Household Recipes

How to Make Copycat Dawn Powerwash

I had seen Dawn Powerwash on a TV commercial and thought it sounded like a pretty good product. However, I’m trying to down-size the number of cleaning supplies I have on hand at home, so I didn’t think too much more about it. That is until I saw it sitting on the grocer shelf as I was reaching for my regular Dawn dish soap. I figured what the heck, I’d give it a try….in spite of the fact it is almost $5 for 16 ounces.

Once I got it home and started using it, I realized this is almost a miracle product for cleaning greasy, stuck on food. I loved it! It did everything the commercial said it would! Is there anything Dawn can’t do in the cleaning world?

Now there are just two of us and we aren’t doing a tremendous amount of cooking due to the type of diet we are on, but I realized after a few days that this new product could potentially get pretty expensive for a dish soap product. After just a few days, I had already used a quarter of it. Then I started only using it on the pans and baking sheets, and it did end up lasting me about a month.

Fast forward to making a list for our next shopping trip….I did put the Dawn Powerwash on the list, but I also decided to see if I could make a copycat version. I use small regular spray bottles for a number of different cleaning applications (some with Dawn), so I knew regular spray bottles didn’t produce the same foaminess. The secret was the kind of spray bottle that Dawn Powerwash comes in.

I did find a set of two nice simple looking white foaming spray bottles on Amazon for $10.99, but I just reused my empty bottle. Super convenient because I could buy it right then and not have to wait on having it shipped to me.

Copycat Dawn Powerwash

The top of the Dawn Powerwash bottle only turns a quarter turn to remove it. When you put the sprayer back on, make sure it clicks to lock it in place.

Take your empty 16 ounce Powerwash bottle and pour about an inch of Dawn dish soap in the bottle. It’s about 1/4 cup, if you want to actually measure it. But seriously, there is no need to. I then added about a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol. Now this is the tricky part, very slowly add water to fill the bottle. If you fill it too fast, the soap solution will make a LOT of bubbles. If that happens, just let the bottle sit for awhile until the bubbles break up. Once the bottle is full, put the lid on and gently swirl to combine the dish soap and water. I think if you added the water first, then the dish soap, it wouldn’t foam up so much in the bottle. The problem doing it that way, is you’d have to measure out 13 ounces of water in the bottle first, then add the alcohol, and top it off with the dawn dish soap.

This photo below shows the DIY spray on the left and the store-bought Dawn Powerwash on the right.

Costs of DIY Dawn Powerwash

I paid $4.94 for the 16 ounce bottle of Dawn Powerwash at Walmart. That’s about the same price as buying one of the empty bottles above. A 40 ounce bottle of Dawn Ultra dish soap also costs $4.94, which breaks down to 12¢ an ounce. I use 2 ounces (1/4 cup) of dish soap to make a 16 ounce bottle, so that costs 24¢. The alcohol costs about 3¢ per tablespoon.

27¢ versus $4.94 . . . yep, that’s a pretty amazing deal!

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77 thoughts on “How to Make Copycat Dawn Powerwash

      1. I am about to try your recipe. I found Dawn Ultra Platinum in the $ store and I’m going to use it . The original Dawn spray says platinum on it. I never would have thought to add alcohol. I’ll let you know how it works out.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. This Dawn power wash is excellent, however, expensive, great to make my own with this recipe. I used it recently on the grill, sprayed left it for 15 minutes ran the water over it and it cleaned so well. I was shocked!
      I also use the 1/4 cup of Dawn in my foam hand washing container, works great and Dawn is a disinfectant as well.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Hey there ! Thank you for the recipe ! These were my tweaks. I used 91% rubbing alcohol
      (2 TBSP). Stayed with your original 2 ounces of Dawn platinum. Water ? I’m using purified 1 and a half cup equals 12 ounces.
      Works like a champ ! I pulled all the blades off of my kitchen ceiling fan. Sprayed them down, let em sit for about 2 minutes and WOW ! Talk about fresh and clean blades with no damage at all to them ! Thank You a million times !

