Saturday, October 1, 2022


21 unusual but brilliant uses for Dawn dish soap in your RV

I’ve used it for years. Maybe you have, too. Dawn dish soap (original blue formula) does a great job cleaning dishes, silverware, and cookware. In addition to cleaning dishes, there are many unusual uses for Dawn detergent while you RV, too.

Uses for Dawn dish soap inside the RV

  • Clean greasy cabinets. Our most recent fifth wheel RV was “pre-owned.” It was in great shape—just needed a bit of cleaning. The first job I tackled was cleaning the greasy residue off the kitchen cabinets. (Always check an inconspicuous spot first to make sure there will be no discoloration.) Dampen a soft sponge. Then rub a few drops of Dawn dish detergent onto the sponge until it’s sudsy. Use the prepared sponge to rub down greasy cabinets, being careful to use a clean portion of the sponge for each swipe. When the sponge no longer picks up dirt or grease, thoroughly rinse the cabinets with a clean sponge. Then dry completely with a soft absorbent towel. Follow up with a furniture polish or wood conditioner, if needed.
  • Clean RV windows. Just one drop of Dawn into a quart of water makes a great glass cleaner. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and get to work on those windows.
  • Brighten the stainless steel refrigerator. Use the same method as detailed above to prepare a sponge. Then use it to rub in the direction of the stainless steel grain, wiping away the fingerprints and grime. Then rinse with clear water and dry completely to avoid water spots.
  • Clean carpet stains. Mix together equal parts Dawn and warm water. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray the stain. Use a microfiber cloth to gently clean the stain away. Use another microfiber cloth dipped into clear water to rinse the area. Blot the cleaned and rinsed area with a towel. Allow to air dry.
  • Make your own ice pack. Partially fill a plastic, zipper-type bag with Dawn dish soap. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag closed. Place the ice pack into the RV freezer. The Dawn will become a gel which will flex to fit the shape of the injury site.
  • Remove grease stains from clothing. Apply Dawn directly onto greasy stains from that yummy BBQ meal. Rub it in a bit and launder as usual.
  • Eliminate fruit flies. Pour white vinegar into a small container. Add a drop of Dawn. Fruit flies will be attracted to the vinegar, but cannot escape the Dawn.
  • Clean hairbrush and comb. Begin by removing hair from the utensils. Then pour a cup of hot water into a shallow bowl. Add one tablespoon borax and one tablespoon Dawn. Gently swirl to mix. Soak the comb and hairbrush in the mixture until you see they are clean. Use an old toothbrush to scrub away any residue. Rinse thoroughly with clear water.
  • Prevent eyeglass “fog.” Rub a small drop of Dawn on each lens of your eyeglasses, both sides. Then use a microfiber cloth to dry and polish each lens. This is especially helpful when wearing a face mask or when temperature differences cause the lens to fog, such as transitioning from an air-conditioned car to the steamy, outside summer weather.
  • Eliminate squeaks. Apply Dawn detergent to a squeaky hinge and the squeak will disappear.
  • Soothe poison ivy. Gently wash the affected area with Dawn and cool water. (Dawn’s oil-fighting formula will help to eliminate oil from the poison ivy plant.) Follow the first application with a second round of Dawn and warm water, which will help soothe the blisters and itch.
  • Clean the tub and shower. Fill a plastic spray bottle halfway with white vinegar. Heat the vinegar in the microwave until warm. Then fill the remainder of the spray bottle with Dawn. Put the lid on and shake to mix thoroughly. Spray the mixture all over your shower walls, floor, and that disgusting ring around the tub. Let it sit for ten minutes and then scrub stubborn places clean. Rinse thoroughly.

