife, Republic Preparedness, The Genealogy Queen and a handful of others sites. By the age of 30, Stacy had overcome a drinking problem, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence, and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Stacy is passionate about homeless advocacy and addiction education.  Her first book, also called Six Dollar Family is available on Amazon.

Learn how to earn a full-time income from home by learning how to start a blog just like this one! Click HERE to check out Stacy's step-by-step tutorial.
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  1. Christine says

    Hello Stacy,
    I love this post! One question for clarification: On tip #1 for the laundry stain remover…do you add the baking soda to the spray bottle with the other ingredients or sprinkle on the stain?

    • Stacy Ott says

      I think either would work Christine, but I personally wet the stain down with the Dawn mixture then sprinkle the baking soda on and rub the mixture into the stain.

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