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The Best Dish Soaps

Olga Miltsova/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated February 2022

When you're standing over the kitchen sink doing dishes, there are a few essentials that should be within arm's reach, and one of those is dish soap. Use these powerful soaps to get your dishes sparkling.

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  Best for Grease Best Heavy-Duty Best for Baby Bottles Best Cruelty-Free Best Value
 
  Dawn
Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Soap
Palmolive
Essential Clean Liquid Dish Soap
Dapple Baby
Bottle and Dish Soap
Mrs. Meyers
Clean Day Liquid Dish Soap
Seventh Generation
Dish Soap Liquid
 
Our SummaryThis soap contains three times the grease cleaning power and requires 50% less scrubbing than competitors.This dish soap removes the toughest grease and gives dishes a sparkling clean.Baby-friendly dish soap with a convenient pump-top dispenser.A plant-derived dish soap that cuts through grease and is lightly lemon scented.A plant-based dish soap that busts through grease, is septic-safe, and has no added fragrance.
ProsSoft on hands, requires less scrubbing, comes with non-scratch sponges, trusted brand.
Original scent, made in the U.S., no phosphates, soft on hands.3-pack set, pump-top dispenser, baby-friendly, plant-derived ingredients, hypoallergenic, cruelty-free.Lemon verbena scent, good for hand washing, plant-derived ingredients, cruelty-free, biodegradable.Fights grease and dried-on food, septic safe, fragrance-free, certified USDA biobased.
ConsStrong scent.May require more rinsing.Pumps may clog or stop working, not great for deep cleaning.Strong scent, may take additional scrubbing.May not lather easily.
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20 Models Evaluated

8 Hours Researched

38 Reviews Analyzed

The Best Dish Soaps

pouring dishwashing liquid on sponge kitchen wash cleaning
Olga Miltsova/Shutterstock.com

Buying Guide for Dish Soaps

Woman hands rinsing dishes under running water in the sink
Makistock/Shutterstock.com

Why buy dish soap?

Dish soap is one of the most effective tools to clean dishes. It’s essential for most households, even those with dishwashers, since not everything can fit or be washed in the dishwasher. Hand washing dishes with dish soap is a huge part of everyday cleaning. Dish soap is also great at getting grease stains out of clothing, cleaning hairbrushes, and shining jewelry.

What should you look for in dish soap?

  • Scent: It is easy to find both scented and unscented dish soaps, depending on your preference. If you’re sensitive to artificial fragrances, you might want to go with unscented ones.
  • Cleaning Power: You’re going to want a dish soap that’s gentle on your hands but abrasive on your dishes and silverware. Some dish soaps boast hand-friendly ingredients and are an excellent choice for those who are often washing dishes.
  • Eco-Friendly: Some dish soaps are packaged with recycled and recyclable. Some formulas are hypoallergenic, clear of dyes, perfumes, phosphates, and other harsh ingredients, too.

What are the best tools to use with dish soap?

Consider picking out a pair of dishwashing gloves to protect your hands and nails when doing dishes. Cleaning is made easier with the addition of a good sponge or brush to scrub and get rid of caked-on food particles. Also consider using a small tray or soap dish by the sink to hold your soap and sponge when not in use.

Our Picks for the Best Dish Soaps

Best for Grease

Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Soap

This soap contains three times the grease cleaning power and requires 50% less scrubbing than its competitors.

Pros: Blue Dawn is the quintessential dish soap. It’s soft on your hands but super effective on grease. It gets super sudsy but requires less scrubbing to get dishes clean. There’s a reason it’s so popular. You should be very happy with this dish soap. This set even comes with two non-scratch sponges.

Cons: Some reviewers said the scent of this soap is too strong for them.

Bottom Line: This powerful dish soap is safe to use on dishes, cabinets, stainless steel, and even car wheels and rims. You can’t beat the value for the price, nor the impressive cleaning ability.

 

Best Heavy-Duty

Palm Olive Essential Clean Liquid Dish Soap

This dish soap removes the toughest grease and gives dishes a sparkling clean.

Pros: This bottle of dish soap is soft on your hands and tough on dirty dishes. It comes in the refreshing original scent and is non-concentrated. It’s made in the U.S. and contains no phosphates. It’ll leave your dishes clean and your hands soft.

Cons: This soap may require you to rinse your dishes longer to get all the residue off.

Bottom Line: The best part about this soap is that it requires just a small amount to get the cleaning done, unlike other dish soaps.

 

Best for Baby Bottles

Dapple Baby Bottle and Dish Soap

Baby-friendly dish soap with a convenient pump-top dispenser.

Pros: This three-pack of dish soap comes in a convenient pump-top dispenser for easy use. The soap effectively cleans baby bottles, sippy cups, pacifiers, and breast pump components without harsh ingredients. It blasts odors and residues left behind with its baby-friendly, plant-based ingredients.

Cons: It’s possible the pumps on these soaps may clog or stop working.

Bottom Line: This dish soap is hypoallergenic, pediatrician- and dermatologist-tested, and never tested on animals. You can feel good when using this product to wash your baby’s bottles and pacifiers, as it’s formulated without parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic dyes, fragrances, chlorine, formaldehyde, or alcohol.

 

Best Cruelty-Free

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Dishwashing Liquid

A plant-derived dish soap that cuts through grease and is lemon scented.

Pros: Mrs. Meyer’s dishwashing liquid comes in a refreshing lemon verbena scent. It will cut through grease and keep dishes clean and bright. The dish soap is made with plant-derived cleaning ingredients and is cruelty-free and biodegradable.

Cons: Some find that it takes a lot of scrubbing to get the residue off dishes.

Bottom Line: This dish soap busts through grease yet is soft enough for hand washing dishes and cleaning around your home.

 

Best Value

Seventh Generation Dish Soap Liquid

A plant-based dish soap that busts through grease, is septic-safe, and has no added fragrance.

Pros: The Seventh Generation dish soap liquid fights grease and powers through tough, dried-on food. It’s safe enough for septic systems and is gentle on the hands. There is no fragrance in this product, and it’s a USDA-certified biobased product.

Cons: Some reviewers said this product does not lather easily.

Bottom Line: The formula is tested by dermatologists to be safe on sensitive skin. It’s an excellent value for the price and should work well for many people.

Final Thoughts

Having a bottle of dish soap on the side of your sink is essential for efficiently cleaning your dishes. These suggestions should work well in your home.

Rachel Shubin Rachel Shubin
Rachel Shubin is a freelance journalist who is passionate about telling stories. Along with writing reviews for LifeSavvy, she writes a book column for Cape May Magazine and is a reporter for the Cape May Star & Wave Newspaper. When Rachel is not writing, she can be found advocating for mental health awareness and animal rescue, reading novels, exploring Cape May, or working on her polymer clay jewelry business, Piper + Pearl Co. Read Full Bio »
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