Last Updated: December 29, 2022

The 9 Best Natural Dish Soaps.

WRITTEN BY Grove Collaborative • 15 min read

The best dish soap effectively cleans stuck-on foods without the need for multiple dish soap refills. Most likely you want dish soap, a.k.a. dishwashing liquid, that smells good too. After an evening of cooking and cleanup in the kitchen, it’s nice to let a pleasant scent linger.

Unfortunately, some of those high-performance ingredients also wash a bunch of chemicals down the drain. That’s where dish soaps made with plant-derived ingredients take center stage.

There’s no need to clean your plate — and palate — with harsh chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, phosphates, and perfumes. Instead, consider eco-friendly natural alternatives like this Grove Co. Ultimate Dish Soap that's effective on your dishes and also easy on your hands.

Speaking of ... wondering what’s the best dish soap for hands? See our suggestions for the best natural dish soaps below, with reviews and ratings from actual Grove members. They won't let you down.

This list of products was determined by ratings and reviews from Grove members.

1. Mrs. Meyer's Dish Soap

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Whether you’re a day-of dish washer or a stack-‘em-up-and-let-them-sit kind of cleaner, it makes no difference with this Mrs. Meyer's Dish Soap. This Mrs. Meyer’s Dish Soap is made with plant-derived cleansers and other thoughtfully chosen ingredients such as soap bark extract, which is known to be a natural degreaser. It removes grease and food …

16 Oz
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2. Grove Co. Ultimate Dish Soap Refill

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A high performance liquid dish soap proven to remove 48-hour stuck-on food.* Crafted to be sustainably powerful for a healthy home and planet.

Our Ultimate Dish Soap refill cuts grease in seconds. Its high-performance formula also removes 48-hr stuck on food and greasy messes, leaving 1,000+ dishes sparkling …
16 oz
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3. Caldrea Dish Soap

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Caldrea's rich and concentrated dish soap cleans your dishes to a sparkle. Made with nature's degreaser, soap bark extract. It’s biodegradable, made from renewable energy, vegan, and Leaping Bunny–certified. Plus, its naturally derived concentrated formula is made to plow through grease and grime without leaving marks on your dishes. This dish …

16 Oz
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4. Grove Co. All-Purpose Hand & Dish Bar Soap - Removes Grease & Grime - With Moisturizing Shea Butter

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A plastic-free, high sudsing bar soap for degreasing dishes and cleaning and moisturizing hands.

Ginger-Lime scent.

  • Tough on dirty dishes, gentle on hands
    This kitchen bar soap is formulated for high sudsing action to remove grease and grime from dishes. It’s made with shea butter and aloe to moisturize skin as you wash.
  • Thoughtfully …
1 x Bar Soap
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5. method Dish Soap

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Sometimes we get to our dishes right away, and sometimes life gets in the way. For those times when parent or work duties called and dishes got left for days, call on method Dish Soap. With its awesome plant-based grease cutting power, this formula is a kitchen-countertop must-have. It’s made without triclosan and parabens, and it’s Leaping …

18 Oz
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6. Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Liquid Soap

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With 150 years and five generations of family soap making embroidered in its brand history, it’s no wonder why families of today still turn to Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Liquid Soap 32 Oz for their homecare needs. Dr Bronner's castile soap ingredients are naturally derived and the soap is paraben-, soy-, nut-, sulfate-, and triclosan-free. It’s …

32 Oz
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7. method Dish Soap

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Change things up in your kitchen with this method Dish Soap in its new bottle’s curvy silhouette. Choose from method scents you know and love such as basil, grapefruit, and lemongrass to make dishwashing a calm and cool experience. This liquid dish soap is biodegradable, made with plant-based grease cutting power, and made without phthalates, …

18 oz
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8. Seventh Generation Dish Soap

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Seventh Generation Liquid Dish Soap cuts through grease and removes dried-on food from your dishes without doing damage to your hands. This plant-powered biodegradable formula contains plant-derived cleaning agents for effective dishwashing that’s septic-safe. Plus, this dish soap is dye-free, phosphate-free, and triclosan-free.

