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Dawn Manual Pot and Pan

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Procter and Gamble manufacture two dishwashing liquids referred to as Dawn Pro. One is labeled Dawn Professional (as the product line name) with the detergent name "Manual Pot and Pan Detergent". There is another detergent labeled simply Dawn Professional with no subtext. The two detergents seem to be equivalent in performance, but it is not clear whether they are the same detergent with different labeling or not. The consensus seems to be that the two are either identical or functionally identical.

On this site, when we talk about Dawn Pro, we mean either.

The question has been raised on SBF, the Soap Bubble Fanciers Yahoo Group, whether there have been some changes to the formula over the past few years. Again, this claim is disputed.

Many consider it the detergent closest in behavior (as of Sept. 2011) to the Non-Ultra Dawn favored by many but which was discontinued sometime in the 2009-2011 time period. (During that period, it was available in dollar stores in some parts of the country but was not available at all in others).


In June and July 2016, quite a few bubblers reported here and on SBF, the Soap Bubble Fanciers Yahoo Group from people that they felt that the performance of Dawn pro had changed significantly some time in the previous several months. There was also a label change for Manual Pot and Pan recently. (See Images section below)

As of April 2017, our judgement at the wiki is that Dawn Pro has not changed (or not changed significantly) although, we haven't had time to do enough head-to-head experiments to be certain. (I have a job and a test like this requires very good conditions). My suspicion is that an early report of a major change primed people to by hypervigilant for problems and the normal sort of variation in performance that one sees due to environmental conditions were attributed to the detergent rather than conditions. It IS possible that there was a bad manufacturing run and that a few people ended up with detergent from that batch, BUT I am highly skeptical about this theory.

I include some information about those reports for historical purposes -- and in case further testing indicates some substantive performance difference.

(June reports from others). A number of people reported that they thought that Dawn Pro had changed in a big way. The reports seemed to indicate that when people use the new detergent in their old recipes that the bubble films are thinner (leading to lower longevity). One report indicated a color shift of the bubbles which lead me to speculate that if there has been a re-formulation that the new version has effectively more surfactant than the old version.

(June 25, 2016). I hope to do some testing soon and to get reliable reports from others in the field.

(July 4, 2016). I have some of the new stock. Due to weather conditions, I have only been able to perform one head-to-head test of the old-label and new-label Dawn Pro Manual Pot and Pan. The color profile of the two juices was the same (at least at 20:1 and pH-adjusted to 7.6). The performance seemed the same, as well. But this was just one test and cannot be considered conclusive. Conflicting reports are trickling in. Some say that head-to-head comparisons show no differences while others insist that bubbles made with the new-label Dawn are not quite as resilient. Reports of large-scale differences in performance have come in, too, but there have been fewer of them.

Where to Find ItEdit

The Dawn Pro can be found at some restaurant and janitorial supply stores. Retailers such as Smart & Final, Sam's Club, Cash & Carry and others sell it also. Google is your friend if you aren't sure where to find it.


Pre-2016 Dawn Pro IngredientsEdit

According to the MSDS (which is an incomplete ingredient list), the total surfactant content is 13-28%. The MSDS only includes those ingredients considered toxic by U.S. law. So, this list does not include any of the many other ingredients such as fragrances, colors, co-polymers and water.

ETHANOL 64-17-5 1-5%


Pre-2016 Label StyleEdit

The images below are the labels from a bottle purchased in Northern California in March 2012.

2012 03 25 Dawn PotandPan front sm
2012 03 25 Dawn PotandPan back sm
2012 03 25 Dawn PotandPan label numbers

2016 New LabelEdit

Dawn Professional Manual Pot and Pan's label style has changed at some point in 2016. In June, we received reports that the detergent was performing differently than before. We don't yet (June 23, 2016) know whether the change in label style coincides with a change in formulation.

2016 06 Dawn Manual Label

2016 Label Style


Dawn Pro NOT Labeled Pot and PanEdit

This is the label of 2016 Dawn Professional dishwashing liquid that is not labeled Pot and Pan.

2016 Dawn Pro Non Pot and Pan

2016 non-Pot and Pan Dawn Pro label.


Here is the pre-2016 label of the non-Pot and Pan version.

Dawn pro old label bryce

Label of the pre-mid-2016 Dawn Professional label.

DawnPro pre 2016 backlabel

Back label of pre-2016 Dawn Pro(from Kevin Reynolds)



pH of an approximately 5% solution: 9.0 (as measured by Edward and others)

pH of undiluted dilution: 8.3-8.6 as measured by Edward and others

pH of Dawn Professional per MSDS: 8.7-9.3

(Note that Dawn Ultra's pH is listed as 9.0 for a 10% solution.) File:Dawn Professional Dish Detergent.pdf

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