Buying a dish soap in this day and age is not as easy as it used to be. That is thanks to the wealth of products on the market that can be overwhelming to choose from. There are simply so many manufacturers of dish detergent out there, all promising different things that it can be hard to know which one to choose. In this guide with look at the best dish soap products on the market so that you know you are choosing the right dishwashing liquid for you. We look at a number of environmentally friendly detergents that can be used as a baby dish soap too, even though they are still capable of cleaning pots and pans that are dirty due to extensive use.
Finally, we look at what we should all be looking out for in the best dish soap and the difference that hard or soft water can make to cleaning dishes. We also investigate in more depth the efficacy of green cleaning products and why it is always better to wash dishes by hand, as opposed to throwing them into the dishwasher.
The Best Dish Soap
We believe that this is the best dish soap that money can buy. For years, Seventh Generation has been a name that is synonymous with high quality cleaning products that work and get your house looking like new in no time. This Seventh Generation dish soap is no different. We love it as its cuts through grease easily and efficiently so that even the dirtiest pots and pans will be sparkling in no time at all.
Remarkably, even though it has so much power to cut through grease, it is also perfect for those with sensitive skin to use. This is down to having no fragrance or dye included in the liquid in addition to not containing any phosphates or triclosan which can irritate the skin leaving it red and raw. It is made from plant based ingredients so that is has been labelled as an EPA Safer Choice Certified Product as well as an USDA Certified Biobased Product.
Contains no fragrances or dyes
Completely free of phosphates or triclosan
USDA Certified Biobased product
- BrandSeventh Generation
- Weight1.8 pounds
Puracy have developed a sulfate free dishwashing liquid that not only protects the environment due to being a natural dish soap, it will look great on your counter too thanks to the chic design of the bottle. Plus, the green tea and lime fragrance smells fantastic so that you’ll actively want to wash up after each meal you prepare. Customers can purchase this Puracy dish soap in a variety of sizes which can make it exceptionally economically friendly too in addition to being environmentally friendly to the Earth as well.
In addition to its kindness to our globe, it is able to quickly cut through grease while also working towards softening a user’s skin. This is thank to coconut based ingredients that create mounds of deep cleaning suds which make washing a breeze. The formula also encourages fast rinsing and so will leave all dishes spot free. In fact, this is such a good dish detergent that it can even be used on all surfaces that can be cleaned with water. There are no harsh chemicals included, only plant based ingredients.
Naturally derived, plant based, non toxic natural dish soap
Concentrated formula can clean 160 sinks full of dishes per bottle
Not tested on animals
- Weight1 pounds
This blue colored dishwashing liquid from Dawn has a pleasant smell to it so that cleaning dishes does not become a chore, especially when you consider that the brand have made a dish soap that contains three times more grease cleaning power than its closest competitor. Yet, the product is also fine for those with sensitive skin to use and the concentrated formula will help users clean more sinks of dishes while using far less dishwashing liquid than usual.
Users will also like that Dawn, as a brand, is dedicated to saving wildlife and has been so for over thirty years now. Its products have been used when cleaning oiled animals. This dish soap by Dawn is no different. While it can clean up even the most grease infested bird or animal saved from the water, it is still gentle on animals’ delicate skin or feathers. The result is that Dawn is used by wildlife rescue experts and the company has even donated more than 100,000 bottles of their dishwashing liquid in addition to charitable aid to various wildlife charities over the years.
3 x more grease cleaning power per drop than its closest competitor
Comes in blue color
Two bottles per pack
- Weight1.76 pounds
This AJAX dish detergent is fantastic at cutting through grease thanks to a formula that can stand up to even the toughest stains on the dirtiest of dishes. The result is that it gets dishes spotlessly clean each and every time yet has a pleasant fragrance thanks to a fresh, clean lemon aroma. This smell comes from natural citrus extracts that Ajax have included in this powerful dish soap. Users with sensitive skin will be pleased to know that this product is completely phosphate free, helping to make it one of the best dish soaps on the market.
Powerful degreasing formula
- Weight1.88 pounds
Better Life have produced a versatile dish soap that can be used in a multitude of circumstances or situations which is why it made it so easily on to our best dish soap products list. It can be used as a wood furniture polish due to its unique formula. The formula is, importantly, totally natural and unscented yet powerful enough to clean all dishes in your sink – however dirty they are. It also does not contain any sulfates so it is far kinder to skin than some other less reputable brands.
Its formula is derived from plants like coconut or corn so it is safe for the environment too. Due to being solely plant derived, there are no dyes or parabens or triclosan. The result is that no harsh chemical residues are left on your plates for you to later ingest through use.