      Liked by 2 people

  1. You can place the water in the bottle and then use a marinade injector to inject the soap and alcohol. It doesn’t foam as bad this way. My injector can hold up to 2oz. That is about the same as 1/4 cup.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I did almost exactly as you outlined and yes I think I am getting the same great results. It’s just a matter of getting enough soap to water and rubbing alcohol proportions. I used 91% isopropyl alcohol and bumped it to 4-5 tablespoons. Thanks for this cost saving maneuver! PS – I also put Dawn in a spray bottle with enough water so that it sprays freely and this concoction makes a great grease & grime busting product.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I already make my own foaming handsoap. I was certain someone had hacked the Dawn Powerspray and glad to see the alcohol measurements here. Definitely going to do this.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Add water first, then alcohol, then Dawn. Eliminates the Dawn bubbling and you can attach spray/cap immediately. No waiting for the bubbles to go down. Just give a quick shake to mix ingredients.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Will this work in the old dawn ultra foaming pump bottles I have been refilling? The spray triggers are too hard for my mom’s arthritic hands, but the pump works well for her. I like the “action” of the power wash spray better though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Mary! I haven’t used the old pump spray Dawn before, so I can’t say yes for sure. It’s worth a try though, especially how cheap it is to do. She might not get the coverage like the Powerwash spray, but the cleaning solution should still work well enough. Let me know how it works for you. 🙂

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  4. I’ve seen and tried other DIY recipes with just Dawn and water that don’t work well at all; this one seems more promising, especially with Michael Kerr’s increase of alcohol. One question: do you have to shake or “swirl” it to blend the concoction before using? That was the case with the Dawn + water recipe, and I believe that’s an indication that it won’t work as well as the $4 refill of the real stuff (which I bet has little if any water in it).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great question! I’ve been adding the dawn last to cut down on bubbling while adding the water, but I do swirl the solution several times to mix up the ingredients. I don’t make a concentrated effort to shake it before using each time. But thinking about it, while lifting it out of the basket on the counter and tilting the bottle to spray items in the sink, then returning it to the basket, it appears to be being shook up some each time. I just refilled it yesterday and the last little bit in the bottle was still foaming well.🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. After say, a half a day or so, your soap should be diluted down into the water so there shouldn’t be any swirling or shaking needed. I always add water to my Dawn soap in my Method soap bottle because it’s too thick to easily pump. It only takes a little bit for the water and soap to become one.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. May I ask what is the purpose of the rubbing alcohol, did you determine this? I know it’s on the product label, but not specific %, and there are also other chemicals. Knowing alcohol to be a solvent I can’t help wonder if it really stays mixed or based on its own ‘specific gravity’ vs. the Dawn soap and the water if it doesn’t separate? Just curious. Thanks for publishing your recipe, the refills are very expensive. I’m fairly certain the wrong mix (in viscosity) could bring on a premature failure in the sprayer pump, which has already proven to be better than your average sprayer.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Since I brought up specific gravity above, and since we are mixing a solvent (alcohol) with a water- based product (Dawn) it would help to know whether your recipe used the 70% or 91% denatured alcohol? I not only ask for cleaning capability, but the viscosity of the mix is a factor in the spray pattern, suds-ing, and the wear and tear on the sprayer’s pump. FYI, since I had it on hand, I used 91% just to give it a shot, and I’m not pleased with the outcome, that’s only anecdotal, but it may make a difference in trying to duplicate the Powerwash mix..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Dean! Thanks for visiting. I used 70% because that is all I could find around here. The reasons for adding the alcohol were 1) it added a little disinfectant, 2) it cuts grease pretty well and 3) it removes the marker I use to label the containers in the fridge. As far as possibly settling, I end up shaking it a little every time I pick it up and use it just because it’s being handled. That being said, I figured it was kind of like making my essential oil blends and the alcohol being suspended in the Dawn.

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      1. In regards to the effect on the sprayer, I end up making about 6 refills a month, so about 16-18 bottles since I shared this post, and it is spraying as well as it did when it was new. If you aren’t happy with the spray after using the 90% alcohol in it, add a little Dawn and more water to dilute the alcohol a little more.

        I hope this all helps! 🙂

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      2. I made an update after Proctor & Gamble came out with a new product that was the answer. I appended that new post to my last post, and in it is a link to a photo of the composition of the new product, which is why these products are hard to make at home. Anyway this is a low cost way to use what is essentially a diluted commercial mix of an existing (new product) diluted P & G product now marketed as “Dawn Ultra”. The less costly Dawn Ultra will probably refill 20 or more of the PowerWash sprayers at the right viscosity. Dean

        Liked by 1 person

  7. How would you say that this smells compared to the store-bought? I am, apparently, pretty sensitive to the smell of the store-bought one. I used it to clean my table and ended up with a migraine. Ended up having to use vinegar to get the residual scent off of the table. I love it in theory, and I definitely love the spray bottle, but that headache though…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Jessica,
      It does have the same scent as the original store bought. If you can get through your bottle, try using your usual dish soap instead of the Dawn. If Dawn is your usual brand, skip the alcohol. I have noticed if I’m super close to the spray it bothers me some. I would say any good dish soap would work. The way it foams, it sticks to the surfaces so it makes cleaning easier.

