Is Dawn Dish Soap Toxic ?

Dawn Soap has been extensively used across the US and many have acknowledged the bitter truth that it does harm to the environment as well as living beings including humans.

Is dawn dish soap toxic?

Yes, it’s toxic because of the ingredients present in it which are considered toxic and harmful to human body. Apart from this, it also negatively affects the environment.

Here, we would go further to explore the same.


What is Dawn? Who owns Dawn and what does it produce? 

Dawn, a leading American brand which is owned by Procter & Gamble, is notable for manufacturing and selling one of the best dishwashing liquids for daily use, patently in almost every household of the US since its launch in the year 1973.

There are a variety of Dawn soap products which are named as Blue Dawn Soap, Dawn Liquid Soap, Dawn Ultra Dish soap and Dawn Ultra dish soap and each one of them is manufactured keeping in mind the necessity to upgrade and fulfil specific purposes of cleaning.Despite its perpetual use, folks have been dubious about the fact if dawn soap is safe or toxic to use?


What is in Dawn dish soap? What are the ingredients in it?

Ingredients that are used while making this soap include different types of  surfactant,artificial fragrances, preservatives, chemical colors besides more complex ingredients, that are being endorsed as toxic to living beings including humans. Here, we would like to provide you the composition of a few active ingredients as well as chemicals within Dawn soap products.


  • Methylisothiazolinone
  • FD&C Yellow 5, Acid Yellow 23, Food Yellow 4 and Azo dye
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate                             
  • Sodium Laryl Sulfate
  • Alcohol Ethoxylates (C10-C16) sodium salt
  • Lauramine Oxide
  • Alcohol Denat
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Sodium Hydroxide
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Cocamide DEA 
  • DMDM Hydantoin 
  • Ethanolamine 
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Sodium borate, Sodium Dodecylbenzene and SodiumXylene 
  • Sulfonate          
  • Sulfuric Acid and Triclosan ( found to be a common ingredient in even Palmolive Brand)                     


Is Dawn a Non Detergent Soap?

Since Dawn has surfactants as an ingredient, it is assuredly implicit that it can never be a Non Detergent Soap. Hence, it is unequivocally a detergent based soap. Like all other detergent based soaps, Dawn soap is made up from the same chemical ingredients. 


Is Dawn Soap considered abrasive?

Yes, it is abrasive in a way that it can remove the stains, grease and wax coating with a considerable amount.


What is the Speciality of Dawn Dish Soap?

The power lies in the surfactants that are used in making the liquid wash and its characteristic of being highly abrasive removes wax and roughest of grease. This simply makes it special and the leading brand in the market of dishwashing liquid soap.


Harmful Effects of Dawn Dishwashing Soap and Liquid

Although it is a proven fact that Dawn dish soap has been quite effective in cleaning the grease as well as rough stains from utensils and other surfaces yet it does not come with harmful and environment unfriendly effects. To begin with, pernicious effects of dishwashing liquids are inevitable. It is detrimental for both plants as well as other living beings. 


  1. Contamination through Utensils: While the dishes get cleaned, it is not unusual that chemicals from dishwashing liquid tends to get stuck to the utensils and in the long run, this might hamper our health. There are risks linked to organ ailments and damage to body systems.
  2. Skin infections: The chemical, Sodium Laureth Sulphate, known to act as a foaming agent, is revealed to cause skin infections and rashes upon contact.
  3. Contamination of Groundwater: Dawn dish soap is composed of chemicals like 1, 4- dioxane which has been recognised as a contaminant of groundwater.
  4. Respiratory and nervous system impairments: These are substantial risks associated with persistent usage of Dawn dish soap and liquid detergents in homes.
  5. Organ damage: Experts have even confirmed that there is a high risk of organ damage and disruption of endocrine, digestive as well as reproductive systems associated with its use.
  6. Cancer: Cancer is another health concern connected with it.
  7. Aquatic Toxicity: Both acute as well as chronic aquatic toxicity and ecological disturbance is considerably and relatively the most concerning effect that is brought along as aquatic creatures seem to suffer from stress, respiratory issues and behavioural changes.
  8. Damage to Plants: Plants are highly sensitive to excessive concentration of Dawn dish soap or any dishwashing liquid as it may lead plants to shed their leaves eventually damaging the whole plant.
  9. Animal Unfriendly: Dawn soap, according to veterinarians, is not advisable for use on dogs or cats to remove fleas as it might affect their skin and it’s not animal friendly.


Is Dawn Soap Biodegradable?

Dawn soap has been found to be biodegradable by the experts from around the globe. Also, it does not contain the harmful chemical called Phosphate which is used by many companies manufacturing detergent soaps and liquids.


Does Dawn Dish Soap result in Allergic reaction?

As a matter of fact, Triclosan, the antibacterial agent is divulged as detrimental to animals and aquatic life too. Moreover, many people have even reported that they had experienced rashes, swelling and skin infections upon contact with Dawn dish soap. Indeed, it can be deemed allergic while considering specific individuals.


Is this Soap safe to use?

Conclusively, safety has always been topmost priority for everyone. Various agencies working in favour of nature, environment and animal protection are of the opinion that the major chemical ingredient,Methylisothiazolinone, is exclusively toxic to living beings. The “United States Environmental Protection Agency” declared this particular ingredient to be noxious which is said to be responsible for aquatic toxicity as well as other ailments in both humans and animals. 

(Reference link: US EPA, Pesticide Product Label, CSP-47, 07/13/2012


Is there a possibility that Dawn dish soap is better than Palmolive?

Significantly, lesser concentration of Dawn works better, if compared to a bit excess amount of Palmolive soap. Dawn is undoubtedly a powerful formula. Dawn dishwashing liquid comes in a refillable bottle which facilitates its reuse for multiple times whereas Palmolive is not known to use any recycled content. According to records, Dawn manufacturers make sure that the bottles they produce are recyclable and hence they usually make use of 35% recycled content that comes out post consumer usage.  Thus, the above facts proved Dawn Dish soap to be more efficient and environment friendly if compared to Palmolive dish soap.


Final words

Although Dawn Dish Soap is a bit expensive yet it is preferred in every kitchen and home in the US since it arrived in the market. However, we tried providing a detailed description about the product and its effects in order to aid you in making the perfect choice while buying. In conclusion, all that can be unravelled is that this soap has been found to be toxic and detrimental to the environment.