100% plant derived cleaning agent formula
Unscented and colorless
- BrandBetter Life
- Weight1.38 pounds
Biokleen have easily created one of the best dish soaps on the market that is gentle enough even to use as a baby dish soap which is fantastic news for new mothers and fathers out there. We loved it due to the fact that it is a super concentrated formula so one bottle lasts for an incredibly long time, while it cuts through any nasty odors and grease easily. Plus, it is so gentle on skin too thanks to the inclusion of grapefruit seed extract, Vitamin E and Aloe – all of which work together to help moisturize a person’s skin. In fact, Biokleen even claim that it can be used as a bubble bath or pet shampoo given that its formula is so kind to skin.
Can be used a hand cleaner too
Contains no fillers or thickeners
With Vitamin E and Aloe to help soothe sensitive skin
- Weight2.25 pounds
Dawn have been creating dish soap for so long, it makes sense that they have two types of their dish soap on our top best dish soap list. This type in particular made it on to our list thanks to its Power Clean formula that lasts a very long time as only the smallest amount is ever needed to be added to a sink to wash a whole load of dirty pans and pots. However, its main selling point is that it can provide the results of an overnight soak, but in three minutes flat. This makes it one of the most efficient dish soap detergents that money can buy.
Micro scrubbing enzymes cut through baked on food and greasy residue
Can give the power of an overnight soak in only three minute
Refreshing rain scent
- Weight3 pounds
Ecover have been leading the way when it comes to green and environmentally friendly dishwashing liquids for years now. Their lemon and aloe vera scented dish soap is no exception and users will love that this detergent is kind to the planet while making swift work of a sink full of dishes that have food baked on and are thick with grease. Plus, the bottle it comes in is even kind on the environment as it is made from 100% plant plastic and it is totally recyclable. Finally, the formula is gentle on hands – thanks to that all important aloe – and the smell comes from essential oils so it is kind to skin.
Not tested on animals
Bottle is 100% recyclable
Kind to skin and hands
- Weight2.2 pounds
The formula that Ivory have used to create their classic scent dishwashing liquid is incredibly gentle and does not remove any natural oils that are on top of the skin’s surface to keep it from being irritated and becoming dry. That is not to say that the formula is not tough on dishes that are caked in leftover food and are stained with highly colored food. In fact, this formula is tough enough to tackle plastic tupperware that has been discolored over time through tomato based foods. We also liked that it doesn’t contain any phosphates which is kind to the environment too.
Designed not to strip your skin of its natural oils
Does not contain phosphates
Specially formulated to cut through grease
- Weight1.7 pounds
Along with Ecover, Method lead the way when it comes to producing cleaning products that are highly effective yet kind to the environment. This dish soap in a clever pump bottle, so that you do not use too much every time you wash dishes, is a prime example of that. This is, in fact one of their best sellers and comes in a variety of smells in addition to clementine. Customers can also choose from Honey Crisp Apple, Lime and Sea Salt, Pear Ginger and lastly Sea Minerals. This is a concentrated formula so will last a very long time as only a small amount is needed each time you wash a sink full of dishes. However, that small amount of liquid is still very powerful and is tough on grease so that it makes light work of pans that have food that is baked on.
Importantly, Method never test their products on animals and the bottle is biodegradable.
Comes in a variety of fragrances in addition to Clementine
Bottle is biodegradable
Pump mechanism ensures that only the right amount of product is used each time
- Weight1.3 pounds
Best Dish Soap Buying Guide & FAQ
What to Consider When Buying a Dish Detergent
There are a number of things to consider when buying dishwashing liquid to ensure that you buy the best dish soap for you. While budget should never be a factor that is ignored, be careful of just choosing the cheapest brand out there. When it comes to dish detergent, there tends never to be a truer time to use the adage ‘buy cheap buy twice’. Very often, and particularly with respect to all the best dish soap products mentioned above, the formulas are so good at what they do, such a small amount of it is actually needed per wash. The result is that a more expensive bottle of dish detergent can actually work out far cheaper in the long run.
Other things to consider when buying dish detergent is how sensitive your skin is. If you sadly suffer from eczema or just skin that is easily irritated, look for formulas with the least ingredients possible. This means that it is best to buy bottles of dishwashing liquid that are free from colors or fragrances. Try to stay clear of sulfates too.
Also, in our modern day where we should all be far more aware of our environment, think about how green you want to go with a natural dish soap or even a baby dish soap which tends to be kinder to the world. This will often mean that harsh chemicals are not included as well as a company considering the impact of their packaging choices. The happy by product of not using a detergent with harsh chemicals in is that no residue is left on your crockery so they make great baby dish soap products that keep babies safe from ingesting things that are bad for them.