Choose from a …

19 oz
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9. Seventh Generation Zero Plastic Dishwasher Detergent Powder

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Seventh Generation’s Zero Plastic Dishwasher Detergent Powder gives you the cleaning power you expect without the plastic packaging. This easy-to-use powder lifts stuck on food and fundamentally cleans dishes without the use of any dyes, fragrances, chlorine bleach, or plastic! Our dish detergent powder will leave you with sparkling dishes and …
52 loads
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Can you use dish soap in a dishwasher?

If you’ve run out of dishwashing detergent and you’re thinking about substituting it with dish soap, think again. While a few drops of the best dish soap combined with baking soda may do the trick, filling your dispenser full with liquid dish soap will most likely create a sudsy mess in your dishwasher, not to mention on your kitchen floor.

In fact, dish soap may not only cause your dishwasher to overflow with bubbles — let’s save those for the bathtub! — but it can create a scummy residue on your dishes and equipment too.

You could even ruin your dishwasher’s plumbing. And nobody wants to call a plumber to fix clogged pipes, drainage, and filters. Worst case scenario: You might have to purchase an entirely new dishwasher.

Let’s say you do mistake your dish soap refills for dishwasher detergent. What do you do? Turn off the machine, let the dishwasher drain, use a wet mop or rag to soak up any suds, and remove your dishes, which you’ll unfortunately need to clean again. Then rinse and wipe the dishwasher until there’s no excess residue.

Is natural dish soap antibacterial?

Sorry to break it to you, but most dish soaps — no matter how squeaky clean your glasses, plates, and utensils appear — are not antibacterial. However, conventional dish soaps that are labeled antibacterial often contain ingredients that are less-than-ideal for your body and the environment, such as hormone-disrupting triclosan.

Your best bet to stave off illness and food-borne pathogens? Go au naturel. Some of the best natural dish soaps contain antibacterial properties derived from essential oils like tea tree, rosemary, lavender, and eucalyptus, which happen to smell yummy, too.

Use the dishwasher if you have one. Due to its higher temps (too hot for your own hands to handle), a dishwasher kills bacteria. Better yet, use the sanitizer setting to ensure your clean dishes are germ-free.

No dishwasher? Pull on a pair of slip-resistant cleaning gloves and use a scrubber brush with a handle to clean your dishes. If you prefer using a scrubber sponge or scouring pad, just be sure to switch it out for new one at least once a week, or clean it in the microwave, since bacteria and other nasty germs can build up on the surface.

What is the difference between dish soap and hand soap?

You might also be wondering if you can use liquid dish soap as hand soap, and vice versa. The best natural dish soaps are formulated with plant-based ingredients. That means they’re typically gentler on hands than many commercial counterparts.

So, dish soap that’s biodegradable, paraben-free, and phthalate-free is generally safe to use for hand-washing purposes. After all, unless you’re protecting your hands with gloves, you’re most likely exposing your skin to dish soap while handwashing any dishes. Still, dish soaps often contain degreasers that can be harsher on your hands.

Liquid hand soap, on the other "hand," is generally made with a milder solution. It also tends to dissolve in water faster than dish soap. Therefore, hand soaps may not be as effective for getting the job done on your dishes.

It’s healthiest to select kitchen cleaning products with plant-derived ingredients so they work effectively on dishes, hands, and whatever else you need to clean.

What is Grove Collaborative?

At Grove, we take the guesswork out of which products are good for you and your home. Every product meets strict standards for being nontoxic, effective, sustainable, and cruelty-free. Once you find products you love, we ship to your home on a flexible, monthly schedule.

If you're ready to make the transition to natural cleaning, beauty, and household products, shop Grove Collaborative's natural products for the eco-friendly tools to tackle the job.

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