Original Ways to Use Original Dawn

by Linsey Knerl on 20 November 2007 34 comments
Photo: Dawn ice pack

I love to use household products in various unique ways, so I was thrilled to learn about some new-to-me hacks for the Original Dawn Dish Soap. Sent to me by Mary Hunt as part of the EveryDay Cheapskate Debt-Proof Living Newsletter, I’ve highlighted my favorite tips and how they worked for me.

 

Ice Pack – We are always in need of ice packs. Store-bought kinds can be expensive, and the fillers aren’t always guaranteed to be nontoxic. To make your own, simply fill a strong freezer bag halfway with Dawn Original dish soap (the blue kind, non-ultra). Double-bag for extra leak protection. These super-soft ice packs are great for all kinds of injuries. (We use snack-size freezer bags to make kid-sized boo-boo packs!)

 

Clean Automotive Tools – If your grease monkey is in need of a super non-toxic way to degrease tools, Dawn Original dish soap works wonders! Let them soak in a solution of soap and water to rid them of grease and grime. (Hint: After rinsing, your tools will be less likely to rust in the future.)

 

Hair Product Build-up – Need a little help getting the gunk out of your well-styled mane? Original Blue Dawn soap can be used as a shampoo as often as once a month to strip your hair of excess oils and product. (This tip worked wonderfully!)

 

Repel Ants – While most of our ant problems left for the year, it won’t be long before they return next spring. As a safe alternative to chemical ant killers, spray a solution of Dawn and water on any surfaces where ants like to hang out. After wiping dry, there will be a thin film left behind which is offensive to ants. Make as many “ant-free” zones as needed without fear of harm to children or pets!

 

This is just a sampling of the many ideas Mary has come up with! (To see the full list, visit debtproofliving.com.) Dawn Original blue soap is cheap (under a buck at most dollar stores), and you can be sure you aren’t harming the environment, because it’s biodegradable! For some killer Christmas hacks, check out my review of Mary’s newest book, Debt-Proof the Holidays: How to Have an All-Cash Christmas.

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Myscha Theriault's picture

Cool! I've heard of this with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water, but never with the soap. Who knew?

Guest's picture
Badgerette

I used to clean commercial kitchens & original Dawn is where it's at! Heavy duty commercial degreasers were far more expensive and the ingredients were often questionable. Dawn is cheap and an amazing cleaning product. Glad to see some other uses for it as well.

Linsey Knerl's picture

The newsletter also mentioned using it to tackle soap scum.  I haven't tried it yet, so it's good to hear that it works!

Guest's picture
Guest

I use original dawn to clean soap scum from tubs, tile and natural stone, also use your ant mixutre to spray on the glass shower doors. It works wonders!

Myscha Theriault's picture

love it when something simple and cheap works so much better than the expensive stuff? Not that I mind paying for quality, but when i don't have to, it makes me feel like I've "figured out the game" a little bit. Great post, Linsey.

Guest's picture

We bathe our dog in Dawn - the blue kind. It allegedly helps prevent fleas (seems to work), and it leaves his fur really soft.

Guest's picture
Guest

It should also be noted that Dawn, being petroleum based, is the leading cause of "gunk" buildup in your drains. Have slow running kitchen drains? It could be years of dish detergent buildup. Using commonly available chemical drain cleaners will alleviate this.

Guest's picture
Guest

SEveral kettles of boiling water down the drain will also remove gunk, without chemicals.

Guest's picture
Guest

After foolishing cutting a variety of peppers using a knife and *bare* hands, my hands burned agonizingly. By the next day I washed my hands many times, tried soaking in milk, etc. but still they burned. I finally came across a comment online about using Dawn to remove the pepper oils. Fortunately we had Dawn in the kitchen at work - I tried it and it worked!

Also, a note about the boo boo ice packs - we use restaurant ketchup packs. The katchup won't freeze solid and they're small enough for little hands to hold easily (and they're free).

Carrie Kirby's picture

i love it. now here's a question: is Dawn so special or are there generic alternatives with the same recipe?

 and thank you Guest! I am going to put some ketchup packets in my fridge following my very next fast food meal.

Guest's picture
Guest

In response to the question about generic Dawn alternatives, the answer, in my opinion, in no. I've tried cheap brands and even the newer Dawn antibacterial, Dawn with bleach, etc. They just don't cut it. I notice that I use less of the real (orriginal) dawn. Don't be fooled by the similarities in packaging either. There may be a generic brand out there that works just as well but I wouldn't want to risk paying for watered down Dawn.

I think Palmolive may be almost as good but not for things like fleas.

Guest's picture
FrugalZen

A lot of Mechanics will use Dawn straight from the bottle to wash up after a Very Greasy Job...Works wonders and is cheaper than the commercial hand cleaners.

~ Roland

Guest's picture
Deiladeila@charter.net

For gunk build-up down the sink, try pouring half a cup of baking soda down, then a half a cup of plain white vinegar. The foaming action cleans the gunk right out. Rinse down for a few minutes with hot tap water.

Guest's picture
Guest

Dawn works great for getting rid of fleas! I've been using it for years (I had a cat that died from using the chemical flea products so people should be careful). You just need to be careful not to use too much of it as it will strip oils from the animal's coat. Instead, I put a few drops in a bowl of warm water, dip a flea/lice comb into the soapy water and comb through the fur. Dip the comb back into the soapy solution and watch the fleas die instanly. You could also bathe the animal in a weak solution of dawn and water although it might still strip the coat.

