12 surprising things you can clean with Dawn Powerwash – the unassuming product cleaners can’t get enough of

Cleaners have been amazed at what this simple spray works on

Living room, shoes and laundry closet
(Image credit: Kelling Designs / Dan Duchars / Sims Hilditch)

What started out as a simple dish-cleaning spray has quickly become professional cleaners' secret weapon. 

Dawn dish soap is nothing new, in fact, it is a staple for many American households, but the Dawn Powerwash spray has quickly taken the original's place as one of the most versatile cleaning products to be found under your sink. And, as these cleaning tips show, there are countless surprising applications for this spray-on soap, professional cleaners have found.

Here are 12 surprising things you can clean with Dawn Powerwash around your home, with spotless results. 

What can you clean with Dawn Powerwash?

Because of the bottle’s spray mechanism, the soap doesn't require any water to form a lather. The result? Pure, concentrated soap ready for cleaning and polishing even the greasiest of home surfaces. 

As a commercial cleaner, it is important to use Dawn Powerwash with rubber cleaning gloves to help prevent skin irritation as it contains rubbing alcohol. While this is generally safe for skin, it can be drying with repeated exposure. 

Dawn Powerwash Starter Bundle – $8.44 at Amazon

Dawn Powerwash Starter Bundle – $8.44 at Amazon 

This Powerwash starter kit includes one complete Dawn spray bottle and one refill pack.

1. Cleaning garden tools 

Gardentools stood on end on a brick wall

(Image credit: Oliver Gordon)

Cleaning garden tools is not the easiest of tasks, but it must be done to keep them sharp and efficient for longer. Viktor Holas, cleaning and DIY specialist and founder of home improvement site SimplySwider uses Dawn Powerwash to help break through dried dirt and sticky sap with ease. 

‘I always use it to clean my garden tools, it's great for removing dirt and grime from metal surfaces,’ he says. ‘Simply spray the tools with the Powerwash and allow them to sit for a few minutes. After just rinse them off in an outdoor sink or with a watering can and polish them with an old, clean towel. They look good as new and work a charm.’ 

Cleaning tools like this can also help to disinfect the tools prior to pruning to prevent the spread of diseases around your garden and plants.  

2. Freshening up shoes 

shoe cleaning kit and house cleaning kit

(Image credit: Dan Duchars/Future)

One way of freshening up footwear is to wash shoes in the washing machine, but if you can't wash sneakers in the machine, then Dawn Powerwash could be the perfect solution for dried-on grime, tough stains, and even bad odors. 

‘I've even used it to clean my athletic shoes, it helps to remove tough stains and odors,’ says Viktor Holas. 

Although it is technically dish soap, the foaming bubbles make it perfect for breaking down tough deposits and releasing trapped smells.

‘To clean shoes, lightly spray the dirty areas before scrubbing with a clean, unused toothbrush. This solution also works on the soles of shoes too. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before using a damp cloth to wipe away the foam and setting the shoes to dry near a heat vent or a dehumidifier,’ Viktor says. 

Make sure to test the soap on an inconspicuous area of the shoe first, as not all materials – like suede, for instance, will take kindly to excessive soap or scrubbing. 

Dawn Powerwash Apple Scent – was $5.99, Now $4.94 at Amazon

Dawn Powerwash Apple Scent – was $5.99, Now $4.94 at Amazon 

This apple-scented Powerwash can help to break down grease and freshen up your room at the same time. 

3. Ridding window tracks of oil and grime 

living room with blue couch, cream drapes, console, table lamps, patterned cushions, footstool

(Image credit: Kelling Designs)

When cleaning windows it can be easy to forget about the tracks and the inside of the frame. Given that we don't see it or look too closely at it that often, it is a commonly missed spot – making it one of the dirtiest places in your home

Window tracts can harbor all sorts of dirt and grime, and sometimes even mold in humid weather. Dawn Powerwash can be sprayed around the track and scrubbed in with a traditional scouring brush like this from Amazon, or an old, unused toothbrush to help lift stubborn marks and reduce staining. 

