The 3 Best Dish Soaps You Can Buy, According to Plumbers

updated Mar 7, 2023
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Dish soap should, of course, do a good job washing all of that grease and grime off your dishes. But because that soap is also going down the drain and into your pipes when you hand-wash, effectiveness isn’t the only consideration. A great dish soap should also do double-duty clearing grease from your drain to prevent clogs and other plumbing issues. 

So, how do you pick the right dish soap that gets your dishes and your pipes squeaky clean? We went straight to the pros. Here are the best dish soaps on the market, according to three experts. 

1. Dawn Dish Soap 

That blue bottle is a classic for a reason: According to Miami-based residential plumber Ryan Thompson, regular Dawn dishwashing liquid isn’t just excellent at removing grease from dishes — it can also clear leftover grease from drain pipes. If you accidentally pour grease down your drain, Thompson recommends squirting in a few tablespoons of Dawn. Let it sit for three or four minutes, and then run the faucet. “The water and soap will merge to remove any grease or grime from the drain,” he says.

Umberto Griccino, a commercial plumber and consultant with House Grail, also swears by Dawn dish soap because it’s ultra-concentrated, so you’d only need a small amount to wash dishes and clear drains. 

2. Method Liquid Dish Soap

Gerald Carpenter, a third-generation plumber who also works as a plumbing consultant, says he likes Method’s concentrated liquid dish soap (the one that’s sold in refill pouches). For one thing, refills are more environmentally friendly than bottled soap because you can buy one dispenser and refill it when needed. He also likes that the soap doesn’t include parabens or phthalates, and is totally biodegradable. 

Plus, it works — plain and simple. “I’ve tested it on multiple pans and trays after frying and baking meats, and it notably speeds up the process,” he says. “But the best thing is that it leaves the drain cleaner than other popular dish soaps. Take my plumber’s word!”

3. Mrs. Meyer’s Dish Soap 

Arnold Long, general operations manager at Mr. Blue Plumbing, says the best dish soap effectively cleans grease and dirt from dishes without causing damage to your plumbing. It also should be gentle enough on your skin, in case you’re not wearing dishwashing gloves

That may seem like a tall order, but according to Long, Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap fits the bill. Not only is the soap biodegradable, paraben-free, cruelty-free, and phthalate-free, it’s also made with plant-based ingredients like soap bark extract (which he says acts as a natural degreaser). Plus, it doesn’t contain any artificial coloring. “Thanks to these characteristics, it’s an effective cleaner, doesn’t harm your skin, and most importantly, doesn’t damage your plumbing,” he says.

Which dish soap do you prefer to use? Tell us in the comments below.