3 bottles of Blue Dawn on blue background

Even More Brilliant Ways to Use Blue Dawn

I’m not certain when a subject becomes a saga, but I think we may have crossed over into saga territory on the subject of terrific ways to use Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid that have nothing to do with washing dishes. Seriously, these days, I can’t wait to open my inbox to see if there could possibly be any more.

3 bottles of Blue Dawn on blue background


And the saga continues …

Dear Mary: In response to the reader who wrote to you reporting that he uses Blue Dawn for both shampoo and body wash, I decided to try it myself, even though my hair is color-treated and I was slightly hesitant. I raved about the great results to my husband and now he’s hooked too. But here’s the most amazing thing: I have been plagued with eczema on my hands and arms for years. Nothing would take it away. Since showering with Blue Dawn, my eczema has completely disappeared. I am thrilled beyond belief with this wonderful product. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! Elizabeth

This is amazing and I do not say that lightly! I’m stunned by this news and so happy you have found this relief with Blue Dawn. Who would have guessed?

However, I must be very clear about this—I am neither a doctor nor a medical professional. I can in no way suggest to anyone, anywhere that Blue Dawn should be used as a treatment for eczema or any other medical condition or that anyone might possibly experience the same relief from eczema as you have.

Now I can get back to my Happy Dance.

Dear Mary: I just finished reading your page of Blue Dawn uses, and I have one more for you. Every Christmas season, we cut two fresh trees and grab extra branches from discard piles at the tree farm. I make them into swags, and between my creative work and just putting up the tree, I get plenty of sap on my hands and clippers. Blue Dawn eats through the sap and I don’t have to use nasty chemicals that eat at my skin. Viveca

Good one! Adding tree sap to the list.

Dear Mary: A clogged toilet can be unclogged with a generous squirt of Blue Dawn. Just squirt two or three seconds’ worth down the toilet, wait a little while, then flush. J.D.

Yes! Blue Dawn helps to melt the fats in the “clog” and makes it more likely to flush. I’ve also learned that adding a few cups of very hot water can help break the offending material causing the clog. This makes unclogging the toilet with the plunger much, much easier.


Dear Mary: We live on 40 acres with an abundance of Poison Oak. After working outside with the probability of exposure we generally wash off using a pricey special cleanser to cut the oil from the leaves. What about using Blue Dawn on body, shoes and gardening implements? Mary P.

Yes, yes, and yes! We know that Blue Dawn cuts through grease and oil like butter, so it has every likelihood of cutting through that nasty Poison Oak residue as well. I think you should try it and then prepare to be amazed. Be sure to let us know your outcome.

Dear Mary: I am a cheapskate. I read your column for hot tips, particularly about Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid. Recently I have begun to use Dawn for a hair shampoo. My wife is aghast. She says my hair is going to turn blue and I will smell. She claims that shampoos have an acid base balance that ensures shiny luxurious hair. Do you have an opinion? How about using it for body wash, as well? Bill

l have to admit that I was a bit aghast as I read Bill’s letter. And I came this close to firing off a response siding with his wife. But I stopped short by sending myself on a research expedition to tell you exactly why you should listen to her and never shampoo or shower with Blue Dawn.

Boy, was I in for a shock. Not only could I not find credible reasons not to use Blue Dawn for personal care, I discovered a cult-like following of people out there who swear by the stuff not only for hair care and body wash but as a very effective acne treatment, too.

I found the list of ingredients for Procter & Gamble’s original Blue Dawn and compared it to the most expensive men’s shampoo I could find—Kérastase Densifique Bain Densite Homme. While not exactly the same (for starters, Blue Dawn has far fewer ingredients) and with full disclosure that I am not a chemist, I was stunned by the similarities. From sodium laureth sulfate to methylisothiazolinone, Blue Dawn and Kérastase Densifique Bain Densite Homme have what I found to be remarkable similarities.

I decided to take this research a bit farther—right into the shower. And not to clean the floors and walls. I shampooed, body-washed, and gave myself a complete Ultra Blue Dawn personal spa treatment using the super-concentrated “Ultra” version I had on hand.

I purposely didn’t follow with hair conditioner because I wanted to experience the best (or worst?) case outcome. I can’t remember the last time I and my hair emerged so squeaky clean. Of course, I assumed I just removed every last bit of moisture from myself, which I was willing to endure in the interest of product testing.

I styled my hair, as usual, using my regular routine and styling products. I waited a few days to declare the outcome. My hair was fantastic and so shiny—reread it: Shiny and, dare I say, luxuriously so. And super clean. I guess the folks at P&G might know something about what Bill’s wife refers to as acid-base balancing.

