Do you have a dishwasher in your kitchen? Great! But even with a dishwasher, some things need to be hand-washed—like sharp knives and nonstick cookware.
That's why having the right dish soap on hand is essential. And we've got you covered.
We spent hours researching top-rated dish wash options, reading customer reviews, considering factors such as where the product is made, performance, scent, longevity, and overall value.
We didn't just find the best dish soaps for your home; we found the best dish soaps and dish wash powder for every kind of kitchen out there in New Zealand. Whether you're looking for something natural or something eco-friendly, we've got it! So go ahead and read on.
When it comes to dish soaps, you want something that's going to do a good job of cleaning the dishes you need it to clean. But the best dish soap for your needs isn't always the one that works best on all your surfaces.
That's why we've put together our list of the best dish soaps in New Zealand in 2023. We've considered price point and performance, how eco-friendly the ingredients, where it is made and packaging are, and we've also looked at what kinds of materials you're likely to use your dish soap with—whether it's greasy pans or baby bottles and pacifiers.
We hope this blog helps you find the right dishwashing product for your needs!
Our top pick for a dishwashing liquid in NZ is HealthyClean Lemon Myrtle dish washing Liquid ( Branded SimplyClean in Australia). We, and man thoushsand of customers rate this as the platinum standard in dish wash soap for its ability to cut through grease and tough grim using very little product. It is eco-friendly, concentrated and saves you time and money in the long run.
Our Top Picks
HealthyClean Lemon Myrtle Dishwashing Liquid
Who it's for: Anyone wanting an eco-friendly dish soap that is naturally antibacterial and antifungal and is free from nasty chemicals like SLS & SLES, PEG, mineral oils, CDE CMIT& MIT.
It's not for : People who want a harsh, strong smelling dish wash soap. Made with renewable, plant-based ingredients, HealthyCleans lemon myrtle is kind to sensitive skin, is dye-free dish, and is gentle on both the planet and your skin. But this does not mean it's ineffective at cutting grease and grime for our top-rated detergent by Choice.
Eco-conscious consumers will be glad to know HealthyClean dish soaps meet high testing standards in Australia for health, safety, performance, packaging (made with recycled plastic bottles), and more. Plus, HealthyClean does not test any of its products on animals and donates five cents for every unit sold to Friend of the Koala.
Price at time of publishing: NZD 10.95 (promo) - RRP$18.95
Where to buy :
- Size: 1 litre /33.814 floz
- Fragrance: Australian Lemon Myrtle
Best solid dish Soap Bar
Who it's for: People who strive to cut down on single-use plastic and reduce waste and chemicals in the kitchen striving for a sustainable and zero-waste lifestyle.
It's not for People who want to spend less on dish soap and are not concerned about plastic waste.
If you're looking to ditch plastic in the kitchen, an alternative is dish washing soap bars. These solid dish wash soaps are plastic-free, zero-waste alternatives to traditional dish soap liquids. The EKOH Dish Washing Soap Bar comes in compostable packaging, so zero waste.
The dish soap bar is made in New Zealand, and the formula is plant-based, free of artificial dyes, and uses natural fragrances, and it suds up with a bit of help of a loofah or bamboo dish brush and water. Easy to clean dirty dishes, pots, and pans. Unfortunately, you'll have to pay a bit more for this sustainable soap as it is handmade in small batches in Aoteroa. Still, it is long-lasting and replaces three 500ml plastic dishwashing soap bottles!
Price at time of publishing: NZD 14.95 (Promo)RRP $16.95
Where to buy :
- Green Elephant
- The Market NZ
- Amazon Australia
- Amazon USA
- Amazon Singapore
- Amazon Canada
- Greenspace NZ Waiheke Island
- Size: 200g/7.05oz
- Fragrance: Soft Sweet Orange & Coconut
Best Dish Soap For Washing Fruit & Veggies & Baby Bottles
HealthyClean Vegan Dishwashing Liquid 500ml
Who it's for: People who want to use eco-friendly, safe and gentle dishwashing soap for washing baby bottles, pacifiers and their fruit and veggies and like supporting local and regional brands.
