Does Dawn Dish Soap Unclog Drains?

Meta description: Is Dawn dish soap more than just a dishwashing liquid? Does Dawn dish soap unclog drains as well? We have the answer!

Most people use a mix of vinegar and baking soda as the best non-toxic and chemical-free agent for unclogging drains. Yet, lately, more and more people started talking about Dawn dish detergent as the best solution for clogged pipes and drains ever. Well, actually, the whole hype around using Dawn dish soap to unclog drains started 2 years ago, in December 2020, and it stayed until this day.

Does Dawn Dish Soap Unclog Drains?


If you are not impressed with the results vinegar and baking soda provide and if you are wondering does Dawn unclog drains for real, let’s see together if you can use it and, more importantly, whether it is safe to use it on clogged, especially PVC, pipes. Hint: you’d better reach for Dawn soap before any of the chemical cleaners out there.

Why Stay Away From Chemical Drain Cleaners?


If you ask us, we would always recommend staying away from chemical cleaners because they contain lye and acids that can severely damage almost any pipe. Yes, strong chemicals like these can, no doubt efficiently break clogs, almost immediately after they come into contact with them, yet, the problem is… Your pipes will suffer.

Using chemical cleaners every once in a while can damage old pipes and PVC pipes. In this post, we explained in detail why you should never use strong chemical agents on your PVC pipes and which cleaning agents to use instead. Chemical drain cleaners can make the pipes corrode but, even worse, can burn your skin or make serious problems if you inhale toxic fumes chemical cleaner produce.

Obviously, dish detergents such as Dawn are way milder than chemical drain cleaners, yet, still quite  effective. On top of that, you don’t have to be cautious about dish detergents because they won’t hurt you in any way nor they will cause any harm to your pipes; in short – won’t have a corrosive effect.

How to Unclog a Drain With Dawn Dish Soap?


Here, we will suggest two methods for removing drain pipe buildup using Dawn – America’s best-selling dish soap so far. The great thing is – you are going to need no more than a squirt or two to keep that nasty grease under control. Do you know even the company itself recommends using their products, in this case – their most concentrated soap, Dawn Platinum, for removing buildups? [1]

Method #1

Boil 0.3gallons of water and pour it down the drain to loosen up whatever is in there – hair (by the way, can you flush hair down the toilet at all?), dust, grease (and you’ll agree, kitchen grease is the worst), etc. Then, follow up with a cup of Dawn dish soap and let it do the magic for the next 5 to 10 minutes.

You’ll probably notice bubbles coming out of your drain, but that’s completely normal. Meanwhile, you can scrub the bottom of your sink basin using a soft sponge or soft brush and, of course, Dawn. Once there are no more bubbles, boil another 0.3 gallons of water, pour the liquid down the drain, and – problem fixed!

Method #2

Mix some Dawn dish soap with a cup of lukewarm water and pour it down the drain. Let it sit there for a couple of minutes, then pour a gallon of boiling hot water to make sure no grease is left in your drain.

Best of all? Since Dawn dish soap is not harmful to pipes so you can use any of these methods as many times as you want, as well as for maintaining your drain and cleaning minor clogs throughout the month.

Aand, it’s not the end. Dawn dish soap can be a lifesaver not only in case your sink gets clogged but also whenever your lavatory is backed-up. If you are, like most people, trying to avoid using a plunger, maybe you should give Dawn dish soap a try.

Pour a cup of Dawn dish soap down the toilet, wait for about 15 minutes, flush the toilet with a bucket of hot water, and, hopefully – all the yucky debris will begone from your toilet. Here, we talked about what should you do if your toilet won’t unclog itself.

The Dawn dish soap acts as a lube and simply can get that thing in your drain moving. Toilet, bathtub, the kitchen sink – Dawn dish soap works with just about anything as it dissolves and breaks up everything that is causing the blockage.

Yet, we still have to draw your attention to this important thing. Pouring boiling water down your toilet too often (like, every couple of days or weeks) might not be a good idea because high temperatures can make the wax ring start melting. If you are dealing with major clogs almost on regular basis, you should definitely consult and hire a professional plumber.

When to Use Dawn Dish Soap to Unclog Drains?


Dawn dish soap and other dishwashing liquids seem to be an efficient solution when it comes to clogged drains.[2] However, can Dawn unclog drains no matter what caused the blockage?

Well, that’s the catch – Dawn dish soap works wonders when grease makes the greatest part of the clog. It can dissolve fat and grease almost before you say cheese. No wonder, because dish detergents like Dawn are formulated to dissolve grease.

You can definitely use Dawn dish soap to re-establish regular flow down your drain, however – keep in mind it is not omnipotent and it won’t work with just any substance and major clogs.

Bonus Tips

  • If you are fighting a major blockage, e.g. complete stagnation of water, just using Dawn dish soap may not do much. You should use a twisted wire, snake, or plunger first, try to remove the clog that way, then pour some Dawn dish soap down the drain.
  • Do not use Dawn dish soap to unclog drains if you have previously used a chemical drain cleaner. When we say previously, that means in the last couple of days or weeks. Also, do not mix Dawn dish soap with chemical drain cleaners.
  • You can use Dawn dish soap with vinegar or baking soda for unclogging drains completely worry-free.
  • You can also mix Dawn dish soap with other dishwashing liquids when trying to remove clogs without questioning whether that would damage your drains and pipes.
  • To increase the efficiency of Dawn dish soap or any other dish or laundry detergent when using it to unclog drains, use it with hot, preferably boiling, and not cold water as hot water is proven to be more efficient with removing clogs.
  • The absolute best way to prevent clogged drains is to limit the amount of grease that goes down to your drains. That includes wiping out dishes and pans using a wipe or reusing grease (duck fat, for instance) instead of constantly letting it all down the drain.


Not only does Dawn soap does great with oily stains but it can be used for unclogging drains, where using most generic dish soaps wouldn’t produce any results. And, if you are guilty of pouring oil straight into the sink, which, no doubt, many people do, you’ll certainly going to use this dish soap to unclog your drains.

So, the final answer to the question does dawn dish soap unclog drains is – yes, absolutely!

There’s just something unexplainably awesome about this product that clears everything that gets on its way. Plus, using dishwashing detergents for unclogging drains is one of the most budget-friendly methods out there (of course, besides using white vinegar and baking soda) and you can use it for unclogging your kitchen or bathroom sink, bath, shower, or toilet as well.