How to Use Dish Soap for Laundry Stains

Dawn dish soap for laundry stains

The right dish soap can do wonders on your greasy pots, pans, and everyday dishware, but can dish soap be used for laundry? While certain dish soaps can be used during the laundry process, they aren’t a replacement for detergent. Learn more about how dish soap can help as a pretreatment option for common laundry stains like those caused by pizza night; how to use dish soap properly so that white mesh top doesn’t get ruined; and which type of soap works best to help fight unwanted, set-in stains on your family’s clothes.

How to Use Dawn® Dish Soap for Laundry Stains

Stains happen to the best of us. But with Dawn® Platinum, it’s So Dawn Easy to pretreat most stains—like tomato sauce, blueberries, and grease—giving your clothes a fighting chance.

Use Dawn dish soap to pretreat laundry stains
  1. Apply Dawn® Platinum directly to any cotton/polycotton fabric, * covering the entire stained area, and rub it in using your fingers.

  2. Then wash it normally with Tide in your washing machine. **

  3. Do not reapply Dawn® to the same spot and wash again.

When stains happen, it’s So Dawn Easy to pretreat them with the power of Dawn®.

*For best results, use a little less than two teaspoons (9.5 mL) of Dawn® Platinum in a top-loading washing machine—be sure not to use too much, and don't use on delicate fabrics like silk. Spot test with a small drop in a less visible area to make sure the material will not be damaged.

**High efficiency washing machines can be sensitive and cycle times may vary.

When to Use Dish Soap for Laundry Stains

Using Dawn for pretreating laundry stains

Dinner at a friend’s and now you spot a stain on your favorite top? Not planning on running a full load of laundry just yet? There are several instances where dish soap can be used on laundry.

  • Pretreatment for stains: You can apply dish soap directly to any stains you may find on fabrics, whether it’s clothing, kitchen towels, or even bedding.

  • Stain removal in a pinch: There are plenty of times when an oil drip or saucy trickle makes its way onto our clothing, and sometimes there’s no opportunity to throw that article of clothing into the wash. A dishwashing liquid, like Dawn® Platinum, can help in those quick-fix, on-the-fly moments!

  • Stain treatment before loading: Not planning on running a full load of laundry just yet? Dish soap can be applied to stains before you run the wash, to better prevent them from settling into the fabric.

  • Handwashing small loads: Dawn® Platinum can help remove stubborn oil and food stains, making it an ideal option for handwashing small loads of laundry.

Though dish soap is great as a stain pretreatment option, it’s not meant for direct use in a laundry washing machine. That’s because dish soaps are uniquely formulated to break up grease and stuck-on food particles with foamy suds—something you don’t want to happen in your washing machine. Too many soapy suds can create a waterfall-like effect as your laundry washing machine runs a full cycle.

Best Dish Soap Options for Laundry

Whether pretreating stains or handwashing, you’ll want to use a dish soap that’s tough on oil and food splatters while staying gentle on your fabrics.

  • Best for spot treatment: For best results, apply a few drops of Dawn® Platinum directly to the stain. Then allow it to sit for just a few minutes before scrubbing the spot with some water.

  • Best for handwashing laundry: When you have just a few articles of clothing to wash, handwashing may be best—you’ll save both water and energy! Simply add a few drops of Dawn® Platinum to a mix of water and allow your laundry to soak in the suds. Then, scrub stained areas and rinse off before drying.

With so many uses around the house, Dawn® Platinum is great to always have around—especially when you’re in need of a quick fix!