Dish soap is an essential part of the home and something that every household should have. The only problem is that there are so many brands available it’s impossible to know how to pick the best dish soap for the occasion. There are various factors you need to consider if you’re going to find the toughest soap for the job since they all have different design components during the manufacturing process.
Our top pick was the Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds. This may come as a bit of a surprise because it’s not the most commercially active dishwashing soaps you’ll find. When it comes down to it, though, it cuts the grease, oils, and baked-on foods more easily than anything else we could find.
Most other soaps require at least a little bit more shoulder and elbow work to be put into scrubbing the dirt out, but Dr. Bronner’s required almost no effort. Grease and food almost slid right off. Apart from the dishes, which were left so clean they were almost impossible to compare to their former selves, it also performs great in a few other areas. It is a hundred percent environment-friendly and going by the Environmental Working Group’s ratings, it also achieves a near
A rating in terms of human and environmental health. The price tag may be a bit high, but in comparison to the reduced effort needed to clean it, it’s definitely worth it. Piracy came in as a strong contender, with a similar A grade from the EWG, and Ajax won the same grade at a much cheaper price.
Important features to consider
Despite whatever you may have heard, not all soaps are similar. There are a few things you should consider if you’re going to get the most efficient dishwashing soap.
The primary appeal of one brand of soap over the other is how well it does its job. This is primarily dent on by how well the detergent cuts through oil and to what degree. If the soap is able to cut through soil oils and baked food, it gets extra points. If the oil is hard to get rid of, some warm water and a teaspoon of liquid soap should be able to to do the job and leave your dish squeaky clean. This characteristic also includes the ability of the soap to remove dried food with minimum scrubbing effort.
More and more, the importance of environmentally friendly products is being brought to light, because, let’s face it, it’s for the greater good. Detergents, like everything you use around the home, contains chemical compounds.
They are composed of various carbonates and phosphates, and if you want to have the least impact on the environment, you should be on the lookout. Additionally, certain chemicals are also bound to cause allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin.
This aspect of soaps is broad in the sense that it encompasses the fact that you probably want something that smells somewhat pleasant and that it doesn’t set off any allergic reactions. If you have sensitive skin or are prone to a reaction due to strong smells, you’ll probably want to set yourself apart from some products on the market. This factor greatly depends on personal preferences for different fragrances over others, and different feel of different soaps.
Cost per use
The last thing on the list, but the first thing you should be on the lookout for is the cost of the soap altogether. However, this should be aggregated against the relative amount of time it’s going to last. There is absolutely no reason for you to pay for more than a product is worth.
How soap works
The action of soaps on dirt is fairly complex, so we won’t get down to the chemistry bit of everything, but understanding the action of soap will perhaps help you get the importance of the various components it’s composed of. Dirt sticks to fabric due to oil, and the two don’t mix.
This provides an obvious challenge in terms of washing because you obviously need the water to wash away the oil. Soap is made from surfactants which break up non-polar solvents like oil and grease into smaller drops that are more soluble. A single soap molecule attracts oil on one end and attaches to the oil on the other. When the soap is diverse with the oil in the water, it binds with both the dirt and the oil and separates it into small drops that can you rinse away more easily.
As a bonus: in order to wash dishes correctly, fill the whole sink with as much warm water as you feel you’re going to need, but be sure it’s not hot. Afterward, with dishes stacked to the side, wash the items that usually touch your mouth while you’re using them. For instance, glasses and cups.
This way, the smell that is normally grasping within plates isn’t potentially shift to them later on. However, if whatever you’re washing first is made of glass, don’t put your hand inside it, as this creates the potential of it breaking. Thereafter, wash them I order of least soiled to the most soiled and rinse each item individually in hot water. Once the water gets dirty, drain the sink and repeat the whole process all over. This is the most sanitary way to hand-wash dishes.
Hard vs. soft water
Around 85% of all water used within the United States is what’s known as ‘hard water.’ Hard water is just like the normal tap water you’re so used to, only with the added content of certain minerals. Normally, hard water has a higher percentage of calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium and their carbonates.
Hard water is OK for drinking, thanks to all the added mineral content, but when it comes to other household activities such as washing dishes and clothes, soap gets difficult to sud. The minerals interact with the chemicals that help break up grease, making it less effective. If you’re not sure whether the water you use is hard or not, it’s pretty easy to test. All you need is hardness water testing strips.
Once you’ve acquired them, make sure you test the water while both hot and cold since some heaters can produce minerals that harden the water. Most test strips for hardness vary from 0 to 1000 ppm, from which you can determine how to treat your water. The AEWQA maintains a record of the degree of hardness with a set standard that can help you out with this process.
The EWG grade
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit organization that’s steadfast to helping people live healthier lives by helping the environment. They research a variety of things, chief of which is consumer products and how they affect human health along with the environment.
They are then graded from A to F according to their ingredients. If they contain any allergens bound to cause a reaction in people, for instance, skin irritation, cancer, asthma and developmental issues in the fetuses, they are given lower grades. A similar scale is used for products with a negative impact on the environment.
The EGW gives Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Cleaner a perfect score of A, and in our opinion, it’s definitely worthy of the score. The EGW says this soap has no impact on human health nor the environment except for isolated cases of asthma and skin irritation. It does contain some ingredients which are worth some concern, as they point out: SLS, Picea glauca oil and coco-betaine which are all in the C-grade listing.
