Dawn Dish Soap for Fleas: Step-By-Step Guide

Dawn dish soap for fleas will kill fleas within a few minutes after giving your cat or dog a good dawn bath. But what are the steps to follow? Dawn Dish Soap for Fleas

In summary, simply wet and lathe the pet with dawn soap (original blue dawn) on the pet’s fur to kill the fleas within minutes – even in the hidden places like under their belly. 

Fleas trigger some skin irritation, anemia (blood loss) or will kill puppies and kittens. But commercial flea treatmentsOpens in a new tab. are harsh on kittens’ skin and their young immune system. So, how do dawn dish soap and salt kill fleasOpens in a new tab.

Does Dawn Dish Soap Kill FleasOpens in a new tab. In The Yard? Flea yard spraysOpens in a new tab., dawn dish soap will kill fleas in the yard, homes, cats, or dogs. Fleas and ticks are notorious insects. You can efficiently use dawn dish soap for fleas and ticks control. 

Dawn Dish Soap for Fleas: Step-By-Step Guide

Simply put dish soap (1 oz.) in the garden sprayer and fill it up with water – spray thoroughly in the yard against mosquitoes,Opens in a new tab. leaf piles, and pet bedding. Repeat the flea treatmentOpens in a new tab. in 1-2 weeks.

Step 1: Reduces surface tension of water – makes fleas to sink and drown?

Dawn dish soap (compared to dog flea shampooOpens in a new tab.) destroys fleas’ exoskeletons and kills them. Check these dead bed bugsOpens in a new tab. – know you, enemy 

But first: How Soap Reduces Surface Tension Of Water

Notably, ordinarily, fleas have a waxy layer, in addition to their small size, which prevents them from the break the surface tension of water. However, with the dish soap, the surfactants will make the fleas to sink and drown within a short time.

Also, the dawn dish soap allows the waxy cuticle of the fleas to absorb water and thus its respiratory system leading to the drowning of the bugOpens in a new tab..

Step 2: Breaks Waxy Layer of the Fleas’ Respiratory System

Drowning fleas under normal circumstances is difficult. This is mainly because the respiratory system of fleas has a waxy layerOpens in a new tab. that prevents water from entering. Further, the wax is also in the trachea and hence bars water from moving into the respiratory systems.

Application of dawn dish soap breaks the wax layer and thus allows entry of water into the fleas’ respiratory system. Therefore, the fleas suffocate as the water replaces the air and the dish soap could make suds to obstruct the fleas’ spiracles. 

Step 3: Does Dawn Dish Soap Kill Flea Eggs? 

When the pet’s fur is adequately wet with dawn dish soap, the dawn lather will kill adult fleas plus the flea eggsOpens in a new tab.. Also, you must prevent a flea reattachment on your pet during the later flea stages. 

Washing the cat or dog with water after this will flush the flea eggs down the drain – killing them in the process. Take care the flea eggs don’t fall off on the yard or carpet – but you can use the best flea carpet powder

Does Dawn Dish Soap Kill Flea Eggs

However, don’t only keep flea treating your pet using dawn dish soap since the flea eggs will simply be flushed down the drain – drain cleaners or uncloggersOpens in a new tab. would help too. 

Besides dawn, you can kill flea eggs using diatomaceous earth for fleas eggs on cats Opens in a new tab.– its effective, budget-friendly, natural, and thus won’t poison your cat or dogsOpens in a new tab.

However, you must check the comparison and contrast between flea dirtOpens in a new tab. and flea eggsOpens in a new tab. – you’ll notice some white “specks” or powered on the cat or dog. Don’t confuse the two as you might leave dangerous flea eggs on the pet. 

Flea eggs (how to control them)Opens in a new tab. tend to hatch – if not controlled on the floor cracks, upholstery, bedding, carpet, and nests. So, ensure that you control the flea eggs using dawn, plus flea bombs, heat treatment to kill flea eggsOpens in a new tab.

Step 4: How Long Does It Take For Dawn To Kill Fleas?

Do dawn and Lysol killOpens in a new tab. fleas? Yes, dawn kills fleas within a few minutes – dawn has a residue effect of 24 hours, just like the Capstar cat flea treatmentOpens in a new tab..  Simply, wet the cat or dog with water and lathe your dawn dish soap on their fur to kill the fleasOpens in a new tab. within minutes. 

