wild-kitchen

6 Things We Learned Testing Natural Dish Soap

November 18, 2018 Molly McGuire

I'm going to be honest. I love my Dawn dish soap in the classic blue bottle. We have a bustling family of five, two businesses, and six pets, and our dishes pile up high. There's no time for products that don't work. So when I took home a bottle of Opulent Blends Dish Soap, I really hoped that it would perform well. We're selling it at the store, after all. But I also held my breath. Here's what I found to be true...

1. The ingredient list really is all natural. Since the term "natural" isn't actually regulated, there's no set definition that manufacturers have to meet to make claims about natural ingredients. It can get murky. But the Opulent Blends ingredients list is incredibly straightforward, containing only the saponified oils needed for soap making, like olive, coconut, avocado, and castor oil, glycerin, and essential oils for fragrance. 

2. The texture's a bit weird. For dish soap anyway. It's a lot like liquid castille (olive oil) soap, which makes sense, since this is also a liquid soap with a large olive oil base. It's normal, but the runny consistency can come as a bit of a surprise when you're used to your dish soap thick and "gooey". 

3. It's incredibly soft. Washing with this dish soap definitely feels a bit more luxurious on the hands and I enjoyed that after doing the dishes, my skin felt more moisturized rather than stripped away.

4. Don't expect it to bubble. Remember that natural ingredients list we talked about? That means it's free of sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) which is a common minor irritant that a lot of people in the natural community dislike. It's also what makes commercial dish soaps, body washes, and shampoos create a big bubbly lather. Because of this, it can be easy to use a bit more than you really need. But remember, bubbling doesn't mean a product is working.

5. It actually does cut grease. I was pleasantly surprised to be able to use this soap to thoroughly clean a greasy frying pan with burnt-on leftover food, without more effort than I would have used with our traditional soap.

6. It's more expensive. At $7.00 per bottle, Opulent Blends is definitely more pricey than the $3.00 bottle I buy at Target. But after making adjustments for the value of the higher quality ingredients (those oils aren't cheap), the handcrafted nature of the product, and the fact that the company makes a point of paying their employees a sustainable living wage, that extra $4.00 seems pretty worthwhile. 

Bonus: I didn't feel right giving this talking point its own number on the list because this is really a post about performance and pretty labels don't clean dishes. But I did want to give a shout out to the fun retro packaging. It makes me happy sitting on my counter.



The verdict? It was a bit of a learning curve. Our 10 year old daughter didn't understand the way the lather worked compared to our usual Dawn, and she went through way too much soap the first time she used it because she was accustomed to dispensing more soap every time the bubbles went away. But that's fixable. Ultimately the silky feel and moisturizing qualities on my skin paired with the fact that it really does adequately clean our dishes made me happy. I also really appreciated the eco-friendly and biodegradable aspects of the brand. I'll be buying it for our family again as well as recommending it to our customers.