Updated November 9th, 2018 – Many of us have mostly ditched hand washing our dirty dishes, opting instead for the convenience of a dishwasher. Sometimes, though, we still have to do things the hard way. Washing dishes by hand is necessary to remove particularly stubborn grime, but it can take a toll on your skin.
We use our hands from the moment we wake up and rub our eyes in the morning, to the end of the day when we turn out the lights. When meeting people we greet them with a shake of the hand. We place our signs of commitment on them and we protect our loved ones with them. Our hands are worth taking care of!
Repeated washing with harsh detergents strips the skin of the natural oils that moisturize and protect. A gentle dish soap can be worth its weight in gold. Many products claim they’re kind to hands, but which ones follow up their promises when used day after day?
Keeping your hands healthy
If you have very dry skin, it may be worthwhile moisturizing before you start to clean your dishes. Any product is better than none, but Vaseline is an especially effective barrier when it comes to dealing with water. There’s a good reason why long distance open water swimmers cover themselves from head to foot in it before going into the sea!
It’s an equally a good idea to moisturize after you’re finished cleaning. Your hands can be as much a sign of your age as your face, so why not pay them a little special attention?
Are your dishcloths not cut out for the job? Find out which dish towels are best for drying dishes!
Choosing a dish soap
When it comes to choosing a dish soap, we have to strike a fine balance. The detergent needs to be strong enough to cut through grime and wash away harmful bacteria. On the other hand, it needs to be gentle enough such that it doesn’t damage your skin. A good dish soap needs to protect and moisturize the skin rather than drying it out.
With that in mind, I’ve tested some of the best dish soaps on the market. Here are a few of my recommendations.
Caldrea Sea Salt Neroli
If you feel like treating yourself to something a little bit special (and don’t mind paying for the privilege) you can’t do much better than Caldrea Sea Salt Neroli.
The essential oils and light, pleasing scent mean that using this dish soap will make cleaning up a pleasure. It has great staying power, too. Just a few squirts went a long way and, after drying off, my hands felt smooth and refreshed. Doing the dishes isn’t quite the spa treatment, but this dish soap did its best to make it feel like one.
Palmolive Soft Touch Coconut Butter
Coconut butter is a natural way to maintain healthy skin and hair. You’ll find coconut butter in a multitude of products these days. Palmolive has taken notice of this and has included this ingredient in their new dish soap.
Palmolive Soft Touch Coconut Butter may be a soft touch on your skin, but it is certainly no pushover when it comes to tackling grease. I found that it kept its lather for a long time. This is a good dish soap for those who suffer from irritable and flaky skin.
Williams-Sonoma Dish Soap
Williams-Sonoma Dish Soap comes very tastefully packaged, but the qualities of this brand are not just skin deep (pardon the pun). While it’s a little expensive, it’s great for those with dry hands.
It lacks some of the grease cutting power of the other brands, but I loved its light lemongrass aroma and gentle feel.
Two moisturized thumbs up!
For more recommendations on great cleaning products, check out this article on the best dish soap for baby bottles. Pair that soap with the best sponges for stainless steel cookware. You might also be interested in this review of the best garlic press for arthritis pain, for happy, healthy hands!
And, for great dishwashing supplies, see the best dish drainer for pots and pans!
More recommendations to come… Here’s a post on the best juicers for hard veggies.