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Old 01-31-2003, 07:08 PM
Lissa Lissa is offline
Join Date: Mar 1999
Oil-Covered Ducks and Dawn Dishwashing Soap Commercial

I've only seen the commercial a couple of times. It shows a duck covered in black oil, honking and splashing as it's washed in a tub of soapy water. Once clean and spiffy, the duck is released into a wetland area, and flies off into the sunset. "If this duck could talk," the voice-over intones, "she'd tell you that Dawn saved her life. . . She'd tell you how happy she is to be alive."

Their website claims:

Through three decades of experience, and a bit of trial and error, the success rate for rehabilitating oil-soaked birds has jumped from a mere three percent up to 90 percent, depending on the type of spill.
Is this accurate? As I recall hearing, most of the wildlife, including birds, that were "cleaned" after the Exxon Valdez oil spill died anyway.

According to what I heard, the well-publicized cleanup of the animals was an PR effort to minimize the damage casued by the spill in the public eye, making people think ," Oh, well, they can just wash the animals off, and they'll be fine," when this was far from the truth. The animals were poisoned by the oil already absorbed by their systems.

Does anyone know of any un-biased, truthful websites on the subject?
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Old 01-31-2003, 07:57 PM
racer72 racer72 is offline
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Dawn dishwashing detergent got the oil out of the fur of a rambunctious airdale puppy after he swan dived into a tub of oil while I was doing an oil change. Dog and regular shampoo would touch the stuff.

I remember a show on Animal Planet a few years ago that talked about the clean up of oil soaked animals. The biggest problem wasn't the oil soaked fur or feathers, it was the oil the animals consumed. The success rate of those captured and cleaned was about 20%, the unfortunate part was only a very small percentage of the animals affected by the oil spill were caught and cleaned. I do remember one scene of a boat, it was maybe 20 feet long, loaded with at least 20 cases of Dawn dishwashing detergent. The guy running the boat was standing up to see over the boxes and was steering with his foot.
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Old 01-31-2003, 09:03 PM
Cillasi Cillasi is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Notice the caveat at the end of the website quote: depending on the type of spill. It could be that the Valdez spill was of the type that haven't seen any improvement with. Of course, success rate also depends on the number of animals put into rehabilitation. Maybe we have just learned to triage them better. Never believe statistical claims without having a whole lot of background information.

As for Dawn, it does do a marvelous job at dissolving grease and oil. I have saved many garments from food stains by applying a bit of Dawn.
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Old 01-31-2003, 10:35 PM
tcdaniel tcdaniel is offline
Join Date: Oct 2002
We saw that commercial recently and I wondered why they didn't us Orange Go-Jo. It would do just as well and maybe better than Dawn.

The white GoJo has petrol in it that may have irritants in it.

Our bulldog had some crud on her butt that dog shampoo wouldn't cut. Dawn wouldn't cut it either. Orange GoJo did the trick. It might even be an effective remedy for skunk sprayed dogs, just haven't had the opportunity to test it.
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Old 01-31-2003, 10:38 PM
Lissa Lissa is offline
Join Date: Mar 1999
The commercial showed a duck covered in a black crude-oil like substance, looking very much like the animal victims of the Exxon spill. Does crude-oil/refined oil vary to the extent that one type will be able to be removed easier?

Dawn does do an excellent job at removing grease/oils. I'm sure the rocks on th beach were clean enough to eat off of once the cleanup crews were done. But another question comes to mind: aren't ducks naturally coated in their own bodily-secreted oils that help they remain water-proof an bouyant? Would Dawn remove these "good" oils as well, potentially harming aquatic birds and mammals such as seals?
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Old 01-31-2003, 10:49 PM
capybara capybara is offline
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anecdotal evidence-- Dawn worked on a parrot who had gotten bike chain lube all over his back, but he had to be rinsed very very well since the stuff isn't very good for feathers. It does remove the good oils, but birds (most) have an oil gland-- that's partly what they do while they are preening -- re-coating with oils.
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Old 02-01-2003, 12:40 AM
Una Persson Una Persson is offline
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Originally posted by Lissa
The commercial showed a duck covered in a black crude-oil like substance, looking very much like the animal victims of the Exxon spill. Does crude-oil/refined oil vary to the extent that one type will be able to be removed easier?
Not as typically transported in large tankers, no. Orimulsion would be a different matter entirely, however, but since its specific gravity is more than seawater, it tends to sink.
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