dawn hand soap and dish soap comparison

Dawn Hand Soap vs Dish Soap | What’s the Difference?

In Cleaning Products, Home Products by Jamie P.

Conventionally, dish soap and hand soap were treated as two separate household items that were both needed for different purposes. Dish soap was formulated with stronger detergents and surfactants to lift away tough food stains on food and because these detergents were stronger, they notoriously dried out one’s hands, necessitating the use of dishwashing gloves. Hand soap, on the other hand, was a milder surfactant used to cleanse the skin without drying it out.

Dawn has revolutionized the soap game by meshing the two soap types together to offer an effective dish detergent that easily lifts away tough food stains while being gentle enough to use as a hand soap. Some formulas of Dawn hand and dish soap offer an antibacterial quality and skin-friendly ingredients to soften the skin.

Dawn hand and dish soaps have risen to the challenge of meeting consumer needs for gentle dishwashing liquids and hand cleansers in one item. Read on to learn about the different types of Dawn soap and which are best for which task.

What’s the Difference Between Dawn Hand and Dish Soap?

While traditional hand soap and dish soap are designed for their separate respective purposes, Dawn anticipated the needs of their consumer market and created dish soap that doubles as a hand soap.

Not only does Dawn dish soap effectively cut through grease and food stains on dishes, but it is also gentle enough to use as hand soap. As portrayed in the commercials, some people have even found it to be an effective and gentle shampoo for their pets and animals.

There are a few Dawn detergent products that are not intended for hands and are solely intended for intense dish cleaning such as Dawn Powerwash Dish Spray.

Can You Use Dawn Dish Soap on Your Hands?

Dawn dish soap is formulated with skin-friendly ingredients that can leave your skin feeling soft and clean after washing your dishes. With their formulations, Dawn has eliminated the need for dishwashing gloves as their dishwashing detergents are not as harsh as other brands of dish soap. For this reason, Dawn dish soap can be used to wash your hands.

Can You Use Dawn Hand Soap on Your Dishes?

You may have purchased a bottle of Dawn dish soap and noticed that it is labeled as a hand soap. This is to portray the double purpose of Dawn hand and dish soap. What is labeled as Dawn hand soap is also intended to effectively clean your dishes while simultaneously cleaning and softening the skin on your hands.

Dawn Soap Lineup

What is Dawn Antibacterial Soap?

Dawn Antibacterial Soap

Dawn Antibacterial soap is labeled as a hand soap that also acts as a dishwashing liquid. Available in the scents Orange and Apple Blossom, Dawn has formulated this soap to kill 99% of bacteria on hands while requiring 50% less scrubbing power to clean dishes. This formula is available in multiple sizes.

What is Dawn Platinum?

Dawn Platinum

Dawn Platinum is a dishwashing liquid that is designed to cut through grease and tough stains on dishes while still being gentle on your skin, reducing or eliminating the need to wear dishwashing gloves. Available in multiple sizes, it comes in the scents Refreshing Rain, Lemon Burst, and Green Papaya.

Dawn Platinum Bleach Alternative Dishwashing Liquid

Dawn states that this formula can cut through grease 4 times faster than other dish detergents. More specific to washing dishes, there is also Dawn Platinum Bleach Alternative dishwashing liquid. This is meant to power away tough food stains with the same effectiveness and without the harshness of bleach.

The Dawn Platinum line also contains the Powerwash Spray which is designed specifically as a dishwashing aid to lift away tough stuck-on messes on dishes. While this spray is safe to come into contact with your skin, it is not designed to be used as a hand wash as the other Dawn dishwashing liquids are.

What is Dawn Platinum Powerwash Dish Spray?

Dawn Platinum Powerwash Dish Spray Bundle

Dawn Platinum Powerwash Dish Spray is a part of the Dawn Platinum line however it is intended to lift away tough baked-on food messes on dishes. It acts as a pre-wash treatment of sorts to lift away stubborn grease. Simply spray it onto your soiled dishes, allow it to sit for a moment, then wipe or wash away, revealing clean dishes.

