washing the plate with Dawn or Palmolive

Dawn vs Palmolive | What’s the Better Dish Soap?

In Cleaning Products, Home Tips by Jamie

If you are shopping around for a brand new dish soap brand, you may be curious to know about Dawn’s product line as well as Palmolive’s. Curious to know which option is better? That’s what this article will determine for you.

So, what’s the better dish soap, Dawn or Palmolive? While most products are highly rated and offer a decent cleaning for the money, Dawn tends to rate higher among consumers and manufacturers for its cleaning ability and overall product line.

However, what are the differences between these two top competing dish soap brands, and what can you expect out of their product offerings? Let’s dive in and learn more about these cleaning products now.

What’s the Difference Between Dawn and Palmolive?

There are a few key differences between Dawn and Palmolive as brands. Most of these differences occur in their lineup of products, but there are some differences in terms of the overall quality of the products as well.

For example, most of Dawn’s dish soaps are on the thicker side, so that you don’t have to use as much to wash all of your dishes. Palmolive still has a decent formula for cutting through grease and food, but you may end up using more since it is a thinner soap.

Also, both brands offer a wide variety of scents to appeal to the average consumer, but many reviewers mention that Dawn’s products tend to smell a little bit better than the Palmolive product line.

Speaking of product line, let’s dive in to learn more about what both of these dish soap brands have to offer.

Dawn Product Offerings

Dawn Dish Soap Ultra Dishwashing Liquid, Dish Soap Refill, Original Scent, 2 Count, 56 oz (Packaging May Vary)

Not only can Dawn offer you a wide variety of grease busting soaps, they also have a lot of unique products to help you clean your dishes faster than ever before. Plus, Dawn has a wide variety of scents available as well, so that you never have to suffer through an unpleasant dish soap smell.

They offer dish soap in a variety of grease fighting strengths, such as Dawn Ultra and Dawn Platinum. These come in a standard dish soap form, and Dawn can also give you a free and clear product and a hand washing antibacterial dish soap.

Dawn also offers a wide variety of unique foam-based dishwashing soap. This soap is designed to foam up on your dirty dishes and get wiped away or rinsed off with ease, leading to less time spent scrubbing away at caked-on stains. A very popular choice being their Dawn Platinum Powerwash Dish Spray, simply “spray, wipe, rinse”.

Dawn Platinum Powerwash Dish Spray, Dish Soap, Fresh Scent Bundle, 1 Spray (16oz) + 3 Refills (16oz each)

They offer a variety of scents as well, from green apple to lavender, lemon extract, fresh rain, rose water, aloe, and more. Their standard Ultra dish soap seems to be highly rated for its scent, but their botanical line of soaps is there if you are looking for something a bit more pleasant.

Between their high-performance power washing dish soaps and their gentler botanical based dishwashing liquid, Dawn has a wide variety of products for just about everyone. It has recently been named the top selling dishwashing liquid in the United States, and you can no doubt see why. Check out Dawn’s products line in more detail by clicking here and visiting their website.

Palmolive Product Offerings

Palmolive Essential Clean Liquid Dish Soap, Original - 28 Fluid Ounce, Green (146303)

Palmolive has a very similar products line to Dawn’s, including Palmolive Dishwashing Liquid Advanced Original, antibacterial dishwashing soap, pure and clear soap, softer soap that is safer for dried or cracking hands, and even a more botanical-based line up for those of you looking for a dish soap that doesn’t smell like chemicals.

Speaking of smells, some of Palmolive’s scents include aloe, coconut water, lavender, citrus, lime, jasmine, almond milk, and unscented. Having an unscented option may be appealing to many of you, especially those of you with sensitive skin or noses.

However, Palmolive is lacking in Dawn’s unique Platinum line of foaming dishwashing liquid. Palmolive offers a bit more in terms of dishwasher detergent, not meant for handwashing. However, their dish liquid product line is much smaller than Dawn’s.

