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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20 thoughts on “How to Make Copycat Dawn Powerwash

  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

  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. 🙂


  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.🙂


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