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  8. Thank you. I make my own foam hand soap with Castile soap. Was going to buy more refills for the dawn and found they are not in stock. Did not know about adding alcohol. Im ready to fix my own now. Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am still on my first bottle of the original. When that is gone I will try your recipe. Thank you. I find this product works well on my glass stove top and stainless steel refrigerator….much better than other products I have tried.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks so much for the DIY Dawn Powerwash. It’s amazing and works like a charm. Best part is that no one knows the difference and I no longer have to bite my tongue when my husband uses it😊 He tends to be an excessive sprayer but at least he helps so I won’t say anything. Now with the DIY version he can just spray to his heart’s content😃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Try adding a little more Dawn. Is this the first time making a refill, or have you used this bottle for awhile? Mine has started doing that too recently, and I’m thinking I may need a new spray bottle. I’ve been using this bottle multiple times daily for months.

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      1. Add a little more Dawn and slowly turn the upside down and back upright to thoroughly mix the soap in. Also try turning the nozzle a little back and forth, and maybe turn the bottle upside and spray a bit to prime the bottle.

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      1. Great question! I figured when you make a bottle, you are only adding maybe 2 or 3 ounces of Dawn to 13 or 14 ounces of water, then a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol, so the solution is pretty diluted when you use it. Plus you will probably be using a scrubby of some kind and rinsing pretty quick. I have not had any issues with it drying my hands out.

        We also have used it to spray directly on our hands to scrub off spray paint and on Hubby’s hands to remove grease from working on the lawn mower.

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    1. Thank you visiting! 😊 Actually, Dawn dish soap does have denatured alcohol listed on the label. I didn’t see the need to buy any. I add a very little percentage of rubbing alcohol, which works as a minor cleaning solvent, as a little extra boost in cleaning power.

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  11. If you read the back of the bottle it calls for denatured alcohol. Not sure yet if this will make difference. I plan on using it and rubbing alcohol in different tests once I get through both my bottle of Dawn Powerwash and the refill I’ve bought so I’ll be able to to do an almost side by side test.

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  12. I’ve been using Dawn Powerwash and I love it. Spray and walk away! Your solution is brilliant and works just like Powerwash! You can save soooo much money with this solution. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Appreciate your diy formula for Dawn Powerwash.

    Would this work to clean the grease from my overhead microwave? I haven’t found anything that can clean the plastic exhaust vents!!

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      1. Sorry….Take a non-scratching scrub sponge and spray the DIY power wash on it and then scrub the exhaust vents while they are still warm. The hot steam should loosen some of the grease, making it easier to clean.

        Following cleaning, heat up fresh water to boil, let it sit and steam some more, then wipe the inside well to remove traces of the cleaner.

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      2. Thanks for your two replies.
        But just to clarify, I was referring to the external exhaust vents on the outside of the microwave (not the inside), above the door. It collect a lot of grease and dust. Really hard to clean.
        I think your solution below applies to the inside of the microwave.

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  14. Thank you, I have made this recipe several times and it works great! I’ve used regular Dawn and the Platinum Dawn did not notice a significant difference.
    Use cold water to fill the bottle and it will eliminate the sudsing while mixing..

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I hacked your hack! Filled the empty bottle 1/2 deep with Dawn, then realized I was out of rubbing alcohol. Three pumps of ethyl alcohol hand sanitizer did the trick. Then I poured in water slowly from a pitcher until it was completely full, put the pump on tight before turning it upside down and shaking to mix; no air to make bubbles! Worked out less foamy than the original but close, adding more soap helped.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I started making this a while ago before I read any homemade solutions. I make mine slightly different. On the ingredients list, it shows alcohol as the first ingredient which means that is the most so I put a little bit more alcohol, than Dawn and the rest water. I love this product so much and it saves SO much money!! I have reused this container at least 25 times and it is still going strong!! One thing I ABSOLUTELY LOVE it on is for pre-treating clothes. Works great on grease stains, lipstick or any type of oil or fats based stain. This, along with Mean Green (degreaser) are 2 of my absolute favorite products for the kitchen and laundry!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Thank you! I can’t wait to try it. Dawn is a great product. I clean houses as part of my business. I learned from a glass cleaning professional in the late nineties, to take a spray bottle of water, add a couple drops of Dawn, shake up and use on windows, mirrors etc. . It adds a layer to it, so if you use some other cleaner later, the mirror , in my case, smears like crazy. Terrible to fix. So keep using the Dawn mixture. Sometimes, later, just a linen towel will clean the shiny surface. Best glass cleaner I have tried.

    Liked by 1 person

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