Whereas Dawn dishwashing liquids usually double as gentle hand soaps, the Powerwash Dish Spray is intended for use on dishes though it is safe if it comes into contact with your skin.

What is Dawn Gentle Clean?

Dawn Gentle Clean Dishwashing Liquid, Pomegranate & Rose Water

Dawn Gentle Clean is labeled as a dishwashing liquid that still boasts the ability to clean your dishes with 50% less scrubbing power. The main difference between this and the other Dawn dishwashing liquids is that it is available in softer spa-like aroma-therapeutic scents.

Also available in multiple sizes, this formula comes in scents such as Pomegranate and Rose Water, Green Tea and Honey, Peach and Almond, Aloe and Sage, and Jasmine Tea and Wildberry. With scents like those, it is meant to be a gentler sensory experience when washing your dishes with this formula while also softening your skin.

What is Dawn Free and Clear?

Dawn Free & Clear Dishwashing Liquid, Lemon Essence

Dawn Free and Clear is a dishwashing liquid that is free of colorants and dyes making its appearance clear. Some consumers assume the Free and Clear title also means it is scent-free, however, this is not the case as it comes in Lemon Essence and Lavender Wisp scents.

This formula is designed to be gentler in other ways such as being formulated with essential oils and biodegradable ingredients while still maintaining its promise to clean dishes with 50% less scrubbing power with 3 times the grease-cleaning power.

This formula is available in multiple sizes and is skin-friendly. It can be used as hand soap and will leave your skin feeling soft after washing the dishes.

How is Dawn Original Different?

Dawn Original Dishwashing Liquid

Dawn Original is a dishwashing liquid that differs minutely from the other dishwashing liquids. Being one of the original formulas for Dawn’s dishwashing liquid line, it was advertised as an effective dish cleaner requiring 50% less scrubbing power.

The main difference is that the formulations that came after it such as Dawn Antibacterial, Gentle Clean, and Free and Clear were formulated specifically to appeal to the consumer’s need for one product that cleans dishes and also softens the skin, in a variety of scents.


Related Questions

Is Dawn Dish Soap or Hand Soap Toxic if Ingested?

Unfortunately, it is possible to get soap poisoning of Dawn dish or hand soap is ingested. Contact can occur if the soap gets in your eyes or if it is ingested orally. In small quantities, ingesting a dish or hand soap should have little to no effect.

You may feel slightly nauseous or have an upset stomach but in serious cases, soap poisoning can also lead to more serious gastrointestinal pain and blood in your stool. While it is less likely to occur with household soap products, some serious potential side effects also include changes to your blood pH, changes in blood pressure, and heart rate.

If you ingest Dawn dish or hand soap and start to feel unwell, it is advised to seek medical attention immediately. You may also wish to call the poison control center to seek advice.

What Happens if you Get Dawn Soap in Your Eyes?

As with most soaps, getting dawn dish or hand soap in your eyes can cause them to sting, water, and become irritated. If your eyes come into contact with a small amount of soap, flush your eye under clean running water and monitor for any other symptoms.

If your eyes come into contact with a large amount of soap, flush them immediately with clean running water and seek medical attention. You may experience irritation to the skin around your eyes, burning, itching, and watering. In serious cases, contact with the detergents in soap can cause vision loss for which you should seek immediate medical attention.

Is Dawn Dish and Hand Soap Safe for Pets?

Dawn dish and hand soaps are safe to use on pets, however, be careful not to get it in their eyes, ears, or mouths as ingestion can cause an upset stomach or more severe soap poisoning symptoms. Dawn dish and hand soaps are said to be effective at killing fleas on pets and are gentle on their skin and yours.

As with any product used on your pets, do a spot test on them to ensure that their skin does not react to the product before giving them a full bath in it.

Final Thoughts

While some of the labels can be tricky to decipher, both Dawn dishwashing liquids and hand soaps are designed to effectively clean your dishes and soften the skin on your hands at the same time. The main differences come down to preferences in the formulas as some prefer the antibacterial quality of one formula, whereas others may go for the calming scents in the Gentle Clean line.