Does Dawn Dish Soap Kill Ticks?

While talking about ticks in summer, you might have heard people suggesting Dawn dish soap for killing ticks. But does Dawn dish soap kill ticks for real?

Ticks are one of the most disgusting insects that anyone would like to avoid at any cost. This tiny pest requires the fastest action to remove and kill it for good.

A bottle of Dawn dish soap has ingredients lethal for ticks. Moreover, it will be the best option in emergencies.

Therefore, you need to know how you can use this product to prevent this cringy insect from feeding.

Read this article to learn the application of dish soap and other tick medicines.


Does Dawn Dish Soap Kill Ticks?

Yes, Dawn dish soap is the soap that kills ticks on humans and pets efficiently, but not larvae and eggs. It takes 30 minutes maximum to remove and kill ticks.

Dawn may not irritate human skin while killing ticks, but can irritate pet skin if not washed properly.

How Dawn Dish Soap Kills Ticks?

Dawn dish soap has ingredients that evaporate the protective oils from the outer shell of ticks. Upon losing moisture, ticks start drying out and losing their grip on the skin.

The half-dead ticks die finally when they are immersed in a mixture of warm water and dish soap for a long time.

How Long Does It Take For Dawn To Kill Ticks?

Dawn can be used to kill ticks in two different ways, followed by different task times. You can apply Dawn directly on the skin or use a cotton ball and a mixture to destroy ticks.

The former method is for pets (especially dogs) and takes almost 1 hour to complete the process. The latter method is applicable to humans and takes 10-15 minutes at most. Below are these methods described in detail.

Method 1: Direct apply of Dawn on pets

  • Step 1 – Take a generous amount of Dawn dish detergent depending on your pet’s size. Palmolive can be a good alternative to Dawn.
  • Step 2 – Apply it on your pet’s body and let the soap sit there for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Step 3 – Rinse the soap thoroughly and dry your pet indoors.

Method 2 : Using cotton pad and soapy water

  • Step 1 – Combine ½ cup of warm water and 3 tbsp of Dawn dish soap in a container with a lid.
  • Step 2 – Shake the mixture well.
  • Step 3 – Soak a cotton pad in it for 1-2 minutes.
  • Step 4 – Hold the soaked cotton pad with utmost pressure over the tick for 2-3 minutes. The tick will start losing its hold and get stuck in the pad.
  • Step 5 – Use a tweezer to pull the tick out.
  • Step 6 – Drop the tick into the container where you soaked the cotton pad.
  • Step 7 – Wait until the tick dies and drowns.

Natural Remedies To Kill Ticks

Does Dawn Dish Soap Kill Ticks?


Bleach is highly effective for killing ticks instantly. Once you catch a tick, put it in the bleach container and wait for a few minutes.

Boric acid

Boric Acid or borax actually kills larvae, but not adult ticks. It is an active ingredient of flea powders. In your carpets and rugs, where larvae are actively feeding, sprinkle some borax and leave overnight.

Cedar oil

Cedar oil is a natural ingredient which repels and kills ticks and other irritating insects. It is non-toxic and safe for applying on both humans and pets. Spray this oil directly on your skin, clothes, and pet.

Dish soap

Liquid dish soap or dishwashing detergent can kill ticks on pets and humans. Dish soap is not for destroying tick larvae and eggs and may irritate the pet’s skin.

Eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus oil is another safe tick killer and tick repellent. Dilute 20 drops of eucalyptus oil with 4 ounces of distilled water. Spray it on your skin, clothes, and pet.


Regular salt dehydrates, scratches away, and kills tick larvae and eggs. Sprinkle a thin layer of salt on your floors and furniture. Leave it overnight and vacuum it off in the morning. For carpeted floors, sprinkle a very thick layer of salt on the carpets and vacuum if off after one week (at least).

Rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is another deadly ingredient for killing ticks. Remove the tick where it was attached to and imprison it in a cup of alcohol with a tight lid. Then make sure it does not escape midway.

Watering and mowing

Tall and thick grasses, wooden areas, warm and dry yards are the breeding places of ticks. To prevent ticks from thriving, mow the grasses as short as possible. Water your lawn or yard twice a day using a sprinkler or garden hose.

Eco Friendly Dish Soap List.

How Do You Make Homemade Tick Killers?

Store-bought tick killers can be fatal while homemade tick killers are safe. It is better to use DIY tick repellents than tick killers. Ticks will avoid you to the fullest extent before laying a hand on you. Also, you won’t have to worry about tick diseases. Here are some recipes for DIY tick repellents.