Electric Cleaning Brush – $17.99 at Amazon

Electric Cleaning Brush – $17.99 at Amazon

Don't fancy hard scrubbing? This electric scrubber can tackle tough makes without any effort on your part 

4. Dissolving stubborn kitchen grease

Modern kitchen with red painted kitchen island, marble countertop, three glass and metal hanging pendant lights over island, pink painted cabinetry, wall lights over decorated shelf

(Image credit: Harvey Jones)

When cleaning a kitchen, sometimes homemade kitchen cleaners don’t quite cut through baked-on grease and tough oil marks – especially if you are a regular home cook. 

The dirty hidden areas of the kitchen we forget to clean, like around range hoods and extractor fans, can sometimes suffer from a build-up of grease and fat that has traveled on cooking steam, leaving a sticky mess that is hard to get rid of. Spraying the area thoroughly with Dawn Powerwash and leaving it to sit for five minutes can help to clean kitchen grease and make removing it a breeze. You likely won't need to use any elbow grease either.  

5. Removing stains from clothes and linens

Linen cupboard in pantry

(Image credit: Sims Hilditch)

Greasy stains on clothes are notoriously difficult to remove, even after putting them through a laundry cycle or two. Using dish soap, specifically the extra-powerful Dawn Powerwash can help to lift the stain right off the fabric. Simply spray the stain once on each side of the fabric as soon as possible and leave it to sit for 10 minutes or so before rinsing the area and throwing it into a wash. This method can also work to remove red wine stains too. 

Consider using the dye-free Powerwash to prevent any colors from running when trying this hack at home. 

Dawn Powerwash Dye Free – $5.19 at Target

Dawn Powerwash Dye Free – $5.19 at Target

This dye-free is great for use on fabrics to help prevent running colors and discoloration 

6. Cleaning barbecues 

outdoor grilling station by a pool

(Image credit: Kate Anne Designs / Jeffrey Brian Riemer)

Cleaning grills and cleaning grill grates can be messy, and sometimes require hard scrubbing to remove charred food and burnt grease. The good news, however, is that the concentrated soap formula of Dawn Powerwash helps to break down the grime without running off the bars – as regular soap would in water. 

‘After each use, I spray Dawn Powerwash on the grill grates and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing it off with a brush. It removes all the gunk and makes the grills look brand new,’ says Viktor Holas, cleaning and DIY specialist.

7. Polishing stainless steel appliances and fixtures 

Pink tiled sink

(Image credit: Mosaic Factory)

Stainless steel is not always as ‘stainless’ as the name suggests, and kitchen and bathroom faucets can quickly become coated in limescale, watermarks, and other deposits such as toothpaste or food particles. Dawn Powerwash soap can be used to bust through tough marks and clean a stainless steel sink or hardware in half the time it takes regular, diluted soap – all without the use of harsh, abrasive cleaners. 

‘Because most household faucets are metal, corrosion through extended usage can occur. Use soap and a soft microfiber cloth instead of a scouring pad as this will rub off more metal and cause your faucet to rust,’ Ivan Ivanov, cleaning expert from End of Tenancy Cleaning suggests. ‘Gently wash the grime from the faucet using the soft cloth, run the faucet, and you should notice results within seconds.’ 

8. Removing stains from carpets and rugs 

living room with large area rug

(Image credit: Future PLC)

While you shouldn’t have to clean area rugs or deep clean carpets more than once or twice a year, spot-cleaning marks and stains can be useful throughout the year. Rather than using expensive chemical cleaners, however, gentle cleansers like Dawn Powerwash can be used to lift fresh stains without much effort at all. 

‘Stains should always be tackled as soon as they happen – time really is of the essence when it comes to removing spillages so mop us as much as the stain as possible and never allow it to dry into the rug,’ says Daniel Prendergast carpet expert from The Rug Seller

Once the soap has been used to lift the stain, make sure to wash the suds out with water to prevent further marking or sticky patches. 

