Does The Dawn Dish Soap Laundry Hack Work? 

Think twice before adding Dawn dish soap to your washing machine. The risks outweigh the benefits.

It’s a popular TikTok laundry hack – adding Dawn dish soap to the washing machine before regular detergent. Some users claim it removes stains and brightens whites, like TikToker Gillaleigh Home, who adds one tablespoon of Dawn to a rag, tossing it in the washing machine with her whites. Other users squirt it directly in the drum before adding laundry.

Dish Soap Laundry Hack

Is It Safe to Put Dawn in the Washing Machine?

It’s unsafe to squirt Dawn dish soap directly in the washing machine. A small amount may be inconsequential, but adding too much leads to a bubbly mess, an overflowing washer, and damage to your clothes and washing machine.

Regular laundry detergent contains a low sud formula, which washing machines can handle. Dish soap contains a high-sud formula that will damage the pump in your washer and leave a build-up in the drum. Excess suds will also leave your clothes soapy and unclean, even after a couple of washes.

Other reasons you should NEVER add Dawn to the washer:

  • Dish soap is formulated to break down dirt and stuck-on food from hard surfaces, like dishes, not clothing
  • When you add too much soap, it’s challenging to get the suds back out of the washer
  • If you have hard water, dish soap can create a layer of soap scum inside the washing machine
  • Repeated use will leave a film on your clothes

The ONLY Safe Ways to Use Dawn Dish Soap in the Laundry

There are two safe ways to use dish soap in the laundry – as a stain pretreatment or to hand wash clothing. 

Dawn works well as a stain pretreatment on food or oil-based stains. To use it, dampen the garment, add one drop of Dawn to the stain, and work it in. You can then rinse the garment or throw it into the washing machine.

If you’re out of laundry detergent and need to hand wash a small load of laundry, Dawn recommends using their Platinum dish soap, as it can break down oil and food. To hand wash, fill a sink or tub with water and add a squirt of dish soap. Then submerge the clothing in your tub, hand wash, rinse, and dry.