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Everyday Cheapskate: Surprising Ways to use Blue Dawn Outside the Kitchen

Mary Hunt on

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 multipurpose household product.

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

Dawn Ultra is highly concentrated; Dawn Platinum contains enzymes to help break down tough, cooked-on foods. "Original" refers to the scent from the original 1972 product, which is still available if you know where to look (hint: Amazon).

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 a bottle 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!

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

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

REPEL ANTS. 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.

PET SHAMPOO. Use Dawn dish soap to bathe the dogs. It kills fleas on contact and is much cheaper than expensive dog shampoos.

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

DEFOG EYEGLASSES. To prevent your glasses from fogging up, rub a small drop of Dawn on the lenses and wipe clean.

DE-ICER. 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 more salt eating at the concrete in your sidewalks!

MANICURE SOAK. Soak fingers in a dish of Blue Dawn before beginning a manicure. It makes the cuticles soft and easy to work with, and helps the polish adhere better and last longer because it removes the natural oil from the nails.

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


Mary invites questions, comments and tips at, or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of, a personal finance member website and the author of "Debt-Proof Living," released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at

Copyright 2018 Creators Syndicate Inc.


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