Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) knows how to step in and help. The Tide Loads of Hope program brings mobile laundry facilities to areas hit by disaster, and Dawn dish detergent could be an oil-soaked bird's best friend. Both are billion-dollar brands for the company.

NPR reports today on a warehouse turned bird-cleaning station in Louisiana where "dozens of bottles of Dawn stand like soldiers behind a row of deep sinks." Why this brand? "It very effectively removes grease but does not cause harm to the skin of the birds," said veterinarian Heather Nevill, according to NPR. In an interesting bit of irony, the article also lets us in on the fact that petroleum is one of Dawn's ingredients.

P&G's fabric care and home care segment provided some 30% of P&G's net sales in the first three months of 2010. After seeing sales fall 2% in 2009 from the previous year, that segment saw net sales growth of 8% in the first quarter on a 10% rise in unit volume.

As a consumer, I judge Dawn and Tide on how well they perform in my home; I buy both. As an investor, I would have to take the quality of the products into account when investigating P&G stock. What do you think of Dawn's use in the Gulf oil spill? Does P&G really want to help? Is it just PR? Is it both? Please let me know in the comments box below.

Procter & Gamble is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick and the Fool owns shares of the company.

Fool online editor Kris Eddy owns no shares of any stocks mentioned in this article. Try any of our investing newsletters free for 30 days. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy likes penguins.