With Essential Oils and Alcohol

Ingredients of Essential Oils and Alcohol

  • Distilled water – 3 ounces
  • Geranium essential oil – 30 drops
  • Cedarwood essential oil – 30 drops
  • Garlic essential oil – 10 drops
  • Grain alcohol – 1 ounce

Process of Essential Oils and Alcohol

1. Take a dark colored 4-ounce spray bottle and fill it with the grain alcohol first.

2.  Add the essential oils one by one. Screw on the cap and shake the bottle well.

3. Now, add the distilled water and again shake the bottle.

4. Spray the repellent on your clothes, shoes, and other wearable accessories.

With Essential Oils and Vinegar

Ingredients of Essential Oils and Vinegar

  • Distilled/filtered water – 3 ounce
  • Apple cider vinegar – 1 ounce
  • Geranium essential oil – 10 drops
  • Cedarwood essential oil – 10 drops
  • Citronella essential oil – 10 drops
  • Lemongrass essential oil – 10 drops
  • Bottle – A 4-oz spray bottle or 10ml glass roller bottle

A 4-OZ Spray Bottle

Process of Essential Oils and Vinegar

1. Fill the spray bottle with the apple cider vinegar first and then essential oils.

2. Pour water to fill the rest of the bottle.

3. Shake well and spray well on open skins vulnerable to ticks, except face, eyes, nose, and ears.

4. This repellent is applicable on clothes too.

5. Using a roller bottle would be more convenient to apply directly on respective places.

With Essential Oils and Carrier Oil

Ingredients of Essential Oils and Carrier Oil

  • Geranium oil – 4 drops
  • Cedarwood oil – 4 drops
  • Citronella oil – 4 drops
  • Lemongrass oil – 4 drops
  • Coconut oil (better be fractionated) or any carrier oil
  • Bottle – A 10ml glass roller bottle

Process of Essential Oils and Carrier Oil

1. Fill the bottle with the essential oils first and then coconut oil.

2. Don’t overfill the ampule with the carrier oil, leave enough room for the rolling ball.

3. After adding the ball, shake well and apply it on the neck, behind the ears, elbows, lower legs, ankles etc.

Dried Herbs, Vinegar, and Essential Oil

Ingredients of Dried Herbs, Vinegar, and Essential Oil

  • Dried lavender – 2 tbsp
  • Dried sage – 2 tbsp
  • Dried thyme – 2 tbsp
  • Dried rosemary – 3 tbsp
  • Dried mint – 1 tbsp (you can use 15 drops of peppermint essential oil instead)
  • Apple cider vinegar – 32 ounces

Process of Dried Herbs, Vinegar, and Essential Oil

1. In a large mixing bottle or jar, combine all the ingredients and stir well.

2. Place the bottle lid air-tight and store it in a cool, dry, and dark place for 2-3 weeks.

3. Make sure to shake the bottle daily during this time.

4. After 3 weeks, filter out the herbs and store the vinegar in the refrigerator until needed.

5. When needed, take out 1 part of vinegar mixture and add it to 1 part of distilled water.

6. Pour the mixture in a spray bottle, shake well, and spray it on your clothes, shoes, and skin.

7. Avoid spraying it directly on your face. You can scatter the discarded herbs in your yard. They contain a little amount of vinegar and may help to shoo off the ticks.

With Vinegar and Oil

Ingredients of Vinegar and Oil

  • Water – 1 cup
  • Distilled white vinegar – 2 cups
  • Almond or vegetable oil – 2 tbsp
  • Eucalyptus/peppermint/citrus essential oil or bath oil – 20 drops (just for smell)

Process of Vinegar and Oil

1. Mix all the ingredients and fill a spray bottle with the mixture.

2. Shake the bottle and spray it onto your pet’s body (except the face and genital areas).

3. Apply this tick repellent every 4 hours when you and your pet stay outdoors for a long time.

4. If it is a quick stroll, one spray is enough to safeguard your fur-baby from nasty ticks.

What can kill ticks instantly?

Instant tick killing does not indicate killing ticks within a few seconds. Destruction may take some time. Among the natural tick killers mentioned in the previous section, bleach, eucalyptus oil, and rubbing alcohol can kill ticks fast. Other ingredients, like borax, salt, dish soap etc kill ticks a bit slowly.


Does liquid soap kill ticks?

Yes, liquid dishwashing soap is effective in killing ticks on humans, dogs, and cats. Soak a cotton ball in the dishwashing liquid and cover the tick firmly for 2-3 minutes. Once the tick is stuck to the cotton ball, lift the ball and kill the tick.

Does Dawn dish soap kill fleas and ticks?

Dawn dish soap can kill ticks but not fleas. There are arguments that Dawn is the most efficient method for treating fleas. Actually, Dawn can potentially destroy fleas and their eggs in a few minutes but fails to prevent flea infestations.

Will dish soap kill ticks in the yard?

Yes, it will. Dish soaps from Dawn, Ajax, Palmolive, Joy, and other brands will keep your yard free of ticks. Mix 1 cup of dish soap or dish detergent and 1 cup of bleach in a gallon of water. Pour the mixture in a garden sprayer and start spraying it on the yard.

Does Dawn dish soap kill ticks on dogs?

Yes, it does. For killing ticks on dogs or any kind of furry pet, Dawn dish soap is considered the best. However, make sure to rinse off the substance thoroughly after the job is done. If not, the dish soap will stay attached to and react with the dog skin.


With the answer to the question of ‘does Dawn dish soap kill ticks?’, you must check on ticks regularly. Tick bites are like mosquito bites, they take 2-3 days on average to heal.

When the red little bumps turn into rashes and invite fever and other discomfort, go for professional treatment. Pay attention to your kids, pets, and households.

Also, apply natural tick killers and repellents to keep this pest at bay.

Also read – Does Dish Soap Kill Flea Eggs, Spiders or Ants?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Us

You certainly can’t believe everything the Internet tells you. Kelvin David knows this better than anyone. A few years ago, Kelvin decided to try online shopping for the first time. He was looking for a new electric drill he could use on his daily work as a contractor.