15 Top Dawn Dish Soap Uses in the Garden

Sherin Woods is a California-based DIY enthusiast and garden design aficionado. With a background in Environmental Science, she combines creativity and sustainability in all her projects. A Pinterest favorite, Sherin is committed to eco-friendly solutions and has contributed to various home and garden publications. Her areas of expertise include DIY project planning, sustainable garden design, and content creation.
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Here are some of the best Dawn Dish Soap Uses in the Garden to help you keep your garden healthy and productive!

Dawn Dish Soap Uses in the Garden

Some people say–“dawn dish soap is the duct tape for the kitchen,” but it’s even more, you can use this powerful liquid soap in your garden not in one or two ways but dozen. Discover these Dawn Dish Soap Uses in the Garden below, and decide for yourself.

Check out some awesome baking soda uses in the garden here

Dawn Dish Soap Uses in the Garden

1. Poison Ivy Killer


Poison ivy can cause many problems, and you can remove this plant from the garden by making a poison ivy killer spray by mixing 1-gallon white vinegar, 3 tablespoons of dawn dish soap, and 1 cup of salt. Fill this solution into a spray bottle and use it to spray on the poison ivy plant.

2. Weed Killer

If you’ve difficulty keeping your garden weed-free, this hack will help you: Kill those unwanted plants by making the same solution of dawn dish soap you saw above. Take 2-4 cups of white vinegar, 2-3 tablespoons of dawn dish soap, and 1 cup of salt. Fill the solution in a clean bottle and spray on weeds at the time when there’s no rain forecast.

3. Clean Garden Tools

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After using the gardening tools in the garden, proper cleaning is necessary to keep them last longer. Take a bucket, fill it full of water, add half a cup of dawn dish soap, mix the solution, and place the tools into it for an hour. Scrub them gently using a brush, rinse with water, and wipe with a clean cloth.

4. Kill Ants

You can control ants in your garden using only two things — 2 tablespoons of dawn dish soap and water. Fill the blend in a spray bottle, shake it well before use. Spray the solution on ants or their mounds and trails.

Check out more ideas to get rid of ants here

5. Control Garden Pests


You can prevent garden pests by making a solution of 1 teaspoon of dawn dish soap with vegetable oil in a similar quantity with 1-gallon water. Combine the blended mixture in an empty bottle, shake it and spray on the affected area. Repeat the process every 7 to 14 days.

6. Get Rid of Tree Sap

While cutting or camping trees, gardeners often get in contact with sticky tree sap. You can use dawn dish soap to clean the messy sap from your hands. Take a few drops of dawn liquid soap on your palm, scrub, and rinse with water.

7. Cure Nasty Rash

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If you have come to contact with poison ivy or other plant and suffered rashes, then wash the affected body part with dawn dish soap — it will help break down the oil that causes skin rashes.

Add few drops of dawn liquid soap on a damp sponge, wipe off the affected area and wash thoroughly with tap water.

8. Trap for Fruit Flies

You can get rid of annoying fruit flies by using 2-3 drops of dawn dish soap solution, 1/2 cup of white or apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Mix it well and place it where fruit flies infest most. The flies will attract to the bowl due to vinegar and get drowned.

9. Flea Killer for Pets


Make a solution of dawn dish soap in water and use it as a replacement for expensive dog shampoos. It will clean the furs and kill the fleas on your pet’s skin.

10. Most Potent Natural Pest Killer

Neem oil is a naturally found pesticide in neem seeds. It’s completely chemical-free and doesn’t cause harmful effects on the body. You can spray it on your plants! But there is one problem — it doesn’t dissolve in water. You’ll need to use dawn dish soap (or any other liquid soap) to disperse it in water; it’ll work as an emulsifier.

Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dawn dish soap and 2-3 teaspoons of neem oil in a gallon of water. Shake it well and spray on the affected plants and keep doing this every week until you see the infestation is gone.

Because neem oil tends to separate from water even with soap, you’ll need to shake every 4-5 minutes.

Have a look at organic Neem oil uses in the garden here

11. Kill Aphids and Bugs on Plants


Mix 1 to 1.5 teaspoon of dawn dish soap in a gallon of water and fill the mix in a spray bottle. Spray it on the affected plant parts, especially the underside of leaves and buds. The solution is safe for plants, but it will repel the pests.

12. Wetting Hydrophobic Soil

If you have a hydrophobic soil problem and wondering what to do to make it absorb more water, you can add 1 part of dawn dish soap to 10 parts of water in a can and slowly pour it on the soil.

The detergent is known to break the dried soil’s surface tension and let the water be absorbed. If the hydrophobic condition redevelops, you can use this hack to treat it again.

13. Remove Paint and Grease from Hands

After a gardening session or painting planters, you may end up getting your hands all soiled up, greasy, or full of paint, which would be difficult to remove. Use a combination of dawn dish soap mixed with corn oil and rub it over the affected areas. This solution will help dissolve all the grease and paint, leaving your skin soft.

14. Cheap and Effective Sidewalk De-Icer

Ice could be dangerous, especially if you try to walk on it outside your door and into the garden. If there is no sidewalk salt handy, you can use dawn dish soap instead.

Just mix one teaspoon of dawn dish soap with one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol in a half-gallon of warm water for the application on icy steps. After you pour this solution, the ice would not refreeze soon.

15. Driveway Stain Cleaner


You can sprinkle non-clumping kitty litter and a solution of dawn dish soap with warm water to efficiently remove any excess gasoline or oil stains from your driveway. If the patch is small, directly squirt the dish soap over it and let it sit for an hour, and then clean it.

Don’t Miss Reading This

Dawn dish soap can save your plants from pest infestation, but it can damage them as well — this may sound contradictory, but it’s true! Too much of it dissolved in water can burn the leaves of your sensitive plants. If you want to make this work, do these things:

  1. For a gallon of water, 1 teaspoon of it is fine. Increasing the concentration can cause more harm than good.
  2. In the beginning, you can dissolve half a teaspoon of dish soap in one gallon of water mixed with neem or any other vegetable oil and see how it works. You can increase it up to 2 teaspoons.
  3. Many plants are sensitive, which is why you must test your dawn dish soap solution before using it liberally.
  4. Pick 2-3 leaves that you can spot later and mist them with it. Wait for 24-48 hours; if you don’t see burning or curling of tested leaves — you’re good to go!

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  1. I use it as my shampoo. It was recommended to my grandmother by a nurse after she lost her hair due to chemotherapy. Her hair came back thick and healthy. My hairdresser tells me I have the pinkest scalp she has ever seen. Haven’t had a flake of dandruff in 20 years.

  2. My husband and I lived in Texas for the first part of our marrige. Sand fleas were everywhere. We used Dawn to bath our cats and it worked like a charm killing the fleas. Just make sure you keep it away from their eyes.


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