How to Get Rid of Gnats With Dawn Dish Soap & Other Solutions

By Marsha Harrison

how to get rid of gnats with dawn dish soap

House pests just won’t give us a break. When you forget to take out the trash or wipe off spilled food on the table, gnats start popping out of nowhere.

This short guide will show you how to get rid of gnats with Dawn dish soap and other strategies that you can try. In the FAQ section, I will dive deeper into the causes of the problem so you can take appropriate action.

Before You Start Concocting Your Gnat Killer Recipe


People use the word “gnats” loosely when referring to the tiny bugs that fly around in their homes.

To successfully eliminate them, you first need to determine that the flying insects are indeed gnats. Otherwise, the gnat trap DIY solution might not work on them.

As Wikipedia defines it, a gnat is a group of small flying insects that often fly in large clusters or “clouds.”

Scientists have not reached a consensus on what characteristics make for a “gnat.” But, it is said that they can be biting and non-biting.

Some examples include gnat larvae that feast on plants. Fungus gnats, as the name implies, are found in mushrooms and roots of potted home plants.

Once you have correctly identified the insect in your home, you can proceed to Step 1 of the tutorial.

What You Need

Gnat solution ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider
  • 1 liter of water
  • 2-3 drops of Dawn dish soap
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • For a plant-safe recipe: Use 1 tablespoon of vinegar instead of apple cider


If you don’t have apple cider and sugar, try an expired red wine.


  • A bowl or a jar
  • Plastic wrap

Step1: Create the mixture


Option #1: Start mixing water, sugar, apple cider vinegar, and Dawn dish soap in a bowl or jar.

Option #2: Pour some wine into a jar and add a few drops of Dawn dish soap.

If you are curious how these home remedies to get rid of gnats work, here’s an explanation from Plant Care Today:

For starters, the apple cider vinegar and sugar will attract the gnats. Once they come in contact with the mixture, the dish soap will trap them and they will eventually drown.

Meanwhile, red wine and dish soap gnats DIY remedy work to catch those small flying insects and get them stuck inside.

Tip: For those who plan to use a more targeted approach, you can mix the ingredients in a spray bottle.

Step 2: Optional: Cover the bowl with plastic


Cover the bowl or jar with plastic wrap at the opening and punch some holes for the gnats to enter.

Most tutorials, like the one on Country Living, do not instruct homeowners to do this but I think it’s a cool idea.

In this way, the gnats entering the bowl or jar will not be able to fly out of it easily.

Step 3: Place the bowl or jar where the gnats gather


Now that you have created the homemade gnat trap, put it where the gnats are flying.

As suggested by Man Vs. Pest, you can leave the bowl for 24 hours and wait until you see results.

After that, you can repeat the process by recreating the mixture and replacing the old one.

You can also increase the vinegar if you think your first batch does not seem to catch as many gnats.

Plant-safe Recipe


Combine the ingredients into the spray bottle and start spraying

Fill the spray bottle container with 1 cup of water, 3 drops of Dawn dish soap, and 1 tablespoon of vinegar.

Replace the cap and shake the spray bottle well to ensure the ingredients are mixed well. After that, you can start spraying individual gnats with this solution.

Don’t worry about getting the mist onto your indoor plants. Plant Care Today assures that this vinegar and dish soap for gnats will not harm them!

Frequently Asked Questions


Are there other ways to get rid of gnats besides the dish soap gnat trap?

Yes, there are plenty of options other than the DIY vinegar and dish soap for gnats solution.

  • Conventional pest control items like flypaper, chemical spray, and bug zapper can take care of all your “fly” problems. If you have children at home, please use them with caution and be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations.
  • If you want to get rid of gnats inside a sink or around it, you can try bleach. However, you can’t just pour bleach into your sink drain. Its fumes are bad for your lungs.
  • To do this safely, dilute a one-half cup of it into one gallon of water. Then let it flow down the drain.
  • Last but not least is the easiest among all the home remedies for gnats: Using candles. Just get a pan and place the candlestick on it. Then, pour some water into the pan and switch off all lights.

The gnats will start to hover towards the flame. They will either burn themselves by getting too close to the flame or fall into the pan filled with water. Just make sure you do not leave the candle unattended.

Does dish soap kill gnats?

In effect, yes. Gnats, specifically the non-biting ones, occur near water.

If we exclude the dish soap from the recipe, it will not catch gnats.

As explained earlier, dish soap is needed because it breaks the water’s surface tension. In other words, they will not be able to escape the mixture and drown.

How can I prevent my house from getting infested by gnats?

By now, it is clear that the reason why fungus gnats dish soap is effective at getting rid of these pests is partly because of its sweet fruity scent.

Aside from fruits and vegetables, gnats also gravitate towards trash cans, fresh cut flowers, honey, vinegar, filthy sink drains, and the spilled food that you have forgotten to clean.

According to the SF Gate, the presence of gnats can also be an indication of overwatering or decaying of a plant matter.

With this in mind, let me share some tips from This Old House:

  • Unless you plan to eat or cook them right away, refrigerate your fruits and vegetables instead of placing them on your counter.
  • Take trash regularly at the end of each day, especially if it contains food scraps. In doing so, make sure that the garbage bags are tied.
  • Clean the table or kitchen counter after you eat to ensure that no crumbs are left.
  • Pour diluted bleach into the sink drain at least once a month.
  • Always check your plants for signs of decay and avoid overwatering them.


Learning how to get rid of gnats with Dawn dish soap is just one of the many things you can do as a homeowner to keep your house free from those pests. All you need to do is mix it with other ingredients like vinegar, stale wine, or apple cider vinegar and sugar.

If I were you, I would also take some preventive measures. As shown above, it does not take much to take out the trash or clean the table. When done properly and regularly, you will not need to call a pest control service provider.

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