Its not for: People who don't care about where their products come from or what ingredients they contain.
HealthyClean eco-friendly cleaning products are the perfect solution for anyone looking for a healthier and more sustainable way of cleaning.
Fragranced only with mandarin essential oil, this dishwashing liquid is free of toxins and sensitisers and is family-safe and earth-safe. Certified by PETA with the 'hopping bunny' symbol, this dishwashing liquid has been produced without animal testing or the use of animal products and is also grey-water and septic-safe. Not only does this dishwashing liquid have all the safety credentials you need for peace of mind, but it's made in Australia and comes in a BPA-free, recyclable and refillable bottle. On top of that, it's completely vegan-friendly, meaning everyone can enjoy its sweet mandarin scent. So, if you're looking for a dishwashing liquid that is safe for the family, effective and kind to the environment, this is the one for you. You can enjoy washing your veggies, sparkling plates, pots and pans, and the peace of mind that comes with using a toxin-free, family-safe, vegan-friendly product.
Price at time of publishing: NZD 4.95 (promo) RRP $8.95
Where to buy :
- Size: 500ml/16.9oz
- Fragrance: Soft Sweet Orange & Coconut
Best Dish Soap Powder for your Dishwasher
HealthyClean Lemon Myrtle Dishwasher Powder - 1kg
Who it's for: People who want to use eco-friendly, safe and powerful dishwashing soap in their Dishwasher that is grey water safe and non-toxic.
It's not for People who don't really care about where their products come from or what ingredients they contain but are focused on price.
HealthyClean eco-friendly cleaning products are the perfect solution for anyone looking for a healthier and more sustainable way of cleaning. HealthyCleans Super concentrated dishwasher powder with built in rinse aid and will give you up to 66 washes per kg.
Fragranced only with local lemon myrtle essential oil, this dishwashing powder is free of toxins and sensitisers and is family-safe and earth-safe. Certified by PETA with the 'hopping bunny' symbol, and is also grey-water and septic-safe. Not only does this dishwashing powder have all the safety credentials you need for peace of mind, but it's made in Australia by SimplyClean and comes in a BPA-free, recyclable and refillable bottle. On top of that, it's palm oil free, making it vegan-friendly.
With Built-in rinse aid means one less product for you to buy. So, if you're looking for a concentrated dishwashing powder that is safe for the family, effective and kind to the environment AND saves money, this is the one for you.
Price at time of publishing: NZD 10.95 (promo) RRP $15.95
Where to buy :
- Size: 1kg/2.2lb
- Fragrance: Australian pure lemon myrtle oil
Shop like a pro and get the most out of your dish soap!
The primary job of any dish soap liquid, bar or powder is to cut through grease and remove oil and any other food residue from your pans, glassware, pots and bowels. You can achieve clean dishes with almost any dishwashing soap from the local supermarket. Still, you may need to use more than one product and lots of elbow grease and potentially harmful chemicals or scouring microplastic beads to get the job done.
We may all love a good foamy lather, but the foam (or scent) is not necessarily an indicator of the cleaning ability of a dish soap product. More suds don't necessarily mean cleaner dishes; your dishes' cleanliness is a better indicator of the soap's capabilities, and you don't want any soapy residue.
Many standard dish soaps contain ingredients that can irritate the skin, particularly if you're prone to eczema, dermatitis, or dry skin. If you're someone with sensitive skin, we suggest looking for plant-based, hypoallergenic dishwashing liquid soap that's free of fragrance and dyes, like HealthyClean NZ or ecostores Ultra sensitive Dish Liquid.
When your dishwashing water goes down the drain, standard sewage treatment may reduce chemicals from your dish soap before they're released into the ecosystem. However, the EPA has found certain ingredients in cleaning products to be harmful to aquatic life.
