It was February 2020 when Procter and Gamble introduced a new product to the homecare market, Dawn Platinum Powerwash Spray. “It’s magical, better than anything we’ve ever come up with! Dishes almost clean themselves!” they said. I scoffed. And then millions of social media comments, reviews and videos have proven me wrong. Given that kind of data, we might conclude that Dawn Platinum Powerwash has taken America’s kitchens by storm.
I’m noticing a trending topic in my email inbox. Dawn Powerwash is amazing, and I love it, but it’s too expensive! I go through the stuff like it’s water! I really need a copycat recipe so I can make it myself. Come on, Mary, you can do it! And with that, I went right to work.
After a good deal of testing, sniffing, researching, questioning and snooping, here it is — a copycat recipe for Dawn Platinum Powerwash Dish Spray together with several variations that could easily make your version even better.
— Blue Dawn Platinum Dishwashing Liquid
— 70% isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
— distilled water
— a clean, empty Dawn Powerwash spray bottle OR any 16 oz. or larger spray bottle
— measuring spoon
Pour 1 3/4 cups distilled water into the clean, empty spray bottle.
Add 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) Dawn Platinum Dishwashing Liquid.
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons 70% isopropyl alcohol.
Apply spray top.
Shake gently to combine ingredients.
Allow to sit for a few hours to allow everything to meld.
VARIATION NO. 1: ALTERNATIVE SCENT
Substitute Blue Dawn Ultra Original for Blue Dawn Platinum.
Blue Dawn Platinum Dishwashing Liquid comes in various scents, with the most popular being Refreshing Rain and Fresh Scent. Personally, I find both to be quite unbearable. I much prefer the scent of Blue Dawn Original. Even though P&G says that Platinum Blue Dawn cleans four times better or faster, I find that difference to be negligible when substituting the Original version, if any, in the copycat outcome.
VARIATION NO. 2: MORE POWERFUL
Substitute 91% isopropyl alcohol for 70% isopropyl alcohol.
It goes without saying that 91% alcohol is 9% water, while 70% alcohol is 30% water. Alcohol is an excellent cleaning agent, so this variation provides a greater ratio of alcohol to water, and does seem to boost the cleaning power. It’s especially useful if all you have on hand is the 91% rubbing alcohol.
VARIATION NO. 3: MOST POWERFUL
Substitute 4 tablespoons of denatured alcohol for the isopropyl alcohol.
This variation turbocharges your homemade Dawn Platinum Powerwash, but it is not for the faint of heart. It requires special handling and must be kept out of the reach of children. Denatured alcohol is a powerful solvent-type cleaner and stain remover. Mostly, we find denatured alcohol in the garage or workshop. If you go for this variation, make sure you read the container’s label cautions and instructions and know what you’re doing before attempting to copycat.
When diluted correctly, you can use denatured alcohol (as we do in this variation) for a variety of purposes around the home. It works as both a general cleaner and sanitizer when you dilute it with equal parts of warm water. Of course, you should always wear gloves when working with denatured alcohol.
Q: How does the DIY option compare in price to just buying Dawn Platinum Powerwash Dish Spray off the shelf?
A: My research proves this copycat recipe is a lot cheaper! The copycat recipe ingredients, using the same Dawn Platinum Dishwashing Liquid, 70% alcohol and commercial distilled water costs 99 cents for 16 ounces. The regular price for Powerwash at my supermarket is $5.79 for 16 ounces. spray bottle ($4.49 for 16 ounces refills). That looks like an 80% savings to me.
Q: Can I skip the distilled water and use tap water instead?
A: You can, but there’s a reason for the distilled water. It has had all the minerals removed. That means you’re not adding hard water minerals to your DIY Powerwash. If you want the best outcome, use distilled water, available in any grocery or drug store.
Q: Can I use other Dawn options than the blue varieties?
A: I have not tested that, but sure! I see on my supermarket shelf a clear version of Dawn Powerwash Spray — Dawn Platinum Powerwash Free & Clear (“no dyes with a light pear scent”). If you want to give that a try, substitute the Free & Clear Dawn Dishwashing Liquid for the blue, and proceed. You have very little to lose by giving this a try, and you just might come up with a really inexpensive result.
One last thing: You may get dizzy once you start looking at Dawn products and options. There’s Ultra, Platinum, 3X, 4X, 5X, Advanced, Professional, and that’s only a start because there are many colors now, and plenty of scents to go with them. Don’t worry! This is not an exact science. There’s not much you could do to go wrong.
However, I need to point out a somewhat similar P&G Dawn product that DOES NOT fit into this copycat recipe. Dawn Ultra Platinum Foam is something completely different. It looks like a short version of Powerwash, but it is not. We’ll figure it out another time.
And that’s the rest of the story.