Does Dawn Dish Soap Kill Grass? (The Effects of Dish Soap on Lawn)

Does Dawn Dish Soap Kill Grass (The Effects of Dish Soap on Lawn)

If you have a lawn, then you will know that looking after it is one of the most important tasks that you have to do.

Should you fail to look after your lawn then it can deteriorate pretty rapidly, and this will totally ruin the curb appeal of your home, and your enjoyment when you are out in your backyard. 

As well as ensuring your lawn receives an ample amount of water, you also need to ensure that you are giving it good protection from pests and weeds.

There are lots of different products that are specifically designed for this, but still some people seek alternatives. One being dish soap. 

But, as your lawn is precious, you probably have a lot of questions surrounding the safety of dish soap for your lawn. One of the biggest questions likely being ‘does dish soap kill grass?’.

In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at the safety of Dawn dish soap for your grass, as well as the safety of other brands of soap for this treatment. So, with no further ado, let’s dive right in.

What Is Dawn Dish Soap?

As we have said, first and foremost, we will be taking a look at the safety of Dawn dish soap for your lawn. So, it is only fitting that we kick this guide off by taking a look at exactly what Dawn dish soap is.

As you probably already know, Dawn dish soap is a brand of dishwashing liquid which is owned by Procter and Gamble. Although it has a very short company history, Dawn dish soap is a household brand and the best-selling dishwashing liquid in the USA.  

Generally speaking, Dawn dish soap is no different from any other dishwashing liquid.

It serves the same purpose of removing grease, fat and other stains from dishes to ensure that they are clean and ready to use again. It is just more popular because it is often more effective than some other brands.

As you would likely expect, Dawn dish soap is made with water and a variety of chemicals, including solvents, surfactants, water softeners, and lots more. But is it safe for use on your lawn? Let’s take a look. 

Does Dawn Dish Soap Kill Grass?

One of the most recent crazes in gardening is using dish soap to treat your lawn.

The theory behind this is that dish soap is an antibacterial agent, and it has the ability to kill bugs and insects due to its high percentage of chemicals.

In fact, this high percentage of chemicals means that dish soap can even kill some weeds.

But, if this high chemical content has the ability to kill weeds, you might be wondering what damage it can do to your grass. There are clear benefits of using this soap as a treatment, but do these benefits come with a cost?

Does Dawn Dish Soap Kill Grass (The Effects of Dish Soap on Lawn)

As you would expect, Dawn dish soap can do damage to your lawn if you use it incorrectly.

But, if you use it in the right way, it can be a great way to protect your lawn from pests. Should you use Dawn dish soap incorrectly on your lawn incorrectly, then it is possible that it could kill your grass.

However, this would only happen if you were to apply an excessive amount of neat Dawn dish soap to your grass. So, let’s take a look at what Dawn dish soap does to your grass. 

What Does Dawn Dish Soap Do For Your Lawn?

As we have said, it is possible for Dawn dish soap to kill your grass if you apply it to your lawn incorrectly. This might be a big worry if you care about your lawn, and it could be enough to put you off using this style of treatment.

But, if you use this dish soap correctly on your lawn, then it can be excellent at protecting your lawn from pests such as bugs and insects, so let’s take a look at how it does this. 

Dawn dish wash soap works because it dries out any oils and liquids on the surface of your dishes.

So, with stains caused by oils and animal fats, it will remove the liquid from these stains, allowing you to easily wipe them away.

When you use Dawn dish soap on your lawn, it will have the same effect on any pests, and it will dry them out, causing their bodies to separate, and their lives to end.

Unfortunately, dish soap will also have the same drying effect on your lawn, and this is why it can kill your grass if you use it incorrectly. 

For this reason, it is probably best to steer clear of this treatment if you really care about your lawn. If you are beginning to experience issues with pests, you should first try out conventional pesticides.

But, if you are struggling to fix this issue, then you probably have nothing to lose. 

So, if you do decide to use Dawn dish soap as a treatment for your lawn, you should dilute it with the following ingredients at the following measures:

  • 1 tsp Dawn dish soap
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water

You should mix these ingredients together, and then add them to a spray bottle. With your treatment at the ready, you should then begin spraying the areas of your lawn that are heavily affected by weeds and pests.

At most, you should leave this diluted mixture to sit on your lawn for 2-3 hours, before giving it a heavy hose down with clean water. If you do this, then the mixture should not kill your grass. But, there will always be an element of risk with this treatment, so bear this in mind. 


In short, yes, Dawn dish soap can kill your grass, as can any type of dish soap. These cleaning solutions are not designed for treating grass, and because of this, there will always be a risk when you use them for this purpose.

But, some people do have a lot of success when using diluted Dawn dish soap to kill pests that are harming their lawn.