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How Safe Is This Dish Washing Liquid With Its Myriad Uses?

Added June 11, 2014, Under: Environment

Blue Dawn ImageToday I am sharing a guest post from Emily Berkman who has loads of good ideas about how to use original Blue Dawn.  I will add my own reservations at the end. Here is what she says:

“Original Blue Down – it’s not just for dishes any more…

Have you ever wondered why Dawn Dish Washing Liquid is the wildlife cleaner of choice after an oil spill? According to the International Bird Rescue Research Center, Dawn effectively removes grease but does not cause harm to the skin of the birds. It’s also biodegradable and contains no phosphates.

Apart from cleaning up after an oil spill, here are a host of other uses:

Bubbles

According to Bubbles.org, Dawn dish washing liquid makes great home made bubbles. Here is the Giant Bubble Recipe used in bubble makers at many children’s museums: 1/2 cup Ultra Dawn 1/2 gallon warm water 1 tablespoon glycerin (available at any drug store).  Stir gently. Skim the foam off the top of the solution (too much foam breaks down the bubbles). Dip bubble wand and get ready for some good, clean fun!

Clean your windows

Try this recipe: mix 3 drops Dawn in 1 gallon water and fill a spray bottle with the solution. Spritz and wipe as you would with any window cleaner.

Pets and pests

Use it to bathe the dogs. It kills fleas on contact and is much cheaper than expensive dog shampoos.

Clean automotive tools

After you have finished your repair project, soak your dirty tools in Dawn (before you put them away) to remove all the oil and grime. Dawn also helps prevent rust from forming on the tools.

Ice pack

Partially fill a strong zip-type sandwich bag with Dawn dish washing liquid, close and freeze. The liquid soap stays cold much longer and it can be re-frozen many times. It will conform to the place you need an ice pack.

Tub and shower cleaner as well as shower floors

Cover greasy footprints on shower floors with a coating of Dawn and let sit overnight. Scrub away the residue in the morning with a stiff brush. Take a spray bottle and fill it halfway with white vinegar. Heat in the microwave. Fill the rest of the way with blue Dawn. Put lid on and shake to mix well. Spray on your tub and shower walls. Allow to sit for a few minutes and rinse away. It will eliminate all the slime, sludge and other stuff that builds up including a bathtub ring.

Unclogging toilets

A cup of Dawn detergent poured into a clogged toilet, allow to sit for 15 minutes before pouring a bucket of hot water from waist height to clear out the toilet.

Driveway cleaner

If you have gasoline or motor oil stains on your driveway, you can use the kitty litter method to clean up the excess oil and then use a scrub broom and a solution of biodegradable Dawn dish washing detergent and warm water to safely and effectively remove excess motor oil from the pavement.

Paint or grease remover for hands

Dawn combined with vegetable oil makes for the perfect paint or grease remover. Simply use a little bit of both in your hands then rub it over affected areas. The combination helps to dissolve the grease and paint while leaving the skin soft, unlike harsher paint removers.

Multi-purpose cleaner

Use a drop of Dawn in water to clean ceramic tile and no-wax/linoleum floors. You can also use the spray on:
• Bathroom and kitchen counters and sinks.
• Woodwork such as baseboards, shelves and wainscoting but do dry-as-you-go because wood doesn’t like prolonged contact with water.
• Tubs and toilet seats.

Laundry pre-treater for oily stains

For oil-based stains such as lipstick, grease, butter, motor oil, cooking oil, and some pen inks, simply apply some Dawn dish washing liquid directly to the stain and scrub with a small brush or toothbrush until the oil is removed, and then launder as usual.

Pavement de-icer

For icy steps and side walks in freezing temperatures, mix 1 teaspoon of Dawn, 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, and 1/2 gallon hot/warm water and pour over walkways. They won’t refreeze so no more salt eating at the concrete in your side walks.

Pool cleaning

Plastic children’s wading pools can get very messy quickly. Remove the water before scrubbing the pool with Dawn and a sponge. More potent cleaners like bleach will weaken and dry out the plastic in the sun. As for general pool cleaning, squirt Dawn down the middle of the pool and all of the dirt, suntan lotion and more will move to the edges of the pool for easy clean up and a sparkling pool.

Repel house plant insects

A safe, effective way to repel insects from your house plants, including aphids, spider mites and mealy bugs. Put a drop of Dawn in a spray bottle, fill the rest of the bottle with water, shake well, and mist your household plants with the soapy water.

Aphid control on fruit trees

Mix two tablespoons Dawn to a gallon of water and put in your sprayer. Try to get spray both sides of the leaves, branches and the tree trunks. Let sit for about 15 minutes and then rinse the trees very thoroughly.”

A big “thank you” to Emily for sharing all these great uses with us.

I wondered about the environmental consequences of using Blue Dawn Dish Washing Liquid and decided to investigate.  Like so many other issues, there seems to be two sides.  

EWG or the Environmental Working Group provide their own online guide to healthy cleaning products, covering more than two thousand different ones.  As far as Dawn Dish Washing Liquid is concerned, there have several reports covering all the different Dawn dish washing products such as the one here.  This one is given a D rating meaning:

HIGH CONCERN with likely hazards to health or the environment. May also have poor ingredient disclosure.

Some of the others receive a C rating meaning:

MODERATE CONCERN with some potential for hazards to health or the environment. At least some ingredient disclosure.

You can make up your own mind…

 

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