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The Best Hand Soap

Last updated on May 11, 2020

We looked at the top 10 Hand Soaps and dug through the reviews from 17 of the most popular review sites including Skin Safe, Idses Media, Products Browser, New York Mag, BestReviews (Products), Homely Reviews and more. The result is a ranking of the best Hand Soaps.

Best Hand Soap

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Our Picks For The Top Hand Soaps

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Softsoap Aquarium Liquid Hand Soap, 6-Pack

Softsoap

Aquarium Liquid Hand Soap, 6-Pack

Overall Take

Safe For SkinThis liquid hand soap keeps hands clean and free of preservatives.

Experts Included
DWYM Cleaning & Organization Experts plus Skin Safe. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Target and Walmart.
Pros
" SkinSAFE has reviewed the ingredients of Softsoap Aquarium Series Liquid Hand Soap, 32 oz and found it to be 91% Top Allergen Free and free of Gluten, Nickel, Top Common Allergy Causing Preservatives, Lanolin, MCI/MI, Topical Antibiotic, Paraben, and Soy...."
  The Best Value

Puracy Natural Lavender & Vanilla Moisturizing Gel Hand Wash

Puracy

Lavender & Vanilla Gel Hand Wash

Overall Take

Thick and SmoothThis gel hand wash has a great foamy feel that moisturizes hands.

Experts Included
DWYM Cleaning & Organization Experts plus Homely Reviews, Idses Media, Top Home Stuff, LifeSavvy. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Target.
Pros
" Puracy Natural hand soap produces luxurious foam that lasts throughout the entire cleaning. The Honey-like thickness stays in place on your skin. It dries quickly as well. The skin feels soft, smooth, and flexible. It has added vitamins and nutrients..."

Method Sweet Water Foaming Hand Soap, 6-Pack

Method

Sweet Water Foaming Hand Soap, 6-Pack

Overall Take

Affordable, Natural SoapThis foaming hand soap is a great, natural way to keep clean on a budget.

Experts Included
DWYM Cleaning & Organization Experts plus Homely Reviews. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Home Depot and Walmart.
Pros
" Reasonable price. Does not leave the hands dry. Natural, biodegradable ingredients, triclosan-free."

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Lemon Verbena Hand Soap, 3-Pack

Mrs. Meyer’s

Clean Day Lemon Verbena Hand Soap, 3-Pk

Overall Take

Citrus-Scented CleaningThis lemon verbena hand soap smells as great as it feels.

Experts Included
DWYM Cleaning & Organization Experts plus BestReviews (Products), Homely Reviews, New York Mag, Top Guide Pro. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart, Target and Home Depot.
Pros
" Hard working, non-drying soap for busy hands. Lemon verbena hand soap has a light, refreshingly mild citrus scent."
Cons
"The pump could be better"
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the hand soaps available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

17

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Skin Safe, Idses Media, Products Browser, New York Mag, BestReviews (Products).

86,839

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Target, Home Depot and 10 others.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Hand Soaps and also dug through the reviews from 17 of the most popular review sites including Skin Safe, Idses Media, Products Browser, New York Mag, BestReviews (Products), Homely Reviews and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Hand Soaps.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Softsoap Aquarium Liquid Hand Soap, 6-Pack

Our Expert Score
9.1
1 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.0
6,260 user reviews
Our Take

This liquid hand soap lives up to its name. This soap comes in a lively container and dispenses smoothly. The ingredients are free of not only parabens but also soy, gluten, nickel and many preservatives that are likely to cause allergies.

What other experts liked
SkinSAFE has reviewed the ingredients of Softsoap Aquarium Series Liquid Hand Soap, 32 oz and found it to be 91% Top Allergen Free and free of Gluten, Nickel, Top Common Allergy Causing Preservatives, Lanolin, MCI/MI, Topical Antibiotic, Paraben, and Soy....
- Skin Safe

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Puracy Natural Lavender & Vanilla Moisturizing Gel Hand Wash

Our Expert Score
10.0
4 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.2
7,797 user reviews
Our Take

Those who care about animals will love this gel hand wash and its cruelty-free policy. This soap is a vegan product and is made of biodegradable materials. In the wash, it goes on smooth and foamy, dries quickly and leaves the hands moisturized.

What other experts liked
Puracy Natural hand soap produces luxurious foam that lasts throughout the entire cleaning. The Honey-like thickness stays in place on your skin. It dries quickly as well. The skin feels soft, smooth, and flexible. It has added vitamins and nutrients that protect your skin.
- Homely Reviews
The soap is a vegan and cruelty-free product.
- Idses Media
If you wonder about the product consistency, it is foamy, thick, moisturizing, which is capable of making the hands soft and hydrated. Even doctors recommend it.
- Top Home Stuff
The lavender and vanilla essential oils offer a lovely scent and extra hydration. It’s also all-natural! Puracy doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals. It’s also non-toxic, hypoallergenic, vegan, and made of all biodegradable ingredients, so you can feel good about using it.
- LifeSavvy
What other experts didn't like
The pump tube is too short
- Homely Reviews

Overall Product Rankings

Softsoap Aquarium Liquid Hand Soap, 6-Pack

1. Softsoap Aquarium Liquid Hand Soap, 6-Pack

Overall Score: 9.7
Reviews Included: 6

Method Sweet Water Foaming Hand Soap, 6-Pack

3. Method Sweet Water Foaming Hand Soap, 6-Pack

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 7

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Lemon Verbena Hand Soap, 3-Pack

4. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Lemon Verbena Hand Soap, 3-Pack

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 8

Soapbox Coconut Milk & Sandalwood Hand Soap, 3-Pack

5. Soapbox Coconut Milk & Sandalwood Hand Soap, 3-Pack

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 2

Everyone Lavender + Coconut Hand Soap, 3-Pack

6. Everyone Lavender + Coconut Hand Soap, 3-Pack

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 6

J.R. Watkins Lavender Foaming Hand Soap, 6-Pack

8. J.R. Watkins Lavender Foaming Hand Soap, 6-Pack

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 6

Dial Liquid Coconut Water & Mango Hand Soap

9. Dial Liquid Coconut Water & Mango Hand Soap

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 6

Bath & Body Works Classic Kitchen Collection, 5-Pack

10. Bath & Body Works Classic Kitchen Collection, 5-Pack

Overall Score: 7.5
Reviews Included: 5

Our Hand Soap Findings

Softsoap Aquarium Liquid Hand Soap, 6-Pack

What We Liked: This liquid hand soap lives up to its name. This soap comes in a lively container and dispenses smoothly. The ingredients are free of not only parabens but also soy, gluten, nickel and many preservatives that are likely to cause allergies.

Puracy Natural Lavender & Vanilla Moisturizing Gel Hand Wash

What We Liked: Those who care about animals will love this gel hand wash and its cruelty-free policy. This soap is a vegan product and is made of biodegradable materials. In the wash, it goes on smooth and foamy, dries quickly and leaves the hands moisturized.

Method Sweet Water Foaming Hand Soap, 6-Pack

What We Liked: This foaming hand soap is made from an array of natural ingredients. It is also free of triclosan or other harmful substances and is biodegradable. The foaming soap is very affordable and does a great job at keep hands moist and clean.

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Lemon Verbena Hand Soap, 3-Pack

What We Liked: This lemon verbena hand soap goes on with a pleasing citrus scent. Thanks to aloe vera and a host of other fortifying ingredients, it leaves the hands soft and clean. Best of all, it’s made cruelty-free and without parabens.

Everyone Lavender + Coconut Hand Soap, 3-Pack

What We Liked: This lavender coconut hand soap comes by its scent and pleasing consistency honestly. There are no parabens, phthalates or dyes and it is also GMO-free. The essential oils and vitamins leave your hands cleaner and healthier.

Our Hand Soap Buying Guide

In the best of times, many of us rarely think about hand soap. But ever since a certain global health crisis, people are a lot more concerned about the frequency with which they wash their hands — and what they’re washing them with.

The standard hand cleaner that you buy off the shelf these days is going to be liquid soap in some sort of pump dispenser. Even those who prefer old-fashioned bars of soap have to admit they leave bathroom sinks with a bit of a residue that can be difficult to clean. As we’ll see, commercial hand soaps can be made with a wide variety of ingredients, but the basic chemical process for making soap involves some kind of animal fat or (more commonly for modern soaps) vegetable oil. To that oil is added precise amounts of an alkaline solution. That initiates the process of saponification that turns those fats or oils into soap.

Of course, even a cursory look at the back of a soap container will tell you that those two ingredients are far from the only things in the bottle. The big active ingredient in your soap will typically be a surfactant of some kind. Surfactants are usually sulfate compounds, some derivative of alcohol, and they do the “heavy lifting” that you expect out of your soap: Namely, separating dirt and grease from your hands and dissolving it in water.

If your soap is antimicrobial or antibacterial, you might see a lot more ingredients with names that are tougher to pronounce. Benzalkonium chloride and chloroxylenol are just a couple of common ones. One antibacterial agent that was found to be potentially harmful to humans is triclosan. New mothers will especially want to avoid this one, as triclosan can cause hormone imbalances and show up in breast milk. The FDA banned the use of this ingredient for hand soaps in 2016, but keep an eye out for it in older or less regulated products.

There’s a number of other ingredients, antibacterial or otherwise, that health-conscious hand-washers will want to keep an eye out for. Parabens are a big one — these preservatives have also been found to disrupt hormone production and can even irritate the skin of some users.

Most hand soaps will also contain some moisturizing ingredients. These can range from natural oils like aloe vera or shea butter to chemicals like glycerin that can actually seal moisture into the skin surface. If you have uncommonly dry hands or live in a place with very cold winters, you’ll want a good moisturizing soap to protect that skin.

Want your hands to not just feel cleaner, but smell that way? Many hand soaps employ a fragrance of some kind. Again, keep an eye on the ingredient list. It’s harder to do in this case, since “fragrance” can be listed on many soaps without outlining the chemicals that produce them. More eco-friendly soaps will typically tell you what their scents derive from, as they can be added by natural means with plant oils.

DWYM Fun Fact

It can be tough to navigate the ingredients on a soap bottle these days, but (like a lot of things) it was a lot easier in the old days. There is a record that as early as 2800 BC, Babylonians were making soap by boiling animal fats such as goat tallow in a simple solution made with wood ashes.

The Hand Soap Tips and Advice

When it comes to hand soap, there are generally two types: Foaming or liquid. Which one is right for you? You’ll generally find foaming soaps in most offices and restaurants, and there’s a reason for that. These soaps require less water to make, and people tend to use less of it to wash their hands. That saves the business money in the long run, and it can save you cash as well. On the other hand, there’s research to suggest that people tend to stay at the sink longer when using liquid soap and therefore get their hands a bit cleaner.