This doesn’t mean that they can’t still offer you an efficient and powerful cleaning product. Palmolive is a brand known for its grease fighting abilities and powerful food stain cleaning technology. Plus, Palmolive is often more reasonable, price-wise.

Palmolive and Dawn Ingredients (Are They Different?)

Technically speaking, the ingredients in both Palmolive and Dawn are indeed different. They have different formulas, especially when it comes down to the fragrance and dyes used in their standard liquid dish soap. Obviously, their free and clear product lines won’t have fragrances or dyes in them.

However, despite using slightly different ingredients, the result ends up being the same and the overall ingredient list is strikingly similar. Palmolive seems to use more water in their liquid dish soap than Dawn does however, which is likely why their formula isn’t known for being quite as thick.

I recommend visiting their websites and taking a closer look at their ingredient list, especially if you are sensitive to any chemicals, dyes, scents, or preservatives.

What Dish Soap Performs Better?

Overall, both of these dish soaps perform quite well under extensive testing. This article from Prudent Reviews offers an insight to how well both Palmolive and Dawn Ultra perform in a wide variety of kitchen scenarios, such as caked-on meat, berry stains, and more.

dish washing

However, based on the amount of dish soap used and the amount of time it took to scrub the dishes clean, many product reviews say that Dawn performs better than Palmolive overall. Dawn’s thicker formula means that you don’t have to use quite as much soap as Palmolive.

Dawn also promotes the idea that you don’t have to scrub your dishes as much when you use their products. This goes even further if you purchase Dawn’s foaming product line, designed to break down grease and food without you needing to lift a finger.

However, Palmolive still performed well under many consumer tests, and given the more affordable price tag, this dish soap brand may suit your lifestyle better. Let’s talk more about affordability now.

What’s the More Affordable Dish Soap?

Thankfully, both of these brands of dish soap are affordable in the grand scheme of cleaning products and purchases. However, the price tag on Dawn’s brands tends to be a lot higher than Palmolive, depending on the specific products that you end up purchasing.

Consumers may argue that Dawn’s price tag is higher because you don’t need to use as much soap and the ultra-concentrated formula will ultimately clean your dishes with less use overall, making the price of these two products and brands relatively equal.

However, just looking at the base price tag, Palmolive ends up being a more economical purchase. The product itself may not last you as long, or you may need to use more dish soap at a time, but the initial cost of the product is less than any one of Dawn’s dish soaps.

Check the Latest Price on Amazon for Dawn Dish Soap Platinum

Check the Latest Price on Amazon for Palmolive Original Dish Soap

Related Questions

Still have questions regarding these two dishwashing liquid contenders? Let’s go over some frequently asked questions so that you can determine which brand of dish soap is right for you.

Is Dawn or Palmolive Dish Soap Toxic?

Technically, yes, both of these products are potentially toxic when ingested or otherwise consumed. They have ingredients in them that have been known to irritate the skin as well as causing internal damage if drunk or eaten.

You may consider looking at the free and clear product lines offered by both of these brands, as they may have less harmful things in them than the standard formula. However, most dish soap that isn’t an all natural option contains potentially toxic ingredients.

Does Dawn and Palmolive Test on Animals?

Yes, both of these dishwashing brands test their products on animals. They are not considered cruelty-free brands in any way, even though Dawn often boasts that their products are safe when used in conjunction with animals affected by oil spills and other natural disasters.

Is Dawn and Palmolive Dish Soap Biodegradable?

Dawn is known for being 90% biodegradable and Palmolive is known for being 100% biodegradable. However, these brands are still not entirely safe for many delicate ecosystems and environments, despite their biodegradable claims.

Very few dish soaps are 100% biodegradable, unless you opt for a plant-based or all natural dish soap, such as castile soap. If you are searching for a biodegradable soap option, I would steer clear of most any commercial brands.