Uses for Dawn dish soap outside the RV

  • Clean outdoor furniture. Mix water with Dawn detergent. Using a sponge or brush, dip into the soapy water and scrub off furniture. Use your hose to rinse and set furniture in the sun to dry.
  • Kill weeds around your RV. Mix together 1/2 cup of salt, 1/2 gallon white vinegar, and two tablespoons of Dawn. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray the resulting solution on weeds growing around your RV. This should take care of them—even poison ivy!
  • Oil/grease spill on concrete RV parking pad. If you spill grease onto the concrete pad, you can clean it off with Dawn. First, remove as much of the spill as possible by sprinkling kitty litter over it. Use a paper towel to pick up the oil-soaked kitty litter. Then mix a generous squirt of Dawn with warm water. Use a scrub brush or old towel to apply the treated water to the spill. Scrub to remove the stain.
  • Stop ants. Put two teaspoons of Dawn into a spray bottle of water. Spray the ant trail or any suspected ant entry point into your RV. (Hint: This recipe also works to kill fleas. Spray the affected area. Let sit for half an hour. Then vacuum up the dead critters.)
  • Find leaks. Spray Dawn soapy water over the hose (water or gas). If you see bubbles, you have a leak.
  • Clean your BBQ grill. Put 1/2 cup of Dawn dish soap into a gallon of water. Stir gently to mix. Pour the solution into a large tub or sealable trash bag. Then put cooled grill grates into the mixture. Soak the grill grates in the solution overnight. You should be able to easily scrub them clean the next morning.
  • Scrub tires. Begin by hosing loose dirt and grime off tires. Put Dawn directly onto a rag or heavy-duty sponge and scrub the tires. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Clean greasy tools. Put one tablespoon of Dawn into a gallon of water. Dip a sponge into the solution and use it to clean greasy tools. Avoid rust by drying the clean tools immediately with old towels.
  • Remove stickers. Our RV had several stickers and seals on it. I applied Dawn right to the stickers and let it sit for several minutes. Dawn cut through the glue and the stickers were easily removed. Note: Be sure to rinse thoroughly afterwards.

Do you have other hints or tricks using Dawn dish soap? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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3 months ago

One cup Dawn plus a small bottle of hydrogen peroxide plus one gallon warm warm. Mix and sponge on skunk-sprayed or just plain stinky dog. Let sit 20 minutes and rinse. Stench is gone. I keep a ziplock with two sponges, small bottles hydrogen peroxide and Dawn in a gallon plastic bucket under the sink in the trailer.

Leonard Rempel
3 months ago

1/2 cup of Dawn in the black tank after every dump. Keeps everything clean, no need to say more!

Sharon Baron
3 months ago
Reply to  Leonard Rempel

I will try that Thanks

Sharon Aron Baron
3 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Baron

Is this your real name?

Sue Roussopoulos
3 months ago
Reply to  Leonard Rempel

What size tank? We’re in a Class B with a small tank. TIA

3 months ago

Diluted Dawn is good for washing produce that has a skin. Tomatoes, Peppers, Cucumbers, Cantelope, Apples, etc.

3 months ago

Clean grills and frying pans with Dawn Spray N Wash. No soaking, no to very little scrubbing. Spray the object when dry and cool, let sit a few minutes, wipe with a paper towel, and rinse it off! Amazing stuff! Works on most anything with oil or grease base. (Test on some soft items first!).

3 months ago

Dawn dish soap, Borax, 1/4 tank of water in both holding tanks, and a good drive helps to keep my tanks clean and the sensors working. The Borax puts the Dawn on steroids. I do this about every third trip.

Ron L
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Liquid laundry soap works better as it’s designed to work in cold water and doesn’t leave dried suds.

Sharon Baron
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Good idea

3 months ago

My dogs are frequently in areas with poison ivy and when I know they’ve come in contact with this plant, or if I’m in question, I bathe my dogs at my outside shower hookup with Dawn. It’s safe and gentle but breaks up the oils that could then be transferred to me when we all share one lap 🙂

Bill Braniff
3 months ago

I will offer my two cents on Dawn. My occupation for over thirty years was testing hoist ropes and hoists in underground mines all over Canada and the USA, plus some in other countries.
A good portion of my business was with coal mines. If you have never worked in a coal mine, you may find this hard to believe, but when the miners come to the surface after a day of drilling and working underground, they are black faced, and I mean black. Coal dust penetrates all areas of your body.
All the coal mines I worked in used to buy DAWN, by the truck load. It really works. I highly recommend it.

Timothy Stitzel
3 months ago

At the end of the camping season, after dumping to head home, I empty a small bottle of Dawn with one gallon of warm water into all my tanks. When I get home I empty them and start fresh in the Spring.

3 months ago

I’ve done the same except I fill the tanks to about 3/4 full so it sloshes all over. Dawn is the best tank sensor cleaner I’ve found!

Marty D-B
3 months ago

The only problem with using vinegar with Dawn to kill weeds is that any overspray will kill other plants. Love the other ideas. Been using straight up Dawn for years to remove grease, and other food stains from clothes prior to washing.

Diane W
3 months ago

I started using the Dawn spray to clean my stove top (in the RV and at home). Spray and wipe — cleans up greasy messes with no fuss and leaves no streaks.

Judy G
3 months ago

If it’s time to wash your wool blankets or sweaters and you can’t find Woolite, Dawn will do a great job in the washer.

3 months ago
Reply to  Judy G

Good to know. Thanks, Judy!

3 months ago
Reply to  Judy G

Unless the washer is HE. It will produce suds so copious it will look like something out of I Love Lucy!

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