The 4 Safest Dish Soaps You Can Buy

Dish soaps are some of the biggest culprits when it comes to chemical-ridden cleaning products. Learn which brands are safest for your skin.

woman hand holding yellow sponge and pouring cleaning liquid on itKonstantin Yolshin/Shutterstock

You probably come into contact with some type of household cleaning product every day, but you may not spend too much time thinking about what’s in them. As long as they get the cleaning job done, they’re good, right?

Well, it turns out that all cleaning products are not created equal. Everything from laundry detergents to bottled waters has some brands that are far safer than others. Of course, you want every product you use to be as safe as possible, but dish soap in particular spends a lot of time on and near your hands. Unfortunately, many common brands of dish soap contain chemicals that can be rough on your skin. Make sure you know about the most toxic spring cleaning products (and what to buy instead).

“Dish soap is one of the worst [products] for skin irritation,” says Madeline Novak, a proprietor who specializes in natural skincare. “Not only does it have lots of harsh chemical preservatives and so-called ‘disinfectants,’ but it also carries a strong fragrance load, which is almost never naturally derived.”

Novak knows firsthand about the adverse effects that chemicals in cleaning products can have. She has a severe skin allergy that made it difficult for her to use many common brands of dish soap. Here are some rules everyone with sensitive skin should follow.

Nutritional chef Melissa Eboli also knows a thing or two about cleaning product safety. Seven years ago, she developed a severe case of multiple chemical sensitivity and had to get rid of many of the cleaning products in her house that were triggering her MCS. She has even been on ABC News to discuss her experiences. Eboli says that the safest dish soaps are the ones that aren’t synthetic. “The only products I use and recommend use real ingredients, with words that I can understand and pronounce,” she tells Reader’s Digest.

Here are the brands of dish soap that Novak, Eboli, and other experts recommend:

Type 1: Common Good (available in lavender, bergamot, and unscented—all are equally safe!)
Type 4: Dr. Bronner’s (This company makes several skincare products in addition to its all-purpose liquid soap, which comes in a variety of all-natural scents.)
But dish soap isn’t the only product you own that has potential health hazards. Here are more subtle ways your house is making you sick.

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Meghan Jones is a Staff Writer for RD.com who has been storytelling since before she could write. She graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been writing for Reader's Digest since 2017. Her creative nonfiction piece "Anticipation" was published in Angles literary magazine in spring 2017. Meghan is a proud Hufflepuff and member of Team Cap.