25 Remarkable Ways to Use Blue Dawn Outside the Kitchen

Take a look under the sink where you keep your cleaning products. See a bottle of Blue Dawn Dishwashing Liquid? Well, say “Hello” to a very versatile and surprisingly multi-purpose household product.

Beautiful, blue dawn over a lake and mountains.

Original Blue Dawn, a product of Procter & Gamble was introduced in 1972. Since then, it has gone through several tweaks, changes and upgrades so that today we see a number of varieties including Dawn Ultra and Dawn Platinum, to name just a few.

My research tells me that the Ultra version is highly concentrated; Dawn Platinum contains enzymes to help break down tough, cooked on foods and that “original” refers to the scent from the original 1972 product, which is still available if you know where to look.

household blue dawn

Does any of this matter when it comes to the amazing ways Dawn can be used so effectively outside the kitchen? Probably not. But does the color matter? I can’t prove it, but I think it does. And if it has “Ultra,” 2X or 4X on the label, it’s highly concentrated so you can use less.

Here’s the bottom line: If it’s Dawn and it’s blue, you can count on it to be an amazing product with tons of very effective if not ingenious uses.


Partially fill a strong zip-type sandwich bag with Dawn dishwashing liquid, close. Just to be safe, double bag it. Freeze. Dawn stays cold much longer while remaining flexible, which means it will conform to the place you need an ice pack. It can be re-frozen many times.


If you get tree sap on your hands, clothes or car, hit it with a bit of Blue Dawn. It will eat through the sap without harming your skin, clothing or the car’s paint finish.


Fill a spray bottle half full of white vinegar. Fill the rest of the way with Blue Dawn. Put the spray top on and shake well. Spray on your tub and shower walls, allowing it to sit for a few minutes up to a few hours before rinsing away. This will even take care of the bathtub ring. Let it sit on the shower floor overnight and scrub the scum and gunk away in the morning. More here.


For fresh or old oil-based stains such as lipstick, grease, butter, motor oil, cooking oil, and most pen inks—even stains that have made it through the washer and dryer multiple times—apply full-strength Blue Dawn liquid directly to the stain. Allow to sit for a bit then launder as usual. For really tough challenges, apply Blue Dawn then scrub with a small brush or toothbrush until the oil is removed.


Add 1 drop (just one, please!) Blue Dawn to each 1 cup warm water to clean ceramic tile and no-wax/linoleum floors.


Mix together 1/2 cup concentrated Ultra Dawn, 1/2 gallon warm water, and 1 tablespoon glycerin, available at any drug store. (Light  Karo syrup works in place of glycerin if you have that on hand). Stir gently. Skim the foam off the top of the solution, as too much foam will break down the bubbles. Dip your bubble wand and get ready for some good, clean fun! Makes big, strong bubbles.


Forget those pricey automotive hand cleaners. Full strength Blue Dawn cuts through grease and gets hands and nails clean with no harsh chemicals.


Pour a generous squirt of Blue Dawn into the toilet bowl and let it sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, pour a bucket of hot water from waist height into the toilet bowl to clear it out. Blue Dawn helps to melt the fats in the “clog” and makes it more likely to flush. An amazing trick.


Soak them in a solution of Blue Dawn before you put them away to remove all the oil and grime. As a bonus Dawn will help prevent rust from forming on the tools. I don’t know why.


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.


Spray countertops, cupboards and any other area where you see ants with a solution of Blue 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 Blue Dawn spray. You’ll see. It will kill them.


If you have an unfortunate encounter with poison ivy, wash the affected area with Blue Dawn. It helps to quickly dry the blisters and keep it from spreading.


Add 1 tablespoon Blue Dawn to a quart of hot water. Pour into spray bottle and let those wasps have it. Instant annihilation!


Blue Dawn kills fleas on contact and much cheaper than expensive dog shampoos.


Mix 3 drops of Blue Dawn in 1 gallon of water. Use this liquid to fill a spray bottle. Spray your windows and wipe just as you would with any window cleaner.


Ugly oil and grease spots on a concrete driveway are no problem if you know this secret: First sprinkling kitty litter on the fresh oil to absorb the excess oil. Next, cover the spot with warm water and a squirt of Blue Dawn and scrub with a stiff brush or broom. Allow to sit for a while, then safely rinse away with a garden hose,


Once a month use Blue Dawn in place of your regular 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 regularly and you won’t have to buy expensive salon products that do the same thing.

MORE: Stop Making These 5 Costly Hair Mistakes


To prevent your glasses from fogging up, rub just a very tiny drop of Blue Dawn on the lenses and wipe clean.


For icy steps and sidewalks in freezing temperatures, mix 1 teaspoon of Blue Dawn, 1 tablespoon rubbing alcohol, and 1/2 gallon hot water and pour over walkways. They won’t refreeze. And that means no more salt eating at the concrete in your sidewalks! CAUTION: Using more than just a small bit of Blue Dawn (measure!) could result in a very slippery situation that could be dangerous.


Kids get the darnedest things in their hair, like Vaseline, baby oil, gum, Silly Putty, etc. Dawn dish soap is mild enough to use on their hair and strong enough to remove the most stubborn grease.


Put a single drop of Blue Dawn in a 12-ounce spray bottle with water. Mist household plants to repel aphids, spider mites, and mealy bugs.

RELATED: Some (But Not All) Spray Bottles are Designed to Fail


Squirt Blue Dawn full strength down the middle of the pool and all of the dirt, suntan lotion, etc. will move to the edges of the pool for easy cleanup and a sparkling pool.


Soak greasy, oil automotive tools in warm water and Blue Dawn, rinse and then dry well before putting them away. Now your tools will be far less prone to forming rust between uses.


Just a drop of Blue Dawn on a squeaky hinge or drawer slide that refuses to slide smoothly will fix the problem. Seems to work longer than lubricant sprays without having a harsh, toxic smell, too.


I got this clever idea from my friend Carolyn, who has a long list of friends and colleagues she likes to give a useful yet affordable gift to each Christmas. This year she created a list similar to the one above, printed it in a very attractive way and then attached it to a small bottle of Blue Dawn—one for each of her friends. Cool idea!


According to the International Bird Rescue Research Center, Blue Dawn is biodegradable and contains no phosphates, while other chemical solvents may not be.


I get quite a few questions from people around the world asking where they can buy Dawn. Here is what I know:

  • Procter & Gamble sells Fairy brand instead of Dawn in Australia, France, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom, and Ireland
  • Procter & Gamble sells Dreft brand instead of Dawn in the Netherlands

YESTERDAY: Mouse in the House | Sheets on the Bed | Interest on Credit-Card Debt

QUESTION: Do you have another use for Blue Dawn? Please share in the comments area

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4 replies
  1. Claudia McMurray says:

    Re: Making ice packs – slip the first ziplock bag in a vacuum seal bag and seal tightly. You are less likely to have accidental leaks.

  2. Rachael Schueler Sutherland says:

    it works amazingly well on wasps! I’ve used that same solution to tackle zucchini beetles without harming my zucchini plants.

  3. Cally says:

    my husband and i have been using it for shampoo for two months now, his scalp is no longer flaky and my eczema is under control. 🙂

  4. Judy Park says:

    I have found that a few drops of dawn in water PLUS ABOUT A TABLESPOON OF Lemme shine dishwasher booster ….a pail of water like1 a half-2 gallons..cleans stubborn spots on windows.


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