10 Surprising Ways to Use Dawn Dish Soap — Beyond Washing Dishes

published Jan 19, 2022
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Credit: Diana Liang

In the last few years I’ve become a dedicated Dawn dish soap devotee. I’ve put it to the test time and again, and it always comes out on top. Not only does it cut through the grease and clean dishes better than anything else I’ve tried, but it turns out this hard-working soap is also good for so much more than washing dishes.

If you have a bottle on hand, you’ve got a versatile cleaning tool you can use in just about every room in the house. Here are 10 uses for Dawn that prove it’s a cleaning superstar.

Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani

1. Remove grease stains from clothes.

Oily cooking splatters on your apron, greasy drips down the front of your shirt, waxy lipstick on your collar — just squirt on a little Dawn, rub it in, and let it sit overnight. Launder as usual, and the stains will disappear. It works as a pre-treatment for non-greasy food stains too. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

2. Clean stainless steel appliances.

First wipe the appliance with a wet cloth to determine the direction of the grain of the stainless steel (you’ll see faint lines running top to bottom or side to side). Put a few drops of Dawn on a wet rag, lather up, and wipe along the grain to remove sticky fingerprints and stains (wiping along the grain cleans better and prevents scratch marks). Follow with a clean damp cloth to remove residue and a dry cloth for buffing (microfiber works exceptionally well). 

Credit: Amelia Lawrence/Kitchn

3. Degrease cabinets.

Dawn’s grease-cutting power works just as well on cabinets coated in cooking grease as it does on dishes. Just squirt some on a wet sponge, lather up, and wipe the grime away. Follow with a wet cloth to remove any residue, and dry with a clean cloth.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

4. Clean the oven.

Mix baking soda, water, and a few drops of Dawn to make a paste. Spread the mixture inside the oven and spray with a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water. Let sit for a few hours or overnight, then spray again and scrub or wipe away the grime.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

5. Clean grill grates.

You don’t need a fancy grill cleaner. Just mix 1/2 cup baking soda with enough Dawn to make a thick paste. Scrape the big debris off your grill grates, then coat them with the mixture, and let sit for 30 minutes. Scrub and rinse, and they’ll be good as new.

6. Clean outdoor furniture.

Mix 1/4 cup Dawn with one gallon warm water in a bucket and use it to sponge the grime off any kind of outdoor furniture — wood, metal, or plastic. Rinse off and towel dry.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

7. Remove stickers and labels.

To easily remove the gummy residue from stickers and labels on jars and glassware, just rub it with a little Dawn and it’ll rinse right off. 

Credit: Sarah Crowley

8. Clean windows.

Mix 2 cups water, 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar, and 3 drops of Dawn in a spray bottle. If cleaning outdoor windows you can double or triple the recipe and mix it in a bucket. Spray or sponge on, then wipe or rinse off. The mixture is especially effective at cleaning windows that get exposed to grease and soot.

Credit: Cat Meschia/Kitchn

9. Clean showers and bathtubs.

Yep, Dawn will cut through the grease from your body just like it does the grease from food! It also cleans soap scum. Just squirt it all over the tub and use a stiff-bristled brush or broom to lather and scrub it away. For really tough jobs and hard water stains, combine equal parts Dawn and distilled white vinegar in a bowl or spray bottle. The vinegar dissolves the minerals, and the Dawn cuts the grime. 

10. Clear clogged drains.

Pour 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of Dawn into a clogged sink or toilet. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. For sinks, just run the hot water for a few minutes and the water and soap should get the clog moving. For toilets, heat a pot of water until hot but not boiling. Add the hot water to the toilet bowl, and let sit for a few minutes before flushing. 

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: 10 Surprising Ways to Use Dawn Dish Soap — Beyond Cleaning the Dishes