Guest's picture
Guest

I adopted a deaf Bull Terrier (looks like spuds mackenzie or the Target dog) recently..she is all white. The rescue gurus recommended that I add Dawn to her body soap to keep her fur white. So... I add about a quarter size amount to some bady soap with mousterizers for her weekly shower (yes) and she is almost painfully white. Her fur does not yellow and she is soft as you can imagine. As an added bonus since it was in my shower I started cleaning the shower with it weekly as well an it has worked out well.....good stuff.

Guest's picture
Trish

4) For icy door steps in freezing temperatures: get warm water and put Dawn dishwashing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won't refreeze.

I don't know if this works but I'm gonna try it and I'll get back with you on how it worked.

Guest's picture
Delores C

Did it work? If so, what ratio to water did you use?

Guest's picture
Shelley

Pouring Dawn dish soap and warm water on steps and sidewalks in temperatures below zero does work.
We live North of 54 and have very cold temps. I've used
it for a few years now and love it. No more salt eating
at the concrete in your sidewalks

Love it

Guest's picture
Guest

Can you help with ratio and whether to put on BEFORE ICE FORMS today, or AFTER ? Thanks so much. I, too, have broken leg and ankle.

Linsey Knerl's picture

Let us know if it works for you!  Thanks!

Guest's picture
Guest

I live in Texas and always after a good rain I have tons
of ant mounds show up in my front yard. I was told DAWN would
kill the ants. Does anyone know how I would measure it out
and how I would put it on the mounds ?

Thanks, Beverly

Linsey Knerl's picture

Try a 5 gallon bucket and fill with water. Add about 1/4 bottle of Dawn dish soap and swish it around.  Poke the ant mound with a stick or pencil, and then pour the solution on the mound.  Sure work within 24 hours!  (You might have to repeat every few days until they are all gone, though.)

 

Linsey Knerl

Guest's picture
Kevin in the high desert

I have a friend of mine that has a pool cleaning business. To help with the cleaning of the pool, he would squirt Dawn down the middle of the pool and all of the dirt, suntan lotion, etc. would move to the edges of the pool for easy clean up, and as an added bonus, it really makes the pools sparkle.

Guest's picture
LizzieK8

Spinners of sheep's wool have used Dawn successfully to clean "fresh from the sheep" wool before beginning other preps for spinning. They swear by it.

Guest's picture
Kyle Sue

I read some where that if you have a grease or oil stain (old or new stains) on your shirts or other laundry items, to put original dawn on the stains... So I tried it, and it worked, it took the old and new stains out. Also, I started using proxide in the bleach spot of my washer, and it gets my whites whiter than ever, with out the harsh bleach smell.

Guest's picture
Billie Peck

I'm a decorative artist and have found that Dawn will clean the paint out of my brushes easily and leave them soft. I just put a little Dawn in my hand, rub the brush back and forth and then rinse. This can be repeated if there was a lot of old paint in your brushes.

Guest's picture
Sarah

I have the Dawn + OXI currently at home and an ant problem. Do I need to go out and buy the original or do you think this will work? Plus what's the ratio of soap to water? Say if a tablespoon of Dawn then mix with how much water?
thanks.

Guest's picture
Guest gayle

Just broke my leg last month, slipped on ice. Someone please post mixture of Dawn and warm water to use. Do you pour that on sidewalk before or after ice forms? Thanks.

Guest's picture
Pat in WV

I need to know what ratio to use between warm water and Dawn

dishwashing liquid to keep my steps from freezing. I have seen

several posts asking this question but no answers. Please reply

so others will know that it works, what ratio and can you just

pour it over steps that are already frozen.

Thank you.

Guest's picture
Pat in WV

I need to know what ratio to use between warm water and Dawn

dishwashing liquid to keep my steps from freezing. I have seen

several posts asking this question but no answers. Please reply

so others will know that it works, what ratio and can you just

pour it over steps that are already frozen.

Thank you.

Guest's picture
Jimmy

I was just searching for information on the ratio of Dawn to Water to De-Ice steps and walks. What I found was that it's one TEAspoon of Dawn to a half gallon of hot/warm water. Also, what I read twice was that it really helps, to melt the ice faster, and keep it that way, if you add one TABLEspoon of rubbing alcohol to the mix of Dawn and water. I haven't tried it yet, just saying that that is what I found so far. Good luck!

Guest's picture
Jimmy

I was just searching for information on the ratio of Dawn to Water to De-Ice steps and walks. What I found was that it's one TEAspoon of Dawn to a half gallon of hot/warm water. Also, what I read twice was that it really helps, to melt the ice faster, and keep it that way, if you add one TABLEspoon of rubbing alcohol to the mix of Dawn and water. I haven't tried it yet, just saying that that is what I found so far. Good luck!

Guest's picture
Bridgett

When I worked in a factory & alot of oil I would wash my work clothes in Dawn dish soap. It took out most of the oil & oil based coolant. If Dawn didn't take it all out nothing would! Love the product & have been using it for years!

Guest's picture
Nadine

What is the ratio of Dawn to water for spraying on kitchen counters to get rid of ants?