Can You Use Dawn and Palmolive in the Dishwasher?

No, you should never use dishwashing detergent in your dishwasher, unless it is billed as being dishwasher compatible. Most dish soap foams up too much in the dishwasher and can cause damage to both your machine and your home should the liquid overflow.

However, Palmolive does offer separate dishwashing detergent, including easy to use gel packs. Dawn only offers dish soap for handwashing at this point in time, so if you’re looking for a soap to use in your dishwasher, I would check out Palmolive first.

What’s the Difference Between Palmolive and Ajax?

Palmolive offers a wide variety of scents and product options compared to Ajax. Ajax is known for being a much harsher dish soap formula, especially when compared to Palmolive and even Dawn. Palmolive may be more expensive than Ajax, but it also boasts more grease fighting abilities than the Ajax product line.

Does Dawn and Palmolive Dish Soap Kill Bacteria?

Yes, some Dawn and Palmolive dish soap products can kill bacteria. However, you should keep an eye out for these particular products, as the standard formula may or may not kill as much bacteria as their antibacterial based products.

Both Dawn and Palmolive offer a specific hand washing dish soap that is gentler on the hands than their standard formula. It is also designed to kill germs, and Dawn even offers a bleach alternative so that you can ensure your dishes and hands are as clean as possible.

Palmolive vs Dawn for Fleas? (Is One Better Than the Other?)

Both of these brands have been used to combat fleas on the average dog. Fleas will leap off of your dog at the first sign of dish soap, no matter the brand or type. However, Palmolive use has a slightly harsher formula that can kill fleas on contact, while Dawn’s formula has not been known to do this.

However, given that it is a harsher formula, Palmolive may affect a dog’s skin more than Dawn. If your dog tends to have sensitive skin, it may be best to avoid using dish soap on your dog altogether. There are many flea bath treatments that you can purchase that are made specifically for dogs or cats.

Can You Use Dawn and Palmolive to Clean More Than Just Dishes?

Yes! Both of these products are perfect to use on household items other than your dishes. Palmolive is great for washing certain articles of clothing and fabrics, as well as cleaning your car, various plastic materials, and even rugs or carpeting.

Dawn’s Platinum product line has even more grease fighting technology than their standard product line, making it ideal for washing your dirty car, clothes, and anything else that seems to be greasy or coated in a stain that you haven’t been able to get off any other way.

However, be sure to read product reviews and the labels on your household goods before testing dish soap as a cleaner. You can also do a test spot before cleaning the entire item. Some dish soaps have been known to discolor fabrics, so be especially careful if you plan on using either of these brands in conjunction with your laundry.

What are Some Other Dish Soap Competitors?

There are a wide variety of dish soap options on the market today. Some of Dawn and Palmolive’s main competitors include:

  • Ajax
  • Meyer’s
  • Ecos
  • Seventh Generation
  • Method
  • Bronner’s Castile Soap
  • Various store brand products

There are even more competitors once you get into the realm of eco-friendly and all natural dish soap. However, most of these brand names are popular for various reasons, so be sure that they work for your needs before making your final purchase.

The Verdict – Which Dish Soap Should You Buy?

When it comes to Dawn vs. Palmolive, the verdict on which you should buy depends on your overall budget and expected use. However, Dawn seems to perform better overall and offers a wide variety of products that Palmolive simply does not have.

When it comes to keeping your dishes clean, both of these products can offer you a powerful formula at an affordable cost. But if you tend to have greasier dishes than the average person, Dawn may be the perfect choice for you.

Don’t forget to check out our other comparison articles:

About the Author

Jamie

Jamie is the Founder of My Home Dwelling. He is a homeowner and enjoys sharing his homeowner tips with others. He has real estate experience working as a new home construction Realtor. Jamie has worked on numerous residential construction sites helping with interior and exterior renovations. He loves refinishing furniture, DIY home projects, and sharing his knowledge online.