27 Alternative Uses for Original Blue Dawn Dishwashing Soap

Original blue Dawn dish soap is great for washing dishes, but there are so many more frugal and practical uses for it! Save money and stay in your budget with these 27 alternative uses for original blue dawn dishwashing soap, which is biodegradable and gentle for the environment.

Hey y’all, Tiffany here, with some great alternative uses for Blue Dawn Original dishwashing soap.

I’m all about saving money on my groceries. That’s why I am so excited to have these alternative uses for Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid!

Blue Dawn Alternative Uses

Blue Dawn alternative uses

Wildlife protection

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!

Blue Dawn alternative uses


Dawn dishwashing liquid makes great homemade bubbles!  Bubbles are one of our favorite free activities to do at home.

This 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

If you want different recipes, here’s a post about how to make bubbles with a variety of different methods – including one with sugar!

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!

A way to make these even more fun is with this DIY Bubble Wand for Kids to Make.

Greasy hair

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.

Hair product buildup

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.

Houseplant insects

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.

If you want to remove harmful insects from your lawn and garden, we have six helpful tips for you here.


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

We actually have used this trick multiple times and it works amazingly well! It’s a great alternate use for Blue Dawn!

Blue Dawn alternative uses

Automotive tools

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. It’s a great alternate use for Blue Dawn!

Ice pack

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.

Tub/shower cleaner

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.

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.

This is a great hack to go along with these 25 free printable spring cleaning checklists.

Ant repellant

Ants have been a nightmare in our home lately.  This did the trick!

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.

Cloth diapers

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.

Toilet clogs

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.

Window cleaner

Try this recipe from Merry Maids:

  • 3 drops Dawn
  • 1 gallon water

Mix the Dawn into the water and fill a spray bottle with the solution. Spray and wipe as you would with any window cleaner.

Poison ivy

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.  This helps dry up the fluid AND keep it from spreading.

Driveway cleaner

If you have gasoline or motor oil stains on your driveway, you can use the kitty litter method to clean up the excess oil.

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.

Oily skin

Dawn makes a great facial cleanser for oily skin. A drop or two combined with warm water will do the trick. It’s a great alternate use for Blue Dawn!

Paint/grease remover

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.

Kiddie pool cleaner

Plastic wading pools can get disgusting 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. It’s a great alternate use for Blue Dawn!

Multipurpose cleaner

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.

Oily stains on laundry

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.

Non-toxic lubricant

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!

Blue Dawn alternative uses

Sidewalk ice

For icy steps and sidewalks in freezing temperatures, mix the following together:

  • 1 teaspoon of Dawn dishwashing liquid
  • 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol
  • 1/2 gallon hot/warm water

Pour the mixture over walkways. They won’t refreeze. No more salt eating at the concrete in your sidewalks!

Pool cleaner

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

Glasses defogger

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. It’s a great alternate use for Blue Dawn!

Aphids on fruit trees

Mix the following and put it in your sprayer:

  • two tablespoons Dawn
  • 1 gallon of water

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!

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Blue Dawn alternative uses

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