Dishwashing Soap Bars: Five Benefits and How to Use Them

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Last updated: February 27, 2023

If dishwashing soap bars were good enough for our grandmothers, why can’t they work today for you and your home?

Back in the day one bar of soap was enough to do everything, from dishwashing, laundry and even cleaning your bathroom.

The right brand of soap bar can not only be good for the environment but also much cheaper than buying different cleaners and detergents.

If you are looking for an alternative to liquid hand soap or dishwashing detergent, dishwashing soap bars should definitely be on your shopping list.

Five Great Benefits of Using Dishwashing Soap Bars

1. Dishwashing Soap Bars are Better for the Environment

The majority of soap bars that you can use for dishwashing use natural, non-toxic ingredients like Olive Oil.

Try to avoid using dishwashing soap bars that use Palm Oil, as this is often sourced from non-sustainable sources.

You can sometimes tell from the color what the ingredients are.

Olive Oil soap bars are usually green, but palm oil soap bars are often white.

top view of olive oil in a glass
Olive Oil has been used as a cleanser for centuries

Soap bars like Castile Soap that have been for generations use only vegetable oils and fats in their ingredients.

As a result, they are also vegan.

Unlike ordinary dishwashing detergent and other cleaners that are packaged in big plastic bottles, most soap bars come in recycled or recyclable paper packaging.

mint soap bars tied with string
nly natural plant based oils and ingredients are regularly used in dishwashing soap bars.

In some stores, you can even purchase soap bars without any packaging at all.

2. Soap Bars are usually Cheaper and Longer-Lasting than Buying Lots of Other Cleaners

A single soap bar usually costs less than $5 USD at the time of writing this article and can be purchased for a lot less when you buy in bulk.

Like most soaps, they have a great shelf life, so if they are stored properly they will last you a very long time.

The best place to store your soap bar is in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.

It should also be wrapped up to protect it from mold and dirt.

A single soap bar can also last for more washes than liquid soap, as you can easily pour out too much every time you do the dishes.

Think about the bar of soap you use to wash your hands, how much longer that seems to last compared to liquid handwash!

view from shopping cart in soap aisle of supermarket
No more spending precious time and money on lots of different cleaning products!

Again you need to remember that back in the day, this product was created not just for washing dishes.

Your grandparents used soap bars for cleaning so many other things around your home.

When you think about how much you can save from not having to buy many different cleaning products, it is easy to see why soap bars are such a good investment.

3. Dishwashing Soap Bars are Very Effective and Easy to Use

Soap bars are super easy to use for dishwashing. The process is not that different from using liquid soap.

You can use either a slightly damp scrub brush (like the one pictured below), or your regular dishwashing sponge, to rub the soap bar to pick up some soap and create a lather.

person holding brown cleaning brush
Use the stiff brush to create a lather to clean your dishes.

Only a small amount of soap together with warm water can be effective in removing tough food stains like coffee and sauce.

dishwashing soap with lather
A nice strong lather like this will clean your dishes in no time.

If washing up with the soap bar is too annoying for you, you can instead use it to create your own dishwashing liquid.

Just dilute the soap bar in water and keep it in a bottle next to your sink.

4. Dishwashing Soap Bars can be Very Gentle on Your Skin and Good for Allergies

I mentioned earlier that many dishwashing bar soaps use Olive Oil are their main ingredient.

This essential oil is very moisturizing and much softer on your skin than regular dishwashing detergent.

person washing his hand

Olive Oil is a trusted natural ingredient for many people like me with sensitive skin.

natural soap bar

I find that regular dishwashing detergent always gives me a dry itchy rash on my hands over time.

5. You Only Need One Soap Bar to Clean Your Whole House and Your Body

As I mentioned earlier, these soap bars are not just for dishwashing. Think like your grandmother, you can use these soap bars to clean plenty of other things around your home.

If it’s good enough to clean a plate, why not other hard surfaces too?

Soap bars can be used to make all-purpose cleaning sprays and scrubs for hard floors, kitchen and bathroom sinks, and even your shower.

washing car window
Dishwashing bar soaps with a good lather can be very effective for cleaning many other hard surfaces.

Just like with normal soap, you can even replace your laundry detergent with a soap bar.

