I Discovered a New Way to Wash My Dishes — and I May Never Go Back

published Jan 31, 2023
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Have you ever visited the home of a friend or relative and witnessed a household habit that left you a little speechless? I’m talking about a smack-the-forehead moment that makes you take that idea home and wonder why you’ve never done it before. This happened to me over the holidays and it’s definitely made me a convert. The thing I noticed? A bar of soap for washing dishes.

If this feels a little too “Little House on the Prairie” to you (lye, washboard, soggy bonnets), I hear you, but hear me out. Here’s why you should consider bar soap instead of liquid soap.

Why You Should Consider Solid Dish Soap

For starters, bar soap is earth-friendly — no plastic containers! And just think about how much liquid soap you use (too much!). With bar soap, you don’t need a lot to make a wonderfully rich lather (think: Dudley Moore in “Arthur“!). Apparently, coconut and castor oils, the oils typically used in kitchen bar soap, have way better chemical stability than oils used in liquid soap. This means bar soap retains its sudsy nature longer, easily cutting through grease without having to keep going back for more.

Bar soaps are also made with ingredients that make your hands feel amazing (without making your stemware slippery). Tobe solid dish soap, for example, includes coconut oil, grape seed oil, kale powder, lime oil, purified water, sea salt, and sugar.

And have I mentioned that they smell divine? You can opt for a more traditional scent like invigorating zesty lemon or try something different like Bitchin’ Kitchen’s combination of nutmeg, coffee, almond, and cinnamon.

I’ll admit: The pricing can feel a bit splurge-y, especially once you add in a round scrubby brush. The must-have accessory is similar to a men’s shaving brush with firmer bristles great for scrubbing. But bar soap can be an economic choice, as you probably won’t need a replacement bar for four to six months.

Personally, I’m putting bar soap on the list for last-minute hostess gifts or even birthdays. Lots of companies have figured out it’s on the rise and offer a ton of choices. There are those with earthy-looking packaging, some homegrown varieties, and this trio of French soaps that seem like they might make dishwashing stylish somehow. 

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: I Recently Discovered This Dishwashing Method and I’m Never Going Back