Take a look under the sink where you keep your cleaning products. Do you see a bottle of Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid? Well, say hello to a very versatile and surprisingly multipurpose household product.
Original Blue Dawn, a product of Procter & Gamble, was introduced in 1973. Since then, it has gone through several tweaks, changes and upgrades, which is why today, we see a number of varieties, including Dawn Ultra and Dawn Platinum. According to the International Bird Rescue research center, Blue Dawn is biodegradable and contains no phosphates.
Here's the bottom line: If it's Dawn and it's blue, you can count on it to be an amazing product with tons of very effective, if not ingenious, uses!
Partially fill a strong zip-type sandwich bag with Dawn dishwashing liquid, and close the bag. Just to be safe, double-bag it. Freeze. Dawn stays cold much longer while remaining flexible, which means it will conform to the place you need an ice pack. It can be refrozen many times.
TUB AND SHOWER BATHROOM SCUM
Fill a spray bottle halfway with white vinegar. Fill the rest of the way with Blue Dawn. Put the lid on, and shake well. Spray on your tub and shower walls, allowing it to sit for a few minutes to an hour before rinsing away. This will even take care of the bathtub ring. Let it sit on the shower floor overnight and scrub the scum and gunk away in the morning.
For fresh or old oil-based stains such as lipstick, grease, butter, motor oil, cooking oil and most pen inks — even stains that have made it through the washer and dryer multiple times — apply full-strength Dawn liquid directly to the stain. Allow to sit for a bit and then launder as usual. For really tough challenges, apply Dawn and then scrub with a small brush or toothbrush until the oil is removed.
Add 1 drop (just one, please!) Blue Dawn to 1 cup warm water to clean ceramic tile and no-wax/linoleum floors.
Forget those pricey automotive hand cleaners. Full strength Blue Dawn cuts through grease and gets hands and nails clean with no harsh chemicals.
Pour a cup of Blue Dawn into the toilet bowl, and let it sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, pour a bucket of hot water from waist height into the toilet bowl to clear it out. An amazing trick.
Soak fingers in full-strength Blue Dawn. It makes the cuticles soft and easy to work with. And it removes the natural oil from the fingernails, which allows the polish to adhere very well.
Spray countertops, cupboards and any other area where you see ants with a solution of Blue Dawn and water. Wipe dry. The slight residue of Dawn that remains will not be a problem for kids or pets, but ants hate it. Should you see a trail of ants, go ahead and hit them with the Blue Dawn spray. You'll see. It will kill them.
Add 1 tablespoon Blue Dawn to a quart of hot water. Pour into a spray bottle, and let those wasps have it. Instant annihilation!
WHERE TO FIND
Blue Dawn is readily available in supermarkets, discount department stores and warehouse clubs in the U.S. It is available online. Still, I get quite a few questions from people outside the U.S. and around the world asking where they can buy Dawn. Here is what I know:
Procter & Gamble sells Fairy brand instead of Dawn in Australia, France, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom and Ireland. It's not blue, but give it a try! Experiment and then let us know what you discover.
Procter & Gamble sells Dreft brand instead of Dawn in the Netherlands. It's also not blue, but it's worth a try.
Would you like more information? Go to EverydayCheapskate.com for links and resources for recommended products and services in this column. Mary invites questions, comments and tips at EverydayCheapskate.com, "Ask Mary." This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a lifestyle blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."
Photo credit: laterjay at Pixabay