‘When cleaning floor coverings, especially those that are light in color, it is always best to seek advice from the manufacturer or care label with regards to the specific products that you can use on a stain. You should always patch-test an inconspicuous area first too,’ Daniel warns. 

9. Cleaning dried food from appliances and dishes 

A white air fryer on a kitchen counter with a roast chicken inside

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Given its original application as dish soap, it should be obvious that it can be used on appliances and food dishes in and around the kitchen. One of the most common applications is to use Dawn Powerwash to clean an air fryer without scrubbing. 

‘Using a soft sponge and some soap, remove the tray from the air fryer (once cooled) and use your finger to gently scrub all available areas,’ advises cleaning expert Ivan Ivanov. ‘If your finger is too large, or the mess is a bit too stuck on, use an old toothbrush instead. Whatever works best for you, provided you’re cleaning effectively but not pushing so hard as to remove any of the coatings on the inside of the air fryer tray.’

It is not just your two-legged family's dishes that the soap tackles, but your pets too.

 ‘I've even used it to clean my pet's food and water bowls,’ adds Viktor Holas, cleaning specialist. ‘It's great for getting rid of any germs and bacteria, as well as any dried-on food.’ 

Rinse thoroughly afterwards with clean water.

10. Removing acidic stains from kitchen utensils

A knife set on a wooden kitchen counter

(Image credit: ProCook)

Staple acidic foods like citrus fruits or tomatoes can leave unsightly stains on cutting boards and knives if not washed immediately. Given that most of us are sometimes too busy to wash the dishes right away, or wait to fill up a dishwasher first, we are often left with these irritating, hard-to-move marks. 

When refreshing your cutting boards or cleaning your best kitchen knives, A spray of Dawn Powerwash left to sit for 15 minutes or longer can help to lift the acidic marks and restore your utensils to their original, pristine state. You could also try it to clean a baking sheet

If caring for a wooden cutting board, however, don't allow the soap to sit. Instead, apply the soap and gently scrub with a non-abrasive cloth or sponge before rinsing and drying thoroughly to prevent warping the wood.  

11. Degreasing bikes 

Hall, bicycle, antique grandfather clock

(Image credit: Pearson Lyle)

Dawn Powerwash’s impressive degreasing qualities mean that it is ideal for quickly cleaning thicker oils on bikes and even cars with some experts touting Dawn Powerwash as better than some bike-specific soaps available on the market. 

The simple-to-use spray can be applied liberally to components like bike chains to help dissolve old oil and grease and prepare the chain for re-oiling or storing – make sure to dry everything thoroughly afterward to prevent rust.

Some experts warn against using soap solvents on bearings if you are not preparing to re-oil them after, as it can quickly seize moving parts by strimming away all lubricants. 

12. Shifting soap scum

subway bathroom tile ideas with white metro tiles

(Image credit: West One Bathrooms / Photographer: Paul Craig)

Fighting soap scum with soap? It might sound counterintuitive, but it really works! 

The pure soap of Dawn Powerwash adheres better when cleaning glass shower doors and to ceramic sinks than soap mixed with water, allowing the solution to sit a little longer before scrubbing. The longer soaking time means the soap can better penetrate soap scum making it easier to lift.  

Where to find Dawn Powerwash in the US

What should you not use Dawn Powerwash on? 

When using Dawn Powerwash, you should avoid cleaning porous surfaces such as marble and other soft natural stones or untreated wood.  It is also best to keep Dawn Powerwash away from painted surfaces, too. 

Always make sure to test new cleaning products on inconspicuous areas of surfaces first. 

 How is Dawn Powerwash different from regular Dawn? 

Dawn Powerwash contains rubbing alcohol, making it slightly more potent than regular Dawn dish soap. While the rest of the formula is the same, the addition of rubbing alcohol makes the spray more effective at removing stains and helps it to form a lather without adding water allowing you to use the spray more easily around the house and without diluting the soap's concentration. 

Chiana Dickson
Content Editor

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for two years, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.