Do You Really Need Dish Soap and Hand Soap in the Kitchen?

published May 22, 2019
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(Image credit: Cynthia Brown)

In the age of trendy multitaskers like concentrated cleaners, staying eco-friendly and saving money are, understandably, top priorities. If you can have one product that does a lot of things well, why spend your whole paycheck only to waste plastic and take up hard-fought storage space?

Which begs the question: Do we really need both dish soap and hand soap in the kitchen if just one could do the trick?

Jennifer Gregory, Brand Manager of Molly Maid, a Neighborly company, says the answer really depends on how often you’re washing your hands. If you’re a very frequent hand washer, you might find it’s better to opt for washing with gentle dish soap instead — Gregory says Dawn is usually a winner — as hand soaps can sometimes have additives and other ingredients that aren’t ideal for many skin types.

While a lot of hand soaps boast pleasant scents and moisturizing power, they also typically contain irritating chemicals or fragrances, which might bother those with allergies or sensitive skin in general. Dish soap, on the other hand, is usually more straightforward, since it’s working on a variety of surfaces. And, of course, it’s just as effective at germ-killing. It’s a win-win!

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

“In the kitchen where hand-washing is extremely frequent, dish soap is all that is truly needed,” Gregory says. “Dish soap in general is pH neutral (not acidic, like other cleaners) so it’s great for granite and other stone countertops, pet bowls, and obviously the dishes we eat out of—but it’s also very good and soft on hands.”

So if you’re inclined to keep just one soap by the sink, this one’s easy: Ditch the hand soap. Unfortunately, this money-and-skin-saving switcheroo won’t work the other way around. “Dish soap can be used to clean multiple surfaces and hands, making it more multi-purpose, whereas hand soap shouldn’t be used on dishes,” Gregory says.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Do You Really Need Both Dish Soap and Hand Soap in the Kitchen?