Swapping your dishwashing liquid to one of the best dish soap bars is an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint and help to save the planet.
By cutting down on plastic and toxic chemicals, you can do your bit to reduce landfill waste, save energy and prevent harm to wildlife. Plus, all products featured in this guide are cruelty-free and vegan so you can be confident that no animals were harmed in their production.
All products in this article are available to buy in the United States.
If you live in the UK, the best option is the ECO LIVING dish washing soap bar which is vegan and made in the UK.
Looking for a quick link to the best vegan dishwashing block in the US?
What is a dishwashing block?
Also known as a dish soap bar, a dishwashing block is an alternative to a bottle of dish washing liquid. A dishwashing block is just like a bar of soap, but for your dishes, cutlery, pans and utensils.
Can you wash dishes with a bar of soap?
Most of us are so used to reaching for a bottle of liquid dish soap that we’ve never considered a dish soap bar. But just as more people are turning to shampoo bars, dish soap blocks are becoming more popular.
The best dish soap bars
If you’re looking to invest in a dishwashing block, then you can’t go wrong with any of these which all have great reviews and are available to buy online now…
TOP PICK: NO TOX LIFE
No Tox Life dishwashing block is a vegan, zero waste dish soap block. It’s super-sudsy so great for cleaning the toughest grease off of pots, pans and stainless steel utensils.
Each soap block is pretty small at just 5.9 oz, yet can replace one or more bottles of typical liquid dish soap. As well as being plastic-free, these vegan soap blocks also free of phosphates, sulfates, parabens, petroleum, palm oil and all those other nasties.
As well as cleaning dishes, No Tox Life soap blocks can also be used to remove stains from laundry, carpets and soft furnishings, clean kitchen counters and to remove labels from jars.
- Palm oil-free
RUNNER UP: FARMHOUSE BASIC COLLECTION
This handmade organic kitchen soap bar by Farmhouse Basic Collection is made from just three ingredients – saponified coconut oil, filtered water and essential oils. There’s also an unscented version that has just two ingredients.
Despite the lack of chemicals, this soap block does a great job of cleaning not just pots and pans but also kitchen counters, stove tops, bathrooms, floors, high-chairs, laundry stains and dirty hands.
Despite its small size at 4x2x2 inches, this bar of soap should easily last for a month ot two. It has a handy loop of string attached, so that you can hang it from your tap to let it air-dry without the need for a soap dish.
- Palm oil-free
RUNNER UP: MELIORA
Meliora dish soap is a puck-shaped block which is made of all natural ingredients. It’s safe for your home and the planet yet tough enough to cut through the most stubborn grease.
This lemon-scented vegetable soap bar is free from dyes, preservatives, brighteners and synthetic frangrances. It comes in a cardboard box for plastic-free cleaning.
The soap can react with wine or vinegar to leave a residue, but that’s easily fixed by rinsing your dishes before washing them
- Palm oil-free
5 reasons to use a dishwashing block instead of liquid
1. Cut down on plastic packaging
Traditional dishwashing liquid comes in a plastic bottle, whereas dish soap bars are typically wrapped in paper. If you’re looking to reduce your waste, then solid dish soap blocks certainly have the advantage
2. Help the planet
Solid soap uses significantly less energy to manufacture, meaning that it’s a better option for those concerned about climate change.
3. Avoid toxic chemicals
Traditional dishwashing detergent often contains toxic ingredients such as phosphates and chlorine (which kill marine life), triclosan (which disrupts our hormones), sodium lauryl sulfate (which can cause allergic reactions) and formaldehyde (which is a known carcinogen). Organic dish wash bars, however, have only natural ingredients.
4. Save money
Whilst dishwashing blocks often cost more than a bottle of washing-up liquid, they also last longer too. You can make your dish soap bar last even longer by letting it dry completely between each use.
5. Looks better in your kitchen
A brightly-coloured bottle of dishwashing liquid can certainly ruin the aethetics of your neat-looking kitchen. But keeping it in the cupboard under the sink is annoying if you wash the dishes regularly. A dish soap bar can sit neatly in a soap dish and look cute next to a traditional scrubbing brush.
How to get the most out of your dish soap bar
Whilst you could just place your dishwashing block next to the sink and use a regular dishcloth or sponge, there are some ways to make your dish soap bar last longer.
A natural fibre bristle brush is the best way to remove stubborn baked-on grease and grime from your dishes. These scrubbing brushes are made from coconut bristles with bamboo handles. The strong and flexible fibres are perfect for all kinds of surfaces including non-stick pans and cast iron skillets.
When using a kitchen soap bar with a scribbing brush, it’s important not to scrub the soap bar with the brush, as this will use up the soap too quickly. Instead, place the soap bar under running water as you fill the bowl.
A soap dish is essential to prolong the life of your soap bar. This teak soap dish has a waterfall design which drains the water away from your bar of soap so that it can dry out quicker, which makes it last a lot longer.
Another advantage of a soap dish is that it keeps the area next to your sink clean and tidy. Be sure to select a soap dish that fits your preferred brand of dishwashing soap, as they come in all shapes and sizes.
Make your own DIY dish soap block
If you have the time and inclination, it’s possible to make your own dish soap bars at home. The process takes less than an hour, although you do have to let the soap cure for another two weeks before using it.
If you’d like to give this a go, take a look at this video for the dish soap bar recipe…
Other soap bars to swap
Of course, it’s not just dish soap that can be switched from a plastic bottle to a zero-waste bar. Vegan-friendly shampoo bars and body soap bars are also popular.
I recently fell in love with Fifth Origins soap bars which are natural, handmade and smell absolutely incredible. They come with a cotton loofah – you just pop the soap inside and you can scrub your body more effectively than just using the soap on its own.
Dish soap bars are a must-buy item for anyone who’s serious about reducing their impact on the planet. Look out for cruelty-free vegan soap bars made from natural organic ingredients for the kindest options.