It is important that synthetic surfactants, a compound found in conventional dish soap, have been shown to biodegrade more slowly than plant-based surfactants. Therefore, if you are an eco-conscious consumer may choose dish soaps made with no synthetic ingredients.
It is important that you know words like "natural", "plant-based", and "green" use are not regulated and can therefore mean different things for different products. When in doubt, you can always do research or simply don't purchase products that have palm oils, artificial fragrances and other chemicals.
The main trade-off with solid dish soaps is that you need to store them out of the water, potentially using a soap saver or shaker, but many people once converted say they will never return to a liquid dish wash.
Most dish soaps you'll find in your local supermarket or online store have fragrances such as jasmine, lemon, citrus, grapefruit, rose or orange. Often, these are artificial fragrances, so read the labels carefully. Some dish soap fragrances can be overwhelming or stronger than others. Suppose you have a sensitive nose or suffer from any allergies. In that case, avoid artificial fragrances and go for naturally scented dish soaps or soft scented dish soap, like Ashley & Co , to avoid being overwhelmed or irritated by the scent.
A lower price can mean something other than getting the best deal for your dish wash. Paying slightly more for a concentrated and high-performance dish soap can reduce the amount of product you use, saving you money in the long run.
Common Questions about dishwashing soaps
How does dish soap work?
So how does dish soap work? It goes without saying that water and oil don't mix. This is why you can rinse a greasy plate all day long, but with soap, water is more effective at getting dishes clean.
So, what exactly makes soap so effective? Soap molecules are hydrophilic on one end, meaning they are attracted to water, and lipophilic on the other, meaning they are attracted to oils. When washing your dishes (or your hands), the lipophilic ends pick up grease and oils. When you rinse, the hydrophilic ends follow the water, meaning you're rinsing the soap and the attached grease and oils down the drain.
How does your water affect dish soap's performance?
We all know that hard water can create spots and film on the dishes in your kitchen, but did you know it can also affect the performance of your dish soap?
Hard water—or water with high levels of calcium and magnesium—doesn't get along well with soap. The minerals in hard water react with the soap and hinder its cleaning ability, meaning you'll likely need to use more soap to clean your dishes.The soap dissolves more easily in soft water."
Hard water can also leave a cloudy white residue on dishes even after you've cleaned them. Fortunately, many dish soaps are formulated to tackle hard water stains, like Lemi Shine Concentrated Dish Soap—you may use a little bit more.
How much dish soap should you use?
Do you know how much dish soap you're wasting when you squeeze a dollop from the bottle onto your sponge?
The amount of soap that most people use is too much. It could be more effective, so you're doing more work than you need to.
Here's what you should do instead: For a sink full of water, use 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon of dish soap. That's it! You don't need more than that.
What else can you use dish soap for in the home?
Dish soap can be used for much more than just washing dishes. You may already know that it can double as hand soap (although certain soaps may irritate the skin, so we recommend a hypoallergenic soap if you plan to use it for this purpose). Still, you can also use dish soap and a little water to spot-treat most fabrics, degrime outdoor furniture, hand-wash clothing, remove carpet stains, clean kitchen sinks, and more.
We've compiled a list of uses for dish soap below. Please let us know in the comments if you have any other uses for dish soap that we didn't include here!
1) Hand Soap - Dish soap is gentle enough to use as hand soap on its own or in conjunction with a hand sanitiser or antibacterial gel. Be sure to read up on our guide to choosing the best hand wash for your needs before choosing one!
2) De-Greaser - Dish soap works wonders at removing grease from things like cutting boards, pots and pans (remember about oven racks!), and even your hands after cooking. Just make sure you rinse off any excess solution thoroughly so that it doesn't get into
3) The EKOH solid dishwashing bar can also be used as a hand wash bar for washing laundry and for spot-cleaning stains on jeans, t-shirts and more
We hope our list and insights help you find a tried-and-true dishwashing solution for your home and family. We know that finding the right product can be time-consuming, and you must feel confident with any purchase you make. Visit the EKOH website to see what customers are saying !