As for using Blue Dawn as a body wash, it was great. I felt so clean! I didn’t notice any difference from other body washes, other than it required a lot of rinsing, possibly due to the high concentration in the “Ultra” version of Blue Dawn.

I’ve done more reading and poking around and have now come to these conclusions:

  • Blue Dawn can restore hair in a number of ways because of its intense cleaning properties (remember the ducks and wildlife from oil spills)— oil, product build-up, and other grimy liquids and dirt that regular shampoo isn’t strong enough to clean.
  • Blue Dawn may lighten your hair if you accidentally color too dark.
  • Blue Dawn will deep clean your skin with no apparent adverse effect that I can detect so far, even to my super sensitive skin.

I’ve begun diluting Ultra Blue Dawn with as much as three, even four parts water and it still works well.

As for your hair turning blue or you smelling, I don’t think I would be concerned about either unless you decide to not rinse, which I do not recommend. In fact, I suggest that you rinse, rinse, rinse again, and repeat.

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12 replies
  1. Joan says:

    I use Blue Dawn in our foaming hand soap dispensers in the bathrooms. It makes the most luxurious lather and is such a pretty color of blue when diluted.

  2. Karen says:

    My optimist told me they use it to clean gas permeable (hard) contacts. We have been using it for years now. Works really well especially to get things off that are stuck. I use an old soft soap pump put about 2 fingers worth in it then fill with water. A dollar sized dawn lasts most of a year with cleaning my contacts several times a day in the summer from being in the garden and getting gunk in my eyes

  3. Nancy says:

    We lived in our RV for 3 years and still travel for a few weeks at a time.
    After we empty the gray and black tanks, I put a big squirt of Dawn and some Borax in each. Never a bad smell or any problems. A RV tech convinced us to try an enzyme preparation and it failed. Bad odors inside and when emptying. I didn’t think of the Dawn and Borax myself, it’s called the Geo Method.

  4. Deb says:

    I thought I got this idea from you, but I don’t see it mentioned.

    Every few weeks, I mix blue Dawn with baking soda and use in place of my shampoo. After shampooing, I also wash my face with it; the baking soda makes it like a scrub and my face AND my hair are squeaky clean.

    • Mary Hunt says:

      Yes! That is another way to use Blue Dawn for personal care. It’s in the archives here somewhere 🙂 Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Vickie says:

    I have been using Blue Dawn for washing my dishes for years. But I have a small bottle that when it got down to about 3/4 of an inch, I added water to it. Closed the lid and shook it real good. Works fine for cleaning dishes. I also have another small bottle next to it that is full strength. When the watered down bottle gets low, I squirt more full strength into it and add more water, shaking it really well. Maybe about 3T worth. I have never measured it. I also have a large size bottle under the kitchen sink to refill the small full strength bottle when it gets low. I have a slight scalp problem and now I am going to try washing my hair with it to see if that will help it in any way. Won’t hurt to try. Thanks Mary for all the help you have given us over the years.

  6. Joanna says:

    My husband and I were fighting a losing battle against kill wasps, yellow jackets, and mud daubers which loved to roost on the back porch where we entertain. We spent too much $$ on wasp & hornet spray. Then we learned about the BEST bee killer. Using a one-gallon pump-style garden sprayer, fill with water ( either hot or cold, no difference) and then add a generous amount of Dawn, probably close to 8 oz. Swirl to mix well. Spray on the bees and they will drop and die. Insects breathe via openings in their abdomens. The soapy water blocks these openings causing suffocation. Once I’m done, I use a garden hose to spray down my porch area. The soapy residue works wonders cleaning all surfaces. No more costly toxic sprays, and I have a clean porch!

  7. Meg Keeney says:

    I have used blue Dawn for hand cleaning at the kitchen sink for years. I take it from the same dispenser that I use for my dishes. Furthermore, I’ve started using the shower cleaner as a final hair rinse. This removes all soap residue from my shampoo. I have received comments and questions on the fullness of my hair. I Use the shower cleaner to rinse out my washcloth when I’m finished with it. It removes all soap residue. I’ll bet my white washcloths would have stayed white for much longer, using this treatment. What’s your view on using the vinegar before the last rinse?

      • Barbara J Pire says:

        Absolutely the best advice you gave me years ago!! I have not bought anything else, because it really works!! And…to your other readers – It Does Not smell like vinegar!! (White vinegar that is used in canning!! It is also very inexpensive!! I buy it at Walmart by the gallon!

  8. cherie St. Cyr says:

    My nephew worked at dog grooming and they used blue dawn on the pooches. I am a fiber artist snd use blue dawn in place of the expensive carcinogenic textile detergent Synthropol.


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