17 Ways to Use Dawn Dish Soap…beyond Cleaning the Dishes

Dawn does the dishes and a lot more

Dawn dish soap isn’t just for washing your dishes. It’s a much more versatile product than you might realize. The uses for Dawn soap span far and wide and will blow your mind. Check them out!

In the last few years we’ve become dedicated Dawn dish soap devotees. We’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 we’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 throughout the RV. Here are 17 uses for Dawn that proves it’s a cleaning superstar.

Dawn dish soap © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

1. Remove grease stains from clothes

Oily cooking splatters on your clothes—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.

Use Dawn to clean stainless steel appliances © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

2. Clean stainless steel appliances

Stainless steel appliances are both beautiful and durable. However, streaks, fingerprint smudges, grease splatters, and water drips all happen, even to the most durable of kitchen materials and cookware. 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). 

>> Related article: Why and How to Use Dawn Dish Soap in RV Black Tanks?

Use Dawn to degrease cabinets © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

3. Degrease cabinets

Kitchen cabinets are for storing dishes, not grease. Unfortunately, wood cabinets are prone to all sorts of grease, grime, and gunk from simply being in the kitchen. 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.

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.

5. Clean grill grates

You don’t need a fancy grill cleaner. Just mix ½ 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.

Use Dawn to clean the sewer system © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

6. Clean outdoor furniture

Mix ¼ 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.

7. Remove stickers and labels

Removing stickers and labels from a bottle can br quite irritating especially due to its adhesive residue. To easily remove this gummy residue spread an ample amount of Dawn dish soap on the sticker and wait for an hour or so. After that, you can peel it off easily.

Use Dawn to clean windows © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

8. Clean windows

Mix 2 cups water, ½ 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.

>> Related article: 12 Simple RV Maintenance Tips

9. Clean showers

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 shower and use a brush 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. 

Use Dawn to clean drains RV tanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

10. Clear clogged drains

Pour ¼ cup to ½ 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…

11. Unclog toilets

Clearing out clogged toilets is a cumbersome task. Try using dawn dish soap. First, heat a pot of water until hot but not boiling. Add the hot water to the toilet bowl then pour ½ cup of dawn into the toilet bowl and leave it to sit for 15-20 minutes before flushing. Repeat if necessary.

>> Related article: The Best RV Toilet Paper

Use Dawn to clean your RV © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

12. Carpet stain remover

If you accidentally spill wine, juice, or any other drink on your carpet, dawn dish soap is the remedy that you’re looking for. Mix equal parts of dawn dish soap and warm water and spray it on the area. Use a microfiber cloth or sponge to scrub off the stain and wash the area with lukewarm water. Let it air dry naturally. Don’t scrub the carpet too hard as it can affect the material.

13. Tools cleaner

Tools get dirty—that’s a given! After completing any repair work, clean your dirty tools to prevent them from rusting. For this, make a solution of 1 tsp of dawn dish soap and 2 cups of water into a container. Then, drop your tools in it for 10-15 minutes. After that, scrub them with a brush to remove oil and grime.

Use Dawn to clean your RV © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

14. RV wash

Make your home-on-wheels clean and shiny by taking a bucket full of lukewarm water and pour 2-3 tbsp of dawn into it. After stirring it well, clean your RV and tires with this solution using a sponge. Once you’re done, wash it off with water. Works for your toad/tow vehicle too!

15. Clean refrigerator

To clean both interior and exterior of your refrigerator, pour ½ tsp of dawn with ½ cup of lukewarm water into an empty spray bottle. Now, spritz it on the refrigerator surface and scrub it properly with a sponge.

>> Related article: The 10 Essentials Every RV Owner Should Buy Before Their First Road Trip

16. Cleaning the garbage can

Garbage cans harbor numerous germs and bacteria, that’s why it’s essential to clean it often. Pour 3-5 drops of dawn dish soap with ½ cup of lukewarm water into an empty spray bottle. Jiggle it well prior to its every use and then saturate the garbage can with the solution thoroughly. Leave it for 25-30 minutes and rinse it off with water.

Use Dawn to clean the RV holding tanks © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

17. Clean RV tanks

You can use Dawn dish soap to clean RV tanks. It is a detergent and grease cutter that will not harm your tanks and is eco-friendly soap that is safe and biodegradable. It is not corrosive and will not damage your plumbing. It has no phosphates so is a green product that is considered environmentally friendly. Add 4-5 quarts of fresh water to the tanks to provide a good base for future use. The system needs a certain amount of water to operate so never leave it completely dry. Finally add ¼ to ⅓ cup of Dawn dish soap to your tanks and you’re ready to go.

Worth Pondering…

Learn from yesterday, live for today, look to tomorrow, rest this afternoon.

—Charlie Brown, from Peanuts