However, to clear a massive flea infestation in your house and very fast, use one of the best foggers for fleasOpens in a new tab.. The total release foggers release some pesticide-laden fog when you press the trigger on the aerosol can. 

Using Dawn Dish Soap for Fleas with Dogs (Steps)

But, Can you bathe a dog with dish soap? Yes, dogs, unlike cats, can be soaked and washed in dawn soap water until all the fleas are removedOpens in a new tab. and dead.

Step 1. Select a Suitable Dawn Dish Soap

Although all dish soap brands can work in controlling fleas, dawn dish soap is recommended since it has useful surfactants compared to other soaps.

Further, from my experience with dish soaps, dawn is safe for petsOpens in a new tab. as it causes minimal skin irritation after bathing and proper rinsing. Also, you can use dawn dish soap and shampoo for fleas on puppiesOpens in a new tab.

Step 2. Warm Bathing Water

Your pet will enjoy the bath if you give them some warm water treatment. Also, you need your dog to be as comfortable as possible during the bathing process, and thus warm water will be suitable.

After adding the warm water in a basin, clean your dog’s coat thoroughly to remove all the dirt and debris from the pet. Using a container, ensure you bathe the pet in the water complexly but avoid affecting its eyes and nose.

Step 3. Rub the Dawn Dish Soap

Rub the dish soap on the wet pet’s coat to ensure that it is wholly lathered. Also, you can use a hair comb or brushOpens in a new tab. to scrub the dish soap on the dog’s skin. 

However, the amount of soap you will apply depends on how much the massive flea infestation has attacked. 

Step 4. Rinse the Soap Together with Fleas

After 5 minutes of brushing and combing your dog’s coat, you will observe some fleas that will be noticeably dead.

Therefore, you can now rinse the soap from the dog’s coats, which will also remove the fleas that are dead and drowning. Repeated rinsing will ensure that will the fleas are cleaned from the dog’s skin.

Step 5. Continue Scrubbing

Ensure that you scrub the dog’s skin until there are no more fleas seen in the bathtub water – unclog the hair finally.

Further, check critical areas such as under the belly and on the head to avoid leaving some on your head.

Using Dawn Dish Soap for Fleas with Cats (Steps)

For the felines, you can use dawn dish soap for fleas on kittensOpens in a new tab. and adult cats.

Step 1. Mix Dawn Soap with Little Water

Since cats and their kittens do not love water and bathing in water generally, you can still use another alternative that will leave the fleas dead.

Therefore, mix an appropriate amount of dawn flea soap in a water basin and stir. However, ensure to use one basin of the detergent for each cat to ensure maximum effectiveness. 

Step 2. Flea CombOpens in a new tab. Using the Detergent Water

You’ll need to buy flea combsOpens in a new tab. to undertake the flea control on your pet – dog or cat. Next, you’ll simply dip your suitable flea combOpens in a new tab. in dish soap water before combing the cat. 

This process will remove the fleas from then cats’ coat and deposit them in the detergent basin. The fleas will thus sink in the detergent water and drown.

Step 3. Brush your Cat

Further, the dawn detergent water will break the flea’s waxy layer and hence cause suffocation and death of the bug. 

Brush your cat with the detergents water until you can see no more fleas comingOpens in a new tab. out of your pet and dropping in the water basin.

Will any Dish Soap Kill Fleas?

Yes, any dish soap will kill fleasOpens in a new tab. – it’ll lower the surface tension (a surfactant) and thus compromise the flea’s exoskeleton making the bug to drown and die in the water. 

However, allow roughly 5 minutes after applying the soap before rinsing the pet.

Can I Give My Dog A Flea Bath 2 Days in A Row?

Caution: frequent use of dawn dish soap (2 days in a row) will dry your dog’s fur and skin – leading to skin-related irritation particularly for dogs having bacterial skin infections. Also, avoid bathing your dog with dawn within 24 hours after using any topical flea treatmentOpens in a new tab..

Is Dawn Dish Soap Safe for Dogs?

Yes, dawn dish soap has a pH 7 (neutral) – which is safe to use on your dog and cat’s skin – this will also be safe for human skin. However, don’t use dawn baths frequently as it’ll dry the dog’s fur and skin leading to skin irritation and infections (like bacterial infections). 


  1. How to Kill Fleas Naturally (with Pictures) – WikiHow
  2. Systemically and cutaneously distributed ectoparasiticidesOpens in a new tab.

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