Benefits of Washing Dishes by Hand
Washing dishes by hand using dish soap has a variety of benefits. Firstly, it will save your electricity and water bill no end. Dishwashers may make life easier in the short run, but they are far more expensive to run than a good old fashioned wash in the sink with dishwashing liquid. Secondly, it is therefore better for the environment. By using less water, we create far less waste. Also dish soap products in comparison to dishwasher tablets are far kinder to the earth. This is due to less harsh chemicals being included in dish soap as dish soap ingredients have to be kind to human hands and skin.
Lastly, washing by hand will more often than not provide a better finish on the majority of crockery, pots & pans and glasses. This is due to the natural care and attention a human can dedicate to washing up, that a dishwasher can’t. Plus, it means that we can dry our crockery properly so that no water spots are left on the surface which is particularly troublesome on glass items in a hard water area.
Hard vs. Soft Water
Knowing the difference between hard and soft water can make a material impact on the best dish soap suitable for you, depending on which comes through your tap at home.
Hard water is water that still contains a great deal of different minerals like calcium or magnesium for example. Soft water, in comparison, is treated to strip it of all minerals with only sodium left behind.
Rainwater is naturally soft, but becomes hard when it goes through the ground into the water cycle. While it is actually better for humans to drink due to the added minerals, it is the water that is to blame if your clothes look grey when they are washed or you get spots left on your glasses when you have washed them. You will be instantly able to tell if you live in a hard water or a soft water area as your dishwashing liquid will make far more bubbles far more easily than any hard water every could, owing to all those added minerals that prevent a dish detergent from bubbling up.
Best Dish Soap FAQ:
Q: How does dish soap work?
A: Dish soap works at getting our dishes clean in many different ways. The best dish soap and dishwashing liquid will be able to clean plates and crockery due to the fact that soap is able to break up all the oil particles that is left over from food waste. The result is that water can then mix more easily with water - something that ordinarily does not happen.
Soap breaks up oil in food due to the molecular structure of the liquid. Soap molecules have two different ends, one of which attracts water owing to being hydrophilic. The other end repels water and is called hydrophobic.
For this reason, soap attracts oil to its hydrophobic ends while water sticks to the hydrophilic ends. This means that grease and oil can then be pulled off surfaces and even hands so that it is possible to rinse the dirt away.
Q: Are “green” dish detergents really better?
A: Eco friendly cleaning products sound like a good idea in theory, but do they really work? While we may all want to use natural dish soap, it is still important that it is a dishwashing liquid that can stand up to tough stains and food waste.
To choose the best dish soap on the market that is also environmentally friendly, check the back of your natural dish soap bottle to ensure that the product is made from naturally derived and safe ingredients that are non toxic and biodegradable. Preferably, the company will also employ the use of sustainable manufacturing practices so that the environment has not been harmed during the making of your natural dish soap. This includes how the bottle of dishwashing liquid got to your house too, as well as its packaging.
In this way, natural dish soap or green dish detergent are of course better to use as it helps the environment, but it does not necessarily follow that they are also better at cleaning. In short, like regular dish soap, some clean better than others. All the green or natural dish soap products that are listed above work brilliantly.
Q: Will 1,4-dioxane in dish detergent harm me?
A: There has been a great deal of media chatter surrounding the safety of 1,4 dioxane and its inclusion in some dish detergent products. The reason being is that concern has spread about the apparent link between the chemical and cancer, with many scientists confirming that it can be carcinogenic.
However, scientists have also confirmed that for 1,4 dioxane to have any material impact on one’s health at all, a person would need to work or live very near a factory that produces high levels of the chemical so as to be exposed to a level of 1,4 dioxane that is only then potentially harmful to a person’s health.
While those buying dishwashing liquid will perhaps want to stay clear of products containing this chemical as a consequence, despite the very low levels of it that any dish detergent contains, the fact is that there simply will never be enough of the chemical to cause a person’s health any harm whatsoever.
Our Top Pick
Buying a Seventh Generation dish soap will always result in taking home a product that is able to clean effectively with minimal effort from the user. This plant based product by the brand is no different and we have therefore picked it as the best dish soap money can buy. This is thanks to its powerful but environmentally friendly formula that is free from phosphates and triclosan as well as being perfect for those with sensitive skin due to not containing any fragrances or dyes.
The product has been labelled as an EPA Safer Choice Certified Product as well as an USDA Certified Biobased Product due to its plant based constituents which were dermatologically tested to ensure that this Seventh Generation dish soap was a hypoallergenic formula.
The final product is therefore a natural dish soap that is capable of washing dishes quickly while also never irritating a person’s hands or skin through repeated use. Once you buy this Seventh Generation dish soap, you won’t look back.