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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

Best Dish Soap for Dry Hands



Which dish soap can tackle grime without drying out your skin?
Which dish soap can tackle grime without drying out your skin?

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

Many dish soaps claim to be gentle on hands, but which brands live up to their promise?
Many dish soaps claim to be gentle on hands, but which brands live up to their promise?

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.

Caldrea Liquid Dish Soap- Sea Salt Neroli,16 Fl Oz (Pack of 2)

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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

Palmolive Ultra Soft Touch Liquid Dish Soap | Soft Touch on Hands | Tough-on-Grease | Concentrated Formula | Coconut Butter & Orchid Scent - 20 Ounce Bottle (Pack of 2)

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.

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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.

Puracy Natural Dish Soap

If you are looking for the safest alternative to dish soaps, Puracy Natural Dish Soap is a good choice. It is fast-rinsing and free from harsh chemicals and sulfates. Puracy Natural Dish Soap is developed carefully by doctors to ensure it is gentle on the skin and effective dishware at the same time. Its main ingredients come from plants, minerals, water, including green teas and lime.


  • Each ingredient was carefully taken into consideration to ensure it meets the world-class quality standards. Puracy is known for its natural, plant-based, safe, and effective household essential products. They guarantee this product is 99.5% natural.
  • You only need a small amount of ultra-concentrated gel to finish washing a sink full of dishes.
  • It can remove tough stains, yet it is gentle, pure, and safe enough to use in washing your hands.


  • While it’s a little expensive, it’s a great deal of three bottles in one purchase.

Two moisturized thumbs up!

For more recommendations on great cleaning products, check out this article on the best dish soap for baby bottles.

And, for great dishwashing supplies, see the best dish drainer for pots and pans.

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: Bryce Heitman

Bryce is not a real professor, but he's real nerdy in the kitchen. He's been barbecuing, chopping, and generally blazing food for many decades. He thinks there's definitely a better spatula or utensil out there that hasn't been invented yet.

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