Does Dawn Dish Soap Kill Mites On Dogs [Know Here]

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Dog mites are tiny creatures that can burrow into dog skin and causes inflammation. The mite infestation is alarming for dog owners as it can cause serious health issues and spread to other animals. You can get rid of dog mites through many different methods. You must be wondering; does dawn dish soap kill mites on dogs?

Quick Answer

Dawn dish soap might or might not kill the mites on dogs depending upon the infestation. Cleaning your dog with Dawn dish soap will kill mites on the dog’s skin by damaging the outer skin. But the effect will not be long-lasting and can reappear.

Read more to find details about the mites living on dog fur and the methods to get rid of them using dish soap.

What Are Dog Mites? 

Dog mites are difficult to manage as mite infestation in dogs is asymptomatic. It is a highly contagious infestation that can transmit to other animals. The common mites that cause infection in dogs are Sarcoptes mites, Demodex mites, and ear mites.  

Sarcoptes Mites 


Sarcoptes mites cause highly contagious infections in dogs, known as scabies. They are similar to spiders and burrow under the dog’s skin. The Sarcoptes mites lay eggs that can hatch within three to ten days.

The initial symptoms of scabies are extreme itch, especially on the ears and legs causing red and crusty skin.

The wounds created from constant itching can develop bacterial and fungal infections. It leads to massive hair loss as mites feed on hair and skin cells. Plus, it will cause weakness and low energy in dogs.  

Demodex Mites  


Demodex mites cause Demodectic in dogs, also known as red mange. The Demodex mites cause no harm to an adult dog with a strong immune system as it lives in the dog’s hair follicles.

Under a microscope, Demodex mites appear cigar shape with eight legs. The demodectic infection is common in dogs with a weak immune system, mainly puppies between the age of twelve to eighteen.

Puppies transmit the Demodex mites to the mother dog, eventually making the chain by moving from one animal to another. The infection causes hair loss in patches, itching, and dry, scaly, and wrinkled skin.

It also causes the skin to become thick and greasy and slowly spread all over the body.  

Ear Mites   


Ear mites live on or under the skin of dog ears. Commonly, ear mites in a dog are caused by otodectes cynatois that feed on ear wax and oil. The otodectes mites in dogs cause extreme irritation and pain.

They are very tiny, about one to two millimeters long. Therefore, not visible to the naked eye. The vet will take a sample of ear skin to observe under a microscope to see the otodectes.

Dogs with ear mites continuously shake their heads to release their discomfort. There will be foul-smelling dark and waxy discharge from the ears. Plus, skin irritation around the ears, the head, and the neck.  

Can I Wash My Dog With Dawn Dish Soap?

Dawn soap is famous for cleaning dirty pots and pans. Surprisingly it is equally known for cleaning pet dogs. It is a safe choice to use dawn dish soap for bathing animals, but excessive use can cause skin irritation as dog skin has different Ph levels to humans.

Each dog’s skin is unique Dawn dish soap can cause allergic reactions in some dogs while completely safe in others.  

Dawn dish soap strips of oil from the dog’s skin. Many vets recommend dawn dish soap on a dog covered with toxic substances like grease, oil, or petroleum. You can also use it for killing mites on the dog.

Bathing a dog with dawn dish soap kills the adult mites and their egg by breaking the cell membrane. Dog mites have soft bodies.

Therefore, chemicals in dawn dish soap can easily break the outer waxy membrane causing fluid loss. However, it does not show results in all dogs.

Will Any Dish Soap Kill Mites On Dogs?

Dawn dish soap is famous for removing mites and fleas from dog skin. However, not all types of dish soap are safe to use on dog skin. Using dish soap consisting of high PH can cause more harm than benefit.

Dish soaps consist of harsh chemicals which can irritate sensitive skin resulting in extreme dryness and redness.  

If you cannot find Dawn dish soap, instead of looking for another dish soap, it is better to use Anti parasitic shampoo. These shampoos are safe and will remove mites within a few days. You can buy this shampoo at any pet store but check it with your vet before using it on the dog.  

Home Remedies To Remove Mites From Dogs

You can use some home remedies to remove mites from dog hair and skin. Obviously, medicated treatment is more effective, yet you can use these home remedies to give some relief to your dogs.

Home RemedyMethodExpected Results
Apple Cider VinegarMix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray onto your dog’s skin, avoiding eyes and wounds.May help to balance skin pH and make the environment less hospitable to mites.
HoneyApply a thin layer of raw, organic honey to the affected areas.May provide relief from itching due to its natural antimicrobial properties.
Aloe VeraApply a thin layer of aloe vera gel (with no added harmful ingredients) to affected areas.May help alleviate some of the itchiness and soothe the skin.
Diatomaceous EarthLightly dust food-grade diatomaceous earth onto your dog’s skin, avoiding the eyes and nose.May help to kill some mites and other parasites.
Lemon WaterSlice a lemon (with the peel) and boil it in water. Let it steep overnight, then apply the solution to your dog’s skin with a spray bottle or sponge, avoiding eyes.The acidic nature of lemon can potentially help to kill some mites.
Coconut OilMassage coconut oil into the affected areas.Can help to soothe the skin and may have antiparasitic effects.

How Often Can I Wash My Dog With Dawn?

Using dawn dish soap to bathe the dog is a good idea as it removes all the dust and debris and kills small insects crawling on the dog’s skin. However, do not use more than a few drops of dish soap. Mix two to three drops of Dawn dish soap in a large container of water.  

Soak the brush in it and scrub the dog with it. Never pour the dawn dish soap directly on the dog’s skin. Rinse the solution with water, and ensure that you thoroughly clean the skin with no residues as it has high PH due to the chemicals.

Therefore, it is better not to use Dawn dish soap more than twice a month. Frequently washing the dog with a dawn dish will strip off the necessary oils from the skin resulting in flaky, dry, red, and wrinkly skin.  

How Long Does It Take For Dawn To Kill Mites?

It is better to leave the dawn dish soap solution on the dog skin for at least five minutes, which is enough to kill the mites crawling on the hair and skin.

To completely kill mites from the dog skin, you will have to bathe the dog with dawn dish soap on each alternative day for three weeks.

However, it is better not to use dawn dish soap frequently on dog skin as it causes dryness. Also, avoid using the dawn dish soap inside the dog ears. The chemical in dish soap can cause serious harm to the dog’s ears.  


Mites’ infestation in dogs is more frequent than in any other domestic animal. The three common types of dog mites are discussed above with their symptoms.

After diagnosing the mite infestation, you will have to search for treatment options to kill them. Dawn dish soap is famous among dog owners and is recommended by vets to get wash dogs.  

Dawn dish soap has high PH and contains harsh chemicals that penetrate the cell membrane of the mite, releasing all the fluids and leading to death. However, avoid using dawn dish soap regularly as it can further damage the dry skin of the dogs infested with mites.  


Alvares, F.B.V., Meireles, V.S.R.V., da Silva, J.T. et al. Laboratory diagnosis of mange-causing mites in dogs using a modified centrifugation-flotation technique in sucrose solutionExp Appl Acarol 85, 41–48 (2021)

The status of Demodex cornei: description of the species and developmental stages, and data on demodecid mites in the domestic dog Canis lupus familiaris