It also has Siberian fir oil which comes with a great fragrance, but that gets a B grade. The other ingredients are all completely safe to use. All in all, this is a combination made in heaven, when you pit it against C and below grade products. These are usually almost toxic combinations of ingredients that are outright known to be harmful. Considering the fact that this soap is completely biodegradable, there have been several doubts about whether it would be able to live up to its synthetic counterparts. However, this soap excels in nearly every category.
When it comes to what matters: ie. washing out oils and food stains, it does the job like a true trooper. The scent that’s due to the fir needle and spruce leaf oils aren’t so strong that they’d set off a reaction and don’t remain in the cup after they’re rinsed out. The lather doesn’t sud up as high as you’d expect with high-quality soaps, but it was just enough to do the job just right.
Even in the immediate absence of grease or oil, Dr. Bronner still shines. When you’re done, the plate will hardly need to be rinsed. For safety measures, you should, but the dirt comes off so cleanly it’s hard not to fall for the temptation.
The next feature, which comes off as a bit eccentric for a dishwashing soap is that dishwashing isn’t the only thing Dr. Bronner’s is good for. It can also double up as laundry soap, a window cleaner, and even vegetable wash. Its biodegradable label is definitely a big help in this regard since it can also be taken for outdoor activities like camping and backpacking.
Dr. Bronner’s is a definite winner when it comes down to natural dishwashing soap for its overwhelming performance. However, Puracy Dish Soap is definitely worth mentioning. It comes second to Dr. Bronner’s in terms of performance, but it receives the same A score from the EWG. It has a fragrance that feels natural and is easy to stand, has no added colors and near zero triggers for allergies or the environment. In fact, when it comes down to it, we would even go ahead and say it’s better for the environment than our first pick. It receives excellent marks in terms of aquatic toxicity, for which soap usually gets the most blame.
If you’re worried about how well it can clean, it’s perfect at degreasing. It cuts oil quite easily but falls short when it comes to attacking stuck food. Here, you’ll require a little extra scrubbing if you want to get that pot clean. The overall satisfaction for is definitely worth the few extra bucks, though.
The Ajax Super Degreaser comes on to the list as the cheapest entry on here, and by no means is it the worst performing soap you can get on the market. The cost does seem to take away a whole lot of performance benefits on the other hand. It foams up quite nicely but can hardly break up oil and with baked-in food, you will find yourself doing a lot of scrubbing to get the pot clean. It’s easier than doing the job with no soap altogether, that’s for sure.
To its benefit, it has a likable yellow color and a lemon scent -both of which are quite pleasing. The scent itself comes from natural lemon extract, so the soap, all in all isn’t the worst possible thing you could get. It has lots of thumbs-ups from Amazon users, with an overall 4.1 stars, which is quite good if you bother to do the statistics.
The Dawn – Platinum Power Clean was among our selected favorites but just fell short of the competition. It lives up to its popular reputation and has a remarkable grease cutter, but it doesn’t do as good a job as Dr. Bronner’s. Just a heads up, they wholly rely on the Dawn dishwashing soap to cleanse oil produced by animals that have been affected by oil spillage. It smoothly removes the grease without causing irritation and discomfort on the skin. Being this durable on crude oil, it is safe to say that it equally performs as well with food stains on utensils.
Alike to the Dawn, the J.R.Watkins also has the ability to cleanse and cut through bothersome grease. Although the amount of suds produced were few, it completely removed the grease and stuck on food quite simply. It also has an alluring smell and goes for an economical price that attracts many consumers.
Despite its advantages, the J.R.Watkins comes in a slightly lower grade as quite a number of consumers claim it has poisonous substances that irritate people with both respiratory and skin hypersensitivity. In addition to that, EWG accuses it of containing chemicals that affect aquatic life. This is probably its biggest dealbreaker, making it lose points in the eco-friendly criteria.
By EWG standards, the Ecover liquid dish soap ranked a B. Based on this, it has an equally high rating with consumers as well as us. It has outstanding efficiency and cleaning capability. Just like Puracy, it removed grease with much ease and also worked perfectly on stuck food.
Though it doesn’t have any added colors, it has a fragrance. The latter smell like pink geranium although doesn’t quite capture the scent as it should. On the other hand, it does smell like rubbing alcohol, earning it a sour D rating for smell by EWG. Furthermore, it is said to contain chemicals that trigger allergies.
Better Life dishwasher soap also adds to the list of environment-friendly dishwashing soaps. It’s not included in the EWG database, and thus doesn’t have a rating. If we were to compromise, though, we’d give it an overall C rating. This is pretty bad overall, especially in terms of environmental friendliness, but when it comes down to performance, it does the job quite well, to be truthful. Similar to the Dawn and Watkins, it cleaned off grease easily. Truthful to its claims, it has no fragrance, either.
The Bottom Line
Washing dishes may seem like a bothersome task to most people. With the development of technology, especially in the electrical fields, many say that machines will eventually take over this task. Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. Having an effective dishwashing soap is bound to do the job better in any case. Before purchasing dishwashing soaps, clients should be aware of the products’ respective prices, performances, efficiency, and durability.
Analysing these qualities are the surest way to offer satisfaction by making the right choice. The Sal Suds won by a long shot since it came with extra ice of practicality in many other issuances. Although the other contenders are still up for a challenge, they allowed the clientele to choose amongst the efficiency, price and its influence on health and the environment. All this notwithstanding, whichever choice you make will still leave the dishes spotless and flawlessly clean.