This is a great solution for washing delicate items, and if you have allergies to regular laundry detergent.

clothes hanging out to dry
Dishwashing soap bars are gentle so they are great for washing delicate clothes, or for sensitive skin.

And did I mention the natural ingredients?

Some brands of soap bars use non-toxic natural ingredients that are so gentle you can also use them to wash your hands and body, including as a shampoo.

How to Use Dishwashing Soap Bars

Ready to change your life? This is what you need to start washing your dishes with soap bars:

A Stiff Scrubbing Brush

The first thing you need a brush to rub on the soap bar with water to create a lather, and then rub onto the surface you are trying to clean.

Using your existing sponge is ok, but a scrubbing brush with stiff bristles will work much better.

The stiff bristles pick up soap flakes off the soap bar and spread it across your plate without you needing to scrub too hard.

As an example, this brush below has a traditional grip made from Bamboo like a shaving brush which is great for working up a lather.

The bristles are made from BPA-free recycled plastic making it long-lasting and environmentally friendly.

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A Soap Dish

You need a decent soap dish to make the most of your dishwashing soap bar.

A good soap dish isn’t just to make your sink look pretty (but this helps!). It will also help your soap bar last longer.

bar soap on ceramic dish
Make your dishwashing more enjoyable by investing in a cute soap dish like this one.

A soap dish holds your soap in place when you rub your brush against it to create a lather.

The best soap dishes will also have gaps in the bottom to let air through to dry your soap bar and stop it from getting moldy.

For example this dish from Magift is made from real pine and coated in a non-toxic, VOC free finish to protect the timber.

It will keep your soap nice and dry, and it comes as a 2 pack if you want a matching one for your bathroom.

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A Dishwashing Soap Bar

Of course, you can’t forget to get the critical item, an amazing dishwashing soap bar.

Unfortunately, you can’t use regular soap, because the ingredients they use are not necessarily safe to ingest, so you definitely should not use them on your plates.

Luckily for you, we have a list of our Top 5 Dishwashing Soap Bars to help you pick the right bar for you.

Here are our Top 5 Best Dishwashing Soap Bars

1. Pre de Provence 72% Marseille Soap

Pre de Provence specializes in beautiful organic soaps, using the best natural ingredients that transport you to the French countryside.

Nicknamed “the ugly soap” as a joke for it’s raw and unfinished appearance, this soap bar is made from 72% Olive Oil to keep your hands lovely and smooth.

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2. No Tox Life Dish Washing Block Soap

This No Tox Soap Bar is no-nonsense, and we like the minimal packaging.

Free from dyes and fragrance, it is vegan, plastic-free and ethically made in the USA.

This soap bar is also free from parabens and sulfates, so it is a good one to try if you are prone to itchy dry skin on your hands.

Also it creates a good lather, so a little bit goes a long way to get through your big pile of dishes.

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3. Meliora Plastic Free Soap

This Meliora soap is super versatile and comes in a cute cylinder shape.

As it turns out this unique is actually really useful for gripping the soap and rubbing it on pots and pans.

This product is free from dyes, synthetic fragrances and preservatives, so they have your family’s health in mind.

This company is also a certified B Corporation, so they are very committed to making their products as healthy and environmentally friendly as possible.

Therefore it’s no surprise that this soap bar is vegan, cruelty-free and 100% biodegradable.

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4. Ethique Eco-Friendly Laundry Bar

Ethique is on a mission to rid our planet of plastic, and they specialize in alternative soap bars for your body and your home.

This soap bar can be used on your clothes or your plates, and who could resist that hot pink packaging.

It’s made from 100% biodegradable ingredients and is Vegan.

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5. Dr Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap

You will make your Grandma proud with this one. Dr Bronner’s Castile Soap is legendary, it’s the original dishwashing soap bar.

I’ve chosen the original unscented version which is great for people with allergies or sensitive skin.

However it now comes in a variety of yummy fragrances, including Lavender and almond.

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Final Thoughts

I hope that I have inspired you to try washing your dishes with soap bars.

Making the switch to one natural, eco-friendly product will make a huge difference in your life and your wallet.

If you are looking for other natural products you can use to clean your home, check out our post on the best natural stain removers.

Pin for Later!

dishwashing soap bars pinterest

Bel Herron

Ecostalk is your destination for finding and sharing great green ideas to help you live healthier